Join WOWOW in an exploration of the enigma of the human psyche with Marks no Yama this October. The drama is adapted from Naoki Prize winner Takamura Kaoru’s famous bestseller of the same name which has sold more than 1,000,000 copies and is considered the greatest detective novel.
A former mafia boss of Tokyo’s Meguro district and the head of the Ministry of Justice’s Criminal Affairs Division are murdered one after another. While Assistant Inspector Goda Yuichiro of the First Investigative Division’s Seventh Section pursues the riddles surrounding these bizarre deaths, he comes under pressure from the top brass, and suspects his university classmates, who have succeeded as a lawyer and a president of a construction company, of corruption. Then, as the investigation runs into trouble, a mysterious youth who identifies himself as Marks makes a telephone call with a murder warning …
Looking back on the filming which was centred on the mountains of the Southern Alps between late April to early July, Kamikawa Takaya who plays Goda, speaks of the difficulties of the shoot, “This year has been extremely hot, but because the setting of the drama is autumn, we had to wear coats while filming. The amount we have perspired surpasses any production. Osugi Ren-san had difficulty breathing on the mountains at an altitude of 2,300m.”
The cast also had to transport equipment during the location shoot on the mountains. The veteran male actors flash wry grins as they reflect on their “ordeals”.
Kohinata Fumiyo who stars as Rinbara Yuzo, a lawyer and Director of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations, had a scene where he had to run down a steep slope at a high altitude where the air was thin. “Each time NG was called out, I had to go down and then up the slope. When I thought of how old we were, I really felt a spurt of anger,” he laughingly shares.
Mizusawa Hiroyuki aka Marks, the youth with a dark past who has turned to crime, is played by Kora Kengo in his first role for WOWOW. “I’m not really sure that I nailed the character, but I was lonely when we finished shooting. It was a set which seemed to strongly influence my role.” Toda Naho who plays his lover, Takagi Machiko, says of her character, “To Machiko, Mizusawa is more important than her own life. A man with a pure soul. She cannot be without him. And I portrayed Machiko with this awareness.”
The five-part drama will be broadcast every Sunday at 10.00 p.m. from 17 October.
It has been a slow summer for me (not unexpected) and I gladly welcome the arrival of fall which brings with it the promise of some quality dramas. Still, I wish there were better story lines, casts and not so many sequels. And I inwardly cringe that even WOWOW is not safe from Fukada Kyoko. But I guess one can’t have it all. I had great expectations for Pandora II ~ Kiga Retto but the drama though intriguing was a disappointment because it had too many echoes of Pandora that every episode after the first felt like deja vu. The cast also couldn’t steal the thunder from Pandora’s characters which were brilliantly written and acted. I hope Marks no Yama will blow me away. It seems to have all the elements in place …