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Saturday, April 26, 2014

Kimura Takuya to be back in "HERO 2" with a new leading lady

SMAP's Kimura Takuya will be playing the role of charismatic prosecutor Kuryu Kohei in the new "HERO 2" which is due to be shown in the Gekku slot of summer 2014. The original drama which was aired in winter 2001, had featured Kimura and Matsu Takako and achieved above-30% ratings for all of its 11 episodes which resulted in an average rating of 34.3%. However, this time round, his new leading lady will be played by Kitagawa Keiko even though the setting of the drama is still at the Josei Branch of the prosecutors' office. After the original drama ended, there was a movie version in 2007 which was the top grossing film of that year with ticket sales of JPY 8.1bn.

Filming began from the 20th of this month. Co-stars include new additions Sugimoto Tetta and Hamada Gaku along with Kadono Takuzo and Kohinata Fumio who had appeared in the original series.

Source: Sponichi

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I really think that this is a very bad idea. First of all, when there were rumours about a sequel for HERO, I thought it was a ridiculous idea. Even with the same cast 13 years ago, I am not confident that it can do as well as it did in the past. No Matsu Takako, No Abe Hiroshi, No Otsuka Nene, No Katsumura Masanobu and No Yashima Norito??? It must be difficult to get all of them on board since Matsu is now basking in the glory of mega hit "Frozen" and is more into movies and stage plays these days while Abe is a bigger name than he was 13 years ago but two names only from the original supporting cast just doesn't cut it. It's as if watching Hanzawa Naoki with Sakai Masato and everyone around him is a new face including his buddies and wife.

Things have changed so much in the past decade that getting 20% is already a feat. I can envisage that the media will have a field day bashing HERO 2 for not doing as well as HERO and of course in turn pinning the blame on Kimura Takuya alone. Of course, what Hanzawa Naoki achieved last summer was a great encouragement to those in the TV industry but is FujiTV really sure that HERO 2 can do the same? What's more, the choice of the heroine doesn't really go down well with me. Kitagawa's name already came up when the rumours started circulating so it wasn't surprising at all but it's just a personal thing that I don't fancy her. Sorry about that, Kitagawa's fans. For those who loved the Kimura-Matsu teamwork, it will be even hard to pull them in for the long haul. I for one loved their combination and it will be hard to find another partner like that for Kimura.

Last but not least, why summer?? Kuryu's trademark is his brown jacket and he would be nuts to wear that in summer. So how? He will have a new fashion item to promote this time? A designer T-shirt perhaps? And traditionally, summer is when people go for vacations so drama ratings tend to be lower. OK, you may say that Hanzawa Naoki bucked the trend but it was really an anomaly. No one expected it to be a runaway hit in the first place and it suddenly became the talk of the town. On the other hand, HERO 2 may just buckle under the weight of the expectations to do as well as HERO. I feel bad for those doing HERO 2...they've got a lot of emotional baggage and pressure to cope with and that raises the hurdle for them compared to their competitors in the same season.

All I can say, good luck to KimuTaku when summer comes!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with you on your concern. I also loved the original show, and do not think there is any chance that this will do as well, or come close, esp if the original cast is not there. I like KK, but the comparisons with MT will be fierce.

chan said...

Taku he has no choice for above in his rating as a past