Title: Otouto no Otto 弟の夫 (My younger brother's husband)
Official website: here
O.A. Start Date: 4 March 2018
Timeslot: Sundays 10pm
Total number of episodes: 3
Broadcast by: NHK
Original manga by: Tagame Gengoro
Cast: Sato Ryuta, Baruto, Nakamura Yuri, Nemoto Maharu, Ookura Koji & Nomaguchi Toru
The screening event of new NHK drama "Otouto no Otto" was held at NHK's HQ in Tokyo on 22 February which was attended by cast members Sato Ryuta, Baruto and Nakamura Yuri. The drama which begins its run from 4 March in the Sundays 10pm timeslot, consists of 3 episodes and is based on the same-titled manga by Tagame Gengorou which was awarded the excellence award in the 2015 Japan Media Arts Festival's manga category.
Oricon conducted a survey on 1,000 people in their teens to 50s where they chose their favourite TV hosts. Here is the top 10 list for 2018 and their rankings for last year are represented within the brackets while those who were not in the top 10 have a dash.
Tamori was the favourite for those in their 30s and above while teenagers chose Uchimura Teruyoshi and those in their 20s favoured Matsuko Deluxe:
Following Oosugi Ren's sudden demise due to acute heart failure on 21 February, there are more details about the final moments of his life as well as announcements about the projects which involved him. Here is a summary of the information known so far:
The supporting cast line-up of NTV Spring 2018 drama "Seigi no Se" starring Yoshitaka Yuriko had been announced. The story which is based on the serial novel by Agawa Sawako, will begin its run from April in the Wednesdays 10pm timeslot. Yoshitaka plays the lead character Takemura Ririko who is 29 years old and has been working as a public prosecutor in Yokohama District Public Prosecutors' Office for two years. She is the eldest daughter in a family living at a suburban town in Tokyo which operates a tofu shop and still lives with her family. Ririko is far from perfect despite how people perceive her occupation as she is very inflexible and will speak out if she sees any injustice. The drama will focus not so much on the cases she handles but rather how she grows as a person with her colleagues and family members' support. In addition, she will be faced with the choice of marriage vs. career when her boyfriend proposes and has to deal with her father's suspected infidelity.
Nanao will be starring in the new NTV Spring 2018 drama "Miss Devil Jinji no Akuma Tsubaki Mako" (Miss Devil The Devil of Human Resources Tsubaki Mako) which will begin its run from April 2018 in the Saturdays 10pm timeslot. This drama marks Nanao's first leading role in a primetime drama and is an original story featuring her in the lead role of Tsubaki Mako who is a cold and cruel but capable freelance human resource consultant and nicknamed as the devil. Her trademark is the red heels she wears and her signature line will be "anata ni wa, kono kaisha wo yameru kenri ga arimasu" (you have the right to quit this company). She will be taking on various problems in the organisation such as bullying of junior staff, retrenchment, sexual harassment, power harassment, fights for power between factions and monster employees in a daring way.
The completion screening event of new movie "Principal Koi suru watashi wa heroine desuka?" was held at Shinjuku Wald 9 on 24 January which was attended by the director Shinohara Tetsuo and cast members Kuroshima Yuina, Kotaki Nozomu, Takasugi Mahiro and Kawaei Rina. The movie will be shown in cinemas from 3 March.
The story which is based on the same-titled manga by Ikuemi Ryo, features Kuroshima as Sumitomo Shima, a senior high school student whose parents are divorced and is having issues with her stepfather and at the all-girls senior high school which she has just entered. As such, she decides to go to her father and move to Sapporo, Hokkaido instead. However, what awaits her at her new school are two entirely different guys Tatebayashi Gen (Kotaki) and Sakurai Wao (Takasugi) who are so popular at school that they are regarded as the "common property" of all the girls in the school. Although Shima has little interest in romance due to her problems with her parents and school, she finds herself getting closer to the two guys gradually.
