Intriguing, dramatic and eccentric; these are just a select few of the words to describe Mamiya Shotaro’s vast assortment of characters. He’s the special kind of actor who can take on a diverse number of roles, and steal the spotlight while he’s at it, whether that be as a Yankee, a rich bully, a bizarre convenience store worker, a cheeky brother or a geek, to name just a few of his most prominent roles.
It was two years ago when I attempted to watch Mr. Nietzche at the Convenience Store and discovered the marvel that is Mamiya Shotaro. I’ll be honest and admit that I had some trouble getting into the drama at first and had put it on the back burner for a while, but after watching various other dramas and seeing some of his other roles, I finally put two and two together and realised that I was missing out on one of the funniest comedies I’d seen in some time. However, it was when I was watching Bokutachi ga Yarimashita when I fell in love with the actor and his reckless character Isami. Now he’s fast becoming one of my favourite up-and-coming young actors.
Though there’s not much background information online representing Mamiya Shotaro, he started acting when he was just fifteen years old. His debut was a support role in high school youth drama Scrap Teacher, where he starred alongside future Suikyuu Yankees co-star Nakajima Yuto.
He’s definitely an actor to keep on your radar, especially now that he’s slowly becoming a sought-after name in the entertainment world, as he continues making waves in dramas and movies such as BG: Personal Bodyguard and Teiichi: Battle of Supreme High.
Stage Name: Mamiya Shotaro
Native Name: Mawatari Shotaro
Japanese: 間宮祥太朗 (まみや しょうたろう)
Date of birth: June 11th, 1993
Birthplace: Yokohama City, Kanagawa, Japan
Blood Type: O
Height: 1.79m (179cm)
Profession: Actor and model
Interests: Guitar, movies, and music
Agency: Tristone Entertainment
Blog: Mamiya Shotaro
Instagram: Mamiya Shotaro
Mamiya Shotaro’s drama resume has slowly been growing over the years, and though he didn’t really land a leading role until 2016, his characters have always left a great impression. Though I’ve yet to see all of his dramas, I’ve seen and enjoyed his most popular works, with my most recent favourites being Bokutachi ga Yarimashita and BG: Personal Bodyguard.
Here is a rundown of some of his popular roles.
As a nerdy classmate in Yankee-kun to Megane-chan: one I’m currently watching, this drama is a lot of fun, despite Shotaro Mamiya’s character playing a very minor part in it. Adapted from the manga, it follows a reformed Yankee girl who will stop at nothing to get fellow Yankee classmate Daichi involved in school life. It’s nothing short of cliche, but it’s an easy and enjoyable watch, and Shotaro’s character is somewhat amusing, despite histragic haircut.
As a student in Hana Kimi (2011): a remake of the popular series from 2007, there was a huge mixed response to this version of the drama, with many claiming it didn’t need a remake. I’ve yet to see it, but for anyone who doesn’t already know the story, it follows a girl who disguises herself as a boy to get into an all-male boarding school where a high jump athlete that she idolized attends. The series consists of an entirely different cast from the previous version and a slightly alternative ending.
As a member of the baseball team in Yowakutemo Katemasu; a drama that follows a teacher who becomes a baseball coach for the school team, who have never won a game before. I’ve not seen this one, admittedly because of the fact it’s a) about baseball and b) a sports drama, but this drama contains quite a few of my favourite actors, which has me tempted to check it out. Mamiya Shotaro’s character apparently provides some great comic relief, and there’s the added bonus of a solid cast with Yamazaki Kento and Ninomiya Kazunari.
As a wild high school student member of Saku High’s water polo team in Suikyuu Yankees: a high school sports drama which takes the typical Yankee battle to water instead of battering each other with baseball bats and lead pipes. Though the characters in this drama are a bit one-dimensional at times, Mamiya Shotaro’s character has probably the best character developments in this series, and an interesting backstory to boot. His strong determination and desire to never give up were one of the reasons I wanted to keep watching, as well as for the solid casting. It’s pretty typical of an ikemen drama, but it has its own charm.
As the leader of the Platinum 8 in Gakkou no Kaidan: wildly handsome, snobby and mean-spirited, Mamiya Shotaro’s character is just one of the reasons you should watch this fantastic original series about a high school girl who challenges the school system. To say too much would spoil everything, but it’s a very powerful and inspiring series, with first-rate performances from other actors such as the brilliant Kamiki Ryonosuke. As a whole, the drama highlights issues such as bullying and discrimination and is a great time-passer, but if you're watching just for Mamiya’s character, then you might want to check out a drama where he has a meatier role.
As a high school classmate and fellow musician in Chanpon Tabetaka: an autobiographical drama set in the 60’s that tells the backstory of singer-songwriter Masashi Sada’s youth. It stars Masaki Suda as a student who moves to Tokyo in order to pursue his dream as a professional violinist, but ends up singing in a folk duo called Grape. All of the cast in this showed great diversity in their acting, and although it takes some time to really get into the drama, it provides a story depicting an inner emotional battle and an interesting view on the choices we make in life.
As an eccentric part-time convenience store worker in Mr. Nietzsche in the Convenience Store; one of the quirkiest and most amusing series I’ve seen in some time. Mamiya Shotaro’s character is definitely the selling point here, as he continues to baffle and surprise his colleagues with his strange personality and bizarre ways of thinking. The vast contrast between Urai Kenji’s facial expressions and the expressionless and emotionless Shotaro are just brilliant, as are the interactions between all the staff. At just nine short episodes, this is a really quick series to blast through when you want a burst of laugh-out-loud comedy.
