by catstreet, July 14, 2018
42

Ever since his perfect performance as Akito Takagi in the Bakuman live action movie and as Seta Soujiro in the Kenshin movies, he’s stolen my heart and pulled me into a Kamiki sized hole. Much more than just a pretty face, Kamiki Ryunosuke is passionate, hardworking and hugely dedicated to doing what he loves. This guy, especially, has been trying to fight his way onto my ultimate bias list for a little while now (and I’m fairly sure he’s succeeding!) 

Best known as Ryuu by his fellow actors, Kamiki is currently managed by Amuse Inc, a company well known for actors (and co-stars) Sato Takeru, Miura Haruma and Nomura Shuhei to name but a few.

A sickly child, he had a very small chance of living, but miraculously survived. In an interview with Asia One, Kamiki previously shared his thoughts on becoming an actor.

"Back then my health wasn't very good, so my mom tried to get me work [in show business] because she wanted some kind of concrete proof I had lived. Now she (his mother) tells me I can quit if I want, but I enjoy it so I'm not about to stop." 

At the young age of 2 his mother decided to enter him into the talent agency ‘Central Group’ and since then he’s gone on to become the grown man and super talented actor he is to this present day. To this day has been in 41 (credited) dramas and 30 movies, despite only just turning twenty-five years old. 

Kamiki Ryunosuke spent a lot of his childhood acting in movies and dramas; the earliest of which I’ve seen of his would be Survival Style 5+ (2004), but I’ll admit I saw it in 2008, a whole ten years ago, and my memory of the movie is quite limited. From what I remember it was weird and humour-filled, but perhaps not for me. Since then he’s been becoming more and more popular, gaining bigger and better roles, in titles such as 20th Century Boys 3: Redemption and of course, the Spec movies, before landing roles such as Sojiro Seto in the Rurouni Kenshin movies. 

Kamiki’s acting is without a doubt, some of the best I’ve seen out of Japan’s roster of promising young actors. I cannot praise this guy enough! Hardworking and passionate, he always gives 110% into everything he does, and though there are some genres that we’ve yet to really see him conquer (romance *cough*), he’s shown that he’s without a doubt an exceptionally talented young man.  

As Kamiki is a cheerful happy-go-lucky person with an upbeat personality, it’s astounding to see how different and versatile he is as an actor at taking on a wide variety of roles. In an interview he even previously mentioned that he feels super uncomfortable getting angry in character as he’s not used to it and has never once been angry in his life. But as an actor who can convey emotion and feeling by just the change of his expression, Kamiki definitely has the kind of talent to get everyone talking. It’s admirable seeing how much his acting has progressed from such a young age to the wonderful dedicated actor he is today.


BASICS


Stage Name: Kamiki Ryunosuke
Native Name:  神木隆之介 (かみき りゅうのすけ)
Nickname: Ryuu, Mickey, Mikki
Date of birth: 
May 19, 1993
Birth place: Fujimi City, Saitama Prefecture
Blood Type: B
Height: 1.67m (167cm) approx.
Profession: Actor
Skill: Voice acting
Interests: Photography, trains, travel
Agency: Amuse
Blog: Kamiki Ryunosuke
Twitter:  kamiki_official



DRAMAS


His first TV appearance was in 1999 in TBS’ show Good News, but he actually debuted in TV commercials even before that when he joined the industry at the age of 2.

 Many of his drama roles prior to 2007 have not been subbed so I’ll admit I haven’t seen any of his older dramas from when he was still a child, but Kamiki started to gain popularity after starring in Tantei Gakuen Q, after which he started getting roles in the hugely popular series such as Bloody Monday 2 and Spec: Birth.

Because he has such a vast backlog, to keep things simple I’ll stick to the series I would highly recommend checking out or that he’s played a largely significant part in.

[I've decided to change the layout up a bit this time, feel free to give me your thoughts on whether you prefer newer or older style in the comments!]

As one of the children in the Mashiba Family in Aikurushii:
Though I’ve yet to see this one, I’m including this because I feel it was quite a huge turning point in Kamiki’s acting career. A heartwarming family drama that centers around how the family copes with the mother's hospitalization, this drama has one hell of a star-studded cast. At the heart of the drama is Kamiki’s character, the second youngest kid who is unable to cry, so when his mother falls sick, he doesn't know what to do. Kanata Hongo also stars in this drama as the weird kid who just moved into the neighbourhood.  I’ll definitely make it a priority to check this out sometime, as I’m intrigued to see some of Kamiki’s projects from when he was younger, and this drama is supposedly a heartwarming rare classic.