Tanaka Kei will be starring in the new FujiTV on-demand (FOD) drama series "Furin Shokudou" (The Adulterous Restaurant) which consists of 4 episodes and will be released weekly from 7 March at 6pm on Wednesdays. The drama which is based on the same-titled manga by Yamaguchi Masakazu, features Tanaka as the 35-year-old lead character Yamadera Ryuichi who is married with a child. During his business trips which takes him to various places nationwide, he seeks pleasure not just in tasting the best of local cuisine but also sleeping with married women who he meets at these places. The four "married women" featured in each episode will be played by Adachi Yumi, Konno Anna, Hakase Mai and Iwasa Mayuko. The four dishes featured in this drama are doumangani, charomen, Koshu katsudon and ankake spaghetti.
Oosugi Ren passed away due to acute heart failure on 21 February. He was 66 years old. According to his agency ZACCO's official website, Oosugi died at 3.53am and his funeral will be attended by his immediate family i.e. his wife and two children and relatives only according to the wishes of Oosugi himself and his family. As for his farewell ceremony, details will be released once the arrangements have been made.
According to TV Tokyo, Oosugi was filming TV Tokyo Winter 2018 drama "Byplayers 2" on 20 February and had returned to the hotel where they were staying at after the filming wrapped up for the day. While having his dinner, Oosugi suddenly complained of stomach pains and was then sent to the hospital via an ambulance while accompanied by Matsushige Yutaka and other staff members. The cast and staff members were by Oosugi's bedside along with his family members when he breathed his last.
The supporting cast line-up of new Hulu & HBO drama "Miss Sherlock" starring Takeuchi Yuko & Kanjiya Shihori had been announced. To date, there have been many dramas and movies about Sherlock Holmes and John Watson but this will be the first time where the two characters are set as women. The drama which consists of 8 episodes, will be streamed via Hulu from 27 April 2018 and shown from the same day in 19 countries via HBO Asia.
Sugisaki Hana will be playing Kuchiki Rukia in the upcoming real-life adaptation movie "BLEACH" starring Fukushi Souta which will be shown in cinemas from 20 July. The movie which is directed by Sato Shinsuke, features Fukushi in the leading role of Kurosaki Ichigo, an ordinary senior high school student who becomes a death god in order to eliminate the evil spirits named Hollows. The original manga by Kubo Tite was serialised from 2001 and had accumulated sales of 90 million copies for its 73 volumes published so far. Although filming of the movie was done between September 2016 and November 2016, the post production process has been going on for more than a year.
Matsuyama Kenichi and Sometani Shota will be starring in the new real-life adaptation drama of "Sei Oniisan" based on the same-titled popular manga series serialised since 2006 in the manga magazine "Morning Two" which has sold 16 million copies to date. The new drama series will be produced by Yamada Takayuki and directed by Fukuda Yuichi and is planned to be released on a new video streaming service due to be launched this year. There was an anime version made in 2013 which featured Moriyama Mirai and Hoshino Gen as the leads' voice actors.
The completion screening event of new movie "Reon" was held at T Joy PRINCE Shinagawa on 24 January which was attended by the director Tsukamoto Renpei and cast members Jiyoung, Takenaka Naoto, Yamazaki Ikusaburo, Oomasa Aya, Yoshizawa Ryo, Saito Shinji and Mitz Mangrove. The movie will be shown in cinemas from 24 February.
The story is based on the same-titled manga by Ookura Kaori and Kiyoshi Tomohide which is serialised in smartphone magazine "Hot-Dog PRESS" and features Jiyoung as Takanashi Reon, a plain OL who had been dumped by her boyfriend and fired by her company. She then works as a dispatch employee at Asahina Foods which is a longstanding foodstuff company with a history of 30 years. Starring opposite her will be Takenaka who plays Asahina Reo, the autocratic president of the company who is capable at work but a lecher. Due to an unforeseen traffic accident, their souls switch bodies which lead to a series of hilarious situations. Reo starts to relish in becoming a beautiful woman and uses Reon's looks to become a cabaret hostess where he stumbles upon a plot to overthrow and chase him out of the company hatched by his nephew Masao (Saito) and Kusaka, Reon's ex-boyfriend (Yamazaki).
