Theme song:Konya Tsuki no Mieru oka ni (今夜 月の見える丘に) by B'z
Synopsis by Jas
Okishima Shuji is a skilled hair stylist, taking pride in his work, but finds it difficult to be sociable and glib, and therefore is not too popular with
the customers. He comes from a family of doctors, but he himself had failed to enter medical school. He has a rival in colleague Kawamura
Satoru who is popular and considered a "charisma" type of hair stylist.
Machida Kyoko has been unable to walk since she was in high school, because of a type of diffuse collagen disease which atrophies the
muscles. Although handicapped, she is very capable, with a job at a library, and can manage most things in daily life. However, she has
resolved long ago not to form romantic relationships. She is the daughter of an old brewery, which is now run by her older brother Masao.
The rest of the cast include Mizuno Miki who plays the heroine's best friend, Ikeuchi Hiroyuki who plays an intern who admires Shuji, and Hara
Chiaki who plays Shuji's girlfriend (ex?).
Shooting started on 10th December. Takuya has said in TV Guide that he is looking very much forward to it.
A high caliber cast, a good script and a little innovative thinking can work wonders in the world of TV entertainment. Japanese heartthrob
Takuya Kimura, top actress Takako Tokiwa and a script by hitmaker Eriko Kitagawa did just that for TBS's latest Sunday night drama ``Beautiful
Life'' (Sundays from 9 p.m.), which has emerged as the season's biggest hit drama.
The season opener scored a 31.78 percent rating-the highest a TV drama has scored in its first week on air in a decade.
Kimura, also known as Kimutaku, is the 27-year-old member of the popular male idol group SMAP. He has also starred in Fuji Television
Network's TV series ``Long Vacation'' and ``Love Generation,'' which both marked more than 30 percent in ratings in their first week. His last
drama, ``Nemureru Mori'' (The Sleeping Forest) also proved a hit. ``Kimutaku is one of those few Japanese stars with charisma and a strong
presence,'' said the show's producer, Seiichiro Kijima. But it is Kitagawa's simple and believable love story that is drawing in
viewers as well.
The romance between an aspiring hairdresser (Kimura) and a librarian who uses a wheelchair (Tokiwa) may not be a common story, but the
scriptwriter said she had no intention of creating a social drama that focused too heavily on the life of a physically challenged person. ``I wanted
to write a love story about two people with different values,'' she said.
Toru Ota, director of Fuji TV's first production division, who produced many popular dramas in the 1990s, observed: ``(Beautiful Life) proved
how strong a love story can be if it takes up the subject close to real. While TV dramas are getting more sophisticated and more difficult to
understand lately, its simple story line must have appealed to viewers.''
The show posted a 28.4 percent rating for its second episode and, now into its fourth week, is still holding strong.
This is the first time the Sunday evening time frame, usually reserved for family dramas, has featured a romantic drama marketed at young
viewers and its strong showing is persuading its creators to plan similar shows.