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Two of My Most Admired Actors [YUTA] + [KUYA] [Part 2]
Nankyoku
yutakuya
Continued from Part 1 about Takenouchi Yutaka-san, which can be found here, yutakuya.livejournal.com/16351.html

Kimura Takuya

"Kimura Takuya" may not be the first Japanese actor I felt attracted to, but he's definitely the one that left the strongest impression on me (and to be honest, completely changed my life, too  ).  I've heard of his name since around 1996 or 1997 I think, but I didn't have a chance to watch any of his dramas during that time at all.  *his popularity in Asia is quite amazing, isn't it?  SMAP never did any promotion outside Japan at all.  But we international people still realize their names, faces, and popularity.*

It was when "Long Vacation" was broadcasted in Thailand in early 2000s and when my best friend lent me vcds of the drama that I was introduced to the world of "Kimura Takuya" as an actor.  Surprisingly, that best friend of mine who introduced me to Kimura-kun is actually a 100% guy.  He admired Kimura-kun a lot.  Probably he got an influence from his Japanese friend who regarded Kimura-kun as some sort of God or Prince of Japanese Entertainment.



I may not love Long Vacation best, but it always holds the most special place in my heart because it's the starting point of my whole SMAP & Kimura-kun fandom.  After Long Vacation and Long Generation, it's like an explosion of my interest in this man.  ^^"  I had searched his profile and information high and low, and had read tons of fansites only to realize that such an amazing person really exists in the Japanese Entertainment World, exactly like what my best friend's Japanese friend kept saying.

Though his amazing talents shine in so many areas, today I'd like to talk a bit about the thing that got me into his fan in the first place, which is certainly his acting.  I actually have shared my thought about Kimura Takuya as an actor on my previous entry here, http://yutakuya.livejournal.com/1668.html.  I know it's not a concerete or thorough analysis at all.   =P   Rather, It's just my sudden urge to ramble and vent my feeling out after I read some comments about his acting, which I don't quite agree...haha  After I wrote that entry, I thought I won't touch on this topic again because I just don't feel like talking about the same thing over and over.

However, the other day I had a really nice & interesting talk about his acting with rz_jocelyn .  I love how she analyzed Kimura-kun's acting, and thought I wanted to share it with others.  That's why I was inspired to write about his talent as an actor again today.  She'll be a guest on my entry today...haha  =D

There's one thing I've noticed for a long time whenever I read a poll about the Best Japanese Actor or Actress.  Most people always supported their choice by claiming "It certainly has to be this person because I don't see " -his/her name- " in the characters he/she plays at all.  He/She is sooooo different from his/her usual self.  Normally, he/she's so playful, so funny, blah blah blah, but in this dramas/movies, he/she's so serious"....things like that.

I'm not saying it is right or wrong in their ways of reasoning.  Everyone is entitled to his/her own opinions.  And I'm not saying my thinking is right or anything.  But whenever I saw that sort of answer, I always asked myself "Isn't that something that has more to do with the role itself, not the acting?"  I feel like that's kind of a trap.  I always feel it's easier to act in a very extreme type of character than the one that is close to your nature.

It's true that not every actor/actress can do a great job even if they get a completely different role than their true self.  But whenever I have to judge each actor/actress' acting skill, I put more weight on the intensity in their acting and how convincing their acting is for that particular role they get.  I don't care about their real personality.  I only care if their portrayal of such character sounds convincing or not.  And in case I've read a novel/fiction before, I'll base my opinions on my imagination when I read the book.

For example, Leonardo DiCaprio's role in What's Eating Gilbert Grape or Johnny Depp's role in Pirates of the Caribbean won't make me think DiCaprio or Depp is far better as an actor than Matt Damon only because I don't see "Leonardo DiCaprio" in Arnie Grape or "Johnny Depp" in Captain Jack Sparrow, while I see a bit of "Matt Damon" in Will Hunting, things like that.  It's like you're comparing apple to banana when you're judging their acting skills based on completey different acting opportunities they got.  *even though DiCaprio and Depp were actually so awesome in those roles*  Sorry for my poor explanation, but you got what I mean, right?  ^^"

I always give credits on how much that actor/actress can move my feeling while watching their acting (e.g. makes me feel like crying with them whenever I see them cry), how natural their acting is, how much I do believe that the character they play really exists in real life, things like that.  With these thoughts in mind, I found Kimura-kun is one of the most talented and excellent actors in Japanese Entertainment.

