Kawaguchi Haruna’s Popularity is Soaring as an Effect of Her Great Performance in “Chimu Dondon”! | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Kawaguchi Haruna’s Popularity is Soaring as an Effect of Her Great Performance in “Chimu Dondon”!

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Haruna Kawaguchi gives another fine performance in the NHK morning drama “Chimu Dodon”

NHK’s morning drama “Chimu Dondon” is off to a good start, and as it enters its third week, the main characters have finally grown up.

The story is about Nobuko (Yuna Kuroshima, 25), who was born and raised in the Yanbaru region of Okinawa Prefecture. Through Okinawan cuisine, she aspires to become a chef and eventually opens an Okinawan restaurant in Tokyo. The bond between Nobuko’s mother and her three brothers and sisters is also a highlight of the drama.

Among the close siblings, the one who has attracted the most attention is Nobuko’s older sister, Yoshiko, who is an elementary school teacher. She has been called “Madonna” since her high school days, and there is said to be a fan club at the elementary school where she is assigned.

The role of Yoshiko is played by Haruna Kawaguchi (27), an actress whose popularity has been soaring recently. In 2008, she played the role of Kicho, the wife of Nobunaga Oda, in the NHK historical drama “Kirin ga Kuru” (The Kirin Comes), replacing Erika Sawajiri. This role was a big hit, catapulting her to the position of the leading actress.

However, Kawaguchi is known to have once been dishonored with the title of “Queen of Low Viewer Ratings.” Even though she was a hit with the audience, how was it possible for her to pull off such a near-miraculous comeback? We interviewed people familiar with the entertainment industry to find out.

Haruna Kawaguchi starred in “My Husband’s Girlfriend” in 2001, which recorded the lowest viewer rating of 3.0% for a drama in the prime time slot, excluding TV Tokyo. The drama was eventually canceled, and TBS even commented that they regretted having produced it.

Some people felt sorry for Kawaguchi because the story involved adultery, saying that she had drawn the ire of women, but this was not the case. In 2007, she co-starred in the movie “Till I Meet My Love in September” with Issei Takahashi, who was then on a meteoric rise, but this too turned out to be a flop. Personally, I thought that Haruna Kawaguchi was finished as an actress.” (Entertainment editor)

Why was she chosen to replace Erika Sawajiri?

As everyone knows, she makes a great comeback in “Kirin ga Kuru” (The Kirin Comes).

She was selected to replace Erika Sawajiri because her schedule was open at that very last minute. It is believed that the number of offers for her had decreased drastically. However, Kawaguchi did an excellent job of playing the role of the hungry Kicho. She was highly praised, not only by young people but also by the older generation, who are the audience for the Taiga, who said, “That actress was good.

Kawaguchi had often played dainty heroines or school flowery heroines. But this was not good. She had originally gained popularity as a model for the junior fashion magazine “Nicola,” gaining support from female readers. However, because of her appearance, she was too impeccable to win the sympathy of her female fans if she went the orthodox route. In addition, there was nothing unexpected, and it lacked interest. That is why the opposite character, Kicho, was the one to bring about a comeback.

It is true that Kawaguchi, with her innocent expression, had a huge impact when she uttered such frightening lines as, “May I go to the temple to strike? However, her performance was popular not only because of the gap between her appearance and the role she played. Kawaguchi herself is not yet separated from the character of Kicho.

In fact, I got the impression that Ms. Kawaguchi, like Kicho, was an actress with a lot of guts. She has no hidden motives, and she never smiles or says beautiful things that she doesn’t mean. She talks and laughs a lot and makes funny faces between takes. On the other hand, if she is cold, she clearly states that it is cold, and she does not force his way into a conversation she is not interested in. She is cheerful and very easy to understand.

So, I don’t know if I should put it this way, but she is not the type of innocent and dainty heroine that I used to play before Kicho (laugh). Recently, she has been appearing in an increasing number of roles where her unique character comes alive, such as as the wife of a mobster, mainly the reason for her popularity. Yoshiko in “Chimu Dondon” is also a madonna, but she is also very confident in her roles. She has a strong temperament, as when she says to a man who is following her, “There’s no chance! I feel that this is a role that she will be able to play well, following on from her role in “Kicho”.

A single role can change an actor’s career for the better or worse. Acting is a terrifying and fascinating job.

  • Interview and text by Nanako

    Born in Ehime Prefecture. After working at a broadcasting station, she became a freelance writer. She specializes in interviews with celebrities and analysis of popular events, and is always on the lookout for serial dramas and popular Japanese movies. She is a well-known beautiful writer in the magazine industry.

  • Photographed by Yusuke Kondo

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