Air Dates: February 6 to March 26, 2016 for eight episodes on Fuji-TV
Air Time: Saturdays at 11:40 pm, average rating was 2.73%
Been wanting to get to know more about Juice=Juice for a while now, thought this would be a good place to start. Do know their songs quite well and not many groups can top their songs this year year or so. If you like C-ute then you'd really enjoy them as you can tell they were heavily influenced by them which is a good thing, as a matter of fact their last two singles have been better than C-ute's.
For this first recap will mainly just give a breakdown of the characters. The group doesn't go by Juice=Juice in this show but instead they're called 'Next You', that's close to the theme song for the show which is "Next Is You", that also was a single which was released three days before the show started. It's the group's best selling single as it's sold close to 50,000 copies and it ranked #3 on the Oricon charts it's first week out.
In this drama Next You is a struggling Idol group which has had so-so success to date. They have a single which I presume is "Next Is You" and that song hit #15 on the charts though their managers are a bit disappointed with that showing. The group's goal is to one day headline a show at Budokan, they have a long way to go before that goal can be attained. Haven't read any reviews for this show so don't know if they do end up playing there, actually unsure if anyone else has reviewed this series.
In real life though the group has become so popular they are going to finally perform at Budokan and that concert will be taking place in November. There are five members in the group, in this drama none of them use their real names and here are the starlets, that second screenshot gives a little info about the character.
Akari Uemura as Aoi Dogakiuchi
Yuka Miyazaki as Rurika Tsurui
Sayuki Takagi as Mayu Adachi
Tomoko Kanazawa as Hana Sakamoto
Karin Miyamoto as Aiko Hidaka
There's also a few other characters who were introduced in this first episode.
Seiji Rokkaku as 'Professor' Hakase, a fan of the group who often posts about them on the internet and attends all of their shows.
Keisuke Koide as Jun Natsume, the group's producer and songwriter.
Houka Kinoshita as Yoichi Nomura
Yuta Takahata as Haruki Maeda.... both of them are the group's managers though Nomura is the senior and seems to know everything about the Idol industry.
Ryo Yoshizawa as Daichi Mizushima, Aiko's best friend who lives upstairs from her.
These shows are quite short as they're only 19 minutes long, the recaps after this one should be much shorter. In this first episode we mainly got to know the characters a bit, mainly the five members of Next You. Their ages are from 17-19 but in real life they're a bit older, actually the group isn't that much younger than the ones in C-ute though Juice wasn't formed until 2013.
Erina Mano made a brief cameo in this show but we didn't see her at all in the next episode. She plays the character of Kyoka who was once a part of Next You but had left the group to become an actress, she still has a lot of fans though. Throughout this first show we watch what Idols do on a daily basis and think all of the episodes will be like that as it's not all glamorous for them.
The group has to sign many autographs which take quite a few hours plus they have meetings with their managers and producer. Their producer Natsune tells them they have a long way to go if Budokan is their dream, they didn't like to hear his opinions but deep down they know he's right. No time for any kind of rest as besides being an Idol group some of them members still attend a regular high school, they can even take the train home as they're not popular enough yet to be noticed.
It may not be the case but think one member will be featured more in every show. For this episode it was Aiko and her relationship with her upstairs neighbor Daichi. They go to high school together but he doesn't seem to be too interested in Idols, his main interest right now is kendo. He hasn't even seen the group in concert but somehow wouldn't doubt if he is a fan of Next You.
That's about it for this recap, in a 19 minute show not all that much will happen. So far have enjoyed this and the second episode, shame there aren't more of these Hello project dramas as the ones I've viewed have all been so enjoyable. Few more screenshots of the group, soon will do a few regular posts for Juice=Juice as I'm really becoming a fan of their music and their next single is coming out on October 26th. Check out the next post which has the recap for the second episode.