The producer in charge of Kantele confesses, “The line from ‘The Devil’s Advocate’ really stuck in my craw. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

The producer in charge of Kantele confesses, “The line from ‘The Devil’s Advocate’ really stuck in my craw.

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The drama “Shokujo no Maou-sama” offers a glimpse into the realities of the job change industry and the backstage of the industry. Narita Ryo plays the main character, Kurusu Arashi, and Koshiba Fuka plays the heroine, Mitani Chiharu©Kantele

The number of people who want to change jobs is said to be 10 million. The number of people changing jobs has increased compared to the past, and I don’t think there is anyone who says, ‘I’ve never thought about changing jobs.

Takashi Hagiwara, a drama producer at Kansai Telecasting Corporation who is in charge of the TV drama “Shokujo no Maou-sama” (produced by Kantele and broadcast by Fuji Television Network), which airs every Monday night from 10:00 p.m., says, “The reality of the job-changing industry, and the unknowns that are not known, are all too common. The drama, which offers a glimpse into the realities of the job change industry and the little-known underside of the industry, is based on a novel of the same title written by Nukaga Mio.

The main character, Arashi Kurusu, played by Ryo Narita (29), is a sharp-tongued career advisor (CA) nicknamed “the devil king of career change,” who, despite his harsh words that gnaw at the hearts of job seekers, gives them back their confidence and hope for work. The story is played by Fuka Koshiba (26). The heroine, Chiharu Mitani, played by Fuka Koshiba (26), is a “career stray” who has left her job after falling ill due to the hard working environment. This sympathetic character has also made her popular.

Mr. Hagiwara first came across the original work about two years ago after being recommended it by others. The work consists mainly of a series of five short stories. “I read the book in one sitting, not because of any one episode, but because every episode had something that overlapped with me,” he said, partly because of the COVID-19 crisis and partly because of his own vague feelings.

Two years ago, the impact of the new coronavirus was great, and I think there was a strong atmosphere among many people to not only change jobs but also to rethink their way of living and their lives. I am 40 years old now, but at the time I was just before 40, and I too wondered if I would be able to continue living as I was. How should I live my life from here on out? Kurusu’s line really hit home for me.

There are many aspects of Chiharu’s humanity that overlap with my own. …… When I was in elementary and junior high school, I was brought up as an honor student, and I was influenced by Chiharu’s “others-oriented” value standards, so to speak, such as “What do people around me think? Even now, in my 40th year, I still have a tendency to think of myself in terms of “what others think of me” or “because people praise me.

(Laughs.) That is why Kurusu’s words and actions to make the job seekers face their true feelings grabbed my heart. I felt that the words, “Is that all right with your life? At the same time, I thought it would be very interesting to have a drama set in the job transition industry as a new angle or a theme unique to the current era.

Narita plays the role of Kurusu, a talented, but “most poisonous” CA; Koshiba plays the role of Chiharu, a clumsy “company animal” heroine who has lost confidence and hope in her work; and Yuriko Ishida (53) plays Yoko Ochiai, the president of “Shepard Career,” a recruitment agency where the story takes place, and Chiharu’s aunt. The role of the clumsy “corporate slave” heroine who lacks confidence and hope in her work is played by Koshiba.

Narita-san’s performance is very attractive because it gives a shadowy feeling and a glimpse of the dark side of her character. Kurusu has darkness and scars from her past, and it is necessary to express her humanity because of her suffering. We thought that the shadowy glimpses that Mr. Narita plays would fit in with these aspects.

Ms. Koshiba is an actress we had hoped to work with again after having her appear in the drama “She Was Beautiful,” which will air in 2021. Chiharu is a role from the viewer’s perspective. I thought Ms. Koshiba was perfect for the role because she is a very supportive and sympathetic character, as well as for the sense of dedication that comes with being a “company animal”.

Yoko is another key character who exudes warmth and kindness, and her words resonate with the characters in a different way than Kurusu’s. She is the oldest and most persuasive. I thought about who could play the role of the most senior, persuasive, and all-encompassing character, and I said, ‘I would love to have Ms. Ishida play this role,’ and she agreed.

The job seekers who appear in each episode ask Kurusu, “What do you want to do? What do they really want to do? The job seekers in each episode are forced by Kurusu to confront their own unacknowledged true feelings, such as “What do I want to do? Kurusu’s heart-wrenching lines, which are also the title of a chapter in the original work, are lined with phrases such as, “So you’re in a hurry because everyone around you is changing jobs? The presence of Kurusu plays a major role in this work, but in fact, the main character in the original story is Chiharu. However, Mr. Hagiwara decided to make Kurusu the main character in the drama adaptation.

Kurusu has a harshness of words, the way he confronts job applicants without hesitation, and the way he asks, ‘What happened to this person? What was he thinking when he made these comments? The characters are interesting and stir up interest.

