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Seventeen's Heng:garae sells over 1 million in first week

  June 29, 2020  
Seventeen has become the second K-pop act ever after BTS to achieve the one-million benchmark in album sales in the first week of release. The 13-member group's seventh mini-album Heng:garae with the title single Left & Right was released on June 22.

According to Hanteo Chart, Seventeen sold 1,097,891 copies of Heng:garae from June 22 to June 28, which surpassed the first-week sales of their last album An Ode (700,863 copies) in only four days. In addition, Heng:garae now takes over the #3 position in Korea's all-time highest first-week sales of albums, ranking only after BTS's Map of the Soul: 7 and Map of the Soul: Persona.

Text / Violet

Hamabe Minami & Kitamura Takumi reunite in teen romance Love Me, Love Me Not

  June 26, 2020  
Hamabe Minami and Kitamura Takumi, the young rising stars of the 2017 blockbuster Let Me Eat Your Pancreas, reunite onscreen in the youth romance Love Me, Love Me Not. The film is based on the shojo manga Omoi, Omoware, Furi, Furare by Sakisaki Io, whose Strobe Edge and Blue Spring Ride have already been turned into blockbuster live-action teen romances. Blue Spring Ride director Miki Takahiro adapts the love story of four high school students.

Hamabe Minami stars as heroine Yamamoto Akari, who is very outgoing but not good at expressing her emotions. Fukumoto Riko, the winner of the 8th Toho Cinderella Audition, plays Akari's introverted friend Ichihara Yuna who has a crush on Akari's stepbrother Rio, played by Kitamura Takumi. Rio, however, harbors feelings for Akari. Meanwhile, Akari finds herself falling for Yuna's childhood friend Inui Kazuomi, played by Kamen Rider Build's Akaso Eiji.

Love Me, Love Me Not will be released in Japan on August 14. Besides the live-action film, an animated adaptation of Omoi, Omoware, Furi, Furare was originally scheduled for May, but the release has been postponed due to the coronavirus.

Text / Sanwei

Nogizaka46, BTS & AAA top Japan music sales in first half of 2020

  June 19, 2020  
Japan's Oricon chart has announced sales rankings for the first half of 2020. For the third year in a row, Nogizaka46 tops all artists in half-year earnings with 4.28 billion yen of sales. Korean group BTS comes in second with 3.22 billion yen of sales, followed by AAA at third with 2.94 billion yen of sales.

Johnny's newcomers SixTONES and Snow Man's simultaneous debut single Imitation Rain/D.D., which sold 1,644,000 physical copies, is the best-selling single in the first half of the year. This also makes them the top-selling rookie artists with sales revenue of 2.47 billion yen. Produce 101 Japan group J01 and Korean group TXT are second and third on the newcomer chart.

BTS's Korean album Map of the Soul: 7, which has moved over five million units worldwide, is the best-selling physical album in Japan with 429,000 copies sold. This marks the first time since Michael Jackson's Thriller in 1984 that a foreign artist has topped Japan's album sales in the first half of the year.

Last year's breakout bands King Gnu and Official HIGE DANdism continue their momentum this year, entering the top ten artists for the first time at fourth and fifth with sales of 2.91 billion yen and 2.78 billion yen, respectively. King Gnu's Ceremony and Official HIGE DANdism's I Love are also the top-ranked digital single and digital album. For music video products, Johnny's Jr's Sugao 4 sold 472,000 copies to come in first on the music DVD/Blu-ray chart.

Text / Sanwei

Lei Jiayin, Yolanda Yuan & Lay Zhang in new Daylight Entertainment drama

  June 11, 2020  
Daylight Entertainment, the maker of the acclaimed Chinese televisions hits Nirvana in Fire, All is Well and Like a Flowing River, has announced the cast of its new modern drama Challenges at Midlife. The series is headlined by Lei Jiayin (The Longest Day in Chang'an) and Yolanda Yuan (The First Half of My Life), and co-stars Lay Zhang, Jia Nailiang, Luo Haiqiong, Liang Guanhua, Lian Lian, Li Naiwen and Sun Ning.

