Date: From 9.00 p.m., 11, 14 & 15 February 2015
Scriptwriter: Sakurai Takeharu (Tokyo Scarlett, Take Five, Ataru Series)
Original Work: Eien no Zero by Hyakuta Naoki
Cast: Mukai Osamu, Tabe Mikako, Hirosue Ryoko, Kiritani Kenta, Nakamura Aoi, Mitsushima Shinnosuke, Nakao Akiyoshi, Ishiguro Hideo, Kaku Kento, Sawabe Yu, Kudo Asuka, Kanai Yuta, Watanabe Dai, Chihara Seiji, Harada Taizo, Watanabe Konomi, Takahata Atsuko, Kondo Masaomi, Kobayashi Katsuya, Ishibashi Renji, Sasano Takashi, Tsukayama Masane, Ryu Raita, Yamamoto Kei, Ito Shiro, Emoto Akira
Synopsis: In the summer of 2004, 60 years after the end of World War II, Saeki Kentaro (Kiritani Kenta) is asked by his older sister, Keiko (Hirosue Ryoko), a freelance writer, to start looking into their grandfather, Miyabe Kyuzo (Mukai Osamu) for her boyfriend, newspaper reporter Takayama Ryuji’s (Yamaguchi Makiya) ’60th Anniversary Post-war Project’. When their maternal grandmother, Matsuno, passed away six years ago, their grandfather, Oishi Kenichiro (Ito Shiro), told them that he is not their actual grandfather. Even their mother, Kiyoko (Takahata Atsuko), only knows that her biological father died in the war. Keiko sends a query to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. Miyabe is only mentioned in one line. He died in the Ryukyu Islands as a kamikaze pilot just before the end of the war. They check the association for former soldiers and search for people who knew Miyabe at that time. A man called Hasegawa Umeo (Sasano Takashi) replies. When Kentaro and Keiko visit him, they are speechless at the sight of his missing left arm. Hasegawa tells them that their grandfather was the “greatest coward of the navy’s pilots” and starts to talk about his memories of the fierce battles waged in Rabaul and Guadalcanal. At a camp for non-commissioned officers at the Rabaul base in the autumn of 1942, Hasegawa (Nakao Akiyoshi) and other pilots encouraged each other to risk their lives for the sake of the country while many Zero fighter planes went sorties to Guadalcanal never to return. However, Miyabe declared that he would come back alive. This unacceptable statement earned him a punch from Hasegawa. Hasegawa remembers feeling disgusted by how Miyabe fought. Miyabe would always come back without any injuries. Even when Hasegawa himself lost his left arm in combat. Hasegawa, who still hates Miyabe’s cowardice to this day, is meeting Keiko and Kentaro because he wants to hear about how Miyabe had been after the war. He is shocked to learn that Miyabe died in the suicide mission. On the other hand, Keiko and Kentaro are taken aback that their grandfather was a coward. However, they want to know why this “coward” went on a “suicide mission” and died in the war. They conduct interviews with former Zero fighter pilots Ito Kanji (Tsukayama Masane/Chihara Seiji) who was together with Miyabe for more than half a year from the Battle of Pearl Harbour to the Battle of Midway Island, and Isaki Genjiro (Kondo Masaomi/ Mitsushima Shinnosuke) whose life was saved by Miyabe, former maintenance officer Nagai Kiyotaka (Kobayashi Katsuya/Kaku Kento) as well as others … … The image of Miyabe changes completely depending on the witnesses. What kind of person was Miyabe Kyuzo? And there is the question that presents itself. Why did Miyabe get into a Zero fighter plane and lose his life if he kept saying that he was honouring a promise to his wife not to die until he meets their daughter? Ryuji sees the interview records so far, and is amused that these will become the special feature of the ’60th Anniversary Post-war Project’. However, Keiko has mixed feelings. Ryuji proposes that they get married once this work is done. When Kentaro hears about that, he asks his sister if it is not Fujiki Shuichi (Harada Taizo), who used to work for their grandfather, that she likes. She retorts that she neither received a confession of his feelings nor went on a date alone. Their next interviewee is former navy lieutenant Tanigawa Masao (Ishibashi Renji). Tanigawa who has not talked much about the war so far recalls Miyabe with anguish. “He was a very brave fighter pilot who knew no fear,” he starts to tell them. Keiko and Kentaro are surprised by these unexpected words … …
Official Website: www.tv-tokyo.co.jp/tx_drama_eienno-zero
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