NHK and TBS are also involved…” Fuji Television’s “O-oku” is a “typical” love-hate drama with Koshiba Kazuka, who is expected to play the main character in the three-way “O-oku. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

NHK and TBS are also involved…” Fuji Television’s “O-oku” is a “typical” love-hate drama with Koshiba Kazuka, who is expected to play the main character in the three-way “O-oku.

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Fuka Koshiba is the heroine of “Ooku”. Will she be able to show us the “sordid” love-hate drama of the original Fuji Television? ……

O-oku” (Fuji Television Network), starring actor Fuka Koshiba, started on January 18. The “original” “O-oku” started with a bang, but some are already questioning the show.

Fuji Television has adapted “O-oku” for three consecutive years since 2003. The story is set in the O-oku (inner chambers) at the end of the Edo period, where Atsuhime (Miho Kanno) and Takiyama (Yuko Asano), the general director of the O-oku (inner chambers), clash. In 2004’s “O-oku: Chapter One,” Kasuga Boku (Matsushita Yuki) and Oe Yonokata (Takashima Reiko) face off in the newly created O-oku.

In “O-OKU: Hana no Ran” in 2005, Rina Uchiyama, Eiko Koike, and Saki Takaoka played a love-hate game of bloodshed between women in a battle over the fifth shogun, Tsunayoshi (Shosuke Tanihara), which attracted a lot of attention, and all of them marked high viewer ratings. The hybrid style of period dramas combining period actors with actors from serial dramas of the time captured the hearts of viewers and became a “dollar-box” project.

It was made into a movie in 2006 with Yukie Nakama, and in 2004 with Erika Sawajiri. In 2004, the series was adapted into a special drama with Erika Sawajiri, and in 2007, “O-oku: The Final Chapter” was broadcast with Fumino Kimura as the final episode, bringing an end to the long history of the series.

This year, however, the series was revived as a serial drama. Why is Fuji Television watching “O-oku” now? ……

The roots of the “O-oku” series go back to the Showa period. In 1967, the Toei film “O-oku (Secret) Story” became a huge hit, and the following year a TV drama version of “O-oku” (Kansai Television and Fuji Television) was launched.

The following year, a TV drama version of “O-OKU” (Kansai Television and Fuji Television) was launched, which became a popular series with a maximum viewer rating of over 30%, triggering the “O-OKU boom. Since then, Fuji Television, in collaboration with Toei, has been the original creator of “O-oku”.

However, the history of the “O-OKU” series was broken by “O-OKU,” a movie produced by TBS and starring Kazunari Ninomiya and Kou Shibasaki, which was released in 2010 and became a 2 billion yen blockbuster hit.

This film is based on the “O-oku” series, which was created by manga artist Fumi Yoshinaga, and is a “gender reversal” story. It attracted a lot of attention at the time because of that. In 2012, it was made into a movie again, following the drama series, and the “gender-reversal” “O-oku” marked a new page in the history of the “O-oku” series.

However, it was not only TBS that took notice of the “gender-reversal” O-oku. When the original manga was completed in 2009, NHK took advantage of the timing to produce a “gender-reversal” version of “O-oku” over 21 episodes in two seasons last year.

NHK has been the pioneer in dramatizing the world of transgender women in commercial TV dramas, and although TBS beat NHK to the punch, NHK was able to recreate the gorgeous world of “O-oku” by lavishly using the same art sets and costumes used in the Taiga and other dramas.

The casting was also meticulous, with model Ai Tominaga winning praise for her portrayal of Shogun Yoshimune, followed by Mayu Hotta’s passionate performance as Shogun Iemitsu, breaking out of her shell. The wet scene of Tsunayoshi, played by Riisa Naka, was even called “too aggressive by NHK.

In the “too aggressive” scenes, which were not considered by NHK, “Intimacy coordinators” were introduced for the first time to support the actors, based on a thorough understanding of the production’s intentions. By taking these scenes seriously, Tsunayoshi (Naka), who is cursed by his own fate and wailing in lamentation, succeeds in conveying to the viewer the cries of his heart, which greatly move the viewer.

Furthermore, the synchronization of “Yoshinaga’s Inner Palace,” where the dreaded “blister blight” that attacks young men is rampant, and the modern world suffering from the “COVID-19 crisis” also resulted in a great deal of sympathy.

What is the real appeal of the “O-oku” series?

For example, the special drama “O-OKU Part I: The Most Violent Woman” (Fuji TV) aired in 2004. Omiyo, played by Sawajiri, is the bastard child of Shogun Ieharu. She enters the inner chambers to avenge her mother’s death in a succession plot and becomes the wife of Shogun Ienari (Hiroki Narimiya). However, she falls in love with Oshima (Mayu Watanabe), a maid in the inner palace who pretends to be a man-hater, and they have a romantic scene that begins with a kiss.

However, when Omiyo discovers that the man to whom she confides her past is a spy, she takes Shima into her own hands. The sight of Omiyo sobbing as she clings to Oshima out of grief is the embodiment of the tragedy that “O-oku” has produced. The love-hate drama that takes place in the seclusion of the inner chambers is exactly what viewers want to see,” said a director of a production company.

But what about the drama series “O-oku” (Fuji TV), which started in January?

Koshiba plays the role of Michiko Itsumiya, the daughter of a nobleman of imperial blood. She is an innocent and gentle girl who never doubts anyone, but is forced into a political marriage with the 10th shogun, Tokugawa Ieharu.

The story will be a “sad ‘O-oku'” that is different from the previous “O-oku” stories,” said Koshiba himself.

Koshiba himself said, “I’ve starred in four drama series last year.

Last year, she played the lead or heroine in four serial dramas, and is currently starring in the period drama “Akinai seiden kin to gin” (NHK BS). Her familiarity with period dramas already makes her a good choice for the role.

However, in order to be on par with NHK’s 21 episodes of “O-oku,” which depicts the “reversal of the sexes,” the original “O-oku” must be the best at the sordid love-hate drama that has been depicted since the movie “O-oku (Secret Story)”. The deeper the love-hate drama, the deeper the sadness.

Jeanne d’Arc fights against the sordid “O-OKU,” which is a whirlwind of love and hate. We hope Koshiba will be able to play such a role, but how will it turn out?

  • Text Ukon Shima (Broadcaster and video producer)

    He is involved in program production in a wide range of genres, including variety, news, and sports programs. He has also planned and published numerous books on female TV announcers, idols, and the TV industry. While working on documentary programs, he became interested in history and recently published "Ieyasu was dead in Sekigahara" (Takeshobo Shinsho). He has also published the e-book series "Ibun chakurezuregusa" (Different Stories about Craftsmen).

  • PHOTO Kazuhiko Nakamura

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