Like Ode to Joy, Like a Flowing River and All is Well, Challenges at Midlife is based on a work by Ane who also serves as the screenwriter. The contemporary urban series about facing midlife changes is directed by Jian Chuanhe, who helmed the Ode to Joy series and All is Well.

Lei Jiayin and Yoland Yuan play middle-aged protagonists Jian Hongcheng and Ning You, who were classmates in university. Hongcheng was head over heels for Ning You then, but she rejected him and married someone else. Years later, Hongcheng returns to his hometown in hopes of saving his late father's factory and re-encounters Ning You, who has since divorced. Lay Zhang plays Ning You's younger brother Ning Shu.

Text / Sanwei

Bong Joon Ho & When the Camellia Blooms win at 56th Baeksang Arts Awards

  June 8, 2020  
Winners of the 56th Baeksang Arts Awards were announced on June 5. Parasite director Bong Joon Ho and When the Camellia Blooms won the Daesang (Grand Prize) in the movie and drama categories, respectively. Parasite also received Best Film and Best New Actor (Park Myung Hoon).

House of Hummingbird and The Man Standing Next follow with two awards each in the Film section. House of Hummingbird walked away with Best Director (Kim Bo Ra) and Best Supporting Actress (Kim Sae Byuk) prizes. Lee Byung Hun (The Man Standing Next) and Jeon Do Yeon (Birthday), who both won Best Actor and Best Actress at the Baeksang Arts Awards in 2016, attained the same awards again this year. The Man Standing Next was recognized for its hair and makeup by Kim Seo Hee (Technical Award). Best Screenplay went to EXIT's Lee Sang Geun.

Lee Kwang Soo (Inseparable Bros) was presented his first Best Supporting Actor Award. Parasite's Park Myung Hoon and Lucky Chan-sil's Kang Mal Geum triumphed in the Best New Actor and Actress races, respectively. The winner of Best New Director was Kim Ji-Young: Born 1982's Kim Do Young.

In the Drama section, When the Camellia Blooms swept four prizes including the Grand Prize, Best Screenplay (Lim Sang Choon), Best Actor (Kang Ha Neul) and Best Supporting Actor (Oh Jung Se). The World of the Married's director Mo Wan Il collected his first ever Best Director award, while lead Kim Hee Ae won Best Actress again after seven years. Hot Stove League got the Best Drama award.

Crash Landing on You's Kim Sun Young won Best Supporting Actress at the Baeksang Arts Awards for the first time. Dr. Romantic 2's Ahn Hyo Seop and Itaewon Class's Kim Da Mi were named the Best New Actor and Actress among this year's newcomers.

Text / Violet

Youth With You 2 announces final debut lineup of THE NINE

  June 8, 2020  
The finale of iQiYi's idol survival program Youth With You 2 was broadcasted live on May 30 with Youth Producer's Representative Cai Xukun and TV personality Xie Na as the hosts. The top nine contestants with the most votes were selected as members of project group THE NINE (also stylized as THE9).

Former LadyBees member Xin Liu, who was the center for the show's theme song YES! OK!, was crowned first to become the center of THE NINE. Esther Yu came in second, while SNH48's Kiki Xu ranked third. Diamond Girls' Yu Yan, Shaking Chloe, Hickey's Babymonster An, Zhao Xiaotang, former LadyBees member Snow Kong and Fanxy Red's K Lu finished in the fourth to ninth positions, respectively.

Before the results were announced, the 20 contestants were divided into two teams to perform the final evaluation songs "Hunt" and A Little Bit. The girls also gathered to sing YES! OK! and Promise, and presented the special stage "For Every Girl" with guest Chris Lee.

THE NINE now becomes the third Youth With You/Idol Producer series idol group after Nine Percent and UNINE. THE NINE will promote as a group from 2020 to 2022.

Text / Violet

Bong Joon Ho's Parasite sweeps five awards at 56th Daejong Film Awards

  June 4, 2020  
Winners of the 56th Daejong Film Awards were announced on June 3. Bong Joon Ho's Oscar winner Parasite, which was nominated in 11 categories, eventually swept five awards including Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress (Lee Jung Eun) and Best Music (Jung Jae Il).

