Fuji TV’s ‘Umibe no Hajimari’: Can Romance Revamp Lead to Success for Ren Meguro? | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Fuji TV’s ‘Umibe no Hajimari’: Can Romance Revamp Lead to Success for Ren Meguro?

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In his most recent starring role in “Trillion Game,” his haughty character became the talk of the town (June 9, ’23 issue).

It was announced that Ren Meguro (27) of the popular group “Snow Man” will star in “Umi no Hajimari” (The Beginning of the Sea) starting in July, his first appearance on Fuji Television’s Gekkinen. The film is an original work based on the theme of parent-child love, and Meguro is taking on the role of a father for the first time. Meguro will take on the difficult role of a father who meets his 6-year-old daughter, whom he had secretly borne after his ex-girlfriend passes away.

Fuji had refrained from using former Johnny’s members in the wake of the sexual assault scandal involving the company’s founder, the late Johnny Kitagawa, and had terminated four programs featuring members of the former Johnny’s group during its spring reorganization.

However, as if nothing had happened, the use of the former Johnny’s cast resumed, probably to increase the number of views on TVer and to earn the core viewer rating of 13-49 year olds, which is a priority for the company. Ryosuke Yamada (31) of “Hey Say!

The production team for “Umi no Hajimari” includes the staff of “silent” (October 2010), in which Meguro played the role of a young man with hearing loss, and which caused a social phenomenon. The film was written by Miku Ubukata, directed by Taiki Kazama, and produced by Ken Murase of the same station.

The station’s flagship series, Tsuki 9, aired “Cinderella in Midsummer” in the July season last year, the first royal road love story in seven years since “I Love You” in the July season of 2004. Since then, “Because You Gave Me Your Heart” in the January season this year and “366 Days,” currently airing, are both tragic love stories.

However, in this film, Meguro, who used to belong to Johnny’s and is very popular among young women, plays the lead role, but Sena Izutani (Rana Izutani, 6), a child prodigy, is cast as Meguro’s partner. The film is not a love story, but a “father-son” story.

The staff of “silent,” including Mr. Ikkata and Mr. Murase, gathered together to produce “ichiban hana” (The flower I love the most), which starred Mikako Tabe (35), Kohei Matsushita (37), Mio Imada (27), and Kamio Fūju (25) as “quatloos. The theme of the drama was “Can friendship be formed between a man and a woman?” It was a novel drama that depicted “friendship” and “love” spun by four men and women who have led different lives, as well as the “feelings” that arise from these two different emotions.

Although the drama was well received on the Internet each time it aired, the average household rating for all 11 episodes was 5.1% (Video Research, Kanto region), which was not very good. This time, the drama took a new direction by featuring a former Johnny’s and a child actor in the Gekkan 9 series.

Media and culture critic Hiroyoshi Usui points out, “I see this as a drama written by Miku Ubukata rather than a drama by Ren Meguro.

Although “silent” is a romantic drama in the broad sense, it is not what one would expect from a romantic drama between a man and a woman. It was a “romantic” drama about the difficulties of life for a young man with a handicap, and many people sympathized with it.

This time, the theme seems to be “family” and “parent-child,” but since it is Ikata-san’s drama, it is not a straight family drama. I think it is a story of “parent-child” and “family” with perhaps a touch of bitterness. In this day and age when the forms of “family” are becoming increasingly diverse, dramatizing the theme of family from a different perspective is a worthwhile endeavor.

If we had only half-heartedly tried to gain popularity and support with romance dramas, as we have done in the past, this might not have been possible, but I think Fuji Television needs to try something like this.

(Mr. Usui) So, will it become a social phenomenon hit like “Silent” did when it was broadcast?

I don’t think it will be a huge hit in terms of viewer ratings. I don’t think it will be a big hit in terms of viewer ratings. However, there is a sense of empathy or resonance that is slowly conveyed in the drama, which is unique to serial dramas, so there is a possibility that the drama will have a bigger impact than the apparent ratings.

Since Fuji’s Tsuki 9 is a high-profile slot, the works that air are often topical, but will “The Beginning of the Sea” be the first “topical” work in a long time in a “good” sense?

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Haruna Kawaguchi reunites with her ex-boyfriend Meguro in a famous scene at the end of the first episode of “silent” (Nov. 25, ’22 issue)
She also looks dignified in a face shield (November 25, 2010 issue).
In March 2011, “silent” won numerous awards, including the “Tver Award” for having over 73 million views (November 25, 2010 issue).
Filming began on a sunny day that was still hot. Between scenes, staff members came to Meguro, who was wearing a heavy costume, to wipe the sweat off his face.
  • PHOTO Yusuke Kondo

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