Thursdays, 10.00 – 10.54 p.m. from 12 April 2012
Talk of merging the financially beleaguered Yume City with a neighbouring municipality is underway. This city which once flourished as the “town of music” has seen the closure of many factories and the shopping district in the city centre also has many businesses that have closed down. After being the star of a popular theatre troupe, Kurasaka Mio, who hails from Yume City, went to New York alone, her sights set on Broadway. However, she gets no chances in this world of real show business, and is eventually told by her agent that there are no plans for the next audition. Then, Mio receives an invitation from her high school teacher, Mori Kanae, who is the director of the civic centre. She had started the choral group ‘Chansons’ and won the national championships five years in a row during her days as a music teacher. Thinking that it is an invitation to be on a big stage, Mio returns to Japan with great expectations. At that same moment, Isaka Kiyotada, Yume City’s mayor and a proponent of the merger, attempts to demolish the music hall to make way for the prefecture’s largest garbage disposal facility. However, his daughter, Chuko, who is a leading member of the ‘Chansons’, opposes this plan because the choral group bases its activities in the music hall. She decides to revive the ‘Chansons’ together with Kanae, despite the objections of her husband Tetsuro who is a city official. Mio visits Kanae and is asked to coach the group with the aim of staging a comeback performance three months later. Due to the circumstances, Mio accepts her request. However, while there were 40 members 10 years ago, now there is just Chuko and two housewives Baba Mizore and Minagawa Tamako. Mio holds an audition, but the people who come are complete amateurs … …
Amami Yuki as Kurasaka Mio
She used to be one of Japan’s best known musical stars. Although she went over to New York’s Broadway, she did not achieve success. Her only a stage appearance was as a substitute actress in the musical Chorus Line. While she is waiting for her next audition, she is contacted by her high school teacher, Mori Kanae, who wants her to return to her hometown of Yume City. She returns to Japan in high spirits for the sake of her teacher. However, what awaits her is not a big stage but a choral group called the Chansons. She is asked to guide the Chansons so that the group can stage a successful comeback concert planned for three months later. She strives to coach them to sing and dance freely in order to break their existing concept of choruses.
Ishida Yuriko as Isaka Chuko
The leader of the Chansons. A descendant of a family that has carried on a school of Japanese imperial court music. She learnt to vocalise since young and thought that music was her calling. But after she married Tetsuro, a staff of the city’s municipal office, she has led a life of restraint as a wife and daughter of a mayor. She entrusted by her former high school teacher, Mori Kanae, with the task of reviving the Chansons before the music hall is demolished, but it is hard to get te ex-members together. While she is at her wits end, she meets Kurasaka Mio who has returned from New York’s Broadway. Because she is the type who is respectful of tradition, she objects to Mio’s attempts to change the existing choral style. She is stressed by relationships with her father, the present mayor who is promoting the city’s merger, and her husband, who does whatever her father says.
Oshima Yuko as Nonomura Mahiru
A student who attends a local university. She joins the Chansons because she adores Kurasaka Mio. Although she works part-time at a bento shop beside the university that she attends, she tends to have work pushed onto her because she is reserved. She is looking for a job, but has not been able to express herself properly at interviews. Her record of failed interviews now number 53. Because she is not good at songs, she is not able to project her voice well when she gets nervous and drags everyone else down. However, she loves songs more than anyone else.
Tamayama Tetsuji as Inui Kazuki
He seems to be a former member of a rock band, but the details are not known. He now works at an iron works as a welder. He is invited by Takagaki Shinobu, an office worker at the same company, to join the Chansons, but he completely ignores it. Something appears to have happened in his past … …
Katase Nana as Sakurai Rena
A receptionist at Yume City’s municipal office. A beautiful, enigmatic woman whose pastime is to seduce men. During the day, she is all smiles at the municipal office’s reception counter while during practice, she is a cool, cynical and tough person. In truth, her hobbies are singing karaoke and dancing alone.
Koizumi Kotaro as Isaka Tetsuro
Isaka Chuko’s husband. A staff member of the Regional Development Division at Yume City’s municipal office. He met Chuko at the municipal office. Love blossomed between them and he married into the Isaka family. Caught between his father-in-law, the current mayor who is promoting the city’s merger and also trying to destroy the Chansons, and his wife, he attempts to make Chuko quit the group.
Kishibe Ittoku as Isaka Kiyotada
The current mayor of Yume City and the father of Isaka Chuko. He is not only pressing forward with radical structural reforms for the debt-ridden city in an attempt to advance its merger with Yasumi City, but also preparing to demolish the music hall which is the Chansons base to make way for a refuse disposal facility. He sternly declares that his son-in-law, Tetsuro, should make Chuko, who is doing everything she can to revive the Chansons, quit the group.
Kuno Akiko as Mori Kanae
The director of the civic centre where the Chansons base their activities. She used to be a music teacher at Yume High School and the adviser to its choral group. Kurasaka Mio and Isaka Chuko are both her ex-students. She was the key figure who set up the Chansons and led it to victory in the national championships、She summons Mio to Japan and asks her to turn the Chansons around.
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