Lee Byung Hun (Ashfall) was crowned Best Actor again after three years, while Jung Yoo Mi garnered her second Best Actress trophy for her performance in Kim Ji-Young, Born 1982. Extreme Job's Jin Seon Kyu was recognized as Best Supporting Actor. Best New Actor and Actress went to Tune in For Love's Jung Hae In and After My Death's Jeon Yeo Been.

Indie breakout film House of Hummingbird's director Kim Bo Ra won her seventh Best New Director trophy. Svaha: The Sixth Finger garnered Best Art Direction and Best Lighting awards. The Battle: Roar to Victory (Kim Young Ho) triumphed in the Best Cinematography category, while EXIT collected Best Film Editing. The Great Battle was presented Best Costume Design. Ashfall and Extreme Job collected the Technical Award (Visual Effect) and Best Planning prize, respectively.

Text / Violet

Ji Chang Wook & Kim Yoo Jung's romcom Backstreet Rookie to air on June 12

  June 1, 2020  
Ji Chang Wook and Kim Yoo Jung partner up for the first time in SBS's upcoming webtoon-turned-drama Backstreet Rookie. Less than a year after Melting Me Softly, Ji Chang Wook stars in another romantic comedy while Kim Yoo Jung last appeared in JTBC's Clean with Passion for Now in 2018.

Directed by Lee Myoung Woo (The Fiery Priest) and written by Son Geun Joo (Sweet, Savage Family), Backstreet Rookie revolves around the love story between Choi Dae Hyun (played by Ji Chang Wook) and Jung Saet Byul (played by Kim Yoo Jung), who met in a convenience store by chance four years ago. Once a bad student, Saet Byul now lives a diligent life studying in university while working night shifts at a store managed by the warm and clumsy Dae Hyun.

Besides the two leads, Han Sun Hwa (Save Me), Do Sang Woo (My Daughter, Geum Sa-wol), Kim Sun Young (Crash Landing on You), Sol Bin (Itaewon Class) and Woo Hyun (Dazzling) also co-star in Backstreet Rookie. The workplace romantic comedy will premiere on June 12.

Text / Violet

Filming begins for Zhou Dongyu & Xu Kai's Ancient Love Poetry

  May 28, 2020  
The Chinese period fantasy series Ancient Love Poetry starring Zhou Dongyu and Xu Kai has begun filming in late May. Based on Xing Lu's fantasy romance novel Shang Gu, Ancient Love Poetry is about the heartwrenching love between Shang Gu and Bai Ju, who are among the four true gods of the ancient world. In order to protect the three realms, the two experience great challenges and calamities while staying true to their love.

Ancient Love Poetry marks the first collaboration between Zhou Dongyu and Xu Kai, the rising star from Once Upon a Time in Lingjian Mountain and Story of Yanxi Palace. It is also the first ancient costume series for Zhou Dongyu, who just recently won Best Actress at the Hong Kong Film Awards for Better Days.

Ancient Love Poetry boasts a strong production team that includes Under the Power and The Glory of Tang Dynasty director Yin Tao and Yang Xiaopei, the producer of the trendy period hits Fighter of the Destiny and Legend of Fuyao.

Text / Sanwei

Kurosawa Kiyoshi's 8K drama Spy no Tsuma to air in June

  May 27, 2020  
Director Kurosawa Kiyoshi's new drama Spy no Tsuma ("Spy's Wife") will be aired on NHK BS8K on June 6. Shot in 8K Super Hi-Vision, the suspense drama is set in 1940s Kobe, and stars Takahashi Issey and Aoi Yu as a married couple.

Takahashi Issey plays Fukuhara Yusaku, a trader who wants to inform the world about the horrific events he witnessed in Manchuria. Working with Kurosawa for the third time, Aoi Yu plays Yusaku's wife Satoko, who tries to stop his actions in order to preserve their happiness.