As a junior high student who aims to be a detective in Tantei Gakuen Q: A series that is based off of the original manga series, it revolves around a group of highly intellectual teens studying in a detective academy who tackle solving crimes and uncovering mysteries. Kamiki plays boy detective Kyu, one of six students who each aim to be the successor of the legendary founder, Morihiko Dan. Upon reading up on this, I expected it to be more along the lines of Spy Kids, but I was surprised to discover the children get involved in solving murder mysteries. A drama series that’s fast paced, with a good dose of action, but mostly geared towards friendship and trust, this is a great series for fans of Detective Conan. 


As a terrorist hacker in Bloody Monday 2:  The sequel to the highly acclaimed first season, this drama continues two years after the original series ended with a new threat emerging after an aircraft carrying a nuclear weapon threatens to destroy Tokyo. I’m currently still making my way through Season 1 at present so I’ve yet to pick this up, but from what I hear it got just as much positive feedback. Although Kamiki is listed as having a supporting role, his character ‘Hornet’ doesn’t actually appear until episode 6, so those watching primarily to see him might be a bit disappointed. That aside, his character is rather intriguing to me, so hopefully I’ll be able to see it in the near future! That cheeky devil’s smile is enough to win anyone’s heart uwu (note: Kamiki is great at playing the antagonist! see Spec Birth)

As a teenager who possesses a mysterious SPEC in Keizoku Spec 2: A compelling science fiction drama that revolves around a group of detectives solving unusual unsolved cases and tracking down criminals who possess special abilities or supernatural powers. Kamiki’s role as Ninomae Juuichi is definitely one of the most intriguing and  of the series. A devil with an angel's face, he was absolutely the reason I kept watching this. Perhaps that was because he was shrouded in mystery, and the series continued to drip-feed the viewer throughout without giving too much away. Be warned, he doesn’t appear very often until the eighth episode onward, but regardless of that his character is absolutely brilliant, and the series as a whole is intriguing, clever and different.

As the eldest son in the family in 11nin mo Iru: A drama I’ve yet to see but have heard countless good things about. Written by the same mastermind behind dramas such as Kisarazu Cat’s Eye and Ryusei no Kizuna, it’s a light-hearted comedy that’s based around a poor family and the hectic goings on in their lives between the parents, their eight children and a ghost. Though each episode focuses on a different member of the family, it mainly centers around Kamiki’s character Kazuo as he works hard to hold the family together by taking on all sorts of part time jobs. I’ve heard that despite that it tackles some mature topics throughout the drama, it’s hilariously entertaining with lots of wonderful moments and if you’re looking for a great drama starring Kamiki then it’s definitely one to pick up!


As the honor student and eldest son in Kazoku GameA twisted tale following a family who hires a home tutor for their youngest child and the psychological warfare that ensues as a result of it. I had high expectations going into this drama and they didn’t disappoint; I LOVED all of the characters here, and although I was worried I wouldn’t be invested as the story sounded kind of simple in context, the story gets more twisted as each episode progresses. Needless to say this is not an easy drama to breeze through with its heavy topics covering issues such as bullying and mental anguish. Aside from Sakurai Sho’s character (who initially creeped the hell out of me), Kamiki Ryunosuke is the one to watch here, as the layers of his character slowly unpeel. The way Kamiki manages to deliver a performance of a character who is overly cold, but still remains likeable is super impressive. 

As a young man who goes through a brain transplant in Henshin: A drama I’ve just started watching and am already completely hooked from the first episode. Kamiki’s character is one that has been described as “naive, comical, dangerous and friendly, yet innocent and twisted.” That alone is reason enough to make me excited to check this one out, especially considering the dark undertone that the drama possesses. Henshin meaning ’transformation’, it tells the story of a guy who is struggling as he realizes his personality has changed after undergoing the worlds first successful brain transplant. I’ve heard exceptionally good things about Kamiki’s acting here, and it's evident just from the very first couple of episodes, so I’m very eager to see him in another complex role.


