Rationally, Morning Glory, Hakozume — Get to Know the “Master Scrptwriter” Nemoto Nonji | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Rationally, Morning Glory, Hakozume — Get to Know the “Master Scrptwriter” Nemoto Nonji

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on LINE

Some of the highlights of “Rationally Impossible~” currently on the air

There is a theory that there are actually two scriptwriters, and even a theory that there is actually more than one production company. He is known to most drama lovers as a “craftsman” scriptwriter who is “fast,” “good,” and “can write anything” and is extremely dexterous in his work.

He has written two scripts for “Inspector Asagao” (Fuji Television) and “Hakozume: Tatakau! (NTV), “Honest Fudosan” (NHK Sogo), “Fruits Delivery Service” (TV Tokyo), and the currently airing “Rationally Impossible: Detective Ryoko Kamizuru’s Unraveling” were all written by the same scriptwriter, and the difference in color is astonishing. Even if the films are based on original works and have completely different tastes, one often notices the “Nemoto Nonji-ness” of the films as one watches them.

Is it true that there are two Nemoto Nonji? (PHOTO: Ayumi Kagami)

How in the world do they create their works? We interviewed him about his working techniques.

In 2005, I wrote four consecutive TV Tokyo late-night dramas, and I was told that I was overdoing it (laughs).

A junior scriptwriter said to me, “Mr. Nemoto, it’s annoying when you do so many dramas in a row. It’s time to give it to the younger generation.’ That was the first time I thought, ‘That’s true.'”

But I would work with Koichi Hamaya (of TV Tokyo), and when we finished, Taku Matsumoto would work with him, so it just became a series.

I was often told that I was fast, but I was just working hard on my own, and one of the managers asked me with a straight face, “Is it true that there are two Nemoto Nonji’s?” He said, and I answered  “No, no, as far as I know, there is only one.”

From the official website of “Rationally Impossible: Detective Ryoko Kamizuru’s Clarification” (Kansai Television)

From the official website of “Hakozume: Tatakau! Police Box Girls” (Kansai Television)

In an interview with “FRaU” (December 30, 2010), Taizoko, the original author of “Hakozume,” said that she lavished her skills on writing the story, including a well-thought-out structure and well-seasoned episodes, but also expressed her surprise as follows.

However, in the latter half of the interview, he said, “I was surprised to hear that he had memorized the entire original work. I was surprised to see how much skill he put into the writing. The way he combined lines, characters, and episodes was so unpredictable and precise that I now have a concept of Nemoto-sensei as an AI.”


What does Nemoto keep in mind when writing scripts? “In any field, I try to depict the characters’ daily lives. Whether it is an original work or an original story, a serious work or a comedy, I basically focus on the characters, so what I do does not change even if the genre changes.”

Conversely, in a work with an original story, I add parts that are not depicted in the original story. In this way, whether you are a detective or a doctor, eating, taking a bath, sleeping, having someone you like, and fighting are all the same.

However, there are some who offer not to depict too much of the everyday life that is not depicted in the original story, because it would change the worldview.

The way people eats reveals a lot about them. I hear that they have likes and dislikes like this, or that they eat in this way.

Nemoto says that food is an important part of how he depicts “everyday life of the character.”

I definitely draw scenes of people eating. The way the character eats and their menu choices definitely show their character, so I make a conscious effort to do so.

My family has been a yakitori restaurant for two or three generations, and I have been helping out at the restaurant since I was a child. When I look at the customers, I see that the way they eat is very personal. I have always observed how they like and dislike food and how they eat, as well as how they drink.

So, in the scenario, I write quite a lot of details, from the family cooking to the use of tableware and the menu. Sometimes I write too much detail and get comments like, ‘This menu is not right for this time of the year,’ (laughs).”


Regarding the balance between seriousness and comicality, he says, “It may be more of a feeling than a calculation, and I value the initial feeling.” He cited “‘Partners’ as an example.”

In “Partners,” the scriptwriter comes up with all the stories and tricks for each episode, but my episodes have a tendency to be comical, and at first I was told at a meeting that it was a spin-off, but gradually I was told that it was okay because it was the root episode.