I don't know if it's because I've seen how Kimura-kun is in real life for many years or not, I never saw "Kimura Takuya" in the characters he played like many others always claimed.  On the other hand, if you're not his die-hard fan, the best chance to appreciate his acting skills to the fullest is when you know nothing about this man.  Just like me, I watched Long Vacation and Love Generation when I had no idea how big he is and what kind of personality he has.  That's why I was so amazed by his acting and felt like Sena and Teppei really exist.  To be fair, these two characters are nowhere similar to each other at all.  And they're certainly not Kimura Takuya.

To me, all the characters he played are nowhere close to him even though they share many same good traits that he has, which are kinda linked to the heoric nature.  Unfortunately, most directos always built his roles in dramas/movies based on his public image, so people will never be able to detach that image of "Kimura Takuya" from the characters he played no matter how convincing his acting was.  When I talked to rz_jocelyn about this, her answer really made me laugh, and I couldn't agree more.  Here's what she said. ♥

"Directors themselves have admitted that the public wants Kimura Takuya, so they give the public Kimura Takuya. *sighs* It's both good and bad I guess... As for the good traits in his characters, I simply like to think that it's because all the traits you need to have in order to create a heroic and likable character, these are all traits he already has as a person; hence the similarity. xDDD You can't take them away because they are essential traits for heroic and likable characters, but it can't be helped that in real life, Captain is in every way a charismatic likable hero."


I think the actor truely shines and stands out when he's able to differentiate the characters even if such roles are so similar.  Kimura-kun may have some similar poses when he acted (for example, he likes to put his hand in his trouser), which is unavoidable, and I don't think it's a big deal.  But personalities and the way he portrayed each role he got are certainly different in all of his characters.

Even though his roles in most romantic or non-serious dramas are quite similar, he always worked on small details (e.g. guestures) and put complexities in his characters to differentiate them from each other.  One example would be the way each character cried.  The way Asakura Keita cried gives me a feeling of a pure and innocent person who has never been exposed to the cruelty of this world.  So, when he realized the reality of how cruel our world can be, he cired in a so disappointing way.  On the other hand, the way Satonaka Halu cried was more calm, but truely reflected his vulnerability side and the pain he has experienced through all his life.  This is not to mention all those characters that are more serious and are diffrent types of roles.  Look at the way Katase Ryo, Manpyo Teppei or Mimura Shinnojo cried.  Do you see the differences?  Did you have the same feeling when you saw Ryo cried as opposed to Shinkai-kun?

So, in my opinion, to give justice, when you compare two very decent actors/actresses, you need to put them on the same rules of game.  If you keep watching Kimura-kun in only romantic dramas, it's certainly not fair to me to say that he's far worse than the other actor only because that actor acted in more varied roles than he did, and most of the roles that actor acted are completely different from his true self, while it's not the case for Kimura-kun.  When I told rz_jocelyn that I'm annoyed with people who always keep watching Kimura-kun in romantic dramas and don't even bother to seek other serious dramas or some of his early works to watch, but still base their judgement of his acting on these typical roles, she made me laugh with her reply again.  ^^"

"IKR? They're like "Oh, he's always KimuTaku", but when you ask them, "Have you seen Sora Kara?" "Nope." "Have you seen Bushi no Ichibun?" "Nope." "Have you seen Nemureru Mori?" "Have you seen Gift?" "Nope." "Nope." I mean, what~?! Then, what exactly are you referring to when you say he's always KimuTaku? *shakes head*"

You may think both of us are biased as his die-hard fans.  But I'll let you read her opinions about Kimura-kun's acting first, and then you can decide it yourself if she's biased or not. When I talked to her, I felt like "Gosh! Is she a mind reader?"  She perfectly sum up everything that's on my mind about Kimura-kun's talent in acting department.  But she certainly can put it in a much more coherent and thorough way than I can.  =D  So, here's rz_jocelyn 's thought about Kimura-kun's acting.

