by BrightestStar, May 26, 2015
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When I noticed that one of my all time favourite actors didn't have a Stalker’s Guide, I thought that I must fill in the gap. Unfortunately I haven’t had the chance to watch all his works, but I have seen a large portion. No matter the type of movie and my overall impression of the movie, Tsumabuki Satoshi always manages to standout in every role he plays.

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Tsumabuki Satoshi is a Japanese actor born December 13, 1980. He began as a model, then started out taking supporting roles in 1998. He has done a variety of roles, but is the most capable when it comes to emotional roles. Honestly, I don’t remember which drama I’ve saw him in first, only that he was a strong presence despite his baby face. He has the cutest smile.

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The thing that makes him distinguished from other actors in my opinion isn’t his good looks and cute smile, but more his capability in handling emotional roles and sensitive characters. There aren’t many male actors that look good when they cry. He not only looks great but it’s easy to accept that he’s a crying man and not take it against him, but actually feel for him. He is also one of those actors that display so much passion in their roles. He can say the cheesiest lines and I would still believe in his sincerity. And no matter the type of role he does, I can never hate a character he plays, and not all characters he plays are, lets say, ethical. Enough rambling. Now, let's go!

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That's from the 10 seconds he gorgeously appeared in The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift 



Doramas

Most of his dramas are from the last decade but they were from the most notable of that decade, and he is one of the reasons that made those dramas great.

Orange Days

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This drama is about a university student in the middle of job-hunting who meets a beautiful but moody mute musician. This is a fan favourite. One reason is the setting at the university that many can connect to, but also the chemistry Tsumabuki shared with Shibasaki Kou. This one is both a perfect introduction to the actor as it is to a Japanese romance drama. It was such a touching relationship, as they grew closer, facing their fears together. It was natural and passionate. One complaint about the drama is that it gets a bit draggy in the last 2-3 episodes. Still one of the better romance Japanese dramas out there. 


Slow Dance

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I actually enjoyed this drama more than Orange Days. This drama is more about adults who are still looking for their way, and the place of romance in their life. It is more of a “Noona romance” but somehow the leads managed to find each other at the right time in their lives. He was looking for his dream, she (Fukatsu Eri) was looking for romance, and their friendship grows into something more. Again there was great chemistry between the leads. Honestly I saw this drama quite a number of years ago, and I don’t remember all the details, but I do remember it was a feel good throughout its run, and it had a very satisfying ending. The memory might have faded, but the feeling it gave me is still here.


Lunch Queen

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Make sure to do a diet before watching that one because I can guarantee you’ll get hungry. Takeuchi Yuko plays a girl who enjoys food, mainly Omurice during lunch. She ends up posing as the fiancée of the eldest son of a restaurant owner and starts working there as part of the family. Tsumabuki plays the third brother who falls in love with her. Even though I was actually shipping her with Eguchi Yosuke, it was hard to see the emotional third brother disappointed.


Wakamono Tachi

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Now this is a drama I’ve watched only recently, and what a ride it was. It is a big ensemble of stars and, what differentiates it from other dramas is the fact that most of the cast has already made a name for themselves but still decided to share the screen time to bring us such an emotional roller coaster. Here Tsumabuki is the head of the family of five siblings. 

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This was Tsumabuki’s first drama after five years. Many new drama fans got introduced to him here and might have misunderstood him as overacting. Having seen his capabilities, I know that he has full control of his art. He was just perfect for that role. Reason is, not too many people can do the role of such an expressive, hyperactive, intrusive character and stay loveable like he does. He was the heart and soul of this drama! Yes, the drama had an amazing cast, and each held his or her own, but he wasn’t at their lead for nothing. I would recommend this drama for the chemistry the characters shared, and the energy they exude. As an Tsumabuki fan, it most definitely is a must watch.


Tenchijin

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This Taiga is about Naoe Kanetsugu, a loyal and devoted samurai in Echigo Province in the 16th century. I started this drama only recently, and I’m only one third through but I already recommend it for many reasons. First of all, for anyone interested in history or Japanese culture, taigas are the place to go to. Second, since the taiga shows the life of a Japanese historical figure from childhood to old age, Tsumabuki is perfect at portraying many different phases and age. His baby face makes us believe he’s only 16 at the start when the actor was 29 at the time. Every feeling that goes through the character’s mind is seen on his face.

