I first laid eyes on Nomura Shuhei just two years ago when I discovered him as the playful and lively Touma in Suki na Hito Ga Iru Koto. With his dashing looks and friendly open-minded nature, he definitely caught my interest, despite me being a huge Yamaken fan. Honestly, I’m not a big movie watcher, but in spite of this my favorite works of his happen to be award-winning movies Teiichi: Battle for Supreme High and the Chihayafuru movies, which I feel showcased some of his best acting.
Interestingly, his father was the one who urged him to join the Amuse audition, telling him he could possibly just ‘make some cash’ from it. He hadn’t anticipated actually getting the role at all. In an interview, he mentioned how he would love to go back to his days as a high school student and see what his life would have been if he hadn’t chosen to join the entertainment industry.
If there’s one thing I love about Nomura Shuhei, it’s that I seriously admire his passion for extreme sports and how open he is about his hobbies. I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for the adventurous sporty types, and this guy is no exception. As soon as I saw him with his down-to-earth street lifestyle I knew I’d become a fast fan of his. His Instagram is a brilliant inside look of the person he is outside of his acting career.
Native Name: Nomura Shuhei
Japanese: 野村周平 / のむら しゅへい
Date of birth: 14 November 1993
Birth place: Hyogo, Kobe, Japan
Blood Type: AB
Height: 1.75m (175cm)
Speciality: Fluency in Chinese
Shuhei’s debut into dramas began when he won the grand prix of a production agency audition in 2009, crowning the spot among over 30,000 applicants. He was just 16 years old when he landed his first role, and although he has had a myriad of roles throughout the last 8 years, his biggest breakthrough was likely in 2016 with popular summer romantic drama Suki na Hito ga Iru Koto. Acting alongside popular stars Yamazaki Kento and Mirei Kiritani, he took on the role of the youngest Shibasaki brother. He also just recently stole the limelight with his lead role in Video Girl Ai, a charming little manga adaption which I absolutely fell in love with.
His drama backlog may look daunting but for now I’m only going to discuss the biggest and best series from his career thus far.
As a a high school bully in 35 Sai no Koukousei; I’m currently watching this and I have to say so far I’m enjoying it, and interested to see the development of Nomura Shuhei’s character. There’s a large cast of popular young stars in this one, including actors such as Yamazaki Kento and Suda Masaki. The story follows a 35 year old female who returns to school as a student and influences the lives of her fellow classmates while tackling the darker side of school life.
As the younger anti-social brother in Boku no Ita Jikan; no word of a lie, this drama is supposedly heavy and quite heartbreaking to watch. I’ll admit I have yet to pick it up because of the subject matter (I don’t do well watching dramas that deal with illness) but I’ve been ever so tempted as I’ve heard amazing things. Starring Miura Haruma, it follows a guy who learns he has ALS and doesn’t have much time left to live. Apparently Shuhei plays a very different character in this one, so much so that people disliked him in this haha!
As the youngest brother in Wakamonotachi; I love Nomura Shuhei’s character the most in this drama, but I’ll confess the drama was really hard for me to get into due to it being quite difficult for me to digest at times because of some of the subject matter. However the performances from all the cast here are fantastic, and if you like realistic stories about family and hardship, then I think this is definitely one you should consider checking out.
As a childhood friend and transfer student in Love Relationship; a drama I can’t fully recommend as I’ve yet to (try to) watch it, and because I’ll admit I’m not the biggest fan of Fukushi Sota. As the series title suggests, it’s a romantic drama about a girl caught between her feelings for two guys. There’s a lot of mixed feelings about this one, so I’m not sure if it’s one I’d put high at the top of my list of roles to see Shuhei in.
As the younger brother in Suki na Hito ga Iru Koto; Though it may seem this guy plays a lot of characters as the younger brother, I’ll assure you every role is different, and his role here was probably the one that drew the most attention so far. It’s a wonderful summer drama, following a girl who moves to the Shonan area to live and work in a restaurant as a patissier. There she meets three handsome brothers (including her first love), who help her become independent and follow her dream, as well as fall in love. Shuhei’s role as the playful Touma was refreshing, and I loved how outgoing and flirty his character was here.
As a high school student and artist in Denei Shoujo: Video Girl Ai; an adaption of the manga series from the early 90s. I’ll admit I don’t know how well the drama follows the source material as it has been 18 years since I’ve read any of the original manga, but the drama itself is adorable, and is a light-hearted sci-fi about a closed off student who plays an old cassette tape in his uncle’s house, only to be surprised when the girl on screen steps out of the video. Shuhei’s character really tugged on my heartstrings a little in this one, as I really felt for him as he went through a difficult time. At only 12 episodes, it’s fairly short and easy to get into, so it’s definitely one I recommend if you want to watch more of Shuhei’s works.
Apparently, there was a spinoff for Suki na Hito ga Iru Koto where Shuhei returned as leading character Touma, and was joined by a host of star-studded Taiwanese actors, but I haven’t heard anything about it nor is it listed on MDL at this point despite it airing in November 2016. I’d have been interested to have checked it out though… maybe one day :)
Other roles he's been in have included medical pathology drama Fragile and medical drama Doctor X 5, as well as his role in a 5 part spin-off of Teiichi no Kuni, which has yet to turn up subbed anywhere.
