Thursday, January 19, 2012

Japanese Drama - Strawberry Night

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All of the interesting Japanese dramas that i have been following in end 2011 like "Kaseifu no Mita" and Nazotoki no Dinner Ato De" have ended and it is time to look for more interesting Japanese dramas to start watching in 2012. I'm looking forward to watching Nanako's new drama "Lucky Seven" after her superb acting in "Kaseifu no Mita". Another Japanese drama i'm looking forward to watching is "Hungry" starring Mukai Osamu and he is really popular in Japan nowadays and really cute. I will post more information about the dramas soon. I'm also planning to watch Korean drama "Take Care Of Us, Captain" starring my favorite Korean actor Ji Jin Hee and Koo Hye Sun and i will write more about it soon.

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There are several interesting new dramas currently showing in Japan and one of my favorite and "must watch" is this police drama "Strawberry Night" starring actress Takeuchi Yuko as a police detective. This Fuji TV drama started showing in Japan on 10 January, every Tuesday nights and the first episode already started off with a great viewer rating of 16.8%, the best start of all the new dramas thus far. In 2010, the drama special of ‘Strawberry Night‘ marked Takeuchi Yuko’s first starring role as a female detective, which was well-received by the viewers. She has always been acting in a sweetie pie or damsel in distress role and it is refreshing seeing her acting as a hot shot female detective and i enjoyed watching the special and looks forward to watching the drama. You can watch it online at (http://www.dramacrazy.net/japanese-drama/strawberry-night/).

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Neat and clean actress Takeuchi Yuko tried out the role of a detective for the first time in the 2010 drama special, “Strawberry Night“, and she has reprised this role for a full-fledged drama adaption this year. You can watch the special at (http://www.mysoju.com/japanese-drama/strawberry-night/) if you miss it last year. Takeuchi plays the role of Himekawa Reiko, a non-career female detective who still managed to climb up the ranks in very short time. Her biggest weapon is her incredibly sharp intuition that enables her to know the feelings of a criminal better than the criminal himself. It’s a fresh role, depicting a female detective that is cold, powerful, in some moments, graceful, and yet oh so fragile due to her past.

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The drama special was based on Honda Tetsuya’s best-selling novel, “Strawberry Night”, about a mysterious serial murder case. The drama serial will continue his novel series about Himekawa Reiko, adopting the stories from many of his other installments. Takeuchi is absolutely enthused about this project. She commented, “One characteristic of a drama serial are the guest appearances in each of the episodes and I can’t wait to work with all the guest actors. Further ‘Strawberry Night’ will become much more powerful thanks to the new members of the team, so it might be even more fun this time.”

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Several key characters from the drama special will reprise their roles in the drama serial as well, including Takeda TetsuyaNishijima Hidetoshi, and Ukaji Takashi. Other familiar faces will once again be played by Namase KatsuhisaTakashima MasahiroEndo KenichiWatanabe Ikkei, and Tsugawa Masahiko. It was also announced that Koide Keisuke was added to the cast as one of the new members at the police station.

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Maruyama Ryuhei will be the second new addition to the team next to Koide Keisuke. His role will be that of a rookie detective and mood maker of the new investigation unit. It’s also Maruyama’s first time portraying the role of a detective. He commented, “I’m getting very nervous, knowing that this drama is based on such popular novels (by Honda Tetsuya). Just like my character, I’d like to live a life without forgetting how to enjoy it.”

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The first episode starts with an incident which occurs while the members of “Team Himekawa” under Himekawa Reiko of the First Investigative Division’s Tenth Section are on stand by at the Tokyo Metropolitan Police headquarters. Yasufumi Yoneda caused a train accident 10 years ago, where the train overturned and killed more than 100 people. Now, Yasufumi Yoneda is found dead at the same location where the accident occurred. His body is severed into two symmetrical halves. An investigation is underway to determine the cause of death - was it suicide or murder? Reiko Himekawa and her team from the Metropolitan Police Department leads the investigation.

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Reiko discovers that only a short time existed between Yasufumi's exit from a drinking establishment that he frequented and the time of his death. If Yasufumi was murdered, the crime was premeditated. Reiko also learns that Yasufumi talked in the drinking establishment about having to pay out 860 million yen to the victims in the train accident 10 years ago, including to the president of the victim's compensation group Mutsuo Ogawa (Kazu Murakami), who lost his eldest daughter in the accident, and Saneharu (Izumi Fujimoto).

Reiko and her team learns further that at that the time of train accident 10 years ago, station employee Kazutaka Tokuyama (Kenichi Takito) tried to save Saneharu before she was crushed to dead. After the incident, Kazutaka Tokuyama resigned. Reiko then spots a poster at the station where Kazutaka Tokuyama formerly worked. The poster depicts an image of a body symmetrically halved into two. Apparently, the painting was drawn by the former station employee Kazutaka Tokuyama.

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Reiko then goes to Mutsuo Ogawa's home with Detective Kazuo Kikuta (Hidetoshi Nishijima). When they arrive, nobody answers the doorbell. When they touch the door, the door swings open. They go inside. Reiko then finds the dead body of Mutsuo Ogawa lying in the bathroom. The body is also halved into two symmetrical pieces. Reiko assumes that Yasufumi Yoneda and Mutsuo Ogawa were killed by the same person after spotting a particular piece of fabric on Mutsuo Ogawa that was also found on Yasufumi Yoneda.

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After conducting further interviews with train accident survivors, Reiko is sure that Kazutaka Tokuyama is the person who killed Yasufumi Yoneda and Mutsuo Ogawa....

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(Source: http://www.fujitv.co.jp/strawberrynight/index.html)
(Source: http://www.tokyohive.com/tag/strawberry-night/)
(Source: http://www.tokyohive.com/2011/06/takeuchi-yukos-strawberry-night-will-become-a-drama-series-next-year/)

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

You must be a drama lover.
Have you watch the recent Korean drama Brain?
it's very nice you can consider watching.

I love the male lead actor in Brain, he's so cool n arrogant in d role n had won the grand prize as the best actor of the year in KBS Award show for this role:)

Lady Jan said...

Hi thanks for the recommendation :) yup i have heard of this drama and the ratings were great when it was shown in Korea. Can't wait to watch it soon!

Lady Jan said...

Just found the time to finish watching the final episode of this exciting detective drama and i love the sweet ending scene where Kikuta touched Reiko's head in an affectionate manner and they went for dinner together :) Fuji TV also revealed during the final episode shown in Japan on 20 March 2012 that a motion picture version of the series will be made and i'm looking forward to watching it.

Lady Jan said...

Found from (http://www.generasia.com/2012/03/21/strawberry-night-drama-series-gets-a-theatrical-movie/) that the drama received 15.9% viewership ratings for its final episode in Japan. The series finished with a strong average of 15.4% ratings, so it was not surprising that the finale came with an announcement that there will be a movie adaptation. A producer for the series stated that the movie adaptation was actually decided several months ago. It has not yet been announced when the movie is planned to be released.

Janice said...

For those who have noticed "Strawberry Night" trailer showing on Channel U recently, it is going to start showing this popular Japanese drama every Friday, 11.30pm from 20 April 2012 :) The drama has just ended in Japan in March 2012 and i'm really impressed that Channel U is making efforts to broadcast the latest overseas dramas for its viewers. Fellow Japanese drama fans, do catch this exiting drama every Friday nights ;)