In the world of live-action adaptations of Japanese manga and anime, there have been hits and misses. Some of the hits involve the Rurouni Kenshin films as well as the recent Gintama films. Misses include most if not all Hollywood adaptations, such as Dragonball Evolution and Ghost in the Shell. However, with some of the recent fun adaptations, there stands one actor who makes the most of his appearances in some live-action adaptations. For this feature, it is time for fans to get to know the name Masaki Suda.
Born Taisho Sugo on February 21, 1993, Suda made his debut at the age of 16 on the TV Asahi tokukatsu series Kamen Rider W as Philip, a mysterious mute kid from the future who serves as one-half of the titular superhero along with detective Shotaro Hidari, played by Renn Kiriyama. From there, Suda began appearing in many TV series and films, including some live action adaptations of manga and anime. Here, we will look at Suda’s work in live action film adaptations of manga and anime as he is a face filmmakers love to use when it comes to the genre.
Daily Lives of High School Boys (2013): Adapted by the manga by Yasunobu Yamauchi, this film has Suda join up with Shuhei Nomura (who would later appear with Suda in the hilarious Teiichi: Battle of Supreme High) and Ryo Yoshizawa (who would appear with Suda in the Gintama films) as three high school boys who do what high school boys do: pine over girls, get into fights, and enjoy their days as students.
Princess Jellyfish (2014): This film, adapted by the manga by Toshiya Ohno, gives Suda the co-lead role of Kuranosuke Koibuchi, a rich heir who loves to cross-dress and becomes friends with the titular Tsukimi Kurashi, played by Rena “Non” Nonen.
Assassination Classroom (2015): Yusei Matsui’s beloved manga got a fun live action treatment with Suda playing the tough as nails student Karma Akabane. Ryosuke Yamada, who would play Edward Elric in the live-action Full Metal Alchemist, plays Nagisa Shiota in the film and future Gintama co-star Kanna Hashimoto plays the A.I. student known as Ritsu.
Piece of Cake (2015): Based on George Asakura’s manga, the film revolves around a budding romance between a promiscuous woman and her boss, who also happens to be her neighbor. Suda has a co-starring role as Kawatani opposite lead stars Mikako Tabe and Ayano Go (who starred in the live-action Gatchaman film as Joe the Condor)
Assassination Classroom: Graduation (2016): Koro-Sensei and company, including Suda’s Karma Akabane, return for the long awaited conclusion to the two-film series. A great follow-up involving how Koro-Sensei came to be and a fight between Nagisa and Karma are highlights along with Koro-Sensei’s comic bits.
Death Note: Light Up the New World (2016): Just when we all thought the original Death Note trilogy had ended, it returned years later with the great Tatsuya Fujiwara returning as Light Yagami and Kenichi Matsuyama as the mysterious L. In this new installment, Suda plays the role of villain Yuki Shien, a man obsessed with Kira and attempts to snatch six new Death Notes that have been unleashed. The only ones to stop him are Masahiro Higashide’s Detective Mishima and Sosuke Ikematsu’s Ryuzaki, who has become L’s successor.
Drowning Love (2016): Based on George Asakura’s manga, the film revolves around the romance between a former fashion model and the young country boy and an incident that causes the duo to split up. And yet, she still loves him and hopes they will be together. Suda takes on the co-lead role of country boy Kou with Nana Komatsu playing Natsume .
Teiichi: Battle of Supreme High (2017): Based on the hilarious Usamaru Furuya manga, Suda plays the titular role of Teiichi Akaba, a high schooler obsessed with one day running his own country. But first, he must find way up the political ladder of high school! The film reunites him with Daily Lives of High School Boys co-star Shuhei Nomura, who plays Teiichi’s arch-nemesis Kikuma Togo.
Gintama (2017): One of the best manga/anime as of late, Hideaki Sorachi’s awesome tale of an ex-Samurai in world where humans and aliens co-exist, Suda plays hilarious comic relief as Shinpachi Shimura along with lead Shun Oguri as Gintoki Sakata and Assassination Classroom franchise co-star Kanna Hashimoto as the alien Kagura.
My Little Monster (2018): Robico’s manga stars Suda as Haru Yoshida, a high school student who everyone fears due to his sense of being unpredictable. However, when he meets outcast Shizuku Mizutani, played by Tao Tsuchiya, a friendship and eventually romance is destined to blossom.
Gintama 2: Rules Are Meant to be Broken! (2018): The first film was a major hit and one of the highest grossing films in Japan so it was obvious a sequel was coming! The film brings more action and hysterics as Gintoki, Shinpachi, and Kagura find themselves facing off against new enemies and rekindling alliances.
Next for Suda is The Great War of Archimedes, coming out this Friday in Japan. Based on the manga by Norifusa Mita, the film, written and directed by Takashi Yamazaki, who is no stranger to adaptations (including 2010’s Space Battleship Yamato and the Parasite series), revolves around Tadashi Kai, a math genius who discovers a conspiracy upon construction of the battleship Yamato in the early 1930’s. Suda will play Kai in the film which will co-star Jun Kunimura and Min Tanaka.
It is clear that when it comes to live-action adaptations of Japanese manga and anime, then Masaki Suda is the one actor to go to, no matter what role it is. It is because he has that manga-style look and can pull off some hilarious comic faces when the scripts call for it or can play someone ruthless. This is one actor who has come a long way and will not slow down anytime soon.