[2012 J-Drama] Higashino Keigo Mysteries
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Posted 5/16/12 , edited 5/30/12

Higashino Keigo Mysteries
English Title: Thursday Theater Keigo Higashino Mystery
Date: From 10.00 p.m., Thursdays, July 2012
Station: Fuji TV
Episodes: 11

"Sayonara Coach" Junichi Ishigami (Toshiaki Karasawa) is the coach for an archery team. One of his players, Naomi Mochiduki, is unable to take part in the Olympics and then she kills herself. The players are dismissed and the coach is forced out of the team. Later, Junichi Ishigami's wife is attacked by Naomi Mochiduki's stalker. What is the truth behind Naomi Mochiduki's death?

"Endless Night" - Set in Osaka, Atsuko Tamura (Nao Matsushita) investigates the murder mystery involving her husband's death.

"Reiko To Reiko" - Attorney Atsuko Tamura (Arisa Mizuki) becomes involved in a murder case committed by a mysterious girl.

"Amai Hazu Nanoni" - Nobuhiko Nakagawa (Takashi Sorimachi) lost his daughter in a mysterious accident and is agonized by the traumatic event.

"Charade Ga Itpai" - Yayoi Aoyama (Masami Nagasawa) follows the clues for charade, left by her murdered lover.

1. Drama series consists of 11 episodes based on short stores from mystery writer Keigo Higashino. The 11 short stories are collected from three novels "Hannin No Inai Satsujin No Yoru," "Ayashii Hitobito," and "Ano Koro No Dareka".


Nakai Kiichi as editor of mystery magazine (narrator for series)
Karasawa Toshiaki as Junichi Ishigami (ep.1 - "Sayonara Coach")
Matsushita Nao as Atsuko Tamura (episode "Endless Night")
Mizuki Arisa as Yoko Asano (episode "Reiko To Reiko")
Sorimachi Takashi as Nobuhiko Nakagawa (episode "Amai Hazu Nanoni")
Nagasawa Masami as Yayoi Aoyama (episode "Charade Ga Itpai")

Official Website:

Series Featuring The Short Stories Of Higashino Keigo Announced

Announced May 15 was an upcoming omnibus eleven-episode drama series featuring short stories written by mystery author Higashino Keigo. Officially entitled "Mokuyou Gekijou (Thursday Theater), Higashino Keigo Mysteries," it will feature eleven stories carefully selected from three of Higashino Keigo's short story compilations. Nakai Kiichi will perform the role of the series "Navigator" or guide, introducing the stories at the beginning of each episode. The series will see a wealth of stellar actors and actresses performing as the various lead protagonists beginning with Karasawa Toshiaki who will star in episode one. Below is a summary of the five stories that have been announced thus far.

Sayonara Coach starring Karasawa Toshiaki
Endless Night starring Matsushita Nao
Reiko To Reiko starring Mizuki Arisa
Amai Hazu Na No Ni starring Sorimachi Takashi
Charade Ga Ippai starring Nagasawa Masami

Broadcasting is scheduled to commence in July, Thursdays at 22:00.

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Posted 6/14/12 , edited 6/14/12
Five more starring actors announced for ‘Higashino Keigo Mysteries’

On June 14th, Fuji TV announced five more actors who will star on their upcoming omnibus drama experiment ‘Higashino Keigo Mysteries‘.

‘Higashino Keigo Mysteries’ will consist of 11 episodes, and feature 11 of Higashino Keigo’s best short stories as well as 11 different actors. Higashino is most prominently known for his amazing mystery novels in which he is able to incorporate various tones from dead serious to almost comedic to just eerie. Condensed into short stories that only last for a single episode, Fuji TV is aiming to offer their viewers a fresh viewing experience and a Higashino story at its best.

In a previous announcement, five of the stories along with their respective starring actors – including Karasawa Toshiaki, Matsushita Nao, Mizuki Alisa, Sorimachi Takashi, and Nagasawa Masami – were already announced. Moreover, it was revealed that actor Nakai Kiichi is going to serve as a story guide at the beginning of each episode. Today they announced another batch of five stories, making us curious what story they are going to select for the 11th episode.

The five new stories include ‘Saisei Majutsu no Onna‘ starring Suzuki Kyoka, ‘Hannin no Inai Satsujin no Yoru‘ starring Sakaguchi Kenji, ‘Shiroi Kyoki‘ starring Toda Erika, ‘Chiisa na Koi no Monogatari‘ starring Miura Haruma, and ‘Kekkon Hokoku‘ starring Hirosue Ryoko. A total of ten actors have been revealed, and one more actor/actress will be announced at a later time.

