Long Vacation title card
|Written by||Eriko Kitagawa|
|Directed by||Kōzō Nagayama
|Opening theme||La La La Love Song (Toshinobu Kubota) with Naomi Campbell|
|Country of origin||Japan|
|No. of series||1|
|No. of episodes||11|
|Original network||Fuji TV|
|Original release||15 April – 24 June 1996|
Long Vacation (ロングバケーション, also known as ロンバケ) is a Japanese television drama series from Fuji Television, first shown in Japan from 15 April to 24 June 1996. Takuya Kimura and Tomoko Yamaguchi played the lead characters. The series enjoyed high ratings and was the earliest of a series of hit productions starring Kimura. It features music by Cagnet.
Minami and Sena meet when Sena's apartment-mate, Asakura, jilts Minami on their wedding day. Minami learns from Sena that Asakura has left, whereabouts unknown. Sena allows Minami to move into the apartment, since she is penniless, having given all her money to Asakura, and cannot pay the rent on her apartment.
This is the beginning of a romance between Sena and Minami. Minami and Sena confide in and console each other about their relationship problems and their lack of success in life.
Minami meets a professional photographer, Sugisaki, who proposes marriage. Finally Sena has a chance of winning a piano competition and going to Boston, joining the symphony orchestra.
The characters in the series have something in common—if not jobless, they can do no better than secure a temporary job. This is a portrayal of a time when Japan was plagued by deep recession, when its people suffered profound depression from constant failure to earn a stable income. The series portrays how relationships are made and broken, and explores how people come to depend on each other for solace.
- Takuya Kimura as Sena Hidetoshi (瀬名秀俊)
- Tomoko Yamaguchi as Hayama Minami (葉山南)
- Yutaka Takenouchi as Hayama Shinji (葉山真二)
- Takako Matsu as Okusawa Ryoko (奥沢涼子)
- Izumi Inamori as Koishikawa Momoko (小石川桃子)
- Ryō as Himuro Rumiko (氷室ルミ子)
- Leo Morimoto as Professor Sasaki (佐々木教授)
- Ryōko Hirosue as Saito Takako (斉藤貴子)
- Kosuke Toyohara as Sugisaki Tetsuya (杉崎哲也)
- Hidetoshi Sena (24) – An ambitious pianist with dreams of the big time. After graduating from music school, he teaches at a children's piano school for a small income. He lives in an apartment with a baby grand piano in the living room. Sena practises for piano competitions throughout the series. Despite his seemingly very adept technical ability and Sasaki's high opinion of Sena's playing, Sena constantly meets with failure. The reason for this becomes clearer as the story unfolds. Momoko calls him "Ayrton" because his surname resembles that of former motor-racing world champion Ayrton Senna. He suffers many harsh remarks from arrogant student Takako, but still helps her in her struggle with life.
- Minami Hayama (31) – An independent and uninhibited 30-year-old woman. Once in demand as a fashion model, she now works as a small-time model on increasingly infrequent jobs. She is unlucky in love: Her fiancé elopes with a younger woman on their wedding day. Through a series of circumstances, Minami comes to stay in Sena's house. Their deepening relationship is a main thread of the drama.
- Shinji Hayama – Minami's younger brother. A loafer and notorious womanizer, he is also a talented pianist who is later revealed to have had a promising piano career. He comes to Tokyo with his girlfriend Rumiko, relying on pachinko winnings to foot the bill. He later buys a bar and runs it with her.
- Ryoko Okusawa – A very talented pianist but shy with a sheltered upbringing. She is a student in the same music school that Sena graduated from and considered a future star. Sena develops a crush on her but she seems indifferent toward him. Shinji briefly seduces her but later leaves her.
- Momoko Koishikawa – Minami's junior in the modelling company and a close friend of Minami. Despite her ditzy manner, she sometimes makes insightful observations and offers useful advice.
- Rumiko Himuro – Shinji's girlfriend.
- Professor Sasaki – Sena's mentor and former professor. He often encourages Sena to enter piano competitions.
- Takako Saito – A child prodigy who is taught by Sena for a brief time. Initially, her attitude toward Sena is disrespectful.
- Tetsuya Sugisaki – A dashing professional photographer who falls for Minami.
|01||15 April 1996||30.6|
|02||22 April 1996||28.3|
|03||29 April 1996||29.0|
|04||6 May 1996||27.6|
|05||13 May 1996||27.9|
|06||20 May 1996||25.5|
|07||27 May 1996||27.7|
|08||3 June 1996||29.9|
|09||10 June 1996||29.1|
|10||17 June 1996||28.6|
|11||24 June 1996||36.7|