(Background Music playing: The Yuusha[Hero])
Shinsengumi! has casted popular actors and actresses. And gladly, I have to say, they are superb actors & actresses!! Most of them got the perfect appearance for each of their roles!! Their acting abilities are also magnificent! Below are introduction of each significant characters in the serial, and infos on the actors/actresses. At the bottom of this page, is few paragraphs on the scriptwriter ^_^
Isami Kondou (Commander)
Isami Kondou, the commander of Shinsengumi, is known as the nobody figure among Shinsengumi fans!^.^ Which quite puzzled me sometimes....why shouldn't this historical figure be admired? He is the kyokuchou of a team which consists great and unique historical figures....he is the one who lead this group of high-skilled swordsmen to victory. Shouldn't he be admired the most among other Shinsengumi members, in actuality? But yes...^-^ If this figure is not acted by Shingo Katori, he might not be one of my favorite character. I can see why Shinsengumi fans is not too interested with this character. Because he is the most normal one among other Shinsengumi members. He is a very yasashii, sweet, nice man. He dont really have any unique characteristic, like other Shinsen members have.
Isami Kondou's birth name was Katsugoro Miyagawa. That's why, most of his bestfriends and childhood friends would call him Kat-chan. He is, then, adopted by the owner of Shieikan dojo, Shusuke Kondou, when he was only 16 years old. Then, later he also became the heir of the dojo and also 'Kondou' name. He is Hijikata's bestfriend since childhood. He is an older brother figure for Okita. Isami became a full kyokuchou after Kamo Serizawa(the other commander) was sentenced to death, due to the fact that he has dragged Miburou's(Shinsengumi's former name) name to the mud.
Shingo Katori (1977)
Shingo Katori, born in January 31st, 1977. Is the youngest member of SMAP, Japan's one of most phenomenal, long-lasting & legendary idol group, who reached big success both in group and individually. He joined the Johnny's Agency when he was only 8-9 years old. Then became a SMAP member in 10 years of age, in 1987. You can imagine how much he missed his childhood, being in the entertainment world in such a young, young age.
His first debut in drama was in an, actually, taiga drama^^ Ude ni Oboe Ari 1 & 2(once broadcasted here in ANTV, with the title Sensitive Samurai). He was only 14 yrs old in the drama.
In 1994, he has his first (and I think, the last too^^) experience in becoming a seiyuu(voice actor)...he is the seiyuu of Riiya, one of the main character in Akazukin Chacha anime(broadcasted here in RCTI!^_~)
He got his true leading role in 1999 in a full-action drama entitled Yomigaeru Kinro(The Wolf), co-starring with Takako Uehara(of SPEED), a drama which adapted from Haruhiko Ohyabu's manga with the same title. The very first action Jdrama I ever watched(coz Jdrama rarely have action as genre) and also what made me as a big, HUGE fan of Shingo Katori ^_____^ He is chooo kakkoi~ in the drama!!
In 2000, he acted in a Takashi Yamazaki's movie entitled Juvenile. He is not the leading role, but its a very good and enjoyable movie! A movie with full excellent FX!!^.^ A story of 4 kids found a robot which comes from the future, and Shingo acted as a young genius scientist(kawaii scientist...=P).
For the first time acting together with Yuuka in a TBS drama, Love Story, in 2001. But Shingo, again, is not the leading role.
Shingo's 2002 drama is Hito ni Yasashiku(Basically Nice), a drama inspired with Three Man and A Baby. But this one, is much, much better and sooooo good! Very funny and ridiculous drama, yet so touching in the end....its just an excellent drama and I dub this as my #1 favorite Shingo drama...and also my all-time favorite drama!!!^.^
In the end of 2002, Shingo got a new project, which is the very first Japanese sitcom on TV, Home Room (HR)! It got to top 5 Best Dramas Winter 2003, chosen by the Television magazine. Actually, I dont quite like it, coz I dont understand the humor of Jap sitcom x)
And......ijou desu!!^.^ Of course, right after HR, he got the role as Isami Kondou!^-^
Toshizou Hijikata (Vice Commander)
Hijikata is the central focus character next to Isami. You gotta love the man!!!!^o^ Choooo kakkoooooi!!!!!! And very, very handsome! In the beginning of the drama, he has a lazy manner, and he also kind of a playboy(womanizer^^). He was nicknamed onifukuchou, because of his firm attitude and most likely, viscious. Hijikata was the son of a farmer family, and also popular with their efficacious medicine, Ishida Sanyaku. His brother-in-law once told him to be a peddler selling medicine before he join Shieikan.
