Friday, June 30, 2017

Nagano Mei to be the heroine for new NHK morning drama "Hanbun, Aoi."

Nagano Mei was revealed to be the heroine for the 98th morning drama "Hanbun, Aoi." during a press conference held at NHK's HQ in Shibuya on 20 June. The drama which consists of 156 episodes, will be shown from 2 April to 29 September 2018 on Mondays to Saturdays at 8am. Filming will begin in autumn this year.

The drama which is based on Kitagawa Eriko's original script, features the heroine Nireno Suzume who lost hearing in her left ear due an illness she had when she was a child and describes her turbulent life and the process of building an electrical appliances manufacturing company over half a century from 1971 to the present era which will be set in Gifu, her birthplace, and Tokyo. Kitagawa revealed that she wrote the story with the feeling of reliving her life once more (she is also deaf in her left ear) and that she was born in the same year as the morning dramas began in 1961. In addition, she was the one who approached NHK with the story's proposal.

Nagano made her debut in a movie in 2009 and took on her first heroine role in the 2015 movie "Oremonogatari!!" and her first leading role in a TV drama series through the 2016 drama "Koe Koi". This year, she has appeared in various movies such as "Hirunaka no Ryuusei", "Teiichi no Kuni", "Peach Girl", "PARKS" and "Mix". Nagano was selected for the heroine's role in the morning drama through an audition involving 2,366 applicants.

Nagano commented that her character's never-say-die attitude is what she identifies with since she was in junior high and she doesn't think that it is a negative thing to play a hearing-impaired heroine. In addition, the optimistic and cheerful sides of Suzume resemble her own character traits so she is confident of playing this character. As for landing this huge role, she expressed joy at being able to appear in a morning drama which is watched by many people every day including her grandfather.

Sources: Sponichi / Oricon / Sanspo / Nikkansports

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