Actor Yuji Oda (54) has reached a turning point.
Recently, Oda’s name has been reported in the media mostly as a celebrity, such as his appointment as the main anchor of “World Championships in Athletics” (TBS) for 13 consecutive events. In fact, his current work is centered on hosting NHK’s documentary program “Humanity Q (Quest),” and he has also appeared in the drama “SUITS/Suits 2” (TBS), which aired two years ago. He last starred in the dramas “Suits 2” (Fuji Television) and “Shuhei Nozaki, the President” (WOWOW), which aired two years ago. He has not been active as an actor since his last starring role in the dramas “Suits 2” (Fuji TV) and “Shuhei Nozaki, the President” (WOWOW).
He has not been short of offers,” said Mr. Oda. There is a gap between the roles he wants to play and the roles he is asked to play,” said an employee of a commercial key station.
Among these, Fuji Television is the one that continues to send enthusiastic offers to Oda as an actor. It is said that Fuji Television is eager to produce a sequel to one of Oda’s best-known works, the “Odoru Daisousasen” series. However, Oda is said to be reluctant to accept the offer.
Oda-san is not good at playing comical roles like Shunsaku Aoshima, the main character he played in “Bayside Shakedown”. What he wants to play is a serious and cool role. For Fuji, he has played the main character in the drama “Diplomat: Kousaku Kuroda,” or Noon Kai in “Suits. or Sarajuki Houmonji in TBS’s “IQ246”. (TBS’s “IQ246: The Great Case Files”). Unfortunately, none of them did well in the ratings. Fuji seems to want to bring back “Odoru Daisousasen” even if it is a special program. ……
Reason for Shifting from Actor to TV Personality
Ironically, in addition to “Bayside Shakedown,” Oda’s works that have received high ratings include “Tokyo Love Story” and “Money is No More! (both Fuji), and most of his roles have been comical in nature. However, while Fuji wanted a sequel to “Bayside Shakedown”, Oda wanted to produce a third installment of “Suits”.
Oda said, “Fuji in the past would have been able to meet Mr. Oda’s request. However, Fuji, which is currently suffering from a slump in viewer ratings, has no money. Suits” is a remake of the Hollywood production of the same name. The royalty fee, which is said to be several million yen, may have become a bottleneck,” said an advertising agency official.
Oda is said to be changing his mind in the face of Fuji’s disastrous situation.
It seems that he has come to question the nature of TV dramas, which are so focused on viewer ratings,” said an advertising agency official. He also felt the limitations of filming dramas in the midst of the new COVID-19 crisis. This is the reason why the main focus of his work shifted from acting to talent work” (a person involved in entertainment production).
Oda, however, could not afford to rest on his laurels. His life’s work as MC of “World Championships in Athletics” will end at the end of this year. Also, the ratings for “Humanity Q” have not been good.
Mr. Oda seems to be considering devoting himself to his talent business. As Shosuke Tanihara is the main anchor of “Mezamashi 8” (Fuji TV), he will be a full-fledged MC for information programs and the like.
From actor to MC ……. Will Oda be able to make a brilliant transition?
Photography： Yuri Adachi, Akifumi Yoshida