"1.  Captain is always given similar roles (ie heroic and charismatic) but he is very good at infusing subtle characteristics that are unique to each character. Halu (Pride) and Teppei (Karei Naru Ichizoku) may both be charismatic leaders, but they are nothing alike. Halu is riddled with vulnerability under a strong facade while Teppei is a secure and strong man whose desperation drove him into a corner at the very end.

2.  Captain has an amazing ability to breathe life into a character. You really believe that such a person exists. It's in the way he uses his eyes, the way he pays attention to tiny gestures and the finer details.  Some actors' characters are 3-D, but Captain's characters are REAL people with intricate emotional layers of complexity. Captain also has an amazing strength in conveying that emotional complexity in a single glance. I think actors are on a different level when they can act with their eyes, one look that tells you everything without the actor saying a word, and Captain does that really, really well. That's why he always has closeups. I like to think that director's a pimping his prettiness, but a lot of it has to do with the fact that Captain has an amazing way of conveying emotions, feelings and a character's story with nothing else but subtle facial expressions and his eyes.


3.  Captain also has amazing screen presence. This is something that many actors lack. Some might say it is a good thing, some might say it is a bad thing, but for me, it is essentially what makes you go from being a good actor to a standout actor.... You can disappear into your character, but your presence can't be so invisible that your character becomes invisible as well, especially in a scene with other characters.  Captain quite literally owned the screen every time he was in a scene. You just couldn't help but be drawn to him.

4.  And, I don't think that it's true that Captain doesn't disappear into his characters. Ask anyone who knows nothing about him, not his reputation or him being Kimura Takuya, and they will tell you that he is amazingly talented in creating characters and becoming them. I'm a living testimony of this. The problem with Captain does not actually lie with him, but the image that is created around him. His dramas are always marketed as a "Kimura Takuya drama" not "a drama in which a character is played by Kimura Takuya". And, people watch his dramas expecting exactly that: a Kimura Takuya drama. So, with this expectation in mind, no matter how well he plays a role or how well he creates a character, people have already set in their minds that it is Kimura Takuya that they will see; therefore, it is Kimura Takuya that they do see. In terms of personal star power, it is amazing the kind of reputation he has built for himself and it does wonders for his career. In terms of acting level and satisfaction, it is really sad to see how his actual talents are lost behind all the expectations."


I felt so glad that I brought this topic up to rz_jocelyn and that she shared with me such a beautiful analysis of Captain's acting.  ♥  You may or may not agree with us.  Afterall, humans are biased in one way or another especially when it comes to people whom we love.  =)  Yet again, rz_jocelyn  amused me when I wrapped up our conversation by telling her that I always wonder if I'm biased in my way of thinking or not because most people who admire Kimura-kun's acting are his die-hard fans, while some actors have been admired by people who aren't even their fans.  rz_jocelyn  answered me with this, which really brought a smile on my face again....Truefax!!!!  XDDD

"I'm of the opinion that it is mostly Kimura-ichibans who find his acting incredible because it is his acting talents that have caught them hook, line and sinker, and that's why he has become their ichiban. xP"

Couldn't agree more!!!!  hahaha


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you guys got an interesting conversation, ne ;) I love Jocelyn's analysis. She put it very aptly. That's to say I couldn't agree with you more :p I think I once told you that how I love Kimura's expressions and eyes. Just when he's about to cry on the screen, my tears have started falling. I've never seen Kimura Takuya in his characters. And I've never thought his characters are repeated. Even though they are "kakkoi", they are kakkoi differently.

To sum up, whatever people said I still love and enjoy his acting.

"most people who admire Kimura-kun's acting are his die-hard fans, while some actors have been admired by people who aren't even their fans."

