Yurina Hirate, 21, saved the dying drama “Roppongi Class” (TV Asahi).
The Korean drama “Itaewon Class” was distributed on Netflix in 2008 and became such a hit that it became a social phenomenon. Roppongi Class” is a Japanese remake of the original, but unfortunately, when it started airing, the viewership ratings dropped dramatically from the first episode.
In the third episode, the ratings reached a dangerous low of 7%, but in the fourth episode, broadcast on July 28, the ratings rose quickly to 8.1%. It is said that viewership ratings cannot be relied upon now that real-time viewing has decreased, but even so, this dramatic recovery of 1.1% cannot be overlooked.
In fact, the high level of interest is beginning to be seen everywhere, with “#RoppongiClass” trending in second place on Twitter and ranking third in TV program viewing on Netflix, which is streaming the program simultaneously.
Comments such as “I can’t wait for the next broadcast,” and “I’m a total fan! It is no exaggeration to say that the show is on the verge of becoming a social phenomenon.
Background of the higher evaluation than the “original Iso
Why was “Roppongi Class” so successful? We interviewed people familiar with the drama.
The biggest reason is the appearance of Yurina Hirate. She plays the role of Aoi Asamiya, who was played by Kim Dami in the original drama, and she fits the role to a tee. When “Itaewon Class” was first released, it was a big hit as a new heroine. She is not protected by a man, but instead creates her own happiness by saying, “I will make your dreams come true.
Hirate-san, to think of it, was also a steadfast center of Keyakizaka 46, but decided to leave the group of her own volition at the young age of 18. Furthermore, her performance in “Roppongi Class” was opposed by her office, and she even caused an uproar of independence. In the entertainment industry, where the power of the office is said to be strong, Aoi is one of the rare individuals who have been able to carry out her own will to that extent. This is the perfect match with the image of Aoi as a strong woman, and I think she has been very well received.
In fact, some are even beginning to say that she is even better than the original Aoi.
“Since this iso is a new type of heroine, I think the actress who plays her was chosen based on the criteria of ‘a new type of beautiful woman. In Korea, Western actresses with a double-faceted face have been popular, but Kim Dami, who plays the role of Iso, has a completely different face. However, because Iso was portrayed as “extremely beautiful and popular,” Japanese people who were unaware of the changing trends in Korean beauty were somewhat confused. On the other hand, Hirate is a “new type of beauty” that Japanese people can easily accept. In fact, she seems to have been well received as she fits in better than the original Korean actress.
Of course, the drama’s recovery can be attributed to a variety of factors, including Ryoma Takeuchi’s excellent performance in the lead role and the fact that the story is faithful to the original story down to the smallest detail, so the fun factor is not lost. However, the heart of this drama lies in the new heroine, Aoi. Without Ms. Hirate’s fine performance, the revival would not have been possible.
Like the storyline of the drama, “Roppongi Class” is showing a brilliant turnaround. For the time being, it seems unlikely that we will be able to take our eyes off the drama and Yurina Hirate.
Interview and text： 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.
Photography： Toshikatsu Tanaka, Yasuko Sakaguchi