Lead Drama “Mars” in Dire Straits, Shunsuke Michieda’s Misuse Sparks Rumors of Cancellation | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Lead Drama “Mars” in Dire Straits, Shunsuke Michieda’s Misuse Sparks Rumors of Cancellation

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on LINE
From the program’s official X (@mars_tvasahi)

“Too bad about Michi”

Such voices are being heard frequently in the media industry, particularly regarding Shunsuke Michieda, also known as “Michi,” a member of the popular idol group “Naniwa Danshi,” aged 21. Currently, he is starring in the Tuesday drama “Mars: Zero’s Revolution” (TV Asahi), but unfortunately, the situation has turned dire.

Mars follows Reii Mishima (played by Michi), a 19-year-old high school student who forms the video group Mars with his classmates and rebels against the corrupt adult society. The drama, an original work by Shogo Muto, who wrote the script for Masaki Suda’s breakout hit “3-nen A-gumi: Ima kara Minna-san wa, Hitojichi Desu” (NTV, 2019), garnered high anticipation before its broadcast. However, upon closer inspection, the situation has already become so dire that rumors of cancellation are circulating.

“The viewer ratings are in the 3% range, which is simply terrible. Even though it’s been said that ratings aren’t reliable these days, considering that the previous series in the same time slot, ‘Kaseifu no Mitazono Season 6,’ was averaging in the 6-9% range, it’s safe to say that this show has been completely abandoned by viewers. Additionally, the number of favorites on the catch-up streaming service TVer is around 600,000. This is far from the benchmark of success, which is considered to be 1 million.” (Television Magazine Editor)

However, when it comes to the reasons behind this, there are hardly any voices blaming the lead actor, Michi. Instead, the majority express lamentations like, “They are completely mishandling Michi” What exactly does this mean?

An interview writer who has interviewed Michi multiple times shares the following insights.

“In the drama ‘Becoming Mother’ (NTV, 2017), when he appeared as Erika Sawajiri’s son, it felt like a comet had arrived in Johnny’s (now SMILE-UP.). I thought a remarkable talent had emerged after a long time. He had a very contemporary aura and demonstrated excellent acting skills, especially in roles that demanded delicate emotional expression.

I wanted to interview him right away, but at the time, he was still too young to appear in women’s magazines. After about three years, as soon as he grew up a bit, I immediately applied for an interview (laughs).”

But Michieda’s subsequent activities are a bit puzzling.

“As soon as he reached the age to take on lead roles, he was cast as the 5th generation of Kindaichi Shonen, a major role in the popular drama series ‘The Kindaichi Case Files’ (NTV). Previously, young Johnny’s talents like Tsuyoshi Domoto (44) from ‘Kinki Kids’ and Ryosuke Yamada (30) from ‘Hey! Say! JUMP’ had played this role, and expectations were high for him as the next young star. It was natural for Michi, seen as the next potential star, to be cast in this role, but it didn’t quite fit his character.

Michi is originally the type who is quiet but has a strong presence. Therefore, he excels in acting where he conveys delicate emotions silently or through expressions alone. However, playing a character like Kindaichi Shonen, who is cheerful and clumsy, was challenging for him.

Moreover, in ‘Mars,’ he’s portraying a character who is the complete opposite of himself. It’s frustrating because he has so much potential, and I can’t help but want to say, ‘Please choose your roles more carefully.'”


The PR staff of a certain TV station had the following to say about this choice of work.

“For better or worse, it seems that SMILE-UP. only knows how to promote their idols by casting them in charismatic roles in prime-time dramas once they become popular. This strategy certainly works well for types like Kimutaku (Takuya Kimura) who have a clear-cut charisma.

However, lately, even within SMILE-UP., there are fewer talents suited for such roles. Take Ren Meguro (27) from ‘Snow Man,’ who gained recognition for his role as a deaf young man in ‘Silent’ (Fuji TV, 2022). He’s another example of someone who possesses a quiet charm. I feel they would be better suited for more serious works or co-starring with veteran actors. Nevertheless, it’s a bit of a waste to see them continuing to be promoted in the same way as Kimutaku.”

It seems that there is more than one change that SMILE-UP. is being forced to make.

We at “FRIDAY Digital” are looking forward to receiving information and tip-offs from you. Please send your information to the following information form or to the official X.

Information Form: https://friday.kodansha.co.jp/tips

Official X: https://twitter.com/FRIDAY_twit

From Shunsuke Michieda’s official Instagram (@michieda_ind)
  • Interview and text by Nanako

    Born in Ehime Prefecture. After working at a broadcasting station, became a freelance writer. She specializes in interviews with celebrities and articles analyzing popular events, and is always checking out serial dramas and popular Japanese movies. She is a well-known beautiful writer in the magazine industry.

Photo Gallery2 total

Photo Selection

Check out the best photos for you.

Related Articles