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10 Japanese Idols Who Went Bad on Movies

Updated on September 29, 2019
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Fairlane is a devout Asian entertainment fan. On the side, she is a professional screenplay writer and author.

Japanese idols are mostly known for their prettyboy looks, and majority of them get cast as heartthrob good guys in TV dramas in movies. The typecasting is understandable, because it’s hard to feel threatened by such goodlooking men. However, there are a number of Japanese idols who have broken the mold and managed to portray convincing bad guys on movies. Here are ten of the best:

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#1. Toma Ikuta

Good Boy

As part of Johnny’s Jr., Toma Ikuta has not yet officially debuted with any unit or as a solo artist, but he has already appeared in numerous feature films and TV dramas. He first got his big break in Hanazakari no Kimitachi e, where he played the nice guy Nakatsu Shūichi, a guy so nice that he sets aside his feelings for a girl and develops a camaraderie with his rival and the girl they both fancy.

Going Bad

In the movie The Brain Man/No Otoko, Toma Ikuta has been cast as the mysterious Ichiro Suzuki, dubbed “The Brain Man,” due to his unusually high intelligence. The authorities are hunting the Brain Man as one of the suspects in multiple bombings. Unfortunately, catching him is an entirely different thing because he’s not only highly intelligent, he’s also highly trained as a killer and devoid of human emotions. In the role, Toma Ikuta broke form as he exchanged his charming prettyboy persona for a cold-blooded sociopath who will kill a person without even blinking.

#2. Shirota Yuu

Good Boy

Shirota Yuu is a former member of the Japanese boyband D-Boys and also became popular as an actor in various live-action adaptations of popular manga and anime franchises. Aside from playing the heartrob Kagurazaka Makoto in Hana Kimi, he was also cast in the Prince of Tennis Musicals as Kunimitsu Tezuka. His best good boy role was as the charming and chivalrous Tuxedo Mask in the Sailor Moon Musicals.

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Going Bad

In the drama series Murder Score 70, Shirota Yuu did a complete 180 as he went from being a good looking protagonist to the still-goodlooking but mysterious and intimidating antagonist, Hiroshi Tanaka. As Tanaka, Shirota Yuu made the protagonist’s (played by Miura Haruma) life a living hell, all the while not showing the tiniest bit of emotion except for a few sinister smiles and taunting chuckles.

#3. Satoshi Ohno

Good Boy

Satoshi Ohno is the leader of the iconic boyband Arashi, and aside from being a celebrated musician and dancer (as most idols are,) Ohno is also an accomplished actor with several award-winning performances under his belt. He is mostly typecast as a nice guy, which is due to the fact that he has a naturally cheerful face and looks unusually young for his age.

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Going Bad

In Maou, which translated to “The Devil” or “Demon King,” Ohno breaks form as instead of a charming, earnest prettyboy, he has been cast as Ryo Naruse: a lawyer that is portrayed as kind-hearted and emphatic to the plight of the poor, but who is actually machiavellian, vindictive, and vengeful. Naruse is using his wealth, power, and influence to meticulously plot the perfect revenge on people who were responsible for his younger brother’s death.

#4. Kazunari Ninomiya

Good Boy

Kazunari Ninomiya is tagged as the best actor in Arashi, due to having a wider range and a vast portfolio that dwarfs even pure actors’ resume (including being cast as one of the leads in Clint Eastwood’s Hollywood film, Letters from Iwo Jima.) He’s played tons of roles but people tend to remember him as a good guy due to his innocent look and somewhat perpetually young appearance.

Going Bad

Kazunari Ninomiya proved his acting prowess in Platinum Data when he went from his typical innocent good guy to a full blown villain as National Police Agency scientist Ryuhei Kagura. Without spoiling the big twist at the end, Kagura went from being a gifted and promising scientist in charge of DNA analysis, to a fugitive who’s no longer sure whether he actually committed a crime or was just being framed.

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#5. Hideaki Takizawa

Good Boy

As member of Tackey & Tsubasa, Hideaki Takizawa is known for his drama works (whereas his teammate Tsubasa is known better for dancing). As expected of idols, Hideaki Takizawa frequently portrays prettyboy protagonists, some of them brooding and stoic (like Manato Irie from Strawberry on the Shortcake,) but still likeable good guys in the end.

