Drama

A Stalkers Guide to: Matsuda Shota

I have a weakness. It is a weakness that turns my ~ very much spoken for, mother of one ~ self into a fan girl of massive proportions. Contrary to what everyone may think of the hundreds of pages I have posted in this man’s thread, my weakness is not exactly what you may believe.  Although his stunning face is certainly a bonus, my stalker tendencies tend to ramp up and stick around for the long haul when the beauty has some serious talent to back it up.  

Matsuda Shota is my weakness. My devotion is rooted in the fact that not only do I find the man sublimely gorgeous, I find his incredible talent for bounding effortlessly between comedic and dramatic roles absolutely addicting. I seek him out like a chocoholic in desperate need of a bag of Hershey’s kisses. He has turned me into, not only a “fangirl” but a true fan and I will seek out anything he does because I just love to watch him go Go GO! When Elisabetta approached me to write “A Stalker’s Guide To Matsuda Shota”, I could not turn it down… 

So here it is. For those of you who don’t know him, I hope to bring you into the fold. Maybe you will turn into a stalker like me, maybe you won’t. At the very least, you might gain an appreciation for a truly talented actor.

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Matsuda Shota is practically acting royalty in Japan. His father was Matsuda Yusaku, his mother is Matsuda Miyuki and his brother is Matsuda Ryuhei. The talent is in the blood! I have not seen every project he has acted in YET so I am going to highlight what I have seen and some of the characters that drew me in and turned me into such a fan.

Love Shuffle ~ Sera Ojiro

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Shota portrays photographer Sera Ojiro, a jaded playboy who likes to toy with women. He actually messes with their minds just to wring emotions from them so he can get the perfect shot. This role has a good balance of drama with some comedy and there in lays his talent. Love Shuffle has an ensemble cast but he steals every scene he is in and plays every emotion of this character to perfection. Watching Ojiro’s journey and the redemption of this character is one of the big highlights of Love Shuffle. The whole premise is cool and a bit different from other dramas I’ve seen. This is the drama where I discovered Matsuda Shota and he hooked me from the start.

Liar Game Series ~ Shinichi Akiyama

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Akiyama-san is a damaged boy genius who has almost no faith in humanity or people’s ability, to be honest, and true. Then along comes Kanzaki Nao and The Liar Game!  Shota plays a cooler than cool, smarter than the smart guy who masters his way through the puzzles, twists, and turns of the mind games of The Liar Game. He is captivating to watch and yes, part of that is the writing and the intrigue of the games but Shota makes you believe and somehow brings to life the tiny spark of faith his jaded character still holds inside. This is a darn cool show and I sank ever deeper into fandom after it was over.  I have since watched this whole series including Liar Game Reborn. I cannot recommend these dramas and movies more highly. They are a lot of fun!

Don Quixote ~ Shirota Masataka  …well actually…

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Shota plays a Yakuza boss whose soul switches bodies with a gentle mannered, child care social worker Shirota Masataka. Don’t worry, I have not spoiled you. The switch happens in the very first episode. For the following 10, you will laugh again and again watching this tough, uncouth gangster being dragged kicking and cursing a blue streak into the world that throws him out of sorts. Completely against his will, he ends up caring about these kids and often helping them in spite of his original intent. This role is mostly comedic and Shota’s ability to pull off physical comedy using his body, his face and his voice sealed my fate forever.

Meitantei No Okite ~ Tenkaichi Daigoro

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This is another comedic role where Shota plays a “great detective in his own mind” Meitantei! In reality, he is a hilarious, spoiled, eccentric mess. He pouts and sulks when things don’t go his way when the criminals don’t take him seriously or the crime is not solving itself to his satisfaction. He is smart but his ego and his picture of how “crime capers” should be solved sometimes get in the way of him actually solving anything. It was fun to watch and looking back, I am glad I have the memory of this to get me through some of the darker roles that lay ahead in my watching fervor.  And with that in mind…

A Crowd Of Three ~ Kenta

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Watching Shota play Kenta is a lot like watching a pot bubbling on the stove. You can see it about to boil over but you are too far away to stop it from happening. This is not a perfect movie but Shota’s portrayal of this lost, aimless man is really quite fine. Every step of his journey you are waiting for this quiet, yet wholly unsettled character to finally reach his boiling point. The journey he takes is sad, sometimes boring, sometimes frustrating and always uncomfortable. After watching him playing comedic characters or the cool, unflappable Akiyama-san, you understand his appeal does not rest solely on ‘the money maker’. The man can act.  

Ikigami ~ The Ultimate limit ~ Fujimoto Kengo

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Shota plays Fujimoto, a man tasked with seeking out those who have been chosen and giving them their Ikigami ~ A letter letting them know they have 24 hours to live before the capsule they were injected with in childhood will go off and they will die. The world in this movie is set in is a Dystopian society where the government controls all and knows all. Big brother is everywhere. Shota’s portrayal is very well done. The angst you feel is mostly for those receiving the Ikigami but you also understand that Fujimoto is just as trapped. You watch the reality of his job eating at him…and you feel helpless for him as well. I love that Shota’s face is so expressive and sometimes tells the story that words cannot. Hey… I am not a stalker without good reason folks!

Hard Romanticker ~ Gu

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Where to begin with Gu? This movie is very dark and the character of Gu is incredibly damaged. Trust me when I say, I am not speaking of his face in that picture up there. Shota plays a ‘down to his bones’ thug with almost no conscience, living in a world surrounded by people with no conscience. As hard as this movie is to watch, Shota’s ability to turn on a dime and play such a bad boy… and I don’t mean “romantic bad boy”… I mean a bad man, fascinates me. To put this character up against his other comedic roles makes me respect him as an actor. It makes me look beyond the shallow surface of my own fan-girlish-ness and vanity. I cannot and do not love him for his pretty face; I adore him in spite of it. He has a talent that deserves respect beyond just looking at him and only seeing him as a sexy model in a photo spread. Seeing only that in him is an injustice.

So for all of the above reasons I will continue to stalk him. I will wait with fangirlish breathlessness for the next role he chooses; for the next movie or drama to be subbed and ready for me to gobble up with glee.

Linked below are some other dramas he has acted or starred in that you may be interested in as well ~ and don’t worry, I will be getting around to all of these very soon!  😉

Jotei
Hana Yori Dango
Nagareboshi
Regatta
Bara No Nai Hanaya
Waruboro
Aru Ai No Uta
 
Afro Tanaka ~ Almost subbed and ready to watch! 

*Bonus* Matsuda Shota has just been cast to star with Tony Leung in the movie 1905. Filming does not start until November so you have plenty of time to watch his other dramas and movies, become a fan and start to stalk him. Come and join me, won’t you? He will knock you out!

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If there is an actor or an actress that is worthy of a Stalker’s Guide in your opinion, and you have watched enough dramas of his/hers to prove it, please contact Elisabetta about it!

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