Monday, January 29, 2018

Screening event of new NHK drama SP "Attamaru Utopia"

The screening event of new NHK drama SP "Attamaru Utopia" was held at NHK's HQ in Tokyo on 17 January which was attended by cast members Kurashina Kana, Hori Haruna, Ayaka Wilson, Watabe Gota and Maeno Kenta who sings the theme song. The drama will be shown at 10pm on 24 January and is set at Kinosaki Onsen which is featured in the short story "Kinosaki nite"by Shiga Naoya where there is a line saying that there is hardly any difference between living and dying despite the impression that they are at two ends of the spectrum. The drama will also feature the Kinosaki Onsen Kaidan Matsuri which is a horror event held at Toyooka in September.

The story talks about three women who find it tough to survive in the modern society and try to find a place where they can belong to. Kurashina plays the role of Takamiya Iori who was born and raised in Kobe and experienced the Hanshin Awaji Earthquake when she was 8 years old. She used to dream of being a novelist when she was in senior high school and gave up somehow along the way to become a bank employee. However, she could not stay long in her job and later moves to Toyooka where she attends a boarding school to undergo training as a bag maker. Hori plays Shirotono Ren who is a senior high school student and the only daughter of a family who manages a ryokan in Kinosaki Onsen while Wilson plays Lala who works at Kinosaki International Art Centre after moving to Japan with her famous dancer husband. Watabe Gota will play Katsuoka Yuuto who is the only son of a fishmonger family and is Ren's boyfriend.

As the day of the screening event coincided with the 23rd anniversary of the Hanshin Awaji Earthquake, Kurashina said that in preparation for her role, she had a chat with the orphans from that earthquake and was overwhelmed with emotion by the end of the session. When asked to describe this drama, Kurashina commented that this was a fascinating piece of work where they had so much to convey and were keen to know how the viewers would interpret it in their own ways. As Kurashina's hometown Kumamoto was also hit with a huge earthquake in recent years, she said that this experience also taught her to treasure time and be more aware of the things taken for granted as we never know when lives would be lost in a second. Watabe also said that this drama feels more like a documentary and hoped that it will help viewers to see the suburban areas in a different light.

Sources: Nikkansports / Sanspo / Oricon

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