As a gaudy high school student and a class buddy in Bokutachi ga Yarimashita; based on the manga adaptation of the same name, this drama follows three students and a graduate who recklessly blow up a school in what they intended to be a harmless prank. Thus begins their life on the run as they try everything to avoid being discovered. I was pleasantly surprised by this drama, not just because of the performances from the actors, but because of the serious issues the drama addresses. Be warned, the drama tackles some heavy subjects and doesn’t hold back on the mature content.
As a rookie bodyguard in BG: Personal Bodyguard: I really enjoyed this drama, especially since I thought I wouldn’t find it interesting whatsoever. Though it follows a procedural format, there’s also an interesting over-arching plot which keeps you invested enough to keep watching. I’m not really a huge fan of procedurals, but the events in each episode keep things exciting, and the characters are really well developed here. I loved Mamiya Shotaro’s character here, a sensitive guy with a slightly cheeky personality who hesitates to take the lead in situations. He was truly relatable and gave the drama some great occasional comic relief.
Mamiya’s guest roles include roles in school detective drama Kindaichi Shonen no Jikenbo N and popular drama Nobunaga Concerto, as well as a minor guest role in Sutekina Sen Taxi. He’s also starred in drama specials such as Okaasan, Ore wa Daijoubu, a family drama that conveys a message of hope after a family member falls ill, and Kodaike no Hitobito, a special 2 episode spin-off based on the movie. He's also had guest roles in Hotel Concierge, and in ON, both of which were not credited on MDL.
Mamiya Shotaro debuted into the movie industry quite late, with his first role not until 2016. Out of the small handful of movies he’s been in, I’ve only seen a couple, but I’m hopeful that with his growing popularity and ascent into bigger roles, that he’ll start to take on more movie roles in the future.
Based on the Japanese horror manga series, this movie adaptation follows a group of nine middle school boys who are part of a club that endeavours to create an AI in order to abduct beautiful girls. Not one for the faint of heart, this movie doesn’t hold back on the gore and violence. So if that’s not your cup of tea, you probably would wanna give this one a miss. It’s not one I picked up, for obvious reasons, but if you like dark, grotesque movies with out-of-control angry teens, then you’re onto a winner.
This movie had many parts to it, some beautiful, some frustrating and some downright entertaining. It tells the story of an elite family who can read minds and the daydreaming woman who falls in love with one of them. A romantic-comedy with nods to British nobility, it’s slow-paced but very intriguing, and I can’t forget to mention the beautiful piercing blue eyes of each of the young family members. Shotaro’s character may have been slightly an afterthought, and though I was left with some grievances regarding the ending, it was thoroughly enjoyable.
I’ve briefly covered this in my previous stalkers guides, so I won’t cover too much regarding the plot, but Mamiya Shotaro’s character is a wonderful addition to this political satire. As a descendant from a long line of winners, he plays the classically, alluring hero, with his long blond locks and radiating aura. Confident and headstrong, he fast becomes Teiichi’s rival to the student council position and will stop at nothing to try and get where he wants to be. His character is hilarious and so animated in his manners, it constantly leaves you wanting to watch just to see the outcome of what our candidates will do.
Though I’m fond of stories about delinquents, I haven’t yet got around to seeing Tori Girl as I’m a bit unsure whether I quite am invested by the genre. Though it’s also a movie about finding your way in life and love, it follows two students who, as part of Team Birdman Trial, the Human-powered Aircraft Society, must learn to bond with each other after discovering they’ve been partnered together. Supposedly uplifting, and full of charm, it’s gained many positive reviews worldwide and is great if you’re looking for a short entertaining and uplifting movie with interesting character dynamic.
Mamiya Shotaro has been in a couple of other previous movies, but as far as I can tell they’ve yet to be subbed in English, so I’ve yet to see them. However, for the curious, they are: Ushijima the Loan Shark The Final, and You Still Don’t Get Gunma.
- He is on good terms with fellow actors Dori Sakurada, Ryo Narita, and Yuma Yamoto.
- His nicknames are Mamitasu, Mamiinu, Shotaro, and Smile Prince, some of which were given to him by fellow actors Dori Sakurada and Takahisa Maeyama.
- He generally meets up with Narita once a month; there were rumours that they were suspected to be gay, but Mamiya and Narita haven’t confirmed or denied this and aren’t really bothered by the comments.
- He is actually quite an experienced baseball player, which helped him get into his role in the drama Yowakutemo Katemasu.
BEHIND THE SCENES
CMs & ENDORSEMENTS
(2010) Harper Regan as Tobias Rich
(2012) Roshutsukyou as Nonomiya
(2012) VISUALIVE “Persona 4” the EVOLUTION as Izanami
(2012) Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu (Legend of Galactic Heroes): Kagayaku Hoshi, Yami wo Saite as Reinhard
(2013) Hiryuuden as Katsuragi Junichirou
(2013) Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu (Legend of Galactic Heroes): Daisanshou, Nairan as Reinhard von Lohengramm
(2013) Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu (Legend of Galactic Heroes): Uijin, Mou Hitotsu no Teki as Reinhard von Musel
(2013) Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu (Legend of Galactic Heroes): Daiyonshou Maepen Gekitotsu Zenya as Reinhard von Lohengramm
(2014) Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu (Legend of Galactic Heroes): Daiyonshou Kouhen Gekitotsu as Reinhard von Lohengramm
(2016) Nice Guy in New York
(2017) You Don't Know Gunma Yet
(2009) ORANGE RANGE “Hitomi no Saki ni”
(2009) Fukuhara Miho “LET IT OUT”
(2011) miwa “Haru ni Nattara”
(2012) Yazawa Eikichi “IT’S UP TO YOU!”
(2017) Dish "Bokutachi ga Yarimashita"
[April 2017] Teiichi no Kuni "character bottle" for Fanta
Asahi's The Colors of Japan series
As always, thanks for reading my article, and I hope you enjoyed it!
Which roles have you seen of Mamiya Shotaro's?