The drama series “Emergency Room,” also known as “Kintori,” is a very popular detective drama series starring Yuki Amami (54) that started in 2014. For TV Asahi, which produces and broadcasts the series, it has become “blue-chip content” that consistently earns viewer ratings, though not as high as “Partners” and “Doctor X”.
The series was introduced in the same Thursday night 9:00 p.m. slot as “Doctor X,” which is favored by men and women in their 50s and older, and it has done very well. The tension and realism in the interrogation room between Amami’s character, a detective with a history of being transferred to the left, and the criminal, who is not a simple case, has been highly praised. The brilliant script supervised by a former police officer is probably a major factor in its popularity.
Tetsushi Tanaka and the other supporting actors are also very stable, and the series has had four seasons and two specials. A new movie version and a special are currently being filmed. However, there is a problem with “Kintori,” according to a source.
Fans were hoping for a Season 5 in the near future, but the future is not looking good. It is said within the station that Kintori will end with a movie and a special, and that there is a possibility that Season 5 will not be produced.
It is somewhat unfortunate that we will no longer be able to watch this popular drama, which is almost certain to have double-digit viewer ratings when it airs. What happened?
The bottleneck is Fumiyo Kohinata, who plays a detective from the Metropolitan Police Department’s Investigation Division 2. Mr. Kohinata is approaching 70 years of age (he will turn 69 next January), and some say, ‘Isn’t it tough for him to play a realistic police officer? Bringing in another actor for a new role is a common pattern in long-running dramas and long series, not to mention the example of “Taiyo ni Hoero”. However, Mr. Kohinata is an irreplaceable part of the investigation team. So, it seems that there is talk of ‘if things continue as they are, season 5 will be difficult.
What comes to mind then is the “Partners” series mentioned at the beginning of this article. Yutaka Mizutani, who stars in the series, turned 70 this July. Considering the “Kohinata incident” and the return of the original Yasufumi Terawaki as the sidekick, it would not be surprising if he retired from “Partners” at any time. In fact, when Terashima’s return was announced, the possibility of Mizutani’s “retirement” was widely reported.
Of course, there is the view that since both Kintori and Partners are fictional, there is no need to worry about realistic age. It is true that there is no one working as a detective at the age of 70, and since Kintori is a realistic character, it may be necessary to make his age more consistent. However, I believe that the overwhelming majority of viewers can enjoy the show as a fiction,” said a major entertainment executive.
On the other hand, he also has this view.
Utsui Ken and Ishizaka Koji, who have both appeared in the same buddy series, played roles that were about 20 years younger than their actual age. There is a difference between playing a top police officer and an old man like Koumon-sama, after all. Neither Mr. Kohinata nor Mr. Mizutani gives the impression of being 70 years old on screen, and in the end, I think it all comes down to how the actors think.
In the end, I think it comes down to how the actors think about it. However, the other side of the coin may be that the time to “pull out” is when it shows up on the screen.
Photography： Yasuko Sakaguchi