As the mysteriously brilliant speechmaker in Gakkou no Kaidan: A drama that I’ve in no doubt covered in my previous stalkers guides, Kamiki absolutely steals the show here as Kei, a character who is skilled in the art of manipulating words. He’s the kind of mastermind that can read people to a tee, different compared to how female protagonist Tsubame, who can’t help but see the good in everyone no matter how awful a person they may be. Honestly, the story itself isn't anything exceptional, but if there's one reason to watch this it's for Kamiki's stellar performance. The theatrical way he'd deliver his lines coupled with how he portrayed his emotions by just a subtle change in his facial muscles was absolutely fantastic. Great concept, under-utilized cast.

As a rookie detective in Keiji Yugami: Comprising of the most bizarre partnership between two detectives who couldn’t be more different, this drama follows the duo as they investigate crimes and combine their skills in order to serve justice on the criminals of society. Possibly one of my all time favourite roles from Kamiki, the juxtaposition between the two leading characters is just fascinating to watch as Yugami (played by acclaimed actor Tadanobu Asano) tries to solve crimes in any way necessary (even if it includes breaking the law) and the righteous Hanyu (Kamiki Ryunosuke) continuously tries to keep him in check. This series was a light-hearted, easy watch with an over-arching mystery that keeps the viewer invested and an unconventional bromance that will grip your heart.


Other noteworthy dramas he’s been in are: Kaze no Garden, Kokoro no Ito, and Samurai Sensei, as well as a guest role in Kindaichi Shonen no Jikenbo N. He also had a part in episode 3 of the drama special Blackboard - Jidai to Tatakatta Kyoshi tachi and drama specials Spec: Life and Spec: Rei.


MOVIES


Since he was quite a huge child actor, Kamiki has been in a whole plethora of movies ever since his movie debut in Rockers as a supporting role in 2003 (at a mere 10 years old). My memory of his earliest movies is quite limited and as his backlog is rather extensive, I’ll stick to the more familiar titles and notable roles that he’s had so far.

THE GREAT YOKAI WAR

I included this since it gets a lot of attention from Kamiki fans in general, as it was his first main movie role. Directed by Takashi Miike, it’s a fantasy-horror adventure film following a young boy is chosen as a Kirin Rider, a protector of all things good, and gets caught in a war between traditional Japanese folklore. It’s not one I’ve seen, so I can’t say much about the performances, but supposedly the movie is a mix of humour, silliness and special effects, and is reminiscent of western classics such as “The Dark Crystal” and “The Neverending Story.” However, in true Takashi Miike style, despite its family friendly exterior, this dark and twisted imaginative saga might be off-putting to younger viewers.

LITTLE DJ

It’s probably time to get the tissues out, as this is your typical Japanese melodrama that tries hard (and generally manages) to get the water-works going. It follows Kamiki Ryunosuke as a 12 year old boy who ends up in hospital with a blood disease, and due to his love for radio is delighted to be given the opportunity to DJ for the hospital’s broadcast. Although I’ve pretty much sworn myself off of movies surrounding illness, what intrigues me about this one is seeing Kamiki acting in a serious role at such a young age. There’s a cute mixture of light-hearted romance and heartwarming bonds, but some may come away finding the movie a bit slow-paced for their liking.

THE KIRISHIMA THING

A movie that highlights the social demographics of Japanese high schools, Yoshida's The Kirishima Thing is an interesting movie that follows the aftermath of what happens when the school’s star athlete Kirishima quits the volleyball team and mysteriously disappears. Told over the period of five days, and from a few different points of view, it’s certainly a movie that Asian audiences will probably relate to and appreciate, and a convincing reminder for those of us who managed to forget their traumatic high school experience. Kamiki plays the role of lower class Maeda Ryoya, a film club geek and social outcast, and his perspective (alongside elite student Hiroki) is probably the most intriguing.

RUROUNI KENSHIN: KYOTO INFERNO & THE LEGEND ENDS

The second and third of the Kenshin movies out of three instalments; these adaptations of the popular manga series are a must-see for both fans and even casual viewers. I cannot express just how much these movies mean to me, and just how wonderful they are from the very first minute to the very last second. One of the best live action movie series I’ve ever seen and starring a whole host of talented actors, fans of the original will likely be very satisfied, though the movie does deviate a little from the original source. Kamiki’s role as the deadly assassin Seta Soujiro opposite Sato Takeru’s protagonist Himura Kenshin is outstanding and his love for this character really shines through with his fantastic performance and dedication to the role.

