After watching Birthday Card, I realized even more the potential of the actress Hashimoto Ai.
It’s okay even if people can’t understand her acting and prefers to bash her for it, but in my eyes only she could pull all these off. Call this exaggeration, call this biased, but this is all I can say towards the actress that I have been supporting through all these years.
There are many actresses of the same generation as her and they are all very good too, in my opinion. Actresses like Matsuoka Mayu, Morikawa Aoi, Komatsu Nana, and so on. But these actresses have their own forte and their own versatility but even as a fan of those 3 aforementioned actresses, I could only see true ‘simplicity’ or ‘normality’ in Ai’s acting. I think Director Yoshida Yasuhiro was right for picking her. He have seen her previous works and thought all her roles so far have been intense, like Kawaki and Confessions, so this time she was offered something like this. Another daughter role. I could complain and complain but in the end, I would still watch her shows- without skipping any parts. Honestly, I wasn’t so happy with her recent projects either at first; thinking how repetitious they were and they’re not really challenging but at the end of the day, I knew she was picked for this. From Confessions up to her recent projects, I don’t think anyone could have done them any better. Her acting screamed intense if need be, and natural if it means to act out as a simple daughter from the countryside. Truly, they were a sight to see. For me, she’s one in a million.
Ever since Little Forest, her roles have been this way though (if people noticed). Placed next to a nature background, countryside, daughter struggling as they were left by their mother.. it’s all similar,.. And then even with Koto ( The Ancient City with Matsuyuki Yasuko ). They’re similar but they’re not because I know the way she portrays her role as the ‘daughter’ would still make a difference and she’d make the characters distinct with regards to their traits and personality. I think Koto is just another film to look out for - The Beauty of Kyoto and Hashimoto Ai. Imagine the picture. And on the side note, because she took up these sort of roles, she managed to pull herself out ( at least internationally ) from the idol image she had gotten from the infamous NHK Morning Drama Amachan ( while her co-star Nonchan is still stuck in the said image ).
Anyway, as a fan I want to see more and more of her- of her growing potential, especially that she doesn’t have any upcoming projects announced yet after Beautiful Star, but hey.. I think this year have started out nicely for her already. I can’t be too selfish and impatient, isn’t it?
The very highlight for this year would probably be her participation at the recent New York Fashion Week and her come back as a model, as well as her participation in the album for her very own starring film PARKS by Director Seta Natsuki. ( Please check out the album on iTunes if you haven’t heard so, and if ever, do try to grab your own copy! )
I hope that this year and the next, and the succeeding ones too will give her promising and interesting projects too, that more people could take notice of this actress.
Loner boy becomes close with new student and they form a band together. Kento Yamazaki’s first movie, very sweet, only an hour long. This movie makes me wish Kento had stuck with the dark and angsty characters.