Higashino himself commented, “They are all such wonderful actors. I’m really looking forward it.”

Fuji TV is going to air ‘Higashino Keigo Mysteries’ every Thursday at 10:00 pm, and the first episode will be broadcast on July 5th.
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Toda Naho to make acting comeback in ‘Higashino Keigo Mysteries’

It’s been revealed that Toda Naho will be making her acting comeback in the upcoming Fuji TV drama series, ‘Higashino Keigo Mysteries‘.

Toda gave birth to her first child back in February, and this will be her first drama appearance since ‘Aibou‘, which aired in October of last year. Toda expressed thanks to: “My mom and mother-in-law. With the cooperation of many people, I’m thankful to be able to challenge myself to work.”

The drama will feature 11 short stories from Higashino Keigo’s collection, ‘Hannin no Inai Satsujin no Yoru‘. Toda will make an appearance in the first episode, “Sayonara Coach”, as the pregnant wife of protagonist (Karasawa Toshiaki).

Regarding her role as a pregnant woman, Toda commented, “Childbirth and child care are hectic. It’s a nostalgic feeling to think that I was actually pregnant about 4 months ago. It feels like it was ages ago.”

She continued, “The time of pregnancy was a time of happiness. I always took care of my body and heart. That’s how I played this role.”

Fuji TV will air ‘Higashino Keigo Mysteries’ every Thursdays at 10:00 pm starting July 5th.
Posted 6/20/12 , edited 6/20/12
Miura Haruma & Erika Toda, great!!
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Posted 6/23/12 , edited 6/23/12

r93 wrote:

Miura Haruma & Erika Toda, great!!

its so great cuz they're working again together!
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Shinohara Ryoko to make her comeback as the 11th starring actor in ‘Higashino Keigo Mysteries’

On June 25th, Fuji TV announced that actress Shinohara Ryoko is going to make her comeback after giving birth to her second son in February, through their upcoming omnibus drama ‘Higashino Keigo Mysteries‘.

‘Higashino Keigo Mysteries’ consists of 11 individual episodes, featuring 11 of Higashino Keigo’s best short stories as well as starring 11 different actors. So far only ten of the stories and actors were revealed through two separate announcements in May and June, which made people curious about the 11th actor. Now it has become clear that Shinohara will use this opportunity to return to the small screen eight months after her last filming.

She is going to star in the story called ‘Nijuu Nenme no Yakusoku‘, which will air as the 10th episode in September. Shinohara plays a woman who is living together with a man who declared that he is never going to have a child in his life. In order to find out the reason behind his declaration, she decides to secretly follow him back to his home town and finds out that he was involved in a horrible murder case 20 years ago.

It’s said to be a very touching human drama and mystery story, with an unexpected ending that is going to demand a lot from Shinohara. The producers are sure they’ve made the right choice with her and stated with confidence, “The main character poses a very difficult character to play and we put a lot of thought into the casting right until the very last moment. When we eventually received the ready consent from Shinohara, we were sure that have perfected one of the strongest lineup of actors.”

Shinohara herself commented, “I’m glad to be able to participate in the work of my favorite authors. It’s my first drama after my comeback and I hope it will be a pleasant experience.” She did a lot of Bikram yoga, went to the gym multiple times and went through a strict diet in order to be fully prepared for her comeback as an actress after her second maternity leave.

She continued, “I think that my story is a ‘love story’ with a Higashino-ish atmosphere. What kind of ‘mystery’ and ‘love’ will be hidden inside the story? Please look forward to it.”

Along with the announcement of the last starring actor, Fuji TV also released a poster with all of the actors and corresponding kanji that represents each of the stories.

They are as follows:

Karasawa Toshiaki – “Trap”
Sakaguchi Kenji -”Deceit”
Matsushita Nao -”Grief”
Mizuki Alisa -”Heart/Mind”
Sorimachi Takashi – “Excess”
Nagasawa Masami -”Puzzle”
Toda Erika – “Sorrow”
Miura Haruma – “Lie”
Hirosue Ryoko – “Doubt”
Shinohara Ryoko – “Vow”
Suzuki Kyoka – “Punishment”

Fuji TV is going to air ‘Higashino Keigo Mysteries’ every Thursday at 10:00 pm, and the first episode will be broadcast on July 5th.
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Posted 6/26/12 , edited 6/26/12
since Miura Haruma is there then I'll give it a look
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Completion screening of "Higashino Keigo Mysteries"

