It is a wonder how one seems to be just another person to you at first, then when you take that one blink, you find yourself attracted to him. Such is my case with this wonderful young man, Kamiki Ryunosuke.
I first saw him in Tantei Gakuen Q, a drama I started watching because I was in the mood for such shows. I didn’t take notice of him despite him being one of the main characters because the one who caught my attention was Yamada Ryosuke. I did not expect that some years later I would be more drawn to the guy that I had then shrugged off.
Let me introduce you to one of Japan’s talented young actors. Known as Ryuu, he is a talent of AMUSE agency, the home of other well-known actors such as Ueno Juri, Fukatsu Eri, Fukuyama Masaharu, and more. He is down-to-earth, gentle, polite, and kind. He is respected and loved by a lot of his fellow actors/actresses (both older and younger), directors, and staff. He acts, draws well, reads manga, and loves photography, natto, and trains. He also lends his voice for different animated movies like: The Borrower of Arrietty, Summer Wars, Howl’s Moving Castle, and more. (There's the upcoming Makoto Shinkai film entitled "Your Name". Yes, shameless plugging because, well, it's still about Kamiki!)
This is a video of him watching his VTR from when he was 2 years old.
He is a well-known child star as his mother entered him to the talent agency called "Central Group" when he was only 2 years old. He was sickly, though his sickness wasn't disclosed to the public. It's said that he only had 1% chance of survival, so his mother wanted to “have proof” that he existed. This must be one of the reasons why his mother entered him there. Thank heavens, he survived. Now, Kamiki has grown to love acting, so even though his mother already said that he could quit, he still pursued the said path (which was worth it because I believe he’s one of the better younger actors in Japan now).
His passion for acting is so great that his efforts are evident to others. Proof of this is the case with his role for Seta Soujiro (Rurouni Kenshin). Even before he was cast, he was already studying sword fighting. It wasn’t in vain because he got a role where he could put what he had learned into use.
Actually, he’s quite blessed with his roles. Look at this funny post I found on Tumblr:
I'm excited to know how many more of his desired roles will he actually get in the future. Anyway, here are some of the shows where you can watch his skill which is continually honed as the years pass by.
In this movie, we get a pre-teen Kamiki act as a sickly boy. He is introduced to the world of DJ-ing, giving music to the dull world of the patients confined in the hospital he was sent to. We also get to see his budding love for the lovely friend (played by Fukuda Mayuko!) he made during his stay. The story may be cliché, but it is still able to touch hearts. Plus, Kamiki’s delivery as a DJ is good.
The story is about the disappearance of a student named Kirishima and the effect of it to the people that surround him. Kamiki plays as a classmate of Kirishima who is a movie geek aspiring to create a film. I liked the movie not only because of him but also because of; the cinematography (how I loved the camera shots!), the acting of the actors (Hashimoto Ai, Matsuoka Mayu, Higashide Masahiro and the others all did a good job!), the way the narrative is delivered, and the plot itself, which ironically is what puts off other viewers.
I don't know about you, but for me, RuroKen's trilogy must be the best live action adaption so far. The cast, set, sound and music, CGI, etc are almost perfect. Anyway, here is when Kamiki probably caught the eyes of more international viewers. As I mentioned earlier in the article, he got the role of Seta Soujiro, the smiling face minion of Shishio who became emotionally numbed because of his past. Kamiki was able to make Soujiro his own character. He brought him to life, not just any evil two-dimensional character, but as a human. We may not have seen his past, but through his acting, especially from his last fight scene, we could get have an idea of how dark and heavy his past was. His fight scenes with Kenshin (Sato Takeru) is a must see! (Actually, all the fight scenes are worth a watch.) After all, they worked hard for it.
Other Notable Films
As the Gods Will (2014) - In this Takeshi Miike film, Kamiki played as Amaya, a psychotic genius who was one of those trying to survive, though he effortlessly tried. I would go as far as to say that he shined more than the lead, because Amaya is such a scene-stealer. The “games” are interesting and the CGI isn't disappointing.