The supporting cast line-up of new movie "Neko wa dakumono" starring Sawajiri Erika had been announced. The story which is based on the same-titled novel by Ooyama Junko, features Sawajiri as the lead character Ooishi Saori who is a 33-year-old woman working at a supermarket in a suburban city. She used to be a member of the idol group Sunnies but failed to make it as a singer and literally escaped from the city. Her only solace in life is the male Russian Blue cat Yoshio which is the "leftover" in the pet shop and has not been bought by anyone yet. Through the daily interactions with Saori, Yoshio starts to think of himself as a human being and wants to become her lover thus bringing about extraordinary changes in their plain lives.
Oricon conducted a survey on 1,000 men and women in their teens to 50s where they chose their No.1 favourite heroine from NHK's morning dramas. The figures in brackets represent the percentage of votes received by the actresses:
The Singapore Japanese Film Festival is back this year after a hiatus of more than one year and it seems like the absence is well-justified probably because the organisers managed to assemble such an interesting line-up of films, some of them being as new as shown in Japan just last year. One major change this year is the removal of free screenings i.e. all screenings need tickets (SGD 13 each). In addition, there seems to be no discounts even for multiple ticket purchases. The venue for all screenings will be at the National Museum's Gallery Theatre which I quite like because of its central location and fine condition of the theatre. If you like Japanese movies and are in Singapore or happen to be here next month, do support this film festival so that it can continue to be held in future. Moreover, some of these films will probably never make it to a commercial release in our cinemas here so you definitely shouldn't miss the chance to catch them.
For more information on the films such as the storyline, you may wish to click on the tabs of the movies' titles at the bottom of this post as I had covered some of them before on this blog or the links to the titles in this post which will bring you to the film festival's site. All movies have English subtitles and are uncut but some of them have restricted ratings (NC16, M18 or R21) so unless indicated otherwise, the movie's rating is PG. Please check this before purchasing tickets especially if you happen to be underage.
Nishino Kana will be singing the theme song and insert song for new movie "Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun" starring Suda Masaki and Tsuchiya Tao which will be shown in cinemas from 27 April. This will be the first time in two years that Nishino is singing a movie's theme song since 2016's "Kodaike no Hitobito" and the first for her to have multiple songs used in the same movie. The theme song titled "You & Me" will be Nishino's first single released this year to mark her 10th anniversary since her debut (20 February) and is a love song with rap to present a girl's true thoughts while there will be as many as 5 insert songs featured in the movie including the 2010 release "Best Friend".
Nishino commented that she was very happy to be able to sing the songs for this movie and hoped that the audience would be reminded of the importance to reinforce the bonds they have with the important people in their lives after watching this movie.
The supporting cast line-up of new movie "Love x Doc" starring Yoshida Yo had been announced. The movie which is written and directed by Suzuki Osamu who is making his directorial debut also features Nomura Shuhei, Shinohara Atsushi, Yoshida Kotaro and Tamaki Hiroshi in its cast line-up. Yoshida plays Goda Asuka, a 40-year-old pastry chef who owns a dessert shop and has two employees Hanada Seiya (Nomura) who is younger than her and Gonda Kenichi (Shinohara) who used to be a salaryman and aspires to become a pastry chef now. One day, Seiya suddenly confesses his feelings for Asuka which makes her extremely troubled because she is already involved in an extramarital affair with Awai Junji (Yoshida) who was her boss before she opened her own shop and has an ambiguous relationship with Nomura Shunsuke (Tamaki), a trainer working at a gym who her friend likes. In a bid to sort out her love life which has been in a mess since she was 35, Asuka goes for a genetic check-up at a mysterious clinic named "Love Doc".