Going Bad

In Orthros no Inu, Hideaki Takizawa shows his bad side as the antihero Ryuzaki Shinji, the owner of the famed “God Hand,” which is the power to heal wounds and illnesses through touch. Don’t let the positive implications of the name fool you, Ryuzaki is a dark, introverted criminal who would use his powers to support his evil deeds, particularly against the series’ protagonist Aoi Ryosuke, who ironically possesses the ability to kill a person through touch, alled the “Demon’s Hand.”

#6. Kazuya Kamenashi

Good Boy

He’s already known as squeaky clean while performing his duties as co-leader of idol juggernaut KAT-TUN, but his star shone even brighter in the hit TV Drama Nobuta wo Produce, where he played the popular high school boy Shuji Kiritani, who tried to hide behind a cool façade when in reality he’s a lonely, emphatic young man who longs to find a true friend.

Going Bad

Kazuya Kamenashi went bad in It’s Me, It’s Me, but not in your typical dark, murderous way. In the film, he portrays regular electronics store employee Hitoshi Nagano. Hitoshi wouldn’t be so bad, but his opportunistic streak is woken when he picks up a cellphone left behind by a customer and uses it to scam the customer’s mother out of a ton of money. Again, not to spoil a plot twist, but he soon gets his comeuppance as multiple versions of himself appear (including a version that truly fills the bad guy stereotype – a switchblade-brandishing gangster.)

#7. Yuya Yagira

Good Boy

Yuya Yagira’s good boy image has been cemented early in his career. In one of his first projects, he was cast as one of the leads in the drama film Nobody Knows, where he played the 12-year-old Akira Fukushima. Akira was the eldest of four orphaned children, who took charge and served as the surrogate father of his siblings.

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Going Bad

Yuya Yagira showed his bad side in the action-heavy gangster film Crows Explode, where he played new character Toru Goura, dubbed “King." An unkempt, unshaven high school student who appeared and raised hell, usually by punching, kicking and headbutting his way to the top of Suzuran High School.

#8. Shun Oguri

Good Boy

Shun Oguri is one of the premier young actors of Japan and has gone through many roles, but two “good boy” roles stand out in his career; first is as the voice of Meitantei Conan’s protagonist, Shinichi Kudo, and second is the introverted prettyboy Hanazawa Rui in Hana Yori Dango.

Going Bad

In Crows Zero and its sequel Crows Zero 2, Shun Oguri showed that this rose has very nasty thorns when he portrayed the still-pretty but deadly high school delinquent Takiya Genji, who so desperately wanted to become one of the leading students in Suzuran Highschool that he broke a non aggression pact between his school and the rival school Housen Academy, prompting an all out war between the two schools and their army of violent teenagers. In the final fight scene of Crows Zero 2, Takiya showed how badass he is by taking on an entire mob of opponents all by himself.

#9. Masahiro Usui

Good Boy

Besides being the second-youngest member of the acting group D-BOYS, Masahiro Usui seems like an ideal fit for good boy roles, thanks to his doe-eyes and cheerful facial expression. Additionally, he’s pretty popular as a defender of justice after being cast as Gp-On Green in Engine Sentai Go-Onger.

Going Bad

In Nazo no Tenkousei, his bright and cheerful appearance was nowhere to be seen, as Masahiro Usui portrayed the mysterious transfer student. Calm, cool, and collected, the transfer student manages to give off a menacing and dangerous aura without even uttering a single line.

#10. Yukito Nishii

Good Boy

Another member of the acting group D-BOYS, Yukito Nishii is much younger than his co-group members. Coupled with his clean, boy next door looks, he is pretty much a shoo-in for good boy roles. It’s not just his looks – his voice also plays a part as he sounds really innocent, to the point where he has been cast as the voice actor for one of the wolf children in Okami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki.

Going Bad

In the film Confessions, Yukito Nishii’s youthful looks made his role, that of the intelligent yet murderous Shuya Watanabe that much more menacing. A sociopath who was probably made even worse by his mother’s absence, Shuya use his aptitude for science to film himself torturing and dissecting animals, as well as to test out an electric anti-mugger wallet on a four year old girl, which ultimately led to the poor girl’s death.


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