“Ani Kaeru” kicks off WOWOW’s “Drama W”

WOWOW has revealed its starting lineup for the year in its “Drama W” series. So far, three dramas have been announced, which will air on consecutive weeks next month.

The first is “Ani Kaeru,” adapted from the manga by Yoko Kondo. Kazuya Takahashi plays Koichi, the eldest child of the Noda family, who essentially had to become the head of the house after his father disappeared. One day, he also disappears, leaving behind his fiancee Makiko (Yoshino Kimura) and the rest of the family. Three years later, he comes home after a traffic accident, unable to say a word. Wondering where he was and why he left, Makiko begins a journey to retrace his steps.

The second drama is “Senryokugai Tsuukoku,” based on a novel by Yoshinaga Fujita. The story revolves around Hideaki Utsugi (Masatoshi Nakamura), who joined a clothing company after graduation. With his wife Eriko (Jun Fubuki) supporting him at home, he becomes successful at work and is about to be appointed as an executive. However, the company president suddenly dies and is succeeded by his son, who treats Utsugi poorly. Utsugi resigns but has difficulty finding a new job. In addition, Eriko starts working, leading to problems at home. At that point, Utsugi ends up attending a junior high school reunion and meets his old classmates, including his first love (Kyoko Maya). But while everyone seems fine on the surface, they are all actually suffering from their own hardships.

The last of the three dramas is “Choushokutei,” an adaptation of a work by writer Koji Nishida. The show centers on Choushokutei, a small restaurant in Tokyo’s Taito ward, where a group of ten local residents share breakfast every morning before the shop opens. Each leads a troubled life, but they find comfort in their common meal, even though they don’t say much to each other. One day, they learn that the drunk driver who killed the restaurant owner’s son (Hiroyuki Ikeuchi) four years ago is about to be released from prison. At the time of his death, the son had uttered his final words to his wife-to-be, but in reality those words had been meant for Misako (Asaka Seto), an OL who is one of the ten people sharing breakfast at Choushokutei. Slowly, the truth of the past comes out.

The three dramas will air in WOWOW’s Saturday 8:00pm time slot. “Ani Kaeru” will go first on February 14, followed by “Senryokugai Tsuukoku” on February 21 and “Choushokutei” on February 28.


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