Mio Imada to Take the Lead Role of “Waru”, a Remake After 30 Years! | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Mio Imada to Take the Lead Role of “Waru”, a Remake After 30 Years!

Special interview First starring in the masterpiece manga "Waru", which will be made into a drama for the first time in 30 years

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“It’s kind of weird that my name is written first (laughs).” She can’t help but smile with the script of her first starring role in his hands.Mio Imada (25) was full of energy even though she has been filming from early morning to night every day since the film was released in March. Her bob with its sweeping curves looks surprisingly good.

She said, “I was offered the lead role in … when was it? (Checking with her manager) It was around last summer. I didn’t tell my family I’m going to play the lead role! I told them naturally over dinner.”

“My mother was interested, saying things like, ‘Are you filming now’  My father, on the other hand, never says it out loud, but he is always the first to buy and read the original story of the drama I’m in. I really feel that he is looking forward to it.”


The original story of this drama is “Waru”. It is a popular manga from the early Heisei era.

“I was more anxious about playing the lead role for the first time, but I was looking forward to playing the role of Maririn Tanaka in Waru. I have never played a character this bright and cheerful, so I had high expectations for how I would turn out.”

Marisuzu is a pure and clumsy new employee who makes mistake after mistake, but is not discouraged and works hard to get closer to the senior whom she admires.

“She is a difficult character to play, but she works hard and rises to the occasion. The original work has a very manga-like touch, the way it moves pops, and the scene where she meets TO (Osamu Mukai), the man of his dreams, is so sparkling. I wondered how I could express these feelings and become Marisuzu Tanaka.”

The original serialization of the story began in 1988, and it was dramatized once 30 years ago with Hikari Ishida (49) in the lead role. The director says that he was also concerned about how to make the story different from the previous one.


“I think I was able to express my personality by changing my hair style after consulting with the staff, and by wearing a necktie and making my costume pop. The other thing I did was to be active. Just like in the original, I am running around.  There is a scene in which she slides on both feet and slams on the brakes.Marisuzu is a straight-forward and lovable girl who can do the most outlandish things without hesitation.”

“On the other hand, I am the one who is always worried about people’s eyes, wondering if everything I do is okay. I think that if I could be like that, I would be invincible,  but it is difficult to play the role without feeling uncomfortable. The only overlap between Marisuzu and me is that we both like to … drink. (Laughs).”

Another thing she was looking forward to was co-starring with Noriko Eguchi (41) in this film. She plays a senior in the equipment management section who advises her, “To get ahead in life, you need to be a bad girl.”

She says, “I’m really stimulated. I talk with Ms. Eguchi about all kinds of things, and it’s a lot of fun. Marisuzu has moved up in the world and is no longer in the equipment management section, but Ms. Eguchi talks every episode. The original story takes place in the Heisei era. The way women work has changed dramatically since then.”

“However, Marisuzu’s charm has not faded at all. I hope you will support Marisuzu as she grows up with the help of various people!”

The co-stars and staff are warm and relaxed (Imada), and the third picture is the scene where she says “Zusaaaat!”. She is just so energetic!
Mio Imada’s first starring role in “Waru” Special interview
Mio Imada plays the leading role in “Waru” for the first time.
Special interview with Mio Imada, starring in “Bad Girl” for the first time.From “FRIDAY” April 29, 2022 issue
  • Photographed by Takeshi Kinugawa (2nd)

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