I don't think so :p I think even though people aren't his die-hard fans, they are still attracted by him and his acting. Because many people said his acting is "repeated", but no one can deny Kimura's powerful presence on the screen :p

Right? She put it so aptly. I was like O_O when I read her messages...haha Yeah, I remember how your comment to my previous entry was. You also shared very nice thoughts there. =)

I actually LOL-ed at your last part. You know what? I saw so many people kept saying that they always saw "Kimura Takuya" in all the roles he played, but they still watched almost all of his dramas. I guess they themselves can't deny his onscreen presence. ^^"

Why do I love this kind of post so much?? xDD

What we fans like is to discuss a common topic and hear every opinion. First of all, I'm grateful to all Kimura fans community I know because I'm tired of loving something or someone but having a fandom that is blind to it/them is so bad. You know, everything must be perfect and they can't do wrong really get to my nerves... :P

Now about the Kimura acting review (if I can this a review... xD) I couldn't agree more with you girls. The first drama of his that I watched was Mr.Brain and I went straight to episode 2 because I was crazy for GACKT that time (still love you dahling... xD). I remember how that crazy long haired man with a really high pitched laugh and a banana in the hands caught my attention. And I didn't know who Kimura Takuya was. And I never heard SMAP in my entire life. But felt attracted to that character. Like you said, it really looked real, like he was living next door. That's when I asked myself: "Who's the actor behind that crazy scientist?"

I did a little research, watched a couple of SxS episodes and recognized Nakai in Utaban. Kimura Takuya was so NOT Tsukumo Ryuusuke. My 2nd Captain drama was SoraKara. God, I felt like I finished riding a roller coaster. Too much emotions surged on me. I cried for the second time in my life watching something. And is Katase Ryou similar to Captain?? No way in hell!! xD

It's bad when people think that Kimura is given good roles because he's a Johnny's but it bothers me a lot more than they start saying that Kimura is not versatile. If someone knows how to act (and I mean act with words, body language or simply a small glimpse of their eyes) is Kimura. My mother, who's very strict with actors and actresses, when she saw a Kimura's drama for the first time she told me (by the way, it was Karei): "Wow, is that really Kimura Takuya who was cooking a minutes earlier and doing some skit? It's so rare to find a good actor nowadays" (since then she spent her afternoons marathoning Captain's dramas... xD).

Point of this reply: I just wanted to shared my opinion and talk about my experience. You know, I love girls simply for the fact of reading these long crazy comments... xD

Re: Why do I love this kind of post so much?? xDD

Love how you completely transformed yourself from GACKT's fan to Kimura-kun's die-hard fan. ♥ And I truely laughed at your description of Tsukumo's role "that crazy long haired man with a really high pitched laugh and a banana in the hands"....that image is just so clear in my head...hahaha

I would be scared to death if Kimura-kun in real life is similar to Katase Ryo. =P

Annndddd..your mom is just so cute. XDD Fangirling an idol together with your mom would be a fun experience. =)

We girls all love crazily long comments, don't we? hehe

I am also in agreement. I loved that you brought up the fact that so many people make a big deal out of someone playing a character totally different from themselves. When really the point is that they are conveying someone who feels real to us, who reaches us emotionally. Jimmy Stewart said great acting is being able to ask - do I have any mail? - realistically.

I just finished watching Pride for the first time and was not as impressed as the rest of fandom. Maybe it was the hype or the fact that I am not a Yuko Takeuchi fan or maybe because I really just expected more, and yet, for the faults I perceived in that drama, I found it completely compelling. And that's all Captain! He makes you want to watch him, he makes you care about his character, he makes you see the many sides of a character so that you can care about them. This I think is part charisma and part just his amazing and meticulous acting ability shining through in everything he does.

Thanks so much for having/continuing this discussion. Always enjoy your LJ entries though I don't always have time to comment.

Thank you very much, ngoilan, for your comment. ♥ I think I haven't seen you around at SCS for a while. Hope everything's alright. =)

I'm so glad I can find a companion here about that "playing a character totally different from themselves". Sooooo agree with Jimmy Stewart's thought on this even though I don't know who he is. ^^"

Pride is not among most favorite either, but I truely enjoyed watching it like you did. I like how Kimura-kun protrayed the vulnerability side of this character especially in that scene when he cried with Aki or when he cried in jail. I truely felt the pain of Halu. But honestly I don't quite get several parts of the show like that "woman from the last century" thing (sorry, can't remember exactly how they described Aki in the drama) or the romance plot in this drama in general (even though it's written by Nojima Shinji whom I like very much in Love Shuffle). It's probably just me =P, but I kinda enjoyed the part about his relationship with all his teammates more. Still, the romantic scenes between Kimura-kun and Yuko-san are among the most beautiful scenes I've seen from him. ♥

No problem about giving comments at all. Feel free to comment whenever you feel like. =)

I've been around SCS. I guess I just don't comment much. Sometimes I don't think I have much to say or else feel that everyone has already said it!

