News Archive >> 16 Year Old Bishounen - Kanata Hongo
Wave of Popularity
16 Year Old Bishounen of "NANA 2"
Kanata Hongo, formerly the sad little boy of "Hinokio," is neither sad or little any longer. Currently 16 years old, he stars as bassist Okazaki Shinichi in "NANA 2." In his costumed attire, his appearance is extremely similar to the image of Shin from the original manga. Kanata Hongo commented that in the previous year, he went to see "NANA the Movie" as a fan. He never imagined that he would get a chance to star in it! He further explained that the reason why he was chosen for the role, was because during the re-casting process, he was the same age as Shin (age 15).
Kanata Hongo, who began his career as a child star, is more commonly known as a super "Little Shota." (Japanese girls label cute younger boys as "Little Shota.") There was never any doubt that Hongo would become very popular. At the age of 11, he scored a very important role in the movie "Returner," as the child version of Takeshi Kaneshiro's character, Miyamoto. Two years later, he was casted to play the child version of Sho (Gackt's character) in the mega hit movie, "Moon Child."
And in the previous year, Kanata Hongo was casted in his first leading role, as Iwamoto Satoru in "Hinokio." It was his expressive and haunting eyes, which drew the attention and love of many older girls in Japan. Immediately following up to the success of "Hinokio," Kanata Hongo was chosen to star as Echizen Ryoma in the hit live-action adaptation movie, "The Prince of Tennis." Then upon entering high school, Hongo's form has remolded into that of a teenager's; Which is why women categorize him as a "Little Shota." Now Hongo is playing the role of the bishounen, Shin in "NANA 2," who is not only mature but also very loveable. His attractive features have drawn him a whole new herd of fan girls in ALL ages.
The role of Okazaki Shinichi in the "NANA" movies, originally belonged to actor Matsuyama Kenichi. However, manga fans voted Shin's role to be the most disappointing one in "NANA." Portraying the character of "L" in the live-action "Death Note" movie, began to really occupy Kenichi's time as well; Which triggered his departure from "NANA 2." The character of Shin then fell into the hands of Kanata Hongo. Choosing Hongo to play the part of Shin, ultimately became one of the most successful casting decisions ever made in the history of live-action movie adapations.
To prepare for his role, Kanata Hongo had to suffer at least a little. Since his first costume fitting, he found that wearing a lip ring is a very novel experience; Later on, he would discover that wearing the ring made mobility quite hard. His shoes also added an extra 10 centimeters to his height. If he wasn't careful, he'd fall or injure his leg. Lastly, Hongo had to wear a wig, which was very itchy and uncomfortable.
Being casted in "NANA 2" definitely elevated his status, as he is now one of the main cast members in the new drama, "Himitsu no Hanazono," which will broadcast on January 9th in Japan. This time, he will take on an older role, as an 18 year old mangaka.
Source @ [ Yahoo Entertainment News ]