Fun fact: The actors did their own stunts and sword fighting and in some of the scenes they didn’t even use a wire. They spent ages in intense training prior to the movie in order to prepare. If the above gif doesn't captivate you, then nothing will. haha 

AS THE GODS WILL

A psychotic Kamiki? That’s everything I could ever ask for! This movie is a complete gore-fest, so anyone who is adverse to blood, guts and violence might want to give this one a clear miss. The story follows a group of students who find themselves trapped in a series of survival games with absolutely no knowledge of who is the mastermind behind it. Another movie directed by Takashi Miike, if you’re someone that knows his style of movies, you’ll know what you’re likely in for. It follows the first arc of the manga (which, if you’re interested in the story, is the better option of the two) and Kamiki Ryunosuke plays the role of fan-favourite Amaya, for which his character and brilliant acting is basically the only reason I would recommend watching this movie.

BAKUMAN

Another one of my all time favourite manga’s adapted into one of the best live actions I’ve possibly seen (alongside Kenshin, which funnily enough, also stars Sato Takeru.) For those who don’t know the story of Bakuman, it follows two high school students who decide to create their own manga and aim to get it published in Weekly Shounen Jump. Being only 2 hours long, the movie obviously cuts out a fair chunk of the manga’s original story, but I feel like it really fleshed it out well, despite feeling slightly rushed. I’d recommend this more to fans of the anime or manga series, but anyone would likely enjoy this movie. The editing, graphical presentation and drawings are very well done and eye-catching, but it’s the acting that really blew me away as I felt like the two caught the essence of the main characters really well.

MARCH COMES IN LIKE A LION PARTS 1 & 2

Set in two parts, this movie is an adaptation of the original manga following a 17 year old professional shogi player and how he grows as a person through his interactions with the neighbourhood and others around him. A slice of life movie, it can be considered quite slow-paced as there’s not a whole lot of action going on here, but for fans of the manga it remains a faith adaptation, equally enriched by the soundtrack, the cinematography and the all-star ensemble cast. 

JOJO'S BIZARRE ADVENTURE: DIAMOND IS UNBREAKABLE

An exciting romp of a movie that is great if you love the anime series and rather confusing if you’ve never seen or read the original source material. Comprising of a fantastic, top-notch cast including actors Yamazaki Kento, Mackenyu and Okada Masaki, this movie follows protagonist Josuke Higashikata and his friends who all possess supernatural powers as they face off against the evil doers of Morioh. Equal parts good and bad, the movie is fun if you just go into it seeing it for what it is. The casting is stellar and the performances from Yamazaki Kento and Kamiki Ryunosuke are outstanding (though I wish Kamiki had been utilized more), but the plot falls a little flat. Either way, if you love a good ridiculous action movie with some great visuals then you can’t go wrong here.

Kamiki also has one upcoming movie called Fortuna’s Eye, which is set to be released in 2019, and one recently released movie, Tales of Chigasaki, that has yet to show up subbed anywhere. Other notable roles he had included his role in the Spec movie specials (Heaven,  Incarnation & Reincarnation), Poison Berry in my Brain, reminiscent of Pixar film Inside Out, and Too Young to Die, an entertaining musical comedy set in the depths of hell.


GHIBLI / VOICE ACTING


L-R: Boh (Spirited Away), Markl (Howl's Moving Castle), Peter (Mary & The Witch's Forest)
Sho (The Secret World of Arietty), Koiso Kenji (Summer Wars), Taki Tachibana (Your Name)

Outside of his on-screen career, Kamiki is also highly recognized for his talents in voice acting in various animated films. It’s rare to do both; he’s one of the few actors who have gone down the route of both traditional acting and voice. He was just 7 years old when he took on the role of Boh in Spirited Away (honestly, a blast from the past haha), and since then he’s become a huge part of the Ghibli family, and has progressed on to doing even bigger roles, his most well known probably that of Tachibana Taki in the movie Your Name/Kimi no Na Wa. He's had a couple of other voice roles in other movies, including Shuhei Amamiya in The Piano Forest and Arthur in Arthur & The Invisibles and Arthur in Arthur & The Revenge of Maltazard.


