Friday, November 20, 2015

Ayase Haruka, Miura Haruma & Mizukawa Asami to star in TBS Winter 2016 drama "Watashi wo hanasanai de"

Ayase Haruka will be the lead in the upcoming TBS Winter 2016 drama "Watashi wo hanasanai de" (Never Let Me Go) which will be shown in the Fridays 10pm timeslot from January 2016. The drama which is based on the novel by Japanese-British writer Ishiguro Kazuo who moved to the UK when he was 5 years old, will be made into a drama in Japan for the first time and the setting of the story will be shifted from the UK to Japan. The novel has sold more than 1 million copies in the UK and was made into a movie by the UK and US in 2010.

Ayase will play the role of Hoshina Kyoko, a 30-year-old woman who works in a hospital and feels despondent about her life. She has been in love with her childhood friend Doi Tomohiko to be played by Miura Haruma but will have to contend with competition for his affection from another childhood friend Sakai Miwa played by Mizukawa Asami. The trio all grew up in the same orphanage which was isolated from the outside world and had been told when they were 10 years old that due to some yet-to-be-disclosed reason, they will all die around the age of 30. While Kyoko and Tomohiko try hard to find hope in their lives, they are hit with the tough reality and their relationship is hampered by Miwa who has a tendency to control other people with her strong personality and is hungry for love. As such, they will all be striving to find meaning within their limited lifespans while trying to resolve their love triangle. Co-stars include Ito Ayumi who plays a teacher working in the orphanage and knows about the truth facing the children staying there, Matobu Sei who is a mysterious frequent visitor to the orphanage, Komoto Masahiro who is passionate about upholding the orphanage's values and Aso Yumi who is the principal there.

Ayase commented that in recent years, she has been playing a lot of comedic roles so she is looking forward to her first "serious" role in 10 years since 2006's TBS drama "Byakuyakou". She also revealed that she had read the novel and was very impressed and touched by the story which allowed her to do some self-reflection. Ishiguro and Ayase met up in June and she was praised by him for being a perfect match with the character. As for Miura, he recounted that after reading the book, he felt that living was an ongoing desire and that it was a cruel and beautiful thing to experience. Thus, he hoped that this drama will be able to convey the same message to the viewers. As for Mizukawa, she revealed that her heart was heavy after reading the script and the glimmer of hope amid the cruelty was described in a beautiful way. However, this story contains such an important theme about the meaning of living today for the sake of the future so she hopes that the drama can deliver this to the viewers and move them in the same way.

Filming will begin in the beginning of December.

Source: Yomiuri Hochi / Sponichi / Modelpress


junny said...

Mmm. I wasn't particularly intrigued by Never Let Me Go, although it was an absorbing read nevertheless. I can see Ayase and Mizukawa as Kathy and Ruth, but Miura is bleh for me. Will give it a shot to see how it turns out.

Chiaki said...

I have heard of the book but never got to read it nor watched the movie. After doing some research on the Internet, I too have my doubts whether Miura can pull it off as Tommy because it's such a difficult role.

Coincidentally, the Gekku announcement came out on the same day as this drama and I suddenly had the idea that if Kora Kengo and Miura Haruma are to switch roles, that might be more interesting to watch. I just felt that it was a waste to let Kora act in the Gekku which sounded not so exciting.

Seriously, I really wonder if TBS can pull this off because the theme is so controversial and pretty depressing. Looks more like something which WOWOW or NHK might attempt but it seems like TBS probably prepared for this well ahead especially since Ayase met the author Ishiguro almost six months ago. Goes to show that it's not some last-minute project to fill the timeslot.

Aqi said...

Surprisingly I think TBS already familiar with controversial theme thanks to its history with Nojima Shinji (Kou Kou Kyoushi,Ningen Shikkaku,Seija no Koushin).

Like many others, I'm also doubting Miura's portrayal, personally never get his charm, but Ayase Haruka and Mizukawa Asami are on it so I kinda looking forward to this work. I hope a fine director and scriptwriter also joining.

Chiaki said...

I agree that TBS used to churn out quite a number of hit dramas with controversial or sensational themes but they've become relatively conservative in recent years compared to WOWOW or even NHK which don't have to worry about ratings. Moreover, the trend these days is that TV stations seem rather unwilling to take risks on original scripts and prefer to use stories from novels, manga or anime or even resort to doing remakes or sequels. In TBS' case, they've done quite a number of adaptations in the last five years or so but with varying levels of popularity and quality. Considering the theme this time, I think TBS is trying to take a huge gamble which could either pay off handsomely or go down into history as another failed production.

The thought of Ayase and Mizukawa fighting over Miura just simply fails to excite me though. Other than Kora, I think Kamiki Ryunosuke could do a good job too but his babyface is a bit of an issue when paired with older leading ladies especially the three characters are supposed to be about the same age.

Aqi said...

Totally can see what you mean, I also think TBS kinda have a different feel these recent years, definitely it's not as worst as Fuji TV because TBS still gaining high rating dramas here and there, but it kinda weaken in appeal or something compared with the past, wonder if there was a change in its management. And like you said too many adaptations have been done, Cinema/TV production should simply seek and defend an original one. Moreover, I think more and more adaptation is failing and turns into disappointment for the fans.

I don't get Miura's charming point so I'm also clueless, definitely there ARE more actors with better acting to fill the spot, but who knows he unexpectedly could pull it off, not sure though.