Change (TV series)

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CHANGE
Genre drama, politics
Starring Takuya Kimura
Eri Fukatsu
Ending theme Miles Away (Madonna)
Country of origin  Japan
Original language(s) Japanese
No. of episodes 10
Production
Producer(s) Hiroyuki Goto, Kazuyuki Shimizu
Location(s) Tokyo
Running time 54 min./episode
Broadcast
Original channel Fuji TV
Picture format NTSC
Original run May 12, 2008 – July 14, 2008
External links
Website

CHANGE is a Japanese television drama which aired on Fuji TV starting May 12, 2008.[1][2]

Plot[edit]

Episode 1: (2008/5/12)

Keita Asakura, an elementary school teacher who has no interest in politics, suddenly gets taken to the position of the Prime Minister. He is forced to campaign in the Fukuoka Prefecture for a seat in the House of Representatives for the Seiyu Party when his father and brother, both involved in Diet politics, die in a plane crash en route from Vietnam. Asakura wins the prefectural elections, and heads to Tokyo to take his father's place in the House.

Episode 2: (2008/5/19)

After being sworn in, Asakura is dubbed the "Prince of the Parliament" (kokukai ouji) by the news media. The current Prime Minister is embroiled in a sexual harassment scandal and resigns, leading Kanbaya, one of the most senior politicians in the Seiyu Party, to propose that Asakura run for the party's leadership. This puts Asakara in the running for the premiership should the Seiyu Party win a majority in an upcoming general election. Nirasawa and Hikaru arrives in Tokyo from Fukuoka and stays over at his residence, in time becoming his trusted aides.

Episode 3: (2008/5/26)

Asakura decides to run for the party leadership, but performs disastrously in two televised debates. Supporting his campaign, three other Seiyu politicians educate him in the various aspects of Japanese law, economics and politics. In the final debate, Asakura looks confused when two other candidates start discussing the topic in political verbiage. Finally, he states that he did not understand what they were saying, as do the majority of the Japanese citizens. With this obvious point brought out, he wins the party's internal elections by a landslide, leading to his election as Prime Minister.

Episode 4: (2008/6/2)

After appointing his ministers, Asakura is asked to sign a document denying the government's responsibility for the commercial impact of a dam built in Yakushima. Asakura does not understand the denial, and sets out to get a proper explanation in order to make the right decision. Members of the government, including Kanbaya, are furious at this development, as Asakura's stand opens the government to the possibility of compensation paid to local fishermen in Yakushima.

One night, Asakura escapes from the Prime Minister's residence at night and goes to his parents' house, conducting research on the Yakushima affair with the help of Nirasawa and Hikaru. He promises Miyama that he will not neglect his official duties. Onoda, a senior Seiyu politician involved in the Yakushima affair, is asked by Kanbaya to dissuade Asakura's crusade against the dam. However, Onoda comes to respect Asakura and ultimately helps him. Asakura apologises to the public at a press conference and vows to compensate all those affected by the dam.

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

CHANGE started it off okay with 23.8% rating on its first episode. As the week progresses, the rating drops to below 20%, which is unusual for Japanese television drama starred by Takuya Kimura. It hit 31.2% at 22:15 during the 60-minute extended finale episode.[3]

The single episode ratings are as follows: [4] [5]

Episode Title Kanto
01 Elementary Teacher Changes Japan?! An Amateur in Politics Becomes the Youngest Prime Minister of Japan!!
(小学校教師が日本を変える!?政治の素人が最年少総理大臣に!!)
23.8%
02 Prince of the Diet's First Experience
(国会王子の初体験)
23.0%
03 Tonight, the Prime Minister of Japan's Debut!!
(今夜、総理誕生!!)
22.4%
04 The Prime Minister Is Bullied
(いじめられる総理)
19.3%
05 Big Incident on the Prime Minister's Day Off
(総理休日の大事件)
19.5%
06 Love Scandal
(恋愛スキャンダル)
19.1%
07 The Prime Minister Disappears
(消えた総理)
20.9%
08 Separation. And Counterattack
(別れ。そして逆襲)
19.5%
09 Shock!! The Prime Minister's Collapse
(衝撃!! 総理倒れる)
22.3%
10 Goodbye, The Prime Minister's Tearful Last Message
(さようなら、朝倉総理涙のラストメッセージ)
27.4%
Average 21.7%

Special campaign[edit]

Takuya Kimura is currently appearing in Toyota's commercial. Collaborating with Toyota, there will be a quiz after every episode, and the "Change" original car "STAR Fielder" made by Toyota (model based on Corolla Fielder) will be given to one of the viewers. From May 12, 2008, Takuya will continue appearing in Toyota's commercial but as Keita Asakura, this drama's character. On May 10 and May 12, two specials will be broadcast prior to the premiere, and Takuya and Eri Fukatsu will appear live on Mezamashi Terebi, Toku Dane!, and Waratte Iitomo (only Takuya), promoting the drama.[6]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ SMAP×SMAP - March 31, 2008.
  2. ^ "キムタク内閣発足!所信表明は「ドラマ通じ政治に関心持って」" (in Japanese). 2008-04-10. Archived from the original on 2008-04-10. Retrieved 2008-04-09. 
  3. ^ "「CHANGE」31.2% 瞬間最高視聴率" (in Japanese). Sankei Sports. 2008-07-15. Archived from the original on 2008-07-16. Retrieved 2008-07-15. 
  4. ^ "Show schedule and ratings". Audience Rating Japan (in Japanese). 
  5. ^ "CHANGE Episode Guide" (in Japanese). 
  6. ^ (Japanese)"木村拓哉主演月9ドラマで視聴者に車プレゼント". Sankei Sports. 2008-05-10. Archived from the original on 2008-05-12. Retrieved 2008-05-10.