Spy no Tsuma is co-written by Kurosawa with Asako I & II director Hamaguchi Ryusuke and Nohara Tadashi. The drama also co-stars Higashide Masahiro as a military officer who is Satoko's childhood friend and Bando Ryota as Yusaku's nephew.

Text / Sanwei

EXO's Baek Hyun sets solo artist sales record again with Delight

  May 27, 2020  
Following the record-breaking sales of his 2019 solo debut album City Lights, Baek Hyun reigns over K-pop album and digital music charts again with his second mini-album Delight. The album featuring the title track Candy was released in three versions on May 25.

Though first week sales for Delight are still counting, Baek Hyun has already achieved #1 in both first-day and first-week sales among soloists. According to the Hanteo Chart, Baek Hyun's Delight sold a record-setting 626,779 copies on the first day of release, surpassing the record previously held by Kang Daniel's Color on Me. The album ranks third in first-day sales for all artists after BTS's Map of the Soul: 7 and Map of the Soul: Persona.

Baek Hyun's Delight is now the best-selling solo album in Hanteo history, dethroning Wheesung's It's Real which had held the record for the past 17 years. Baek Hyun is also the only solo act to rank in Korea's top ten highest first-week album sales.

Text / Violet

Parasite & When the Camellia Blooms lead 56th Baeksang Arts Awards nominations

  May 21, 2020  
Nominations for the 56th Baeksang Arts Awards have been revealed. Parasite leads among films with a total of 12 nominations, while When the Camellia Blooms received the most nominations in the TV drama categories. This year marks the first time that Netflix productions (mini-series Kingdom 2 and film Time to Hunt) received nominations.

Parasite was nominated in nearly all categories, including Best Film, Best Director (Bong Joon Ho), Best Screenplay (Bong Joon Ho and Han Jin Won), Best Actor (Song Kang Ho), Best Actress (Jo Yeo Jeong), Best Supporting Actor (Park Myung Hoon), Best Supporting Actress (Park So Dam and Lee Jung Eun), Best New Actor (Park Myung Hoon), Best New Actress (Jang Hye Jin), Technical Award (Lee Ha Jun for Art and Hong Kyung Pyo for Filming). The Man Standing Next and indie film House of Hummingbird follow with six nominations each, and both will compete for Best Film, Best Director and Best Screenplay. The rest of the nominations for Best Film are EXIT and Kim Ji-young, Born 1982, while Best Director nods include Birthday's Lee Jung Eon and Black Money's Chung Ji Young. EXIT (Lee Sang Geun) and Moonlit Winter (Lim Dae Hyung) are also shortlisted for Best Screenplay.

Song Kang Ho (Parasite), Lee Byung Hun (The Man Standing Next) and Han Suk Kyu (Forbidden Dream) seek another Best Actor trophy against EXIT's Jo Jung Suk and Time to Hunt's Lee Je Hoon, who is nominated for the first time. Following last year's nomination, this year Kim Hee Ae (Moonlit Winter) goes up against Jo Yeo Jeong, Jeon Do Yeon (Birthday), Jung Yoo Mi (Kim Ji-young, Born 1982) and Kim So Jin (Another Child) for Best Actress. Best Supporting Actor and Actress nominations go to Kim Young Min (Lucky Chan-sil), Won Hyun Joon (The Divine Move 2: The Wrathful), Lee Kwang Soo (Inseparable Bros), Lee Hee Joon (The Man Standing Next), Kim Guk Hee (Tune in for Love), Kim Mi Kyung (Kim Ji-young, Born 1982) and Kim Sae Byuk (House of Hummingbird).

Apart from the Parasite cast, nominees for Best New Actor and Best New Actress also include Park Hae Soo (Time to Hunt), Park Hyung Sik (Juror 8), Ahn Ji Ho (A Boy and Sungreen), Jung Hae In (Tune in for Love), Kang Mal Geum (Lucky Chan-sil), Kim So Hye (Moonlit Winter), Kim Hye Jun (Another Child) and Park Ji Hoo (House of Hummingbird). Besides being nominated for Best Director, first-time writer-director Kim Bo Ra (House of Hummingbird) is naturally also nominated in the Best New Director category along with the directors of EXIT, Kim Ji-young, Born 1982, Lucky Chan-sil and Kim-gun.