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For those who worry about the length of the drama, from my experience, there is nothing to worry about. Episodes are short enough, around 40 minutes. There is usually a lot to cover, especially during that time period, so we don’t spend even a minute bored. Another worry that made it hard for me to start it in the past was the quality of the graphics and the decoration of the setting. I must say it’s not impressive, but the acting from the whole cast, and the writing makes up for it and makes it an addictive watch. Once you start one taiga, you end up wanting to watch more and learn more. And as a fan of Tsumabuki Satoshi, it is the drama to watch where he shows off his talent and what he’s made off.



Movies

Tsumabuki Satoshi has led a vast number of movies, and that is also what took him away from the tv world from 2009 to 2014.

Waterboys

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We need to start with the movie that made Tsumabuki what he is today. Waterboys is about a synchronized swimming team of high school boys. This was his breakout role where he was nominated for the 'Best Actor' award and won the 'Newcomer of the Year' prize. The movie is very funny, entertaining and heartfelt, and gives us one hell of an amazing performance at the end of it. I cannot emphasize enough how cute he is in this movie.


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This is one of the more mature roles Tsumabuki took on. This movie is about a student who meets a crippled girl, who’s grandmother decided to keep her hidden from society. The role he plays isn’t ideal, and he makes some difficult decisions some may not agree to. His role is more of an opportunist, selfish, but also warm. I found the movie overall treats the relationship between the leads in a mature and realistic manner. He had great chemistry with Ikewaki Chizuru.


Snowy Love Fall in Spring

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The movie starts in 1912, as Emperor Taisho begins his short reign and Japan's upper classes are mimicking the tastes and manners of Europe's aristocrats. Among them are two children, Kiyoaki Matsugae (Tsumabuki) and Satoko Ayakura (Yuko Takeuchi).

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This movie again gives Tsumabuki the opportunity of performing a role different from anything we’re used to before. He is very malicious here, always playing mind games and playing with people’s feelings. We get hints early on in the movie when we first meet him and he says, “I want something more”, and this theme surounds his character. Everything turns upside down on him when he discovers what is most important.


Dororo

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This movie is based on a manga of the same name. The hero, Hyakkimaru (Tsumabuki) is a wandering "demon hunter" whose extra body parts - 48 to be exact - were grafted onto his head and trunk by a herb doctor who discovered him as an infant. When Hyakkimaru kills a demon, he wins back a body part. He is accompanied by a girl (in the manga a little boy) he calls Dororo (Shibasaki Kou). This movie is the reunion between Tsumabuki and Shibasaki after Orange days. Their roles are very different, but the chemistry is still there. This movie may not be for all but I love it. I really enjoy Japanese folk/fantasy so this movie was perfect. Tsumabuki here plays the cold distant character, but once he smiled, I melt!


The Magic Hour

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This movie is about Bingo (Tsumabuki) who hires an actor, Taiki Murata (Sato Koichi) to play the part of the elusive assassin in front of his boss (Toshiyuki Nishida), in order to escape death for seducing his boss' girlfriend. 

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From this introduction you can tell it is an unusual movie. It gives off the 60s feel and is overall hilarious. It is a bit longer as it could’ve done better without the 16 minutes over the 2-hours, but overall fun. Tsumabuki plays such an elusive character while Sato Koichi has to deal with all the trouble he’s been put in the middle of, but the hilarity comes when he has clueless the position he’s in.


No Boys, No Cry/Boat

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This movie brings together Tsumabuki with the Korean actor Ha Jeong Woo. The story is about a Korean man who smuggles things on his boat to Japan a couple of times a month, and a Japanese man who welcomes him there. They are then ordered them to kidnap a woman which is when things get complicated. I LOVE THIS MOVIE! I’m a sucker for bromance and this is it! At the start they don’t get along, but they get to a point where they would sacrifice themselves for the other. I find this poster perfectly illustrates what each was going through and their relationship. Oh and at one point they sing together!!! So sad and heartwarming!