Nakai Kiichi appeared at the completion screening of the 1st episode of summer drama "Higashino Keigo Mysteries" on 3 July, which is due to begin its run on 5 July at 10pm on Thursdays. He plays the navigator in this drama which features a different lead for each of its 11 episodes. Nakai expressed confidence in the drama and said that if it does badly in its ratings, the responsibility would have to be his only since he is the only one who appears throughout the entire story.
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"Higashino Keigo Mysteries" gets 11.3% for its first episode

The first episode of summer drama "Higashino Keigo Mysteries" shown on 5 July got a rating of 11.3% in the Kanto region. The drama featured Nakai Kiichi as the editor of a mystery magazine and navigator of the series and the first episode titled "Sayonara Coach" had Karasawa Toshiaki as its lead.
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Posted 7/8/12 , edited 7/8/12
Loved Shinohara Ryoko in Haken no Hinkaku, et al. Must try to see her episode if not more.
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Fuji TV’s Higashino Keigo Drama Hit by Low Ratings and Writer’s Strong Protests?

This season’s Higashino Keigo Mysteries which airs on Fuji TV every Thursday night has been suffering from sluggish viewership ratings and many negative comments. At the presentation of the completed first episode, actor Nakai Kiichi’s declaration on stage that “There’s no reason why it should be uninteresting with such a cast. If the viewership ratings are bad, it would be better not to make dramas anymore,” became the topic of conversation. Had Nakai bothered to ask fellow actor Karasawa Toshiaki, he might not have been so smug about the drama’s prospects. It was not so long ago that the much anticipated Fumou Chitai performed dismally in the ratings game.

Based on writer Higashino Keigo’s short stories, Higashino Keigo Mysteries is a mystery drama told in one-episode omnibus format. Nakai is the navigator who appears in all the episodes and each episode stars popular actors and actresses like Karasawa, Toda Erika, Nagasawa Masami and Suzuki Kyoka. Perhaps this star-studded cast of lead actors and actresses is what prompted Nakai to go so far as to say that “If it isn’t interesting, the fault lies with Higashino-san’s original work.” The drama premiered with 11.3% for its first episode, but has sunk and remained in the single digits which is certainly not good form. In addition to the poor viewership ratings, there is a turbulent atmosphere at the network, according to Japanese media.

According to the article, Higashino had in fact protested against the use of his own name in the title when he saw the broadcast. It appears that people around the production also talked about the watered down content because the stories were being squeezed to fit the airtime and its much poorer quality in comparison to the original work. In future, it may be difficult to be allowed to broadcast a sequel, not to mention a Higashino Keigo original drama in the same time slot, an insider observed.

There are many writers among original authors with the principle that “Once a work has passed from the hands of the writer, it will take on a life of its own.” But it is a different story for a writer to have his own name used for promotion and to also be unhappy with drama itself. The original author of Hagane no Onna, a recent TV Asahi drama which starred Kichise Michiko, made the network remove his own name from the ending credits because he objected to the absence of the original story from the script.

Not so coincidentally, Fuji TV put out comments from Higashino on the drama’s website yesterday evening a few days after the article. He is quoted as saying, “I was able to watch all of the episodes of Higashino Keigo Mysteries that have been broadcast so far and I’m happy with the very good production. I can feel the ingenuity behind each elaborately planned episode based on the original short stories. The performances of Nakai Kiichi-san and the actors who have appeared have also been wonderful. It is an excellent drama and the feedback from my friends and acquaintances have been good too. I look forward to the rest of the episodes.“

Why Fuji TV decided on an omnibus format for a prime-time drama timeslot is anyone’s guess when it could have easily made them for its ‘Friday Prestige’ drama specials and done justice to much of the cast it had assembled.

In Higashino Keigo Mysteries, the choice of a stand-alone mystery for each episode makes characterisation difficult, although the twists with the show and tell have been rather interesting. But this somehow completely unravelled in episodes 5 and 6 which seem like misfits. Jarring and befuddling.

Was episode 5 even a mystery because it seemed like something else that came with heavy-handed sermonising and nauseating parallels. And Kato Ai while very lovely can never act to deliver the depth required. Then in episode 6 there were bizarre moments of sentimentality and comedy alternating with levity, a very irritating Nagasawa Masami, bumbling, unfunny cops and a nasally cameo by Tsumabuki Satoshi who spent most of the time with a bright burst of light for his face. To royally mess up a drama episode with movie actors Ando Masanobu and Tsumabuki, who rarely appear in dramas, and the talented Ikewaki Chizuru takes the cake.
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