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Friday, April 21, 2017

TV Asahi Spring 2017 drama starring Watanabe Mayu finally sets its title as "Sayonara, Enari-kun"

TV Asahi's Spring 2017 drama starring AKB48 member Watanabe Mayu finally have a new title following the controversy over its original title. The new title will be "Sayonara, Enari-kun" (Goodbye Enari-kun) and the content will be slightly modified as well.

The original title "Sayonara, Kiritanpo" received strong objection from Akita Prefecture as the word kiritanpo in the title brings to mind the pubic region of men due to the theme of the drama. However, the same word also stands for the signature pounded rice skewer from Akita Prefecture. The original story features Watanabe as the Heisei-era version of Abe Sada, a Japanese woman who is remembered for erotically asphyxiating her lover, Kichizo Ishida on 18 May 1936 before cutting off his penis and testicles and carrying them around with her in her kimono. The drama's story was conceptualised by AKB48's producer Akimoto Yasushi and written by Kiyasu Kohei. Watanabe plays the lead character Kiriyama Saori who desires true love but keeps meeting bad men who defy her expectations in various ways e.g. a married man treating her as his mistress, behaving badly after getting drunk or has the habit of inflicting domestic violence. In order to get back at them, she subjects them to physical torture just like what Abe Sada did.

In the revamped drama which will begin its run from 30 April in the Sundays 12.40am timeslot, Watanabe will play 25-year-old Kiriyama Saori who had many relationships in the past and is now on the search for pure love. As such, she embarks on a journey to find a marriage partner and encounters a variety of men such as a womaniser, mummy's boy and stingy guy. Saori then gets back at these men for their betrayals of her ideals for pure love. As for the title, it refers to actor Enari Kazuki whose role in the drama will only be known as the story progresses but the only thing known at this stage is that he will play a bad guy. However, there will be no references at all to Abe Sada nor kiritanpo in the drama.

Despite the controversy over the title, Watanabe expressed her excitement at playing a character which is totally different from her image as an idol and hopes that this will be a turning point in her career. With regard to her character Saori, Watanabe described her as someone with an unique character with a pure heart looking for pure love with strong determination.

On the other hand, Enari commented that this is a drama which has exceeded his expectations and that he will be taking on this challenge without knowing exactly how the story will turn out. As for working with Watanabe, he described his co-star as someone with a cute image but revealed that everyone will be shocked by the character she will play in this drama and is looking forward to working with her.

Co-stars in this drama include Ikeda Narushi who plays Mura-chan, the manager of a bar and Saori's friend.

Sources: Sanspo / Yomiuri Hochi / Oricon

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