OTHER

  • Handsome Festival / Super Handsome Team with Amuse Inc (annual year end live show performed by the boys of Amuse Inc)


  • AMUSE presents THE GAME ~Boys Film Show~ (2009-2010)

~Documentary~

  • NHK Special NEXT WORLD Watashitachi no Mirai (NHK, 2015)
  • Kamiki Ryunosuke - Vietnam Railway -20yo travel (BS Japan, 2014)
  • New Discoveries Art Variety Aho! (Fuji TV, 2013)
  • New Discoveries Art Variety Aho! Also the World (Fuji TV, 2012)
  • The future of the earth, Emergency coverage! (NTV, 2012)
  • Ikariya Chosuke Wild African Adventure with Kamiki Ryunosuke (TV Tokyo, 2001)

~Awards~

2017

  • 11th Annual Seiyu Awards - Best Lead Actor (Kimi no Na wa)

2015

  • 10th Seoul International Drama Awards - Asia Star Award

2013

  • 17th Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix - Best Supporting Actor (Kazoku Game)
  • 77th Television Drama Academy Award - Best Supporting Actor (Kazoku Game)
  • 23rd TVLIFE Annual Drama Grand Prix 2013 - Best Supporting Actor (Kazoku Game)

2012

  • 4th TAMA Film Award - Best Newcomer Actor (Kirishima, Bukatsu Yamerutteyo / SPEC~ Ten)

2011

  • 51st Monte Carlo Television Festival - Best Actor nomination (Kokoro no Ito)
  • 6th Seoul International Drama Awards: Yahoo! People’s Choice - The Best Actor of Japan / Netizen Popularity Award

2006

  • 29th Japan Academy Prize - Rookie of the Year (Yokai Daisenso)

2004

  • 14th Japan Film Critics Awards - Best Newcomer Award (Otousan no Backdrop)

~CM/MV/PV & Endorsements~

I will stick to listing only the last few years or so as he's been in a lot of CMs.

20182017201620152014
Wonda TV Coffee
Renta!
Suica Card JR East
Gakujo
Bingo5
AU Mobile
HOBAL
Mitsuya Cider
Kracie 
Nintendo Miitopia
Suntory Tennensui
GEO
PARCO x TTYD

Mitsui Fudosan ResidentialRecruit Town Work


MV/PV


TRIVIA

  • Kamiki has his own group of 6 friends who call themselves Kamiki-gumi. They film things just for fun and Kamiki is the director. The group consists of confirmed members Kamiki, Nakagawa Taishi, Shima Takeaki, and three others. (Highly likely Mackenyu, Dori Sakurada and one other unknown member).
  • Kamiki’s friendly, easy-going and approachable personality and great social skills makes it easy for other young actors to befriend him, which probably explains why so many of the guys are such good friends. They’ve worked together a lot too, so over time they’ve really gotten to know each other well. It helps he’s also been a child actor since such a young age, as he worked alongside other young actors and met many more along the way.
  • Kamiki graduated from Horikoshi High School in 2012, but did you know he shared a class with some big names in acting today? He graduated alongside actors/idols Yamada Ryosuke (who he remains close friends with), Nakajima Yuto, Nomura Shuhei, Shida Mirai, and Kawashima Umika, to name but a few. 
  • Kamiki learned to play piano for his role in Piano no Mori, and also played piano on Kaze no Garden and Kokoro no Ito too.
  • Kamiki is a huge fan of the Kenshin series, and was delighted to take on the role of his favourite character, Seta Sojiro.
  • Interesting fact: Takei Emi and Kamiki Ryunosuke played roles as mother and son in Taira no Kiyomori (a Taiga drama)
  • His most treasured items include a guitar pick and signed guitar that he received from Fukuyama Masaharu, and the JUNON issue where he starred in a photo shoot alongside Sato Takeru and Haruma Miura.

AMUSESince he’s part of the Amuse family, he’s pretty close to co-stars Sato Takeru, Miura Haruma and best friend Sakamoto Shougo. But in general, he’s quite good friends with a lot of the Amuse guys. Every year, Amuse hold a year-end concert called “Super Handsome Live” that features the boys singing, dancing and play-acting.


BEHIND THE SCENES


EYE CANDY




Thank you for reading my article! 

Do you have a favourite role from Kamiki?  Let me know in the comments below!

Sources: (1), (2)(3)(4)(5), (6)(7), (8)(9)

japanese actors kamiki ryosuke