Veteran actor Tetsuya Watari is teaming up with actress Aya Ueto as co-stars in a TV Asahi drama special called ‘Kekkon.’ The drama comes from screenwriter Sugako Hashida and producer Fukuko Ishii, who have previously worked together on the TBS series ‘Wataru Seken wa Oni Bakari.’ […]
The popular drama series ‘Gokusen’ is getting a movie version this summer. After three highly-rated seasons, the film will be the last time that lead actress Yukie Nakama plays the role of the teacher Yankumi.
The third season of ‘Gokusen’ aired last spring and ended with a successful 22.8% average rating. The movie takes place after the graduation of that season’s third-year class, which includes students played by Yuya Takaki and Haruma Miura. The story is related to a special episode airing on March 28 that deals with a big confrontation between the third-year students and the second-year students. In the movie, the same characters are involved again, but the story is set during the following school year.
The leader of the second-year students in the drama special is played by Kis-My-Ft2 member Yuta Tamamori, who has never acted in a television drama before. He will also appear in the movie.
NTV’s Toya Sato, who worked on the dramas, is directing. The film is scheduled to open in July.
(Link: “Gokusen” goes to the big screen.)
Fuji TV’s live-action ‘Zettai Kareshi’ series is coming back for a special episode. Based on the manga by Yuu Watase, the series originally aired from April to June 2008.
The special, titled ‘Zettai Kareshi ~Kanzen Muketsu no Koibito Robot~,’ is set after the end of the series. Mocomichi Hayami will reprise his role as the robot Night (Naito) Tenjo, along with co-stars Saki Aibu and Hiro Mizushima. The cast will have a couple of additions, with Ryoko Kuninaka playing a brilliant scientist and Asahi Uchida playing her assistant.
Fuji TV will broadcast the episode this spring.
Young actress Maki Horikita will star in a two-part drama special on Fuji TV titled ‘Chance! Kanojo ga Seikou Shita Riyuu,’ described as a comical success story. The show will also feature Hitori Gekidan and Meisa Kuroki.
Horikita plays a 22-year-old who struggles to find a job, finally landing one at a travel company. Kuroki plays a career woman at the same firm who happens to have the same last name. One day, they mistakenly take each other’s cell phones, and as a result, Horikita’s character ends up having to give a critical presentation. This becomes her ‘chance’ at success.
Fuji TV will broadcast the drama at 11:10pm on March 7 and March 14.
NTV has announced another special episode for the ‘Gokusen’ drama franchise. The show’s third season aired this past spring, and the upcoming episode will be a ‘graduation special’ featuring the same characters. Yukie Nakama will of course star in the show, with Yuya Takaki, Haruma Miura, and Hideo Ishiguro among the returning cast.
The two previous seasons of ‘Gokusen’ in 2002 and 2005 also had special episodes that aired several months after the show’s end.
The upcoming special is scheduled to air in March.
Fuji TV revealed in October that it is producing a special documentary drama titled ‘Kamiji Yusuke Monogatari,’ based on the life of rising male idol Yusuke Kamiji. The lead actor playing Kamiji has now been decided.
19-year-old Yuki Yoshida, a second-year student at a university in the Shiga prefecture, was chosen by audition for the role. About 1,500 pros and amateurs had tried out for the part, but Yoshida managed to come out on top and make his dreams of show business come true.
The special is scheduled to air sometime during next spring. Kamiji will be singing the theme song, making his solo debut under the name ‘Yusuke.’ The song, titled ‘Himawari,’ is being released as a single on March 11.
Fuji TV has announced a broadcast date for its ‘Code Blue’ drama special. The episode is scheduled to air on January 10 at 9:00pm.
The special is a continuation of the ‘Code Blue’ drama series from this past summer, which starred Tomohisa Yamashita, Erika Toda, Yui Aragaki, and Yosuke Asari as four young doctors training in an emergency helicopter program. The show started out with 21.2% ratings and finished with an average of 15.9%, the highest of the summer dramas.
I’ve been meaning to blog about this J-drama (I actually started on it a couple of months ago) because it starred two beauties from Okinawa, Yui Aragaki and Manami Higa so I’m happy to hear that it’ll be returning in a special episode. I couldn’t keep up with the drama (I’m not much of a fan of the medical genre) but maybe I’ll check out this special when it airs.
Popular talento Yusuke Kamiji, part of the trio Shuchishin, will be featured in a special program on Fuji TV next year. The show is part documentary, part drama, and is based on his autobiographical essay ‘Kamiji Yusuke Monogatari’ that was published in August.
The majority of the program will focus on Kamiji’s days in middle school, when his life revolved around baseball. The show will also feature people close to him talking about his life, and Kamiji will of course make an appearance as himself. The actor playing his childhood self will be chosen by audition in December, with Kamiji participating in the selection.
Fuji TV plans to broadcast the special sometime next spring.
This fall, WOWOW will broadcast a drama special titled ‘Tengoku no Soup,’ based on a book by writer Michiko Matsuda. Matsuda, who generally writes nonfiction, is also known as the first wife of the late actor Yusaku Matsuda.
‘Tengoku no Soup’ follows an OL (Ryoko Kuninaka) who has to take care of her sick mother, but every day she visits restaurants seeking out a certain soup. Her only clue is a drawing left by her sister (Haruka Igawa). One day during her search, she encounters a chef (Saburo Tokito) who has lost his wife and son, and a relationship between them unfolds.
WOWOW plans to air the drama in October, but no exact date has been announced yet.
TV Asahi is producing a drama special about the life of Yoshiko Kawashima, a Manchu princess who became a spy for the Kwantung Army and was eventually executed by the Chinese government (Wikipedia link here). Her story was partly responsible for the coining of the phrase ‘danso no reijin’ (‘beauty in male attire’), referring to her inclination to dress as a man. Though Kawashima has been depicted in various media throughout the years, including TV Asahi’s ‘Ruten no Ouhi’ in 2003 (where Kawashima was played by Makiko Esumi), this will be the first television dramatization focusing on her life.
The drama, currently titled ‘Danso no Reijin ~Kawashima Yoshiko no Shogai~,’ stars young actress Meisa Kuroki. Kuroki, who prepared for the part with lessons in Chinese and horseback riding, will play Kawashima between the ages of 14 and 35. Yuki Yagi is taking over for the childhood scenes, and Miki Maya is acting out the later stages of Kawashima’s life.
Filming started in mid-April. TV Asahi plans to broadcast the drama by the end of this year.
Prior to this special, Meisa will be in the Fuji TV drama, “Kaze no Garden,” which is set to air from October to December.