by Quek Yoke Ling
Japanese actor Kento Yamazaki is not your usual 25-year-old, and his latest role in action adventure film Kingdom proves just that. Dressed smartly in a gray-and-black ensemble, Yamazaki was in town to promote the film which will be out on 20 June.
In Kingdom, Yamazaki plays the role of protagonist Shin, a brave warrior who is orphaned by the war. Set in the Qin dynasty, the movie is a compelling tale of friendship and courage. Shin and Hyou (Shin’s best friend, played by Ryo Hyoshizawa) are both war orphans who dream of one day proving themselves on the battlefield. The duo are joined along the way by companions Ka Ryou Ten (Kanna Hashimoto) and Ouki (Takao Osawa). The star of the show, however, is undoubtedly Shin – the storyline centres around Shin and his gutsiness, ambition and rage.
Kingdom is based on a popular manga of the same name, written and illustrated by Yasuhisa Hara – to date, an estimated 40 million copies of it have been sold worldwide. It has also been made into an anime series. “I knew this comic book before being casted as Shin. And I was so excited to act as Shin but at the same time, I felt pressure [sic] because it is a very well-known comic book,” he said. “It was [sic] difficult but yet a great experience for me. I’m sure it really is [sic] a representative movie for my career.”
Like Shin, Yamazaki is passionate and driven. Despite his young age, he is, in fact, a veteran in the industry. Having debuted in 2009, he has close to 10 years of acting experience under his belt, with a number of leading roles (e.g. L in the live-action version of Death Note) to boost of.
Yamazaki has this to say to his fans in Singapore: “I really enjoyed everything in Singapore. I enjoyed all the food, the chilli crab and the Night Safari.”