Actors Matsuda Ryuhei and Eita, who have been co-stars in at least four movies, are pairing up with director One Hitoshi of the hit movie Moteki, for TV Tokyo’s drama Mahoro Ekimae Bangaichi next year.
The drama is an adaptation of the sequel to Miura Shion’s 2006 Naoki Prize winning novel, Mahoro Ekimae Tada Benriken, which was made into a movie that the two actors starred in, in early 2011.
Set in front of the train station in the fictional town of Mahoro on the outskirts of Tokyo is Tada Benriken, a small business which does odd jobs. There is its owner, the solemn and level-headed Tada Keisuke, and his unexpected guest, the easygoing but vague Gyoten Haruhiko, a former junior high school classmate who showed up one day and started to sponge on him. The two of them have a tenuous relationship. They get on like oil and water, and yet are somehow inseparable. More than old schoolmates, but not quite good friends.
Just like the movie, the drama will have the two characters receive queer, dubious incoming odd job requests. Nevertheless, they accept these requests, and what comes into view are the fabric of human relationships behind the clients. Tada and Gyoten are unable leave their clients alone on some pretext or other. And so, they get deeply involved in their lives and settle the odd jobs in their own way.
This is a combination that is enough to get me interested even though some viewers have described the movie Mahoro Ekimae Tada Benriken as an unsatisfyingly meandering story about underdogs despite the interesting material it was adapted from and actors like Eita and Matsuda Ryuhei. Director One Hitoshi might be the key man to decide which way it swings.
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Well even if it will be a slow “meandering” story. I’m in.
I’d watch Matsuda pricking his teeth for 90min…