Monday, December 26, 2016

Completion screening event of FujiTV New Year drama SP "Kimi ni sasageru Emblem"

The completion screening event of FujiTV New Year drama SP "Kimi ni sasageru Emblem" was held on 20 December which was attended by cast members Sakurai Sho, Nagasawa Masami, Ichihara Hayato and Ando Masanobu. The drama SP which is based on a true story, will be shown at 9pm on 3 January, features Sakurai as a former J-league soccer player Takajo Kazuya who becomes paralysed due to an accident and regains hope in life after becoming a wheelchair basketball player with the support of his fiancee Nakagawa Miki (Nagasawa).

Sakurai who last appeared in a New Year drama SP "Taishi Kakka no Ryorinin two years ago, commented that he was a bit nervous before the start of the filming and that it was rare for a screening event to be held for a drama SP which reflected how much effort the cast and staff had put into this. When asked about the strengths of this drama, Sakurai said that this is not only a touching story which will bring people to tears but will also feature love between family members and friends and the charm of the wheelchair basketball sport.

Before the start of the filming, Sakurai went through about a month of training in order to play a wheelchair basketball player which he said was well worth the effort since they hardly needed stand-ins for the matches scenes in the drama which were shot at Yoyogi Stadium. In response, Ichihara commented that it would have been nice if this was a full drama series so that they could have more time to practise more and play better. Ando echoed the view that he liked the scenes where they played basketball because they took a lot of time to practice together. Even Nagasawa who didn't get to play recounted that the players showed great teamwork and got along really well with one another.

When asked about which scene he found memorable, Sakurai cited the first meeting between Takajo and Mukai Hiroto (Ichihara) where the latter was trying to crash into him at full force and he felt like he was a bullfighter when the bull was charging towards him. Ando then cited the touching scene when Sakurai and Nagasawa were filming the scene where he was trying to go up the stairs with her help and praised Sakurai for doing his best for the filming. Ichihara also mentioned a scene where Takajo and Mukai were talking where they were sobbing towards the end which led Nagasawa to joke that Sakurai is a guy who cries easily unexpectedly. In response, Sakurai said in an embarrassed manner that it could be because that he is older now so is more easily moved emotionally.

Nagasawa recounted that it seemed fated that she took on this drama as her father was a soccer player and coach so she felt as if she was seeing her parents' story through this drama. As such, she was very happy to be able to take part in this.

Sources: Sponichi 1 / Oricon / Sponichi 2

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