Sugisaki Hana will be starring in the new TBS Spring 2018 drama "Hana nochi hare ~ Hanadan Next Season ~" (Sunshine after flowers ~ Boys Over Flowers Next Season ~" which will begin its run from April 2018 in the Tuesdays 10pm. The drama is based on the same-titled manga by Kamio Youko and the sequel to the hit series "Hana Yori Dango". This will be Sugisaki's first leading role in a drama and co-stars include King & Prince's Hirano Sho and Nakagawa Taishi.
The production press conference of TV Asahi Winter 2018 drama "Holiday Love" was held on 22 January which was attended by cast members Naka Riisa, Tsukamoto Takashi, Nakamura Tomoya, Matsumoto Marika, Iijima Hiroki, Okada Ryuutarou, Dan Mitsu and Hiraoka Yuta who were dressed in wedding suits and dresses. The drama which will begin its run from 26 January in the Fridays 11.15pm timeslot, is based on the manga "Holiday Love ~ Fuufukan Renai" by Koyama Yukari and Kusakabe Eliza. Naka plays the lead character Takamori Azu who is a 30-year-old nail artist living with her husband and child. Her peaceful life takes a sudden turn when she finds out about her husband (Tsukamoto) having an affair and is filled with anguish over his betrayal. However, Azu chooses to believe him and overcome their problems together so as to keep their marriage going. Things do not go as planned though as her husband's married lover Izutsu Rina (Matsumoto) keeps thwarting her efforts with various traps laid around the unsuspecting Azu so this process would be fraught with danger as she realises the meaning of what it means to be a partner in a marriage and tries to save her marriage.
Aoyagi Sho from Gekidan EXILE will be starring in the new WOWOW drama "Kuinige Killer" (The Meal Bilker Killer) which will begin its run from 21 March in the Wednesdays 8pm timeslot. The drama is written by Tatesawa Fumitake who won the 10th WOWOW Scenario Taisho with this story and set at a family restaurant which is struggling with meal bilkers. The restaurant then engages a former star runner Kawatani Shogo (Aoyagi) who is tasked to catch these people who eat without paying their bills.
Yoshitaka Yuriko will be starring in the new NTV Spring 2018 drama "Seigi no Se" which is based on the serial novel by Agawa Sawako and will begin its run from April in the Wednesdays 10pm timeslot. The story features Yoshitaka as the lead character Takemura Ririko who is 29 years old and has been working as a public prosecutor in Yokohama District Public Prosecutors' Office for two years. She is the eldest daughter in a family living at a suburban town in Tokyo which operates a tofu shop and still lives with her family. Ririko is far from perfect despite how people perceive her occupation as she is very inflexible and will speak out if she sees any injustice. The drama will focus not so much on the cases she handles but rather how she grows as a person with her colleagues and family members' support. In addition, she will be faced with the choice of marriage vs. career when her boyfriend proposes and has to deal with her father's suspected infidelity.
Takenouchi Yutaka will be starring in the new TV Tokyo drama SP "Midnight Journal Kieta yuukaihan wo oe! Nananenme no shinjitsu" (Midnight Journal Chase the missing kidnapper! The truth in the 7th year) which will be shown in spring this year. This will be Takenouchi's first leading role in a TV Tokyo drama, his first attempt at playing a news reporter and achieving a complete sweep of leading appearances in dramas from the 5 main private TV stations in Tokyo including FujiTV, NTV, TBS and TV Asahi. The drama will be directed by Sasabe Kiyoshi and the story written by Habara Daisuke, is based on the novel by Honjou Masato who won the 38th Yoshikawa Eiji Literature Newcomer Award and describes the behind-the-scenes happenings in a news company.