I’ll admit as someone who doesn’t watch movies very often, I’ve not seen many in Nomura Shuhei’s backlog, aside from the highly popular ones. One of Nomura Shuhei’s first lead roles was in Enoshima Prism, which also starred Fukushi Sota. However, his first role on the big screen was in 2011 as a supporting role in sports movie Drucker in the Dug-Out.
I’ll highlight the movies that I particularly feel are some of Shuhei’s best performances from his acting career so far, and especially worth checking out.
Not one for the faint of heart, this gory teen thriller is a bit of an interesting one. It isn’t particularly one I’d highly recommend (especially if you don’t like violence or extreme gore), and it’s definitely been done before (deathtraps and time limits - Saw, anyone?) but it’s certainly ambitious and worth checking out if you’re a fan of the genre in particular.
The motifs and themes running through the film are what makes it kind of intriguing, but it’s not one of the best roles of Shuhei’s, and the plot falls a bit by the wayside. I really only recommend it for those who love a trashy violent horror.
Shuhei’s role in this movie delighted me, as it was definitely interesting to see him own that blonde hair! But, the best thing about this movie was just how much heart it had, and how it left you feeling at the end of it all. Though the story is nothing really unique, the way it is told has something special about it; Kudo Sayaka, known for her bright gold hair, short miniskirts and indifference for studying meets a cram school tutor who suddenly inspires her to apply for one of the most prestigious universities in Japan.
Shuhei Nomura takes on the role of Reiji, a student who, similar to Sayaka, has difficulty getting enthusiastic about studying, and I enjoyed his character here a lot. As an uplifting lighthearted movie, I recommend checking it out!
I’m not going to separate these into three different segments, because, although they weren’t released consecutively (the third one was only released in the cinema in March of this year), they still follow the same story and the same characters. Based on the manga series of the same name, it follows a group of students who form a Karuta club and the challenges they go through.
Shuhei’s character Taichi is an absolute delight here, and I have to admit this might be my favorite role of any he’s done so far. Watching his internal battle with his emotions was interesting to see, and I really enjoyed how much focus there was on the relationship between his and Mackenyu’s characters. I’ve yet to see the second part but I am going to be doing so within the next week, as the first movie leaves you on quite a large and surprising cliffhanger.
I’ve brushed on this before in my Kentaro article, but I felt it was necessary to add in here since many people enjoy the manga, and because besides Chihayafuru I’d say this is one of Shuhei’s biggest movie roles. Sadly, I didn’t enjoy the first movie at all, so I wasn’t really interested in checking out the second part, but the concept was fairly interesting (if slightly unoriginal). In Sakurada Reset, a group of high school students with powers execute missions received by the administrative bureau. The casting for this was great, but the execution of the movie greatly let it down.
I mentioned before that Shuhei’s role in this movie was one of my favorites, and although the movie was a bit too off-the-wall for me, I absolutely loved his character. Shuhei shines in his role as Teiichi’s (Suda Masaki) arch-rival, and watching him repeatedly trying to foil Teiichi’s plans with his scheming was highly entertaining. Seeing him play more of an antagonistic role was definitely interesting, as aside from his supporting role in 35 Sai no Koukousei when he was much younger, I’d mainly only seen him as the friendly protagonist. I wrote about the synopsis to the movie vaguely in my stalker's guide to Takeuchi Ryoma, who also rounds out the all star-studded cast.
Other roles he has taken on have been in the action thriller Confession of Murder, a remake of the korean movie, and two upcoming movies - Love x Doc and Biblia Koshodo no Jiken Techo, though the latter two have yet to be released online or subbed. I sadly couldn't get into the movie Confession of Murder, despite my love for Nomura Shuhei, as 30 mins in he still hadn't appeared and I was kind of losing interest. However, there's a lot of buzz for the movie, which follows a serial killer who becomes a public sensation after publishing a book about his crimes.
- Shuhei is one quarter Chinese descent and speaks fluent mandarin.
- He’s supposedly dating Mizuhara Kiko, a model and actress.
- He’s friends with Suzu Hirose, who he has a good brother-sister relationship with.
- He’s great friends with former Horikoshi High School graduates Kamiki Ryunosuke and Yamada Ryosuke, who all graduated at the same time (along with Chinen Yuri andNakajima Yuto from 'Hey Say Jump!'). He’s also good friends with Suda Masaki, as they have been working hard in their respective acting careers since their teens, so they remain mindful of each other, but enjoy working together.
- Shuhei is passionate about extreme sports, including snowboarding, bmx, and skateboarding. When he was a teenager, he was a professional junior snowboarder who had previously competed in snowboarding contests and even won some prizes.
- He taught BMX to Miura Haruma for his role in Last Cinderella.
- He has his own Youtube channel.
BEHIND THE SCENES
CMs & ENDORSEMENTS
Besides dramas and movies, Shuhei also made appearance in some PVs:
2013.7.17 ～ SHARP AQUOS PHONE SERIES auSHL22 「IGZO にします！」(
2013.5.18 ～ toto 「最後の試合」(the Last Match) 2012.12.20 ～ NTT docomo Ｄ Shopping “The Two Along the Riverside”
2012.11.16 ～ Benesse Shinken Seminar 2011.8.27 ～ Sekisui House “the Girl in the 3-storied House”
2010 ～ 2011 Tokyo Gas
The links to these CMs were either broken or unavailable for me to find so instead I'll direct you to a nice full-length version of the live action mini-drama 'Cars' starring Nomura Shuhei.