Japanese actor Haruma Miura was found dead at his Tokyo apartment on July 18, having apparently committed suicide. The 30-year-old was unresponsive when discovered by his manager, and pronounced dead after being rushed to hospital. Widely regarded as one of the most promising performers of his generation, Miura began acting at just seven years of age, and appeared in a number of commercially and critically acclaimed films, television series, and stage productions. Miura got his big break in film as the lead in 2007’s Koizora , after which he starred in numerous TV series, including the manga adaptations Gokusen and Bloody Monday , as well as leading roles in Samurai High School and Last Cinderella . In 2016, Miura featured in a television drama adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro’s science fiction novel Never Let Me Go . The same year he appeared on stage in a Japanese production of Kinky Boots , the musical penned by 1980s pop star Cindy Lauper. Other notable stage roles included lead roles in both Crime and Punishment and Whistle Down the Wind . On the big screen, Miura played heroes and villains in both lead roles and supporting turns. He appeared opposite Cecilia Liu Shishi in the China co-production Five Minutes to Tomorrow , and made memorable appearances in Sunny: Our Hearts Beat Together and last year’s Hong Kong-based caper The Confidence Man JP: The Movie . As-yet unreleased appearances in Gift of Fire and Brave: Gunjyo Senki are still to come, while it is unclear if filming had begun on Yoshitaka Yamaguchi’s much anticipated adaptation of Ghost Hunt , in which Miura was set to star. As we mourn the death of another young Japanese star gone too soon, we look back on five notable performances from Miura’s tragically short career. 1. Koizora (aka Sky of Love, 2007) Miura was named Best Newcomer of the Year at the Japanese Academy Awards for his career-making performance as Hiro, the bad boy with a heart of gold in Natsuki Imai’s teen weepie. Sporting a show-stopping mop of bleached blond hair, Miura’s reformed delinquent sparks up an unlikely romance with Yui Aragaki’s timid high-schooler after finding her phone in the school library. But their love is doomed to a predictably tragic outcome when terminal illness rears its ugly head. 2. Crows Zero II (2009) In a franchise that must have prompted a casting call for every Japanese actor under 30, Miura landed the pivotal role of vengeful bad guy Tatsuya in Takashi Miike’s testosterone-fuelled sequel. Boasting another impressive dye job, steely pout, and a backstory loaded with tragedy and headstrong determination, Tatsuya and his Housen gang find themselves drawn into a violent confrontation with the series’ pugnacious protagonist (Shun Oguri), after he unwittingly breaks a long-standing peace treaty between the bitter rivals. 3. Kimi ni Todoke (From Me to You, 2010) Miura goes full-blown Prince Charming as Shota, the handsome, popular and outgoing boy who sees the beauty and value in his bullied classmate Sawako (Mikako Tabe). Labelled “Sadako” for her vague resemblance to the murderous ghost in Hideo Nakata’s Ring , Sawako is ostracised by her peers, who believe she brings them bad luck, but Kazehaya (Miura) dares to get closer. Adapted from a manga by Naoto Kumazawa, the film helped cement Miura’s position as a desirable romantic lead. 4. The Eternal Zero (2013) Takashi Yamazaki’s wartime smash hit swept the board at the Japanese Academy Awards, securing Miura a nomination for best supporting actor. He plays a present-day law student who, together with his sister (Kazue Fukiishi), discovers the truth about their grandfather (Junichi Okada), a heroic Zero fighter pilot who died during World War II. The film took criticism from all sides, for its glorification of Kamikaze pilots and negative portrayal of military officials, but as stirring spectacle it is beyond reproach. 5. Attack on Titan and Attack on Titan: End of the World (both 2015) Shinji Higuchi’s post-apocalyptic action diptych positioned Miura centre stage as Eren, the young hero tasked with leading the charge against the “Titans”, a destructive race of giant zombies. Another manga adaptation, this time from Hajime Isayama’s hugely popular work, the film blends elements of horror and science fiction into a classic hero’s journey that sends Eren into the afterlife, only to be reborn as a colossal saviour of legendary proportions. Want more articles like this? Follow SCMP Film on Facebook If you, or someone you know, are having suicidal thoughts, help is available. For Hong Kong, dial +852 2896 0000 for The Samaritans or +852 2382 0000 for Suicide Prevention Services. In the US, call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on +1 800 273 8255.