The original story, in which Chiharu is the main character, is a wonderfully easy-to-read novel. The drama also has Chiharu’s point of view and the change in the relationship between Kurusu and Chiharu. I felt that the relationship between the two would be more exciting and enjoyable with Kurusu as the main character, as I hoped that the work would take us from the worst possible encounter to the actual connection in the past and what happens in the end. …… I was conscious of the “drama’s flair” as the axis for making changes while utilizing the good qualities of the original work.

Chiharu, played by Koshiba, is struggling to help a job seeker, and the way she faces her own feelings while being troubled is gaining sympathy©Kantele

In addition to changing the main character from Chiharu to Kurusu, the first episode of the live-action film features a plot twist not seen in the original story. In addition, the setting and the way in which Kurusu and Chiharu’s colleagues are portrayed also create a “drama with flair.

The core of the story is the interaction between Kurusu and the other CAs and the job seekers in the interview room, but it is the development of the CAs outside the interview room that makes the story more interesting. In the original story, there are not many subplots or characterizations of the coworkers. But this time, I was able to depict their family environment, their thoughts on their jobs, and their lives to date in a “drama-like” manner. The original author, Mr. Nukaga, has kindly agreed to allow us to create original characters, saying, “As long as we can make it interesting as a drama,” and we have been able to set the story up quite freely.

Mr. Hagiwara says that he wanted to make Shepherd Career, the job search agency where the story takes place, a fun team that viewers would admire as a place to work. He says, “I thought about what kind of people would be fun to bring together as a ‘bloke and a comedian’ “, not necessarily because Osaka is Kantele’s home town.

If Erika Hirosawa, played by Sayaka Yamaguchi (43), is the boss in the workplace, what kind of character should be the boss? I created the character of Morio Yamaguchi, who appears in the film as a blabbermouth, by giving him the personality of an “unattractive uncle who is busy with his marriage activities.

It was interesting to see Oideyasu Oda-san (45), who is usually a loud and forceful comedian, play the role of Yamaguchi, who is such a comforting and relaxed old man and a bloviating character. The “out of the ordinary sparkling sensation” of Sho Inukai, a part-time college student played by Daisuke Fujiwara (19), who is a completely original character in terms of being a blur or a natural, also creates a great atmosphere.

In addition to a fun workplace, the “work story” also adds depth to the character of a sales ace, Junya Yokoyama, played by Koki Maeda (32).

Yokoyama has a self-imposed rivalry with Kurusu. He’s not a jerk, but he has a twisted side to him. They all get along well, but not in a goofy way. He is one of the characters necessary to create the “tension and relaxation” that exists in the workplace as a group of professionals who work together to make a job successful, and I think it was a good fit for a workplace full of unique individuals.

One of the features of “The Devil’s Master of Job Change” is that it offers a glimpse into the realities and backstage of the job change industry. Through Kurusu’s frank and straightforward dialogue, the “true and false sides of the job change business” and the “harsh reality” of the job change industry come into view.

I interviewed people who work as recruitment agents, and I was exposed to their passionate desire to make the lives of those who come to them for advice as satisfying as possible, even if it is not a pretty sight. I felt that it was a very serious world.

A recruitment agency is not like a school where job seekers are treated equally; CAs are not parents, teachers, or friends. The more you think about them, the tougher you have to be. ……

When we asked Mr. Hagiwara, who said he spoke with CAs for the first time in the making of this film, how he felt as a member of society, he laughed and said, “I thought, ‘I don’t have much market value’ (laughs),” while speaking from his honest and sincere heart.

I don’t want to quit the company, but I don’t know if I am suited for this job or not. When someone tells me that I am suited for this job, I wonder if that is true. If someone says, “You are not suited for this job,” I think, “That’s not true.

I enjoy doing the work I want to do, and I can do my best, but somewhere along the way I always think, “There must be another way. I think, “There must be a different way. I felt as if I was reexamining that feeling, which I am sure many people have to a greater or lesser extent.

In the drama, the characters face their “true feelings” just as Mr. Hagiwara does. The essence of what he put into the work as a producer can be seen in the catchphrase, “This is for everyone who faces their ‘work’ and ‘life.

It is a story in which the characters are saved by reexamining their lives and work. To change jobs or not to change jobs, which company to choose? In the end, you have to choose at your own risk, and there is no right answer. We believe that the important element is that you have to face your true feelings, choose and decide for yourself.

Kurusu’s tongue-in-cheek words are harsh to the ear, but they have an edge. You can also enjoy the way Chiharu, a company animal character, grows as a human being and the changing relationship between the two throughout the episodes. As entertainment, each episode is complete, and people with various problems appear in each episode, so viewers are sure to find someone “similar” to themselves.

This drama is not a recommendation to change jobs, but to look at yourself. When you think to yourself, “Is there a different path? It is also a good reference for those who have not been able to make good use of recruitment agents in the past. Yoko Ishida’s line, “To choose a job is to choose a way of life,” appears in the film. I would be happy if this drama can provide hints on how to choose and how to decide.

  • Interview and text Miho Kuwata Photographs provided by Kansai Telecasting Corporation

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