In conjunction with the upcoming release of new movie "Chihayafuru - Musubi -" starring Hirose Suzu, Nomura Shuhei and Arata Mackenyu etc, there will be 5 special drama episodes titled "Chihayafuru - Tsunagu -" which will be streamed via Hulu from 20 February. The story will be a connection between the previous movie in the series i.e. "Chihayafuru - Shimo no Ku -" and the new movie which is the concluding installment to the series. The second half of each episode will feature behind-the-scenes footage from the new movie as well and a segment titled "Chihayafuru - Manabi -" starring Yuuki Mio and Sano Hayato who play newbie members in the new movie and they will be explaining the basic rules of competitive karuta. On Hulu's website, there will also be a page introducing the signature works of the cast in the movie.
"Chihayafuru - Musubi -" will be shown in cinemas from 17 March 2018.
The first-day-screening event of new movie "Uso wo aisuru onna" was held at TOHO Cinemas Roppongi Hills on 20 January which was attended by the director Nakae Kazuhito and cast members Nagasawa Masami, Takahashi Issei, DAIGO, Kawaei Rina and Yoshida Kotaro. In this love story with a tinge of mystery, Nagasawa plays Kawahara Yukari, a career woman working at a major beverage manufacturer who has been living with her medical intern boyfriend Koide Kippei (Takahashi) for the past 5 years and has plans to marry him soon. One day, Kippei collapses due to a subarachnoid hemorrhage and slips into a coma. To Yukari's surprise, when the police comes knocking on her door, she finds out that everything she has known about Kippei is a pack of lies lie as his name, occupation, driving licence and family register are all fake. While trying to find out what kind of man she has loved, she heads to his supposed hometown on an island in the Setouchi Inland sea where she gets help from a private detective Kaibara Takumi played by Yoshida Kotaro to investigate the truth. DAIGO plays Kimura (nickname Kimu) an unsociable hacker who is the subordinate of Kaibara and assists in the investigation on Kippei. As for Kawaei, she plays Kokoha who is an university student dressed in Gothic and Lolita fashion and follows Kippei around like a stalker.
Takasugi Mahiro, Kato Ryo and Watanabe Daichi will be starring in the new real-life adaptation movie "Gangs" based on the same titled manga by Hiya Keisuke and Suzuki Daisuke serialised between 2013 and 2017 which will be directed by Irie Yu. The story describes how three young men Saike (Takasugi), Kazuki (Kato) and Takeo (Watanabe) who were together in a reformatory, come together to steal from criminal groups for their survival. Saike collects information about the criminals and plans the trio's strategy while Kazuki is bent on finding his long lost younger sister and Takeo is in charge of arranging cars for the trio. The movie will be shot from 20 January to late February in Kisarazu City, Chiba and other parts of the Kanto region and be released in cinemas in autumn 2018.
Overall Ranking Top 3
1) Yakusho Koji - Rikuou
2) Sakurai Sho - Saki ni umaretadake no boku
3) Asano Tadanobu - Keiji Yugami
Voters Ranking Top 5
1) Sakurai Sho - Saki ni umaretadake no boku
2) Ayano Go - Kounodori 2
3) Yakusho Koji - Rikuou
4) Takenouchi Yutaka - Kono koe wo kimi ni
5) Asano Tadanobu - Keiji Yugami
TV Reporters Ranking Top 5
1) Yakusho Koji - Rikuou
2) Ayano Go - Kounodori 2
3) Asano Tadanobu - Keiji Yugami
4) Miura Haruma - Otona Koukou
5) Takenouchi Yutaka - Kono koe wo kimi ni / Sakurai Sho - Saki ni umaretadake no boku
Judges Ranking Top 5
1) Yakusho Koji - Rikuou
2) Asano Tadanobu - Keiji Yugami
3) Ayano Go - Kounodori 2
4) Sakurai Sho - Saki ni umaretadake no boku
5) Takenouchi Yutaka - Kono koe wo kimi ni
Overall Ranking Top 3
1) Doors ~ Yuuki no Kiseki ~ - Arashi (Saki ni umareta dake no boku)
2) Showtime - Amuro Namie (Kangoku no Ohimesama)
3) Jupiter - Little Glee Monster (Rikuou) Voters Ranking Top 5
1) Doors ~ Yuuki no Kiseki ~ - Arashi (Saki ni umareta dake no boku)
2) Kiseki - Uru (Kounodori 2)
3) Iiwake - JUJU (Kono koe wo kimi ni)
4) Reboot - Tohoshinki (Ashita no Yakusoku)
5) Gyutto - Sexy Zone (Wagahai no heya de aru)
TV Reporters Ranking Top 5
1) Showtime - Amuro Namie (Kangoku no Ohimesama)
2) Jupiter - Little Glee Monster (Rikuou)
3) Human - WANIMA (Keiji Yugami)
4) Tomoe Gakuen - Fukuyama Masaharu (Totto-chan!)