In the TV drama section, When the Camellia Blooms dominates with nine nominations, including Best Drama, Best Director (Cha Yeong Hoon), Best Screenplay (Lim Sang Choon), Best Actor (Kang Ha Neul), Best Actress (Gong Hyo Jin), Best Supporting Actor (Oh Jung Se), Best Supporting Actress (Son Dam Bi and Yeom Hye Ran) and Best New Actor (Kim Kang Hoon). High-rating cable TV dramas Crash Landing on You and Itaewon Class received eight and seven nominations respectively. Both are up for Best Director (Lee Jung Hyo and Kim Sung Yoon), Best Actor (Hyun Bin and Park Seo Joon), Best Supporting Actor (Yang Kyung Won and Yoo Jae Myung) and Best Supporting Actress (Kim Sun Young, Seo Ji Hye and Kwon Nara).

For Best Drama, When the Camellia Blooms and Crash Landing on You will compete against SBS's Hot Stove League and Hyena as well as the Netflix original series Kingdom 2. All of the aforementioned dramas, except Kingdom 2, are also shortlisted in the Best Screenplay category with Hospital Playlist (Lee Woo Jung). The directors of Hot Stove League (Jeong Dong Yoon) and The World of the Married (Mo Wan Il) are also in the Best Director race alongside the frontrunners.

Hyun Bin (Crash Landing on You), Park Seo Joon (Itaewon Class) and Nam Gung Min (Hot Stove League) are joined by first-time nominees Ju Ji Hoon (Hyena) and Kang Ha Neul as contenders for the Best Actor trophy. Kim Hee Ae (The World of the Married), Son Ye Jin (Crash Landing on You), Kim Hye Su (Hyena) and Gong Hyo Jin are again up for Best Actress along with IU (Hotel Del Luna), who was also a nominee last year. Besides being nominated for Best Supporting Actor in the Film section, Kim Young Min (The World of the Married) is up for the same award in the Drama section against Oh Jung Se, Yang Kyung Won, Yoo Jae Myung, and Jeon Seok Ho (Hyena).

With ten breakout stars from nine popular dramas, this year's Best New Actor and Actress races are very competitive. Nominations for the two awards go to Kim Kang Hoon, Itaewon Class' Kim Da Mi and Ahn Bo Hyun, Hospital Playlist's Jeon Mi Do, The World of the Married's Han So Hee, At Eighteen's Ong Seong Wu, Dr. Romantic 2's Ahn Hyo Seop, Be Melodramatic's Jeon Yeo Been, Extraordinary You's Lee Jae Wook and The Cursed's Jung Ji So.

This year's Baeksang Arts Awards will take place at KINTEX on June 5. It will again be hosted by Shin Dong Yup, Park Bo Gum and Bae Suzy.

Text / Garden
Translation / Violet

Derek Tsang's Better Days sweeps 8 prizes at 39th Hong Kong Film Awards

  May 6, 2020  
The results of the 39th Hong Kong Film Awards were announced online on May 6. Derek Tsang's youth drama Better Days, which had led with 12 nominations, swept eight prizes including Best Film, Best Director, Best Actress for Zhou Dongyu, Best New Performer for Jackson Yee, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Costume & Makeup Design, and Best Original Film Song.

Following his win at the Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards, veteran actor Tai Bo was crowned Best Actor again for his role in Ray Yeung's gay drama Suk Suk, which also garnered Best Supporting Actress for Patra Au. I'm Livin' It's Cheung Tat Ming won Best Supporting Actor.

Norris Wong was named Best New Director for My Prince Edward, which also won Best Original Film Score. Ip Man 4: The Finale picked up two awards: Best Editing and Best Action Choreography for Yuen Woo Ping. Technical awards were also given to Fagara (Best Art Direction) and The White Storm 2 - Drug Lords (Best Visual Effects). Golden Horse Best Picture winner An Elephant Sitting Still was awarded the Best Film from Mainland and Taiwan.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, the Hong Kong Film Awards ceremony was cancelled this year. Winners were instead announced by director Derek Yee, the chairman of the Hong Kong Film Awards Association, in a video recording via live streaming on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram.