Bakuman (2015) - Reuniting with Sato Takeru, he plays as Takagi, the intelligent story-maker who pushed his classmate to collaborate with him to pursue their dream of becoming a mangaka.
Poison Berry in My Brain (2014) - He acts as Ishibashi, representing the optimism of the protagonist. IMO, their gang in Ichiko (Maki Yoko)'s brain is even more chaotic than the ones from Inside Out. Though the main story is not that good, I can say that the characters inside Ichiko's brain are interesting and entertaining.
Films to Come
Too Young to Die! (2016) - With Nagase Tomoya and Morikawa Aoi, he’ll play as a student who got in a bus accident and woke up in hell.
Sun (2016) - In a world having two groups of humans -- one affected by a virus yet survived, while the other survived without being affected by said virus, Kamiki, along with Kadowaki Mugi, plays as a young man who belongs to the latter group, a group that is discriminated against. Trivia: When the director and the producer were thinking of who to cast as Tetsuhiko, they first thought of Kamiki. They said that until he accepts the offer, will they then plan on the making of the film. Just how blessed could this young man be?
March Comes in Like a Lion (2017) - He will be Rei Kiriyama, a shogi player who will meet his three neighbors that will help him grow as a person and as a shogi player.
Keizoku 2: SPEC (2010) (+ the Specials)
He plays as Ninomae Juichi, someone who is related to Touma Saya (Toda Erika), one of the MCs, and possesses a special ability. I find Ninomae's interactions with Touma amusing and adorable. (But, of course, Touma and Sebumi [Kase Ryo] are gold, too!) He’s a bashful and cunning young man in this drama.
A lighthearted drama, 11Nin mo iru! is about a big, “poor” family of 10 plus one. Kamiki acts as the oldest brother, bearing not only the responsibility of the eldest but also of his father who is too easy-go-lucky for their own good. There are touching moments, but most of it aims to uplift one’s mood. Kamiki is actually one of the objects of humor in this drama.
In this drama, Kamiki plays as Sakamoto Ryoma, a carefree journalist who happens to be Takeshi Hanpeita (Nishikido Ryo)'s friend. He is also smart and tech-savvy.
Other Notable Dramas + Special
Tantei Gakuen Q (2007) - In this drama, he plays as Kyuu, the kind and sweet teen detective who brilliantly solves mysterious crimes along with his friends.
Gakkou no Kaidan (2015) - Here, Kamiki plays as Kei Shizukui, a mysterious man in a wheelchair who writes wonderful speeches. He is the force behind Tsubame Haruna (Hirose Suzu) and the things that happen to her.
Kogure Shashinkan (2013) - In this drama special, he plays as Hana-chan, the older son of the Hanabishi family who just moved in the Kogure Shashinkan. He solves the mystery behind the old photo which was given to him.
Kokoro no Ito (2010) - This is a movie special about a heartwarming story of a mother and son. Kamiki plays as a child prodigy in piano who has a deaf mother.
Even though he's played characters which you can place into one category, you'll still find them different. For example, Amaya, Ninomae, Soujiro, and his character from Bloody Monday 2 Fujishiro Souta are what we can call "villainous" characters. Kamiki was able to put spice on each character so they are different from one another.
He wants the audience to see that the character he's playing is not Kamiki. He doesn't want to play the character, but be the character. His determination and passion is seen through each character he's crafting.
I admit that I have yet to watch everything he has to offer (like Kazoku Game, Henshin (2014) [which I'm still waiting to be completely subbed], and Koukousei Restaurant, and, most especially his older dramas), but I'm slowly getting there. Because of his 21 years of acting experience, he has gained a considerable number of loyal fans, though I believe he's got more international fans now due to his role as Soujiro. In any case, he's still a growing actor who has to experience more. (He once said in an interview that he wanted to be a lead in a shoujo adaptation, but I still don't see it coming anytime soon and I personally don't think I'd be happy with that. Though I do want to see him in a romance drama or movie because, come on, he's already 23! It's not like he hasn't had any on-screen kisses yet.)
Anyway, with his long list of various shows and characters, I think it's justifiable to say that he's a versatile actor in the making.
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 KatelynJaynea about it.