Why NHK’s Morning Drama Boogie Woogie Ended with an Incomplete Final Episode | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Why NHK’s Morning Drama Boogie Woogie Ended with an Incomplete Final Episode

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NHK’s morning drama “Boogie Woogie” has reached its final episode. Shuri played the heroine. (from NHK’s official website)

The NHK morning drama “Boogie Woogie” reached its grand finale with Hanada Suzuko’s (played by Shuri) farewell concert, concluding the six-month “singing and dancing” drama.

This morning drama was inspired by the model of the heroine, Kasagi Shizuko, who was a post-war superstar known as the “Queen of Boogie.” In the final episode, she performed a live rendition of “Tokyo Boogie Woogie,” earning praise for her breathtaking performance.

However, there are also voices of skepticism regarding Suzuko’s retirement.

“In Episode 125, aired on March 28, Suzuko confessed her reason for retirement, saying she wanted to be the best puppet for composer Yoshiichi Hatori (played by Tsuyoshi Kusanagi). However, since there were hardly any scenes depicting physical limitations leading up to this moment, many viewers were left puzzled,” says a producer from the production company.

During the war, Suzuko believed in the power of entertainment and overcame numerous hardships. But with the end of the war, Suzuko faced the greatest crisis of her life.

After giving birth to her beloved daughter, her husband Aisuke (played by Koji Mizukami) passed away without ever seeing her. 

“I want to die too.” 

She murmured, but with the release of the hit song “Tokyo Boogie Woogie,” Suzuko revived like a phoenix. This miraculous V-shaped recovery was the highlight of the show, providing more than enough catharsis for the audience.

However, given the subsequent noticeable stagnation, one might wonder if “Boogie Woogie” should not have ended with the big hit of “Tokyo Boogie Woogie.” I’m sure I’m not the only one who had such thoughts.


However, in the last two weeks, “Boogie Woogie” awakens. Ayumi Mizuki (played by Sakura Aoi), the successor to Reiko Yamato, whom Suzuko respected during her days in the Umemaru Girls Opera Group, appears like a comet and stands in Suzuko’s way.


“A rival who appeared to awaken Suzuko, who was losing her shine as a singer. While this development may seem outdated, it reminded me of ‘Ashita no Joe,’ a hugely successful manga series that was adapted into anime and live-action movies. When Joe, unable to lift his face after the shock of his eternal rival Toru Rikishi’s death, becomes a drifter boxer, it seems like it’s all over. But then Carlos Rivera, the ‘Uncrowned Emperor,’ appears, and through their fierce battle, Joe revives. Could Ayumi Mizuki be the Carlos Rivera who will revive Suzuko? That’s the kind of expectation I had,” says a director from the production company.


As the New Year’s Eve special program “All-Star Male and Female Singing Contest” approaches, the media stirs up excitement with a showdown between old and new. In the midst of this, Ayumi Mizuki volunteers to sing Suzuko’s “Trumpet and Daughter.” The battle between the two that starts from here is expected to be the final climax, and it’s both thrilling and exciting. However, such expectations are disappointingly shattered.


“I got so much energy from your singing, and that’s why I could sing like that in the end.”


“I watched you and thought I should quit my life as a singer.”


“I’m passing the baton to you. Do your best.”


Suzuko decides to retire from singing without even fighting, causing a feeling of weakness that is hard to describe.


The anticipation raised by Ayumi Mizuki’s appearance turns into disappointment, and Hanada Suzuko finally reaches the grand finale of her singing career without burning out. Is this really the right answer?


Speaking of the screenwriter for this work, Shin Adachi, his representative work is the movie “The 100 Yen Love” starring Sakura Ando (2014). At the age of 32, still living a lazy life at her parents’ house, Ichiko (Ando) is kicked out one day and starts living alone while working at a 100-yen shop. There, she encounters boxing and obtains a license to enter the ring at the last minute.


Facing off against the opponent known as the “Black Panther,” Ichiko stands up again and again no matter how many times she’s knocked down. That scene, where she struggles to break free from her lazy life, conveys a sense of determination in the face of death. Its freshness and catharsis are beyond words. In this work, Ando won the Japan Academy Award for Best Actress for the first time. Adachi also won the Best Screenplay Award.


In her fourth attempt at a morning drama, Shuri secured the heroine role at the age limit of 32. Aside from her overwhelming performance, we wanted to see her struggle and rise again.


  • Text 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 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). She has also published the e-book series "Ibun chakurezuregusa" ("Different Stories about Craftsmen").

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