5) Iiwake - JUJU (Kono koe wo kimi ni)
Judges Ranking Top 5
1) Jupiter - Little Glee Monster (Rikuou)
2) Doors ~ Yuuki no Kiseki ~ - Arashi (Saki ni umareta dake no boku)
3) Showtime - Amuro Namie (Kangoku no Ohimesama)
4) Tomoe Gakuen - Fukuyama Masaharu (Totto-chan!)
5) Mikansei no Answer - Ueda Tatsuya (Shinjuku Seven)
Oricon conducted a survey on 1,000 female respondents in their teens to 50s where they selected the male celebrity who they wished to have as their boyfriend. It seems that women in different age groups have varying preferences as teenagers' No.1 is Aiba Masaki while those in their 20s and 30s chose Matsumoto Jun and Takahashi Issei respectively. Ladies in their 40s chose Ohno Satoshi and those in their 50s chose Yamashita Tomohisa. Do you agree with these choices for your age group?:
The production press conference of TV Asahi Winter 2018 drama "Asu no kimi ga motto suki" was held on 18 January which was attended by cast members Ichihara Hayato, Ito Ayumi, Yanagiba Toshiro, Morikawa Aoi, Shirasu Jin, Watanabe Dai, Shida Mirai and Mita Yoshiko. The drama begins its run from 20 January in the Saturdays 11.05pm timeslot.
The completion screening event of new movie "Sunny 32" was held on 18 January which was attended by the director Shiraishi Kazuya and cast members Kitahara Rie, Pierre Taki, Lily Franky and Kadowaki Mugi. The movie will be released in cinemas from 17 February after its pre-release in Nagaoka, Niigata from 9 February.
The original story features Kitahara as the lead character Fujii Akari, a junior high school teacher who gets kidnapped on her 24th birthday by two men who call themselves Kashiwabara (Pierre Taki and Lily Franky). Being staunch fans of the legendary most cute murderer in history Sunny who was a young girl, the two men confine Akari to a house and call her Sunny as they torture her in various ways.
Maki Youko, Inoue Mao, Sakuraba Nanami and Ooizumi Yo will be starring in the new movie adaptation of the legendary stage play "Yakiniku Dragon" which was performed in 2008 and did a clean sweep of theatrical awards that year including the 42rd Kinokuniya Engeki Sho, the 16th Yomiuri Engeki Taisho's Grand Prix and Most Outstanding Work. The movie will be directed by Chong Wui Shin as his directorial debut after his successful career as a scriptwriter for many movies such as "Tsuki wa docchi ni deteiru", "Ai wo kou hito" and "Chi to Hone". The movie will be shown in cinemas from early summer 2018.
Nakayama Miho, Dan Rei, Tanihara Shosuke and Tsutsui Michitaka will be appearing in the new movie "Marmalade Boy" starring Sakurai Hinako and Yoshizawa Ryo. This will be the first time that the four of them are working together.