I was actually afraid to say anything to anyone about not LOVING Pride as it is a fave among so many people. Seems like love at first sight for all KT fans happens watching Pride. I saved it 'til the last - almost - because I thought it would be the best but felt the romance was not all that. Yuko san's character doesn't really grow and change and if being a "woman of the last century" (really, I don't know which century he is talking about either) means just sitting around hoping that men you love will come back into your life, well, then how stupid is that??

But, gosh, it's always worth seeing Captain on so many levels and for so many reasons. Don't know now which one of you said that it's all in his eyes, in his face. He doesn't need to make a big scene and cry and carry on because he can convince us of his feelings in such subtle ways. I don't mind him playing a hero because he is so good at it (I guess in the Antarctic drama he'll be heroic, too) but would be nice to see him do other things, too.

One night, late at night I found one of those old Yonimo Kimyona Monogatari shows Tamori san hosted on youtube. Kimura played a VERY shy young man who buys a haunted tape recorder. He was not a hero, nor a great big dramatic personae in that brief 25 minutes, and I totally believed it and I completely (I think) understood what he was all about without subtitles.

Hopefully, he can find more challenging roles in the future. It would be fun for him and for all of us, too!

Oh, Jimmy Stewart is an American actor from the 1940's-1950's.

You really nailed it with that "if being a "woman of the last century" (really, I don't know which century he is talking about either) means just sitting around hoping that men you love will come back into your life, well, then how stupid is that??"

I found the plot around this woman of the last century really lacking to me. I wondered how come a woman of the last century slept with a guy whom she had just met for not that long so easily. I never said this on a public forum like you b/c I don't see a point for destroying the fantasy of other fans. Anyway, if any fans of this drama come across this comment from me, gomennasai. =P

I think everyone of us said that about his eyes. =P It's obvious to anyone, fans or not, the guy really has powerful eyes, which can do magic. ♥

About Yonimo, if you like a better quality video than youtube, it's also on SMAPxMedia.

Let's hope for more challenging roles for Captain in the future. He deserves that!

You've got an interesting point of view and i couldn't agree more!!!

I never know who "Kimura takuya" is first, although have heard his name before. His popularity in Asia is definitely really amazing. most of J-dramas that ever shown in my country Tv is Kimura Takuya dramas, although i never bother to watch. LOL

when i finally watch his dramas, it got me 3 dramas to finally hooked and appreciate him as an actor. I don't know about his personality in real live but i never think that he potray the same role.

and i think great acting is not how many variety role have you play, but how convince the role is and make people believe that you really live on it.

but maybe again, because he is "Kimura Takuya", so people already skeptic about him and keep repeating bad thing about him without bother to know more.

sorry about my rambling. XD

Hi elway! ♥

Thank you for your first comment here. =) From your profile, you're from Indonesia, right? =D So, most of J-dramas shown on local channel there are Kimura-kun's dramas? In Thailand, J-pop has been quite popular for a long time. Even though its popularity is uncomparable to K-pop right now, there're still many people who admire Japanese Entertainment a lot. With such popularity, the dramas shown here are not only Kimura-kun's. There're a plenty and various kinds of popular dramas on local channel here. Now, Ryomaden is on air I think.

May I ask what're your first 3 dramas? Wondering how come you got hooked just after the 3rd one...hehehe

I appreciate your comment. Don't be sorry..if you read my previous entries, you'll know I'm a big rambler...hahaha XD

Yes, i'm from Indonesia. :)

Well, the local channel stop airing J-dramas after Good Luck (2003), and change to Taiwan dramas and finnally end with K-dramas. After that, no more. and it's kind of rare, to find people who follow J-Pop in here. :(

My first was Mr. Brain. (After this i watch TNK but it only last 15 minutes so i'm not count that one). Second being Hero, third is Pride and finally Long Vacation. Oopss, so it's four then. XD

But it's my first for being a die hard fan, and thank god it's Kimura. XD

Glad you made the right decision to be Kimura-kun's die-hard fan. *thumbs up* XDD

Hello.:-)

