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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Press conference of new NHK drama SP "Sniffer Kyuukaku Sousakan SP"

The press conference of new NHK drama SP "Sniffer Kyuukaku Sousakan SP" was held at its HQ in Shibuya, Tokyo, on 12 March which was attended by cast members Abe Hiroshi and Kagawa Teruyuki. The SP will be shown at 10pm on 21 March 2018.

The original drama was a remake of the 2013 hit Ukranian drama series and features Abe as the lead character Hanaoka Shinichiro who has a strong sense of smell and nicknamed as "Sniffer". He makes use of his ability to solve difficult cases by being able to tell a person's age, gender, lifestyle type and what he or she had eaten with his nose. Kagawa plays his buddy Komukai Tatsuro who is somewhat like his guardian angel and yet at odds with him while Igawa plays the role of Suenaga Yuki, a ENT doctor who is intrigued by Hanaoka's ability.

In the new SP, Hanaoka continues using his sense of smell to solve cases. He encounters a serial murder case where the corpses are covered with flower petals and picks up a mysterious smell which is supposedly used in the cultivation of bacteria. Meanwhile, Tatsuro has been removed from the investigation team thus paving the way for a mysterious profiler Shichijo Kana (Haru) who had returned from the FBI to join forces with Hanaoka. Nonetheless, Tatsuro continues the investigation of the case on his own but ends up being kidnapped by a mysterious man. Hanaoka tries to find out what the smell he picked up was and goes to his former colleague Iwabuchi Yukio (Matsuo Suzuki) for help and realises that the bacteria could be used as a bioterror weapon. Co-stars in this SP also include Nishimura Masahiko, Igawa Haruka, Itaya Yuka, Nomaguchi Tooru, Takahashi Maryjun, Baba Tooru, Takemori Sento, Mizutani Kaho and Yoshiyuki Kazuko.

The first drama series was shot in 4K format and this new SP goes up a notch by being shot in 8K format. With regard to this, Abe said that the filming time was increased compared to when they were shooting in 4K format. However, they believed that the final result would be even better than the first series so everyone pressed on during the tough filming. Kagawa said that when they were filming in 4K last time, the technology was still in the experimental stage and he joked that he didn't want to do something like this again due to the time involved. However, when he found out that they were going to do it in 8K format this time, he "complained" about being treated like guinea pigs again and wondered why they wanted to show the wrinkles of men in their 50s i.e. Abe and him on screen. Nonetheless, Kagawa said that he enjoyed working with Abe who he referred to as the No.1 comedic actor in Japan but lamented that they did not have as much interaction this time in the sequel. As such, he hoped that when they do a sequel again in 16K format next time, he wanted them to have many scenes together. However, if they are to do another sequel in a format like 64K, he claimed that he wouldn't want to do it again because it would take too long for the camera adjustments to be done.

In line with the drama's theme, the actors were asked how they thought about each other's "smells". Abe commented that Kagawa's various life experiences makes him become someone with varying "smells" and joked about the latter's recent exposure to insects and his new status as the insect meister (Kagawa did educational programmes with NHK about insects and is the official supporter of an insects exhibition). As such, he expressed interest in seeing how Kagawa would become in future as he dabbles in more varied fields of work. On the other hand, Kagawa said that Abe is tall and stylish so rather than a tangible smell, he felt that the latter gave off a rather abstract and intangible scent. He also revealed that he liked Abe's performance in "Terumae Romae" the most so he would say that Abe gives off the smell of ancient Roma since this was the easiest way to answer this question.

Since both Abe and Kagawa are in their 50s, the two of them were very excited about talking about the power of "old men". They brought up the comment which Sato Takeru talked about a couple of days ago about playing a senior high school student in the movie "Inuyashiki" even though he is already 28 and exclaimed that the two of them are still capable of playing high school students at this age. Abe then brought up the fact that the two of them had actually played teenagers as recently as in the 2009 - 2011 NHK drama "Saka no ue no kumo" where Kagawa played a 14-year-old and he played a 18-year-old. Upon hearing this, the audience burst into laughter.

Sources: Eiga.com / Oricon / Nikkansports

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