The movie which is based on the same-titled manga by Yoshizumi Wataru, features Sakurai as a senior high school student Koishikawa Mitsuki who is told by her parents that they are divorcing and planning to remarry by switching partners with the Matsuuras who they met during a trip in Hawaii. While still coping with the shock of this sudden development, Mitsuki finds that she has to live with the two newly-formed couples and the Matsuuras' only son Yuu (Yoshizawa) under the same roof. Although Yuu behaves coldly towards Mitsuki initially, the two of them gradually fall in love with each other.
The first-day-screening event of new movie "Aku to kamen no ruuru" was held at Shinjuku Wald 9 on 13 January which was attended by the director Nakamura Teppei and cast members Tamaki Hiroshi, Araki Yuuko, Yoshizawa Ryo and Nakamura Tatsuya. The story is based on the same-titled novel by Akutagawa Award-winning writer Nakamura Fuminori and features Tamaki as the lead character Kuki Fumihiro who was born into a rich family. The movie begins at the time when Fumihiro was only 10 years old and came to know about the secret behind his birth and upbringing. His birth father who was the head of the household told him how he had raised his son with the aim of turning the latter into a personification of evil and "promised" to show him hell on his 14th birthday. However, one year before that, he was made to see hell first hand when Kaori, his father's adopted daughter and whom he liked, was raped in front of him. In order to protect his beloved, Fumihiro killed his father which meant that he was one step closer to the evil which his father wanted him to become. He then disappeared from Kaori's side and took on a new identity as Shintani Koichi who protects Kaori (Araki Yuuko) from the shadows over more than ten years. While doing so, he comes into contact again with the evil in the Kuki family which is now headed by Fumihiro's elder brother Mikihiko, a greater personification of evil.
The first-day-screening event of new movie "Itou-kun A to E" was held at TOHO Cinemas Shinjuku on 13 January which was attended by the director Hiroki Ryuichi and cast members Okada Masaki, Kimura Fumino, Sasaki Nozomi, Shida Mirai, Ikeda Elaiza, Kaho, Nakamura Tomoya and Tanaka Kei. As Okada happened to have a sore throat on that day, Kimura called upon everyone to be gentle and understanding towards him.
The completion screening event of new movie "Midnight Bus" was held at Nissho Hall on 18 January which was attended by the director Takeshita Masao and cast members Harada Taizo, Yamamoto Mirai and Nanase Kou. The movie which is based on the same-titled novel by Ibuki Yuki, describes the story of Takamiya Toshikazu (Harada) who quit his job in Tokyo and goes back to his hometown in Niigata to be a midnight bus driver. One night, he happens to bump into his ex-wife Kaga Miyuki (Yamamoto) who he had parted ways with 16 years ago when she boards his bus. This marks the start of a journey to restore family ties which had been broken and his interaction with the passengers he meets during his work. Konishi Manami plays Furui Shiho who is Toshikazu's current girlfriend while Aoi Wakana and Nanase play his daughter Ayana and son Reiji respectively. Nagatsuka Kyozo will be playing Miyuki's father Yamabe Keizo.
The supporting cast of new WOWOW drama "Innocent Days" starring Tsumabuki Satoshi had been announced. The drama is based on the same-titled novel by Hayami Kazumasa which consists of 6 episodes and will begin its run from 18 March in the Sundays 10pm timeslot.
Tsumabuki plays the lead character Sasaki Shinichi who works as a cleaner and believes wholeheartedly in the innocence of a woman on death row despite what the world thinks of her. The woman in question i.e. Tanaka Yukino is a childhood friend of Shinichi and is given the death sentence for setting fire to the apartment of her ex-boyfriend and killing his wife and children in the process. As Shinichi knows Yukino since they were young and has been indebted to her due to some reason, his instinct tells him that she can't be the killer and goes searching for people who feels the same way. However, as he digs deeper into Yukino's past, he finds out a totally unexpected story and truth behind the case.
