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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Screening event & press conference of new NHK drama "Yongo Keibi"

The screening event and press conference of new NHK drama "Yongo Keibi" was held at NHK's HQ in Tokyo on 29 March which was attended by cast members Kubota Masataka, Kitamura Kazuki and Abe Junko. The drama which consists of 7 episodes, begins its run from 8 April in the 8.15pm timeslot.

The drama describes the lives of bodyguards who work in a private security company as they tackle various security issues facing their clients from stalkers, hatred from subordinates and colleagues and child kidnappers regardless of whether they are celebrities or ordinary people. However, as they are not the police, they do not have the power to arrest people nor have firearms in their possession. For the sake of their client, they must be on standby 24-7 and risk their lives so they are nicknamed as Yongo Keibi (No.4 Security Guard) by industry insiders.

Kubota plays the role of Asahina who works a security guard in the company Guard Keepers and is a cheerful young man boasting of great fitness. He used to be a police officer but quit due to an unknown setback thus leading him to enter the world of private security guards. One day, he is assigned to become a Yongo Keibi and told to team up with Ishimaru (Kitamura) who used to be the president of a company and is such a careful person who thinks before he acts that he is nicknamed as a coward by others now. Being totally opposites, the duo clash with each other but try to work together to protect their clients from danger. Through the course of their work, they find answers as to what it means to protect people and come to terms with their pasts. Abe Junko plays Ueno Yui, a woman troubled over a stalker.

Kubota described this drama as one with a speedy flow and pace and the first episode alone features impressive action and car action scenes spanning about 30 minutes which are bound to satisfy viewers. As the Yongo Keibi can only use self-defense techniques to deflect attacks, the action scenes which they had to do were largely related to joint locks commonly seen in judo. On the other hand, Kitamura said jokingly that he had so many action scenes to do that he had new injuries every day but in actual fact, Kubota was the one who had to do most of them including jumping up the walls using parkour techniques. Before the filming started, the cast who played the guards went for a briefing where they learnt the ropes of the job. Kubota remarked that this group of people don't get to enjoy the glamour and attention of a regular police officer and go about their duties quietly in the background without any arrest rights and possession of weapons like guns. As such, he hopes that this drama will let more people know about these guards and their work of protecting others.

Abe described Kitamura as a cool father and Kubota as a gentle elder brother to her so they had a lot of fun during the filming and would go for meals and karaoke after work. She revealed that Kitamura loves to sing Nagabuchi Tsuyoshi's songs while Kubota's favourite singer was Oda Kazumasa. Upon hearing this, the two actors said that she didn't have to reveal so much to everyone.

Sources: Oricon / Eiga.com

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