I didn’t think much of Kiritani Kenta when I first saw him in JIN. In my mind, he was that bug-eyed dork with a scalpel (and let me assure you that I say this with the greatest affection.)
So even though Saburi-kun grew on me over the course of 21 episodes, I was never moved to devote 85 percent of my hard disk space to the actor…
…until I had my long overdue date with Crows Zero last weekend.
Okay, maybe 85 percent is an exaggeration but the moment I saw him strut into view in that white shirt and black slacks combo, it was like discovering Tamaki Hiroshi in Nodame Cantabile all over again.
[All images and gifs in this post from kiritani kenta (fab site, btw) unless otherwise stated. The crappy JIN screencap above is mine though.]
Except that with Kenta you just know he isn’t going to go on some fool diet and starve himself into a coma any time soon. Not to mention, he’s got to be the most adorkable ham to hit the variety show circuit ever.
Now I know your inner critics are rolling their eyes at the blatant symbolism but one of the things we can infer from Crows Zero is that Tokio is probably the only guy in Suzuran with a realistic chance of scoring a girlfriend once they graduate from high school and leave their testosterone-fueled stunted adolescence behind.
Apart from having a vocabulary that is not limited to grunts and the words “fight”, “strong” and “yakuza”, the fact that he manages to keep his duds clean in both movies (which is almost a Sisyphean task in itself if you think about it) tells me that a) he probably knows his way around a washing machine (or has someone to do his laundry) and b) he has a more than basic appreciation of personal hygiene — always a plus in my book.
[via Asia Beam]
Here are a few more reasons why a man can never have one too many white shirts in his wardrobe.
I know he looks like a serious contender for the World Brooding Championships in these pictures but if you’ve seen him on variety shows and behind the scenes of his dramas, you’ll know he’s a big goofball and lots of fun to watch. Here he is with Tamori on Waratte Iitomo!
So Kenta is starring in W no Higeki right now, which is not my kind of drama at all except for the fact that he looks smoking hot in all the pictures that I’ve seen him in.
[via official website]
On the other hand, there’s also Tiger & Dragon, that Kudo Kankuro comedy I’ve been meaning to watch forever. So Dorky!Kenta with Aoi Yu or Smexy!Kenta with Takei Emi? I think I know which one I’ve got my money on.
So now if you’ll excuse me, I have a lot of catching up to do.
ETA: I recently found out that Kenta took part in Sekai Ururun Taizaiki (World Sojourns) back in 2003 when he was just starting out in showbiz. For those of you unfamiliar with the programme, Ururun is a now-defunct travel series that
used to drop some poor unsuspecting sod in the middle of nowhere had Japanese celebrities spending a week with families in different (and often remote) parts of the world.
I’ve seen Daito’s Ururun trips to Taiwan and New York (you can watch them on YouTube) and let me tell you they are nowhere as hard core as the week Kenta spent with an indigenous tribe in the Indonesian jungle. He probably had a translator and a fixer with him — there’s no way anyone can just show up at that village without making prior arrangements — but even so, I don’t think he was quite prepared for the kind of lifestyle he had to adapt to. I’m not sure if anyone told him he’d be spending a week wearing nothing but a fundoshi (not that my inner perv is complaining. He has a very nice bum XD) or that he’d be eating tree grub and playing peacemaker in a familial rift. You can see him going into “deer in the headlights” mode when he first arrives at the village but I think he acquits himself admirably after getting over his initial culture shock XD
His second trip (this time to Blackpool in the UK) doesn’t put him in as extreme an environment but it’s still fun watching him learn to tap dance (he has to perform a scene from Singing in the Rain at the end of his stay) and interact with his host family, especially their eight-year-old son. I wonder if he sent them a copy of Crows Zero after it was released on DVD? XDDD
Click the links to watch the videos. There aren’t any subtitles but I think most of you will be able to get the gist of what’s going on quite easily.