Kento Yamazaki, who starred in “Golden Kamuy,” and “The Kingdom” was a big hit, is now being criticized for his “live-action character congestion. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Kento Yamazaki, who starred in “Golden Kamuy,” and “The Kingdom” was a big hit, is now being criticized for his “live-action character congestion.

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Yamazaki on location. Sunday Theater’s “Atom’s Child” was an original story. …… (July ’22)

Actor Kento Yamazaki (29) and co-star Ryo Yoshizawa (29) attended the big hit thank-you stage greeting for the movie “Kingdom: The Fires of Fate” in Tokyo on September 12. The film is the third in the “Kingdom” series, a live-action adaptation of Yasuhisa Hara’s popular manga. At the event, it was announced that the film had become a hit with an audience of 3.58 million and box-office revenue of over 5.13 billion yen by the 11th, and that a fourth film will be released.

The original comic has already published 69 volumes as of the time of this stage greeting, and even at the time of the fourth film, it has not even reached one-third of the comic’s total. As one might expect, the quality of Yamazaki’s action will decline as he gets older, and it will become physically demanding for the other co-stars, who are older than Yamazaki, to spend long periods of time on location. It will be necessary for all parties concerned to discuss the situation and decide on the best course of action.

After the film’s release, it was announced that Yamazaki will play the role of the main character, Saichi Sugimoto, in “Golden Kamui” (released on January 19, 2012), a live-action adaptation of a popular comic book. Yamazaki has recently starred in a series of live-action comic book films, all of which have been quite successful.

In recent years, Yamazaki has starred in a series of live-action comic book films, all of which have been quite successful. “The Wolf Girl and the Black Prince” (’16), starring Fumi Nikaido (28), grossed 1.21 billion yen, and “April is Your Lie” (’16), starring Suzu Hirose (25) and her reported boyfriend, grossed 1.42 billion yen. One Week Friends” (’17), starring Haruna Kawaguchi (’28), grossed 770 million yen. (2005), in which Kawaguchi Haruna (28) starred, grossed 790 million yen, “Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamonds Shattered, Chapter 1” (2005) grossed 920 million yen, and “Saiki Kusuo no Ψ難” (2005) grossed 1 billion yen. Kingdom” (5.73 billion yen in 2007), “Otaku ni Koi wa Difficult” (1.34 billion yen in 2008), starring Mitsuki Takahata (31), and “Kingdom 2: Harukanaru Daichi e” (5.16 billion yen in 2010). (Kingdom 2: To the Faraway Earth) (2010), which grossed 5.16 billion yen each.

In addition, “Alice in the Land of the Rising Sun,” starring Tao Tsuchiya (28), was released on Netflix in 2008, and Season 2 was released last year.

Only “Jojo” was a big miss, and production of the second and subsequent chapters has been scrapped. It is quite difficult to play a role based on a popular comic without destroying the image of the original work and still maintain the quality of the live-action work. Yamazaki has succeeded in doing this by not preparing for the role too much and instead valuing his instincts on the spot. However, it seems that the agency’s strategy was to avoid creating a fixed image of one character by producing one live-action film after another.

In the past, he often played roles in school uniforms or starred in double roles with actresses of a higher rank than he was at the time. However, with the success of “Kingdom,” he was inundated with offers because he was good at physical action, young in age, wild despite his neat face, and not uncomfortable with anime-like, slightly crass dialogue. However, this has made it difficult to see her in ordinary roles that are not based on original works.

The movie “Natsu e no Tobira – Kimi no iru Mirai e” (2009), based on an American science fiction novel, was not talked about at all after its release. In addition, “Atom’s Child,” an original drama starring a young genius game developer that aired in the TBS Sunday theater slot last October, averaged 9.6% household viewer rating for all nine episodes (according to Video Research, Kanto region). Compared to other dramas in the broadcast slot, the ratings were weak.

It is becoming increasingly difficult to see Yamazaki in roles in which he is not “in the flesh,” but is this really a positive thing for him? It remains to be seen how long he will continue to play “live-action” characters.

Smiling with relief when they say “OK!” during the filming of a walking scene (July ’22).
Also on location for “Atom’s Child. Standing on a bridge in a light drizzle. In this film, he played a genius game creator (October ’22).
Enthusiastically discussing with Kohei Matsushita, who plays his partner, while looking at the script (October ’22).
When “One Week Friends. was a hit. Visiting a pasta shop in a residential area with a woman who looked like a staff member (February ’17).
  • PHOTO Yusuke Kondo (1st and 2nd), Shinpei Yuzuki (3rd and 4th), Takao Kawakami

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