Text / Sanwei

The World of the Married sets Korean cable TV ratings record

  May 6, 2020  
JTBC's The World of the Married has become the highest-rated cable TV drama ever in South Korea. According to AGB Nielsen Rating, the megahit revenge drama hit a nationwide rating of 24.332% for its 12th episode aired on May 2, surpassing the previous record held by JTBC's Sky Castle in 2019. tvN's 2020 romantic drama Crash Landing on You follows in third place.

Adapted from the British drama Doctor Foster, The World of the Married recounts the dark side of marriage with a plot centering around the life of doctor Ji Sun Woo (played by Kim Hee Ae, Secret Affair) after she is betrayed by husband Lee Tae Oh (played by Park Hae Joon, My Mister). Besides the two leads, the cast of the popular drama also includes Han So Hee (100 Days My Prince), Park Sun Young (Marry Me Now), Kim Young Min (Crash Landing on You), Jeon Jin Seo (Mr. Sunshine), Lee Moo Saeng (One Spring Night) and Shim Eun Woo (Arthdal Chronicles).

The World of the Married is scheduled to air 16 episodes in total. The final episode will be broadcasted on May 16.

Text / Violet

Song Ji Hyo and Kim Moo Yeol's Intruder opens on May 21

  April 29, 2020  
Intruder starring Song Ji Hyo (Unstoppable) and Kim Moo Yeol (The Gangster, The Cop, The Devil) is scheduled to be released in Korean cinemas on May 21. Kim Moo Yeol leads a mystery thriller again three years after Forgotten, while Song Ji Hyo takes on the genre for the first time on the silver screen.

Written and directed by Son Won Pyung (A Two-Way Monologue), Intruder depicts the mystery of a missing person returning home after 25 years. Kim Moo Yeol plays Seo Jin, who just lost his wife in an accident not long ago, and then receives a call from his long-lost sister Yoo Jin (played by Song Ji Hyo). While the whole family feels happy about her return, Seo Jin becomes suspicious about Yoo Jin's existence and finds out the secret behind these happenings.

Intruder is produced by B.A. Entertainment whose previous works include The Gangster, The Cop, The Devil, Unstoppable and The Outlaws. The cast of Intruder also includes Ye Soo Jung (Herstory), Choi Sang Hoon (The Twins), Lee Hae Woon (Kim Ji-Young, Born 1982) and Choi Young Woo (Juror 8).

Text / Violet

Jang Dong Yoon and Krystal partner up in OCN's Search

  April 29, 2020  
Rising actor Jang Dong Yoon and Krystal Jung collaborate for the first time in the military thriller Search. Krystal makes her small screen comeback two years after Player, while The Tale of Nokdu star Jang Dong Yoon quickly returns in less than a year.

Following Trap, Strangers From Hell and Team Bulldog: Off-Duty Investigation, Search is the fourth release in OCN's Dramatic Cinema project. The series revolves around mysterious murders and missing person cases in the DMZ. Jang Dong Yoon takes the role of sergeant Yong Dong Jin who will soon be discharged from the military. Krystal plays elite First Lieutenant Son Ye Rim who is capable of tackling a multitude of problems in the army.

Search also co-stars Moon Jeong Hee (Vagabond), Yoon Park (Radio Romance) and Lee Hyun Wook (Strangers From Hell). The drama is scheduled to air in the second half of 2020.

Text / Violet

Guo Jingming's Onmyoji completes filming

  April 28, 2020  
Tiny Times writer-director Guo Jingming recently announced that he has completed filming for his live-action feature adaptation of Yumemakura Baku's novel series Onmyoji. This marks the best-selling Chinese author's first directorial work that's not based on his own novel.