Lovely to find this wonderful saga about loving Takuya Kimura. I have had him in my heart for so many years. I think he is the ultimate actor and it doesn't really matter if it is one of the early romances or the more recent 'roaming alone' that he has played. He has been able to study just what is necessary for every character he has been given. I am sure he must get tired of having the 'Takuya Kimura' film on his sholders so much. this has never stopped him from knowing just how he wants to play the role and how the dialogue should go. He knows his own and that of the other aftors so that when the amera rolls he is right in the moment and you hear him talk as tho he just thought of the word himself. That is real acting. I used to get very upset when people would post mean remarks about him until I realised they were so far away from appreciating what he can do and they were trying to be smart on their posts. Now I just feel pretty pleased to know that I found the treasure that is Kimura san some twenty years ago.

Hello Peggy! :)

Thank you so much for taking the time to comment on this entry. ♥ I was surprised and glad at the same time when I saw your comment in my inbox because I've always talked with a few other Captain's fans how we really enjoy reading your comments about Captain either at SCS or other forums. :)

And thank you also for your positive comment. Well, I have to give credits to rz_jocelyn, who always share her beautiful thoughts about Captain and SMAP with me. ♥

We all agree that he's truly an amazing actor, don't we? It's hard to describe in words. Ones really need to examine his acting profile carefully, watch all sorts of dramas he's in and they'll realize how different his characters in dramas actually are. The way he walked, smiled, cried, laughed, expressed emotions through his eyes, they all truly depict each character.

It's really amazing how you've found this treasure for some twenty years so far. How I wish I could have found him earlier. :) But then again, it's never too late to appreciate the amazing talents of this man. And in real life, he's such a man of multi-characters, which just draw people in more & more.

"I used to get very upset when people would post mean remarks about him until I realised they were so far away from appreciating what he can do and they were trying to be smart on their posts."

Coundn't agree more! :)

Looing back to the very young Takuya is quite a shock. He and the rest of SMAP were still growing into their skin, and were all arms and legs. Their enthusiasm was very high but they were not at their polished best either in singing or dancing. Their style began to merge into what we see now and I don't think they ever really messed about with it once they got what they wanted in their presentation of a song. The voices have definitely improved and even Nakai sometimes sings a decent phrase. His voice is not all that bad despite what is said about it..! If you can just listen when they sing without seeing them, and still recognize each members voice then you are a true SMAP fan..
For the dramas and films I have really only followed Takuya. I can remember certain scenes clearly at times from some of the dramas. Especially in PRIDE I admired him when he was bidding his long lost mother farewell at the station. She had to thank him for all that money and he realised why she had come and what had happened. The look on his face and the look in his eyes was amazing. then after she walked away he had to go and talk to her but saw her with the man in her life. Once more we saw the Wonderful talent of an actor using just his eyes. Those two scenes will always be easy to bring to mind. He does this in many dramas without movement but you are aware of all that is being implied. Quite incredible to watch. I always wondered how he controlled his eyes when he played the blind samurai..but he still acted to the usual high standard.
It's nice to talk about Takuya with other admirers.:-)

Thank you again, Peggy, for your comment. :)

It's always a nice treat to look back at SMAP's long journey and realize how they have grown up so graciously. ♥ To me, their "far from perfect" singing/dancing is actually one of their charms. And I love how they can casually make fun of themselves. :) Even though their raw voice is very unique and different, somehow when they harmonize, they all become one as SMAP. Their harmonized singing is really soothing and warming. Not to mention how they always sing their hearts out. That's how SMAP songs are special to me. ♥

You really nailed it with that comment about his acting in Pride. Halu's vulnerability really shone through his amazing eyes. In fact, I just made a fan video in celebration of his birthday and in an honor of his amazing acting skills. Just in case you're interested, please feel free to check it out here, http://yutakuya.livejournal.com/25842.html :)

I was really overwhelmed and amazed even more so than ever while making the video. Each of his characters really has a life of its own. And since you talked about "Bushi no Ichibun", which is one of my most loved Captain's works, he really excelled in his acting in this movie in my personal opinion. I was particularly in awe at one scene where he showed a strong determination through his eyes, while still maintaining a feeling of a blind man. That's really amazing. I feel so blessed that I found this man and became his fan. ♥

It's nice talking to you as well. :)

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