Love of manga

Perhaps partly due to his love of telemarketers, Nemoto analyzes his own style, saying, “I’m not a very logical writer; I’m more of an intuitive writer, so I just go with the flow and write in a flash. When asked how he incorporates the characters into his own work, Nemoto explained his unimaginably systematic approach to scriptwriting.

“I don’t like to talk about it because it’s a trade secret,” he said. I buy two paperbacks first, and then I buy an electronic version. First you read it once on paper. The second time, I read it while putting sticky notes on the lines and scenes that caught my attention.

An example of this is the “normal inspection” that appears in the first episode of the much-discussed drama version of Hakozume. This is “an inspection of personnel, posture, attitude, attire, and daily personal belongings,” which involves checking the police notebook, whistle, and handcuff compartment in front of the police brass.

The ‘routine inspection’ is the first episode in the drama, but it appears in the sixth volume of the original story. When I write a script, I first categorize the stories I’m extracting, such as those that are the most police-like, and those that are independent and can be used anywhere.

I also categorize all the cases, such as “family-like cases” and “friendship-like cases,” color-code them, and make a table in Excel. When I have a stock of such categorization, I can come up with ideas such as, “This story is independent, so it can be used anywhere.

In such a situation, “Normal Inspection” is something that shows the daily life of a police officer, which we have not seen much of in dramas, and I thought it would be absolutely interesting to include it in the first episode because it was just done in “Kyobo” and besides, it shows all the characters’ hearts and minds.

In the original manga, I repeatedly put up sticky notes, opened them, and typed them in, so in the end, they were all torn up and falling apart. I remove all the stickies after use. Both “Hakozume” and “Masanao Fudosan” ended up in tattered pieces.

The original manga was repeatedly pasted with sticky notes, opened, and typed, so in the end, it was all torn up and falling apart.

Nemoto’s script is so faithful to the original work that even fans of the original work are impressed, but it is not exactly the same as the original work.

The dialogue in the speech balloons of the manga is difficult to use in the scenario as it is. I try to use the best lines from the manga as much as possible, but I try to change the form and use them in different places.

There are also quite a few good scenes and lines in the omake at the back of the book, so I often use them. I read the original anyway, and I read the electronic version whenever and wherever I have time.”

I always wanted to be a manga artist…”

When asked why he reads so much of the original manga, he spoke of his love of manga.

I always wanted to be a manga artist, and I tried to bring that into elementary and junior high school by drawing manga. I read a scene in Fujiko FujioⒶ’s “Manga Road” where he goes to bring his work to Tezuka Osamu, and using the address in Corocoro Comic, I brought my own manga directly to Fujiko when I was in elementary or junior high school.

But I was so scared that I put it in the mailbox and ran away. Then that year, I received a New Year’s greeting card that said, ‘Good luck.

I told this episode to Mr. Fujio Abiko (Fujiko FujioⒶ), whom I met when I was invited to a publisher’s party, and when I said, “I am writing a screenplay,” he said, “You did your best.

Inspector Asagao

I used to aspire to be a manga artist, so I think I understand the difficulty of drawing manga better than most people, so anytime I write a script based on a manga, I try to ‘borrow’ the original work with the awareness that I have to make sure I don’t damage the original work.”

In addition, while there is a deep love and respect for the original work, many of the arrangements are surprisingly bold. The reason for the arrangements, for example, is consideration for the main target of the broadcast slot.

For example, “The difficult part was ‘Inspector Asagao,’ which was written more than 10 years ago and was a manga for male viewers, but it was broadcast on Fuji Television’s Tsuki 9 series, so we had to target female viewers. I also had to make the case interesting.

However, the original case was bizarre and not in line with the times, so I couldn’t handle it as it was, and I had to create an original case.

Honest Fudosan

The film was also meant to be a “guess work” for the actors.

For example, “Honest Fudosan” is a male-oriented manga from Big Comic, and since it is a drama series with a large female audience, I thought, “What should I do to make it more female-oriented? In addition, it was decided that Tomohisa Yamashita (hereinafter referred to as “Yamapu”) would play the role, so if Yamapu was going to speak, the endings would be different as well.