First published in 1988, Yumemakura Baku's long-running Onmyoji series about a divination master has encompassed short stories, picture books and novels, the most recent of which was published in 2019. The period fantasy stories have been adapted into manga as well as multiple live-action films and television dramas in Japan. Onmyoji is Yumemakura Baku's second work to get a Chinese adaptation following Chen Kaige's Legend of the Demon Cat based on Samon Kukai Tou no Kuni nite Oni to Utagesu.

Guo Jingming's Onmyoji will be divided into two films titled Qing Ya Ji and Long Ye Qu. Popular actors Mark Chao (Detective Dee: The Four Heavenly Kings) and Deng Lun (Ashes of Love) star as Qing Ming and Bo Ya, who team up to solve strange mysteries and uncover a century-old secret. The film's cast also includes Olivia Wang (Ode to Joy), Jessie Li (Port of Call), Wang Duo (L.O.R.D - Legend of the Ravaging Dynasties) and Huang Jue (A City Called Macau).

Text / Sanwei

Zeze Takahisa and Satoh Takeru collaborate again for crime mystery film

  April 6, 2020  
Following 2017's The 8-Year Engagement, director Zeze Takahisa and actor Satoh Takeru will collaborate again for the film adaptation of Nakayama Shichiri's suspense novel Mamorarenakatta Monotachi e ("To Those Who Were Not Protected"). Set in Sendai after the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, the crime mystery also addresses social problems of poverty and inequality.

Satoh Takeru will play the protagonist Tone Yasuhisam, who served time for arson and assault before. He becomes the suspect of a mysterious serial murder case in which the victims were tied up and starved to death. Abe Hiroshi will take the role of Tomashino Seiichiro, a detective in the Miyagi police department who is investigating the case. Satoh and Abe last collaborated in Trick The Movie: Psychic Battle Royale ten years ago.

Other announced cast members include Kiyohara Kaya, Baisho Mitsuko, Yoshioka Hidetaka and Hayashi Kento. Hayashi Tamio, who worked on The Snow White Murder Case, The Eternal Zero and Shield of Straw, will serve as screenwriter.

Shooting begins in April, and the film is slated for release in 2020.

Text / Sanwei

Mnet's idol survival show Road to Kingdom airs in late April

  April 3, 2020  
Mnet's boy group survival program Road to Kingdom is scheduled to air its first episode on April 30. Following Queendom, actress Lee Da Hee and TV personality Jang Sung Kyu will partner up again as the hosts of the show.

On March 30, Mnet officially announced the Road to Kingdom lineup with Pentagon from Cube Entertainment, ONF from WM Entertainment, Golden Child from Woollim Entertainment, The Boyz from Cre.Ker Entertainment, VERIVERY from Jellyfish Entertainment, ONEUS from RBW and TOO from n. CH Entertainment. Teasers of each group's performance have been released online, and pre-show voting is being conducted on the Genie music website until April 5.

The winner of Road to Kingdom will be given priority to join Kingdom in late 2020.

Text / Violet

What Did You Eat Yesterday? series gets film continuation

  March 31, 2020  
Yoshinaga Fumi's popular manga What Did You Eat Yesterday? about the daily lives and dinner table of a middle-aged gay couple was first adapted into a TV series in spring 2019. Aired on TV Tokyo, the foodie slice-of-life series starred Nishijima Hidetoshi as meticulous and frugal lawyer Kakei Shiro who is good at cooking. Uchino Seiyo played his cohabiting partner Yabuki Kenji, who is a hair stylist. The couple returned earlier this year in a one-episode TV special aired on January 1. Now, it has been announced that Shiro and Kenji's story and cooking will continue in a feature film.

TV series director Nakae Kazuhito and writer Adachi Naoko will continue to helm the feature version of What Did You Eat Yesterday? Besides leads Nishijima Hidetoshi and Uchino Seiyo, other cast members of the series, including Yamamoto Koji, Isomura Hayato, Tanaka Misako, Makita Sports and Kaji Meiko, will also reprise their characters in the film.

What Did You Eat Yesterday? The Movie will be released in Japan in 2021.

Text / Sanwei

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