“Eye Love You” Not a Waste of Fumi Nikaido’s Talent; Success on Netflix Propels Her Toward Hollywood | FRIDAY DIGITAL

“Eye Love You” Not a Waste of Fumi Nikaido’s Talent; Success on Netflix Propels Her Toward Hollywood

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Actress Fumi Nikaido, who is gaining popularity with the drama “Eye Love You”. In “SHOGUN Shogun”, she finally made her Hollywood debut.

Actress Fumi Nikaido stars in the Tuesday drama “Eye Love You” (TBS). With each episode, attention is increasingly drawn to her collaboration with rising South Korean actor Che Jung-hyub.

In this drama, the protagonist, Yuuri (Nikaido), who has the ability to hear the thoughts of others when she looks into their eyes, falls in love with a straightforward younger Korean man, Teo (Che), in a fantastical love story. It is being streamed worldwide on Netflix and debuted at the top spot on Japan’s “Today’s Series TOP10,” marking the first time in TBS terrestrial drama history.

It also secured the top spot in the Weekly TOP10.”Additionally, it reached as high as 4th place in the South Korean Weekly TOP10, solidifying its position as one of the season’s top hit contents.

Amidst this success, Nikaido’s performance in the lead role continues to impress.

“In Episode 8, Yuuri is faced with the ultimate choice of whether to give up her telepathic ability to avoid losing what is most precious to her, or to keep it in order to communicate with her beloved father, Makoto (Shiraku Tachikawa). Prompted by the revelation that staring at the person you love for 33 seconds can prevent you from losing what is most important, Yuuri and Makoto share a heartfelt gaze, filled with myriad emotions. The scene where they reluctantly bid farewell truly touched the heart.” (Production company director)

In 2021 as well, Nikaido starred in the Tuesday drama “Promise Cinderella” (TBS). She talked about the appeal of the original work.

“The story development is incredibly engaging, and the psychological portrayal of each character is meticulously crafted, allowing for deep emotional immersion while reading.”

She had commented.

However, upon closer inspection, during the scriptwriting stage, efforts were made to further enhance the interesting aspects of the manga, resulting in exaggeration of handsome and heart-fluttering scenes, while emotional depth necessary for a romance drama was somewhat lacking. Furthermore, due to being overshadowed as merely a supporting role for the handsome male lead, criticism of Fumi Nikaido’s wasted talent also surfaced.

However, such concerns are not seen in this “Eye Love You”.

Producer Keisuke Nakajima, who worked on this project, commented, “It was most significant that Nikaido was chosen for the lead role and that she found this attempt enjoyable.

Furthermore, the story itself might have seemed merely fantastical, but Nikaido’s realistic acting blows away any such worries. She portrayed a protagonist who might make you think, ‘Perhaps they exist right next to us,'” praised the production company’s producer.

Nikaido has left numerous legends as an actor. In 2011, she won the Marcello Mastroianni Award at the Venice International Film Festival at the age of 16 for her role in the movie “Himizu”. In the 2018 NHK Taiga drama “Segodon”, she played the seductive Aikana, earning her the title of Monster of Sensibility from her co-star Ryohei Suzuki.

The pinnacle was in the final episode of the NHK morning drama “Aera” in 2020. Nikaido, who played the heroine, read the script and pleaded directly with the director, Yoshida Teruyuki, to rewrite it entirely. She became the legendary figure who had the script rewritten by the director himself, who also handled the screenplay.

Truly putting her heart and soul into each work, she is a rare talent who doesn’t stick to lead roles but accepts any interesting character, no matter how small.

Yet, there is a rare instance where Nikaido, a manifestation of the spirit of acting, expressed a complaint about a work. It was “Tsuki”, released last year and winner of numerous film awards.

“The film was based on the disability facility stabbing incident that actually occurred in Sagamihara. Playing Yoko, a writer-aspiring staff member who works at the facility alongside the perpetrator, when she won the Best Supporting Actress Award at the Hochi Film Awards, Takao Nakano made a surprise appearance.

Nakano, calling her a brave person, said, ‘She was unusually a bit down when she was working on this project. She seemed to have a lot of worries and thoughts, trying not to hurt anyone, and I think her acting journey itself was lonely and solitary.’ When I watched the main feature, I was surprised and deeply moved to see that she was fulfilling this role with determination and resolution and I hope you continue to be the brave Fumi Nikaido to which Nikaido herself said, ‘Can movies change society?’ expressing strong feelings,” says the aforementioned producer.

Last year, Nikaido also drew attention in the Sunday drama “VIVANT” (TBS). She is currently making her Hollywood debut in the drama “SHOGUN Shogun”, portraying a role reminiscent of the merciless and calculating “Yodo-kimi”.

As she turns 30, it seems she is well-prepared for her overseas venture.

  • Interview and text by Ukon Shima (Broadcaster/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 many 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). She has also published the e-book series "Ibun chakurezuregusa" (Different Stories about Craftsmen).

  • PHOTO Yasuko Sakaguchi

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