Written by Jex Matienzo
Disclaimer: This is a long article, I hope you read this until the end. Enjoy!
Popularly known as the “Prince of Shoujo Manga Adaptation,” Kento Yamazaki surpassed his first decade and now facing his 11th year as an actor. Born on the 7th of September 1994, Kento’s career began his career journey when he was scouted as a model in junior high school; then, he started modelling back in 2009.
He is now under Stardust Promotion, a Japanese talent agency, together with Taishi Nakagawa (Closest Love To Heaven), Masaki Okada (I Give my First Love to You), and Nana Komatsu (My Tomorrow, Your Yesterday).
To get know more of him, here lies Kento’s journey— experiences, some of his works, challenging roles, and growth as a versatile actor.
In July 2010, he debuted as an actor in a drama series, Atami No Sousakan.
Wherein, he took the role of Shinya Shijima, a high school student that has an ambiguous character. In the following year, Kento had his first lead role and big screen debut in the song-inspired film, Control Tower with Ai Hashimoto; in which, his acting skills were recognized.
Moreover, Kento continued to play supporting yet remarkable characters in different TV series and movies. Here are some:
1. No Dropping Out: Back to School at 35 (2013)
A high school drama series that talks about class standing and bullying, where he played the character of Ryo Akutsu, a quiet and mysterious student. In this drama, he only have lines in the last 3 episodes, and he is part of the plot twist.
2. Jinx (2013)
Kento played as Yusuke Nomura, a shy university student who likes Kaede Yamaguchi, performed by Kurumi Shimizu, who also likes Yusuke since high school but hides her feelings to him. Then, a Korean exchange student, Jiho, played by Hyomin of T-ARA, appeared and noticed their feelings to each other.
3. Water Polo Yankees (2014)
The first drama series that used water polo as the main sport. Kento played the role of Ryuji Mifune, the former ace of water polo back in middle school but he stop playing because of what happened in the past. Due to his friend’s encouragement, he made a comeback as the water polo team captain to compete again.
It was in 2014 when he started to take lead roles from shoujo manga live action adaptation films.
In the same year, Kento debuted in theater and had been part of a stageplay based on one of the greatest samurai novels in Japan, Satomi Hakkenden. Then, in 2017, he joined the same play and took the same role.
When 2015 came, back to back projects knocked on Kento’s door. He worked on one of his famous project, serialized live action adaptation of Death Note. Performing his first role from a shounen manga, Kento played the character of L, a genius detective who solved countless difficult and unsolved cases all over the world.
The films No Longer Heroine and Orange made Kento much recognized by the public. He even won the Newcomer of the Year award in 39th Japan Academy Prize, which is the Japan’s counterpart for The Oscars.
For the next years, Kento get more offers and participated in a lot of series and movies. With his outstanding performances, he also received awards and more appreciation.
In the present year, he became part of live action film based on a webmanga was released, Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku. This is the first time when he sang and dance for a movie. He even took voice lessons for this project.
Last July, a mature-looking Kento welcomed the audience in the big screen with Theatre: A Love Story. He purposely let his beard grew for this project.
His upcoming projects are not yet finished as it was announced last year that Kento will be leading a 2020 Netflix original series, Alice In Borderland. It is based in a psychological-thriller shounen manga Imawa no Kuni no Arisu, which tells the life of Arisu Ryouhei, a high school student who is irritated and wishes some change in his boring life.
One day, together with his friends, they witnessed a large fireworks that covered the whole city. They woke up and realized that they are in a different world－the Borderland, where they need to participate in games to survive.
Personally, I read and finished the manga, and the story is indeed mind-blowing! From the thrilling games, characters’ principles, the risk of life-and-death in order to survive, and friendship; Alice In Borderland is a masterpiece that you should not miss. Also in this series, Kento reunited with Tao Tsuchiya, 5 years after Mare and Orange.
Along with Tak Sakaguchi, Kento as a samurai will be leading the upcoming movie Crazy Samurai Musashi, to be released on August 21.
We just reached the second-half of 2020, but we can now look forward in 2021 as Kento will star another film, The Door Into Summer. It is based on a sci-fi novel with the same name by American author, Robert A. Heinlein that was set in 1995.
He will play the role of Soichiro Takakura (Daniel Boone Davis in the novel), a scientist who is developing a robot. However, he got betrayed by his fianceé and his business partner, and lost control of his company. To find a better future, he made himself fell into a deep sleep using a freezing chamber. When he wakes up, he finds himself in year 2025.
From a mysterious high school boy as his first role, he is now an award-winning actor leading numerous blockbuster films.
Kento Yamazaki created a big name and showed to everyone his versatility and success within a decade. He is just in his mid-20’s, still has a long way to continue to push and challenge himself to the things that he have not tried, and to show us what he still can do.
So, what can you say now that you get to know more Kento Yamazaki? Share your feels, bes!
Follow him on Instagram at kentooyamazaki!