Hasegawa Hiroki was revealed to be playing the heroine's husband in the upcoming NHK morning drama "Manpuku" starring Ando Sakura during a press conference at NHK Osaka on 6 February. The drama which will begin its run from 1 October 2018, is set from the days before WWII to the period of high economic growth in Osaka and will feature a heroine modelled after Ando Masako and her husband Ando Momofuku who created the instant ramen. Ando Sakura will play the heroine named Tachibana Fukuko from the age of 18 to her 60s who tries to survive the tough times in Osaka with her husband Manpei (Hasegawa) from before WWII to the rapid economic development era as they overcome various setbacks before they succeed in creating instant noodles. Manpei lost his parents at a young age and had lived with his relatives during his childhood. With his vivid imagination and enthusiasm, he set up his own company at 25 and later met Fukuko. After they got married, Manpei was involved in many different businesses which all flopped. Having lost his entire fortune at the age of 47, Manpei was encouraged by Fukuko to start anew and later brought about an invention which revolutionised the world's eating culture. Hasegawa is expected to play Manpei from the age of 28 to his 60s.
The Japan premiere event of new movie "Konya, Romance Gekijou de" was held at TOHO Cinemas Roppongi Hills on 18 January which was attended by the director Takeuchi Hideki and cast members Ayase Haruka, Sakaguchi Kentaro, Honda Tsubasa, Ishibashi Anna and Nakao Akiyoshi. The movie will be shown in cinemas from 10 February.
The fantasy love story features Sakaguchi as a young man named Kenji who dreams of becoming a movie director and Ayase as Miyuki, a "princess" who appears in monochrome movies and is the woman of Kenji's dreams. Although the two of them have no likelihood of meeting, Miyuki suddenly comes out from her monochrome world into the colourful current era i.e. the 1960s and appears in front of Kenji which subsequently leads to them falling in love with each other.
The premiere screening event of new movie "Kenen" was held at Shibuya TOEI on 16 January which was attended by the director Yoshida Keisuke and cast members Kubota Masataka, Arai Hirofumi, Enoue Keiko and Kakei Miwako. The movie will be shown in cinemas from 10 February.
The story which is based on the themes of envy, jealousy and hatred between family members, features two pairs of siblings who are on bad terms with each other. Kubota plays the role of Kanayama Kazunari who is a good-looking, honest and serious salesman of a publishing company but his elder brother Takuji (Arai) is the exact opposite i.e. a troublemaker who doesn't give a damn about anything and is just out of prison. On the other hand, Enoue plays the elder sister Ikuno Yuria who takes care of the family printing factory business and is secretly in love with Kazunari while her sister Mako (Kakei) is pretty and works as a gravure idol while helping out at home but is not very smart.
The completion press conference and praying event of new movie "KU-KAI Utsukushiki Ouhi no Nazo" was held at the Tokyo branch of Koyasan which was attended by the director Chen Kaige, the original novel's author Yumemakura Baku and cast members Sometani Shota, Zhang Rongrong, Hino Shohei, Matsuzaka Keiko and Abe Hiroshi. The story features Sometani as the younger version of monk Kukai who was sent from Japan to the Tang Dynasty as an envoy and how he and poet Bai Letian (Huang) try to solve a huge mystery affecting the Tang Dynasty's capital at Chang-an. The movie will be shown in cinemas from 24 February.
Nakatani Miki will be starring in the new TBS Spring 2018 drama "Anata niwa kaeru ie ga aru" (You have a home to return to) which will begin its run from April 2018 in the Fridays 10pm timeslot. The drama is based on the 1994 same-titled novel by Yamamoto Fumio which talks about the frustrations and unhappiness brewing in the daily lives of two married couples which is said to resonate with many people for its reality check on the issues in married life. In addition, the staff had also conducted interviews with more than 100 women to find out their true thoughts about their husbands, child rearing, work and juggling household chores so as to feature these elements in the drama.