Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Nodame Cantabile

Shinichi Chiaki is the top piano student at the Momogaoka College of Music and an excellent violinist, but Chiaki doesn't care about playing these instruments as much as he dreams of someday being a conductor. Chiaki, however, has several deeply rooted fears about traveling, and so finds himself "trapped" in Japan. Because he's trapped, Chiaki starts to question exactly how far he can possibly go in music, especially when he's passed over again and again by others he believes less worthy of musical scholarship and fame.

Recently dumped by his girlfriend for a "ham" looking fellow, passed over for a chance to go overseas, and removed from his star spot in the piano competition because he walked out on his piano instructor, Chiaki is at his limit. This is when he meets Nodame, or Megumi Noda. Nodame is a free — and filthy — spirit who reminds Chiaki that music can be fun and what drew him to be a conductor in the first place. In learning how to deal with Nodame, Chiaki learns how to deal with others. Chiaki begins to realize what is possible for him, even within the country of Japan.

For Nodame, Chiaki is everything she isn't. Clean, neat, dedicated, studious and inherently arrogant about his accomplishments and capabilities, Chiaki constantly bullies her into being more serious about life. He sees potential in her and her abilities as a pianist that she doesn't care about. She loves Chiaki and wants to be with him, but because she's not serious about her piano studies nor her personal hygiene, Chiaki always denies her affections.

Drawn together in a turbulent relationship, Chiaki's perfectionism and Nodame's untamed nature ends up complementing each other. As the story progresses, they mature as individuals, as musicians and as a couple.


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Takako Matsu

Takako Matsu (松 たか子 Matsu Takako?), born Takako Fujima (藤間 隆子 Fujima Takako?), is a Japanese actress and pop singer/songwriter born on June 10, 1977 in Tokyo, Japan. She is noted for the laid-back and relaxing style in her music unlike many Japanese pop artists that have heavier and stronger beats

ProfileZodiac: GeminiBloodtype: AHeight: 165 centimeters (5 ft 5 in)Interests: Watching movies and stage playsTalents: Acting, singing, songwriting, piano and various musical instrumentsFavorite Artist: Matsuda Seiko


She was born into a traditional Buyō house, and her Buyō name is Kōka Matsumoto. Her father is Matsumoto Koshiro IX, kabuki actor and head of the buyo house; her uncle is Nakamura Kichiemon II; her older brother is Ichikawa Zengoro VII; her sister, six years her elder is Kiyo Matsumoto. Her mother's name is Noriko Matsumoto. She selected her last name as “Matsu” to honor her parents. Her highest education is Asia University, which she did not graduate.

Takako's debut in a theater was when she was sixteen years old, in Ninjo Hanashi Bun Nana Motoyu (Emotions Inscribed in Seven Hair-tying Paper Cords) at Tokyo Kabuki-za in 1993. Her first lead role in television is NHK Drama Hana no Ran (War of Roses) in 1994. Afterwards, she increased in succession the number of leadrole appearances in theater and television drama, becoming preeminent as a young actress.

Moreover, because Shirayuri Gakuen, the high school Matsu enrolled in, strictly prohibited entertainment industry, she transferred to Horietsu High School citing obstruction to her work. At that time, Tsuyoshi Domoto of Kinki Kids, two years her younger, was at the school and remarks, “Matsu was excellent”.

In drama Long Vacation, which she played a lead role in 1996 following matriculating to college, she became popular as “the woman who dumped Kimutaku (Takuya Kimura of SMAP)”. Since the drama was a major hit, she began to establish in full-scale her position as an actress. In the same year, as the youngest ever at the age of 19, she hosted Kōhaku Uta Gassen, making 1996 a year of rapid progress for her. She is also well-known for acting with Takuya Kimura in another drama in the same period, Love Generation, which Matsu Takako acts as the female lead-role in.

In 1997, she made her debut as a songwriter and singer, expanding her activity beyond the acting realm. She has worked with many different producers, but in her third album, Itsuka, Sakura no Ame ni... , she is noted for working on every song (either composing the melody or lyrics) on the album becoming her most successful album recorded with Universal Music up to date. As of now, she has released nineteen singles and ten albums (of which, seven are original studio albums), achieving success as a singer also. In other works, she published through Asahi Shinbun Publishers Matsu no Hitorigoto (Matsu Talks to Herself), a photo essay book.

Many of her lead roles in television dramas are in FujiTV (FNN) and Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS).

Toki no Fune, released September 2004, was composed by the Japanese singer Akeboshi. It's very similar to his song A nine days' wonder, the song was released after the Toki no Fune single. Apart from the lyrics and a few small changes in the melody, A nine days' wonder is almost like an English cover of Toki no Fune. The single also contains a cover of Akeboshi's White reply previously recorded on her sixth album, harvest songs.

In late 2004, Takako was told that she had won the Best Actress of the Year by her manager, she was so happy and said to have remarked "I am fortunate to have been born a Japanese". Her manager later said, "She normally don’t show so much emotions for an award that I was taken aback."

In July 2006, Matsu and Kimura will star in a special one night edition of Hero. While a remake of this drama has been refused for years, some believe that recent surge of white collar crimes and arrests such as that of Livedoor president Horie has inspired the need for a special production.

In October 2006, Matsu will be in a weekly drama for the first time in over three years titled "Yakusha Damashii" for FNN alongside 73-year old actor Makoto Fujita, a family friend. [1] While Fujita was quite excited at his first work with Matsu, she stated earlier that she was quite attracted by his performance ability.



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