From 10.30 p.m., Sundays, 17 April 2016
Three guys born in 1987 are identified as the “first relaxed generation” – unambitious, uncompetitive and uncooperative. They are the product of school reforms undertaken in 2002 that included shorter five-day weeks, relaxed grading and less emphasis on rote learning. Sakama Masakazu is an ordinary salaryman who has worked for Minmin Holdings, a food products manufacturer, for seven years. He does things at his own pace to the extent that his boss is amazed. Even Sakama’s junior Yamagishi Hiromu, who has been in the company for two years, cannot comprehend this and keeps getting pushed around by him. Sakama’s worries grow daily before the age of 30. To make matters worse, he is ordered to transfer from working in the head office to an affiliated chain of pubs ‘Tori no Tami’ because of poor business results and his stress accumulates. At that moment, a discussion with “rental old man” Aso Iwao leads to an encounter between Sakama and elementary school teacher Yamaji Kazutoyo. The two of them are of the same age. Yamaji teaches fourth graders at a school in Tokyo’s Suginami district and finds himself caught between the demands of the school and the complaints of parents. Sakama starts work as the manager of the Koenji branch of ‘Tori no Tami’. Because he keeps making mistakes in a job that he is not accustomed to, the older part-timers ask him not to do anything. In addition, Sakama gets scolded by area manager Miyashita Akane who has come to the branch to do checks, and has a hard time. When he is about to close the store and go back, Yamaji, who had come here with a trainee teacher, is waiting. Sakama and Yamaji go for a drink and hit it off. They make fun of the “relaxed generation” as they speak frankly about their worries of being caught between the older and younger generations. Then Michigami Malibu shows up touting female breasts. Michigami was called a prodigy when he was a child and topped his junior high school class but failed to qualify for university. He has not held a fixed job since then and has been moving from one night entertainment district to another as a tout. He lives with his older wife and their newborn child in a small six-tatami space as he guns for his eleventh attempt at university. This is the story of their ambivalence and struggles with work, family, love and friendships.
Okada Masaki as Sakama Masakazu
Born in 1987, he is the second son of a sake brewer. A salaryman who has worked for Minmin Holdings for seven years and moved around planning and development, sales and the factory. This spring, he is seconded to an affiliated chain of pubs ‘Tori no Tami’ and becomes a branch manager.
Matsuzaka Tori as Yamaji Kazutoyo
Born in Tohoku in 1987, he is the form teacher of Class 4/2 at Asagaya Elementary School in Suginami district. Called “Yamaji” by students, he receives complaints from parents because declining academic level of his class. He is a regular of Aso Iwao.
Yagira Yuya as Michigami Malibu
Born in 1987, he is a tout for a Koenji sex establishment. He grew up in an elite family and was good in his studies and sports. He did not pass the university entrance exam despite his boast that there is no university besides Tokyo University. He is making his eleventh attempt at qualifying for Tokyo University. He just had a daughter with his wife, Yuka.
Ando Sakura as Miyashita Akane
Born in 1987, she is Sakama Masakazu’s colleague and joined the company at the same time. She has successfully advanced in her career and has been put in charge of the Suginami and Setagaya districts as an area manager since April.
Taiga as Yamagishi Hiromu
Born in 1993, he is Sakama Masakazu’s junior at work and has been with the company for two years. He is the “second relaxed generation”. He does things very much at his own pace and is very pragmatic.
Yoshida Kotaro as Aso Iwao
He was a very successful businessman during the years of the bubble economy. He divorced his first wife who is a former actress a few years ago and remarried a young lady in her 20s. He has a 3-year-old son. He gives free advice to old and young as a free counsellor called “rental old man”.
Kudo Kankuro (Gomenne Seishun!, 11-nin mo Iru!)