Nakagawa Taishi, the Heartthrob of Eye Love You, Set for Breakthrough Role as a Love Decoy! | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Nakagawa Taishi, the Heartthrob of Eye Love You, Set for Breakthrough Role as a Love Decoy!

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The Tuesday 10 drama “Eye Love You” (TBS) is slowly becoming more interesting.

The story centers on a love affair between Yuri Motomiya (Fumi Nikaido, 29), the president of a chocolate company, and Yoon Tae-oh (Jung-hyup Choi, 30), a Korean exchange student. The key to the story is whether the two will be able to overcome the age difference, language barrier, and Yuri’s troubled past to get together.

Nakagawa Taishi, who is making Tuesday 10:00 a.m. the most exciting time of the day.

From episode 5, the spotlight finally falls on Hanaoka Akito (Nakagawa Taishi, 25), who reigns as the “guess-horse of love. He and Yuri have been friends since their college days and are comrades who started a company together. In fact, he has been hiding his feelings for Yuri since their college days.

This time, we would like to focus on the role of the love interest. Many actors have played this role in the past, and it has made viewers’ hearts flutter. I would like to say out loud that the most suitable actor for this role is Nakagawa Taishi.

An indispensable position in the “Tuesday 10” drama series full of love.

The 10:00 p.m. Tuesday broadcast slot in which “Eye Love You” airs is known as “Tuesday 10”. In the past few years, a series of heart-warming love story dramas have been aired in this slot.

It seems like many of the aired works give off an image of their broadcast time, as the word love is frequently used. In 2020, we had “Koi wa Tsuzuku yo Dokomademo,” “Okane no Kireme ga Koi no Hajimari,” and “Kono Koi Atatamemasu ka.” In 2021, there was “Oh! My Boss! Love is a Different Volume” (hereafter referred to as “Boss Love Strategem”) and “Reasons Why the Love You Dress Up In.” In 2022, we had “Is It a Sustainable Love? A March of Marriage Between Father and Daughter.” This spring, we’re anticipating “Who Fell in Love with Me?” starring Ikumi Mei in her first lead role in the prime time slot.

Even if a title doesn’t explicitly include love, like “Eye Love You,” the “Monday at 10 PM” slot still holds a romantic atmosphere. A crucial role here is the love decoy, who, even without being directly involved in the romance, ignites sparks between the two main characters each time they make a move.

The love decoy ultimately ends up alone. However, they often leave a lingering impression more so than the seemingly happy couple at the drama’s end. Looking back, during the trendy drama era, viewers would anxiously follow the main characters’ developments. It’s unexpected in today’s era that the spotlight now shines on the supporting roles standing by their side. Perhaps it’s because we can’t help but root for the bittersweet performances of these love decoys.

Who overtook Shotaro Mamiya as the top love decoy actor?

In the past few years, two actors have left a lasting impression in the role of love decoy. First is Mukai Osamu (42), who appeared in “Kisarazu Cat’s Eye” as Kurume Makoto’s former boss, Hayama Shogo. Originally the object of Kurume’s affections, their positions gradually reversed. Even now, three years after the broadcast, Mukai Osamu’s portrayal as a love decoy remains legendary among drama fans, deemed almost too extravagant.

Fumi Nikaido, the lead actress, also gives a good performance.

Next is Shotaro Mamiya (30). In “Boss Love,” he portrayed Nakazawa Ryota, a senior colleague at the workplace (a magazine editorial department) who harbors feelings for the heroine, Suzuki Nami (Mone Kamishiraishi, 26). In a typical drama scenario where they might accidentally end up sharing the same room,

“If you were my girlfriend, I wouldn’t want you staying with another guy,”

He showed consideration by suppressing his own feelings. This scene left female viewers, including myself, swooning over “Senpai Nakazawa!” Disappearing to “find another place to stay,” Nakazawa displayed the utmost kindness by searching all night for the bracelet Nami had lost.

Personally, when it comes to the role of a love decoy, I can’t think of anyone other than Matsuda. And then there’s Daishi Nakagawa, who has made a significant breakthrough. If we were to liken it to a horse race commentary, it would be like the entrance of a dark horse, prompting exclamations of “Whoa, things just got interesting in the race!”


Reigning once again after 6 years in the Monday at 10 PM slot as the love decoy!

Nakagawa has previously demonstrated an impressive running style as a love decoy. In 2018, his role as Hotaru Chi in “Hana Nochi Hare ~HanaDan Next Season~” portrayed him as the perfect high school boy. He came from a wealthy family, had a handsome appearance, and excelled academically, serving as the student council president.

At that time, as it was touted as a sequel to “Hana Yori Dango” (2005), not only the F1 layer (women aged 20-24) but also the older audience got excited about the drama’s development. The intense battle for Edo Kawana (Hana Sugisaki, 26)’s affection. With each episode, viewers’ excitement grew as they followed whether they were Team Hayama, the clueless but endearing Chi, or Team Kaguragi (Sho Hirano, 27), the naturally clumsy boy!

In the middle of the drama, there were moments when Hotaru Chi seemed to have the upper hand. However, a single event where he trusted his junior over Edo just once turned against him, leading him to become the loser in love. And thanks to him, the feelings between Edo and Kaguragi grew even deeper. How sad, the sublimation of love.

Six years have passed since then, and Nakagawa has once again entered the race of love. Due to Yui’s ability to hear the thoughts of others, Atsuto Hanaoka’s unrequited love from his university days has been revealed. Unaware of such a situation, Hanaoka desperately suppresses his own feelings and supports the romance between Yui and Teo.

“I just want things to work out for the two of them.”

Hanaoka mutters in his sleep. Is this a pattern of a love decoy who simply endures, unlike any seen before? Or will his feelings explode somewhere? Tonight’s “Eye Love You” promises an exciting race of love, and it’s intriguing to see how Nakagawa’s character will run in it.

  • Reporting and writing Hisano Kobayashi

    Writes essays and columns, edits, writes, and works in promotion. He is the author of "Kekkon to nakonoshikanai Uruwashikana Jinsei" (KK Bestsellers), "45 cm no Distance: About Human Relations in a World with More Functions to Connect" (WAVE Publishing), and "Best of Heisei Drama! (Seishun Shuppansha). Born in Hamamatsu City, Shizuoka Prefecture.

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