Akunin/Villain

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This is a well-known movie, and a must-see for sure, but I wave to say, it isn’t an easy watch. This movie is about the murderer of a young woman, and the new love he finds at the worst time in his life. This movie really portrays the ugliness in our society that tends to create villains. Despite playing such a loser character, you can’t help but feel for him. Honestly though, the one that stole the movie for me was Kiki Kirin, playing the protagonist’s grandmother in one specific scene. It’s still fresh in my mind and every time I remember it my heart breaks.


Judge!

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This movie is really about the CM industry and the politics behind it. Ota Kiichiro is then forced to participate in the world's biggest TV Advertising Festival as a judge. There's parties held there every night and Kiichiro is paired with Ota Hikari (Kitagawa Keiko), who shares the same family name, to act like husband and wife there. It had so many hilarious moments, and Tsumabuki’s character was so cheesy and adorable. This is one role where no one else could’ve done it so perfectly, from good to hilarious.


The World of Kanako

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When an actor is talented, the more he takes on new roles, the more his viewers and fans can discover a new face to him, a whole new side. That is how I felt when I watched Tsumabuki in the World of Kanako. This movie isn't for the faint of heart, and oh boy is it crazy. Tsumabuki plays a supporting role but one of his best roles yet!


Works I'm looking forward to watching:

Our Family

Vancouver no Asahi


Other roles:

Ai to Makoto: This movie is more of a cheap version of Crow Zero, and I’m ashamed to say, but I enjoyed it, mainly for Tsumabuki playing such a badass bad boy, and singing!

Smuggler: Not an easy watch, a bloody movie with violence and torture, what makes it worth watching is, the character he was playing, Tsumabuki pushes himself to a new limit.

Fly with the Gold:A heist movie, which isn’t my type, but totally worth watching for the cast.

My Back Page: This movie reunites him with Matsuyama Kenichi, and I got to say both did an excellent job, while the movie itself is boring.

Tokyo Family: This is a celebratory movie, a remake of a movie from the 50s. Tsumabuki plays the youngest child who has brought them the most trouble. He was he cute and genuine here.

Long Love Letter:He was in a supporting role here but he did an excellent job in his scenes, and the drama itself is excellent for its own merit.

The Kiyosu Conference: He plays a minor role, as Nobunaga's second son, but he was so hilarious I was laughing out loud at every scene he appears.

Ikebukuro West Gate Park: Another excellent dorama where he shared a small but notable role.

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Look at what emotional eyes he has!

There are a couple of movies I still haven’t watch for numerous reasons, the main one would be I can’t find them anywhere, or the links are broken. Sometimes it’s a matter of mood and taste. I’m pretty sure  Nada Sou Sou would be a perfect film to watch him and I somehow can’t bring myself to watch it. The past couple of weeks I’ve been searching for his two movies  The Haunted Samurai and 69, and have been unlucky with it. I do hope to eventually watch all his work. 

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Tsumabuki iDoraemon’s Nobita in Toyota commercials

When I don't the time to watch a drama or movie, but I miss my dear Satoshi, there is an alternative. He's involved in a number of commercials, including Toyota's a live action Doraemon as well as sharing the screen time with fellow stars like Oguri Shun, Eita and Miura Himura. What's cool about it is, at times when I just miss seeing his face, I can easily look him up and enjoy his acting in those 30 seconds to 1 minute commercials. He's as lively there as he is in acting.

This is a series of couple of commercials as a live action of Doraemon from Toyoto.

My favourite actors all in one place :D

Nope, we're are not at the end of the road here. The baby-faced 35 years old actor has not sparred a moment in his career since his late teens, and there is always more to watch of him. Every movie you watch will make you discover something new about him, that you haven't noticed before. He is still half way through his career, and has still more to offer for sure. Please consider my list here only as the beginning, an introduction. Sit back and enjoy the ride. He is worth every second spent watching him ;)

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If there is an actor or an actress that is worthy of a Stalker's Guide in your opinion, and you have watched enough dramas of his/hers to prove it, please contact  Elisabetta about it.