Date: From 9.00 p.m., 17 September 2016
Scriptwriter: Terada Toshio (Doctor X Seasons 2 – 3, Mayonaka no Panya-san, Kumo no Kaidan)
Original Work: Setouchi Shonen Yakyuudan by Aku Yu
Cast: Takei Emi, Miura Takahiro, Tomochika, Yamauchi Takaya, Honda Miyu, Sakata Yui, Yano Koji, Kuriyama Wataru, Tanaka Ken, Enari Kazuki, Hiraizumi Sei, Takahashi Keiko, Osugi Ren
Synopsis: In the spring of 1944 (Showa 19), Komako (Takei Emi) gets married to Nakai Masao (Miura Takahiro), the eldest son of the head of the biggest local fisherman’s group, in a modest ceremony. Masao is departing for the battlefront a few days later and Komako’s wish is to wait for his return, as his wife. She tells Masao, who had been a baseball player at the Koshien stadium, that she is giving him a baseball as a good luck charm so that he will come back alive and he sets off … … The schoolyard at Esaka Elementary School where Komako works as a teacher is converted to a plot for potatoes. The children are constantly hungry. But they still have the energy to smile and fool around. Meanwhile, one of the school’s students, Ashigara Ryuta (Sakata Yui), is told that his father was killed in battle. There is only a toothbrush that his father had supposedly used inside the funerary urn box that is delivered. Komako is soon informed with a scrap of paper that Masao was killed in action. Then the war ends. That summer, Hatano Mume (Honda Miyu), the daughter of a navy admiral, transfers to the school. The school’s educational policy undergoes a complete change following the end of the war. Boys and girls can now study in the same classroom and Ryuta and Mume are made to sit next to each other. Mume’s grown-up air makes Ryuta’s heart pound, but he blots out heavily militarised content in the textbook that Komako bases her teaching on with ink. Komako worries about this. Masao’s younger brother Tetsuo (Kuriyama Wataru) understands Komako’s feelings. With Masao’s death, his parents Ginzo (Osugi Ren) and Toyono (Takahashi Keiko) have started to think of welcoming Komako anew as Tetsuo’s bride. The Allied Occupation forces set foot on Awaji Island which is immediately influenced by American culture. Masaki Jiro (Enari Kazuki), the elder brother of Ryuta’s classmate Saburo (Yamashita Masato), leaves the island when he makes money in Osaka. Ryuta sends off Jiro with Saburo who is on the verge of crying. A man with a mysterious cane appears in front of them. He is Masao who was believed to have died in battle. Although he lost a leg in the war, he was miraculously demobilised and sent home, returning with the baseball as promised. He suggests to Komako to let the children play baseball with certain rules that will not be influenced by adults and creates the Esaka Tigers with her students. He guides them as their coach while Komako becomes the field manager. Despite his handicap, he and Komako try hard to give these young boys and girls energy to live and hope through baseball after the defeat in the war.
Official Website: www.tv-asahi.co.jp/setouchi
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