In the original story, Nagase Zaichi and Yamapo are a little different. In the original story, the ending of “ain’t you” would be more appropriate if it were Yamapo. I also make a conscious effort to address women by their first names, such as “00-chan” or “00-san,” instead of “you.

I change the overall dialogue to what is most appropriate when uttered by the actor. It is also possible to make the actor do something that doesn’t sound like Yamapo, but I do that in the comedic part of the show. The fact that he says the truth when the wind blows is something that Yamapo would never do before. But it’s something that is typical of Yamapo.

When writing his lines of dialogue, he says that he tries to keep his brand image in mind, and he looks at as many of his previous works as possible to get a feel for the kind of actor he is.

He says, “The fact that he would tell the truth when the wind blows is something that Yamapo would never do before. But it’s somewhat typical of Yamapa.”

If there is a desire to do something “that he has never done before,” he will make adjustments.

Incidentally, as it pertains to the arrangement from the original work, I have the impression that there are not many macho men who are overbearing or domineering in Nemoto’s works.

I certainly don’t. Why is that? I wonder why? Maybe I am not good at such men. When I look at the original work, I see that Asagao’s husband, played by Shunsuke Kazama in “Inspector Asagao,” is also quite a macho man, but he is a completely different character. He is not the kind of man who cooks fried eggs on both sides (laughs).

Rationally Impossible: The Unraveling of Detective Ryoko Kamisuiryu

The currently airing “Rationally improbable” is not a full-fledged mystery with elaborate tricks and riddles to solve, but a drama in which viewers can enjoy various “improbable! The current “Rationally improbable” is not a full-fledged mystery with elaborate tricks and riddles to solve.

As a result, we receive a variety of comments, but I think it’s okay to have this kind of drama. We wanted to make it an entertainment that could be watched casually, with a relaxed atmosphere.

Actually, the best part of the drama is the interaction between the two of them. This is my first time working with Yuki Amami, and the character she plays, Ryoko Kamisuiryu, is quite a fictional character. The person who played the role of “Ryoko Kamisuiryu” was, to say the least, a highly fictional character. I am truly grateful to him.

Kohei Matsushita was just wonderful. He was more aggressive with Amami than in the script and ad-libbed a lot, and I think the distance between the two of them was reflected in the film very comfortably. I have the impression that Amami and Matsushita-san make it more interesting.

Matsushita-san seems naïve, but he has wonderful pauses for laughter. On the other hand, his facial expressions in the emotional scenes when the father is unconscious are also very good. He is a very enigmatic character, and you would think, “How can you play someone with an IQ of 140? He is a very difficult character to play, but he does it in a very charming way.”

I have the impression that Amami and Matsushita-san are making the role even more interesting.

In the October season, Mr. Nemoto is also working on the music youth comedy “Paripi Komei” (Fuji Television Network’s Wednesday 10 drama) starring Osamu Mukai. What kind of subjects or original works would you like to work on in the future?

I try not to read weekly manga. If I come across a manga that I love, I feel frustrated when someone else does it. Like, ‘Why are you doing this to such a great subject?’ Sometimes it’s like, ‘Why are you doing this to such a great subject?’

When I asked Nemoto why he had not yet written a morning drama (NHK’s serial TV novel), a genre in which his speed, skill, and ability to write about anything are put to maximum use, he laughed and said, “I’m not ready yet career-wise.”

I’m not quite ready yet in terms of my career. But I want to be prepared to do my best if I am called upon.

  • Interview and text Wakako Tago

    Born in 1973. After working for a publishing company and an advertising production company, she became a freelance writer. She interviews actors for weekly and monthly magazines, and writes columns on dramas for various media. His main publications include "All the Important Things Are Taught by Morning Drama" (Ota Publishing), "KinKi Kids Owarinaki Michi" and "Hey! Say! JUMP 9 no Tobira ga Open Tokimono" (both published by Earl's Publishing).

  • PHOTO Ayumi Kagami

Photo Gallery7 total

Photo Selection

Check out the best photos for you.

Related Articles