I’m sorry about the hold up with the Sometani Countdown, which will continue after exams (June). However, in the meantime here is a short crash course about Sometani and Television. Although he is best known for his silver screen work, don’t forgot that he shines on the small screen just as much.
So here is a list of my favourite Sometani T.V roles: from big-eyed troubled kid to ….well troubled-teenager.
Let’s start with his debut into TV world, as the creepy kid that gets to terrorize Fujiwara Tatsuya in the adaptation Night of the Kamaitachi (TBS/2002). I guess everyone should have known then that Sometani would grow-up to play more maverick, one-of-kind individual character roles compared to other kid actors during that time. Not your typical ‘boy-next-door’
And that creepy kid role didn’t stop there, with Sometani’s next big work playing a troubled child in Aibou: Season 1 | (TV Asahi / 2002). Sometani guest starred in episode 5 of he long-running popular detective serial, where he played Tezuka. [SPOILER] who we later find out killed a man with a bow and arrow.Ouch. Brutal.
After his emotional acting in Aibou, Sometani then had a string of guest roles and minor roles in dramas, before he acted in the Television adaptation of the movie Battery (NHK / 2008). As the ousted catcher and Takumi’s (Nakayama Yuma) tormentor. Fun times. Anyone that gets to beat-up a JE talent in my books gets credit.
From bully to the one being bullied, another role I would recommend is Sometani’s guest spot in Hokaben (NTV / 2008) – (G.A ep 5-6). Where he plays the unfortunate witness to the murder of the head-bully (played by Sakurada Dori) of the school. Another emotional character.
Next on the list would have to be Aishu no Romera (Fuji TV / 2008) although he only appears for ten episodes (and never smiles). Sometani played Kagami Kyosuke (the young version), the son of a hospital director who wants to be a photographer and falls in love with a emotional-disturbed young girl (whose mother had an affair with Kyosuke’s father and then took her own life), which I think lead to Sometani’s first on-screen kiss. XD.
By the way, this television role made me fall even more in love with Sometani (if possible). So I really recommend it.
I skipped a few roles (and years), mostly guest spots and more minor roles in high-school dramas. But Atami no Sousakan (TV Asahi / 2010) should get a special mention. A) this drama is crazy and should simply just be watched and B) it introduced Yamazaki Kento. Anyway, Sometani plays Azisawa, one of the only two males in a all-girls school (Kento the other) who is teased and used like a doormat (particularly by Naikido Fumi’s character). Just watch okay.
Then we come to the SP A School Behind Bars | Hei no Naka no Chuugakou (TBS / 2010). In this based-on real life events, Sometani plays a young prison inmate who used to be a kabuki performer and has daddy issues. Sometani makes a pretty lady, ne?
From one kid with daddy issues to another in the SP Kokoro no Ito (NHK / 2010). Sometani’s co-star Kamiki Ryunosuke. In this heart-felt SP, Sometani is Tsuzuki the youngest son of a Yazuka boss who dreams about escaping his fate. First appearing as a typical thug, Tsuzuki is later revealed to be a insecure young man when he opens up to Kamiki’s character, and the two become some-what friends.
From having daddy issues to becoming a daddy. YES Sometani has played a father in The Tempest (NHK / 2011) where he played king, sexed up Yumi, and fathered a son. Not bad.
Special mention also has to be said about the low-budget science fiction drama O-PARTS (Fuji TV / 2012) even if his character died early in the six-episodes. And that is because the first time I watched this, I didn’t even recognize Sometani. It was the hair, not the brooding demeanour. In this drama, Sometani plays Yuma, one of the unfortunate six who are recruited by a special secret agency to do what? stop futuristic murders. Yeah send in an emotionally disturbed, already suicidal teen to the do the job.
Talking about emotionally unstable teenagers, what about Kimihiro Watanuki the protagonist of XXXHOLiC (WOWOW / 2013). Sometani won the role in late 2012, and when the news was announced some fans started to complain about the casting choice, but when the series aired those critics seemed to be silenced. The role was a first for Sometani as the male lead. The character also forming one the most popular bromances that year with Watanuku x Doumeki (played by newcomer and model-turned-actor Masahiro Higashide).
But XXXholic wasn’t Sometani’s only win in 2013. The young man landing the lead role in the sex-comedy Minna! Esper! Dayo | Everyone’s! Esper! (TV Tokyo/ 2013). Where Sometani’s plays Kamogawa Yoshiro, a mind-reader with dreams to save the world and wed his high-school crush. But reality is something different.
And with that we come to the end. Sometani’s been too busy since late 2013, with several movies due to be released later this year (and in 2015) that he hasn’t starred in a drama since (except for a minor role in MOZU – both seasons). But fear not he’ll be back on the screen soon. I guarantee that.