Once he joined Shinsengumi, he decided to change his characteristic, in order to make Shinsengumi as the most respected troops.
Kouji Yamamoto (1976)
I was quite surprised to know that this actor was the actor who acted in Under The Same Roof drama!!^^ Wah, he changed so, now! In UTSR, he is such a cute kid..but now, he has grown to a kakkoi and handsome man!!!^-^
He never get the main role in dramas. And so far, he only has acted in about 6-7 dramas. In fact, Toshizou Hijikata might be the biggest role he ever get in drama. However, he's very active in the stage theatre play world! He acted the role of Romeo in Romeo & Juliet 2001 stage-play. Also, got the role as Marius in the popular stage play, Les Miserables!
Actually, his face reminds me of another popular stage-play actor, Ichikawa Somegorou(Takako Matsu's brother^^).
Well anyway...hopefully, he will act in more dramas and will get lots of main roles, after he finished with Shinsengumi ^_^
Keisuke Yamanami (souchou) by Masato Sakai (1973)
Yamanami is a very nice and kind man. He is very loyal to Isami Kondou. He came to Shieikan after Sakamoto Ryouma told him about Isami's interesting personality. And after he get to know Isami, he at once, become a Shieikan guest swordsman. Despite his very kind personality, Hijikata Toshizou has a bit of liking problem to Yamanami. Hijikata could never get along with him^^;;;
Souji Okita (1st regime captain)
The youngest disciple of Shieikan and later, also, the youngest member of Shinsengumi. Yet, he is one of the strongest swordfighter among them! He really has a high swordskill talent. He has joined Shieikan since 9 years old. And in 12 years of age, he was already asked by Shusuke Kondou to lead in the training hall, whenever Isami cannot be in the dojo that day to lead the training. His characteristic is ignorant and mischevious. Might be the only Shinsengumi member that can keep smiling when fighting and not having any sign of losing breath at all. Definitely one of my fave character!^_^
Tatsuya Fujiwara (1982)
He is pretty well-known here coz of his drama, Heaven's Coins 3. Also he acted in Jhorror movie, Persona. And also the movie about psycho-killing, Battle Royal. His latest news is he got the leading role in Hamlet theatrical stage-play, with Anne Suzuki as Ophelia, this year.
Shinpachi Nagakura (2nd regime captain)
Not much I know about this character. He meets Isami & Hijikata the first time, in Tama(Isami & Hijikata's hometown). He was Takimoto(a wealthy farmer) family's paid guard. Later, he joined Shieikan, too. He is a serious person with a high swordskill, even before he join Shieikan. One interesting point is that Nagakura is actually 5 years younger than Isami and Hijikata xD First time they met, Nagakura was 19 yrs old and Isami was 24....and they were shocked, choked when Nagakura mentioned his age.. I mean...would u look at his 40s face?!?*lol*
History said, he is the one who write a book on Shinsengumi, after he retired. From his writings, we'd get to know alot about Shinsengumi^^
Tomomitsu Yamaguchi (1969)
I've only seen him once in Love Quotient drama, in the 2nd story(starring Goro Inagaki & Takako Tokiwa), Party. Wow, his character in LQ and in this drama is far different....I think, he's really a good actor!!^^
Hajime Saitou (3rd regime captain/spy)
Mysterious, almost have no expression, and acting weird. That is Saitou Hajime!^^ He is also one of my fave character, because of this unique characteristics! However, despite his weird acts, he is one of Isami & Hijikata's most trusted spy^^
There are few versions of Saitou's background, but the one Mitani Koki chose is that he worked in a brothel, being the person who collects money from the costumers. One day, he has to chase down a customer who refuse to pay, and then he accidentally killed him. He became the police's fugitive soonafter...so he escaped to Kyoto. In this NHK adaptation, Mitani adds on, that it is Isami and Serizawa who helped him escape to Kyoto ^-^ Obviously, just to give Odagiri more air-time x)
Jo Odagiri (1976)
More Casts >>
The very first time I saw him was in Miki Mizuno's Hatsu Taiken(First Time) drama. He played such a minor character there, but really a funny and silly character!!^^ Then I watched him in Tentai Kanzoku(Searchin' For The Polestar), he acted a much bigger role here, althou not the main character....his character in this drama is almost the same with Saitou, icy and cool ^_^
Oh, a friend of mine said, he also acted in Kamen Rider Kuuga...but I dont know what his role was^^ Gomen...I am not a tokusatsu fan...=P