Saturday, September 10, 2016

Screening event & press conference of new NHK drama SP "Susume! Seikan Renrakusen"

The screening event & press conference of new NHK drama SP "Susume! Seikan Renrakusen" (Move ahead! The ferry of Aomori and Hakodate) was held at the TV station's HQ in Shibuya on 1 September which was attended by cast members Yoshida Eisaku, Tabata Tomoko and Hiraizumi Sei. This drama SP produced by NHK Aomori which will be shown at 10pm on 21 September, focuses on the ferry service between Aomori and Hakodate 28 years ago before the Seikan Tunnel was opened and describes how various people attempted to take the next step following the change.

Yoshida who plays a ramen shop owner attempting to preserve the taste of the signature Kaikyou ramen sold on the ferry, commented that the first half of the drama SP is rather fast-paced while the second part is bound to bring up feelings of nostalgia. In order to prepare for the filming, Yoshida went to a friend's ramen restaurant to learn how to make ramen where it was so bad initially that the noodles were splattered all over the place. During the filming in Aomori where the cast had to stay for two weeks, Yoshida recounted that they had become acquainted with the locals and it was a very fulfilling experience.

Tabata who had stayed in Aomori for an extended period of time when she starred in the 2000 morning drama "Watashi no Aozora", revealed that the locals could still remember her and welcomed her back warmly. As such, she felt very much at ease there and it is as if Aomori is her second hometown.

During the filming, the cast constantly went out for meals together. Yoshida revealed that Tabata didn't look like it but she is very good at holding her liquor. In response, Hiraizumi said that he could only manage two to three glasses but Yoshida and Tabata could finish a 1.8 litre bottle among themselves so he doesn't want to go drinking with them anymore. Tabata tried to deny that she is a good drinker and revealed that it just so happened that she and Yoshida liked the same brand of Japanese wine so they drank quite a bit together.


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