Air Dates: July 27th to September 14th on NHK
Shows were on 11:30 pm Saturday nights, 28 minutes an episode and subs by HPriest
Yuki Sakurai as Mana Endo.... 30 year OL who stumbled into the world of Idol groups
Seminosuke Murasugi as Takafumi Shiiba.... Sunny Side Up group's manager
Yoshihiko Hosoda as Hiromu Azusawa.... Group's co-manager and a huge otaku
Yu Sawabe as Minoru Shogoin.... Police detective who interviews Yuki
Hideyuki Kasahara as Masaru Urita.... Group fan but overly obsessed with Hana
Sunny Side Up Idol group
Sei Shiraishi as Hana Kurimoto.... Untalented waana-be Idol who Yuki befriends
Ruka Matsuda as Karin Hara.... Group's leader
Akari Matsukawa as Shiori Mugita
Shuri Tanaka as Rinrei Nasu
Jun Amaki as Noriko Tomaji
What's happened with the crazed Hana oshi Urita is still unknown but we do know loosely that he was pushed off a roof. All of the evidence points to Mana who throughout the four episodes has been questioned by a detective named Shogoin. That's him above and his team has found a witness to the crime, was it Mana who pushed the man off a roof? That we don't know for a while and most of the story in this show revolves around Sunny Side Up trying to be a part of a major Idol festival. The name of it is above and as you can see is called the '8th Idol Summer Fest Battle Royale'.
Sunny Side Up has the intention of performing at the show but it's not that easy to enter. Not just any group can and it doesn't matter how talented you may be. It all comes down to money and a group needs many fans to perform at the festival, they need to sell a certain amount of tickets and merchandise to be eligible. That's a negative to a group such as Sunny Side Up who has a very devoted fan base who spend much cash on the group but they just don't have that many fans.
Plus what hurts is that Hana's oshi/stalker Utari hasn't been attending the group's shows. As bad of a person that he is Urita did spend more money on the group than any other fan, especially on Hana. With him not there she's been hurting financially and we'll soon see how bad that situation is. So Mana takes on the responsibility of raising enough cash for the group to enter the festival, she's keeping her plans a secret from everyone. Mana has also told her new friends not to expect her at any shows for a while as her secret plans to sell merchandise and raise cash will be during show times.
Actually after that above show is when Mana said not to expect her around at performances for a while. And that above show is what set Mana into action as during the show Hana collapsed to the stage, she ended up in the hospital but it was only because she was so exhausted. After Urita departed Hana's income had really dwindled, so much she was having a difficult time paying her rent and other expenses. Due to that she was forced to go back working part time, not just with one job but two as Hana was working at a convenience store after shows and at a bento factory in the morning.
Mana didn't need to be told yet she was by her new set of friends, due to Mana's new way of selling group tickets it's cost Hana about 80% of her salary though the other members are doing better. Hana thus was working forty hours a week, then practicing with the group every day plus performing 3-4 shows a week. Due to that grueling schedule Hana's body just couldn't take it any more and she collapsed one night on stage. Nothing too damaging though the doctors told Hana to take it much easier but how could she do that and pay her rent?
Mana didn't have to do her next act but she would have felt too guilty if she didn't. On the last night watching Sunny Side Up before her leave from watching them perform Mana gave Hana an envelope after their show. And a very thick envelope it was as it contained a huge wad of bills, enough for Hana to live on for a few months according to Mana or until the group began making more money. Naturally Hana didn't want to accept the dough but Mana wouldn't take no for an answer as she fled the Basement club to begin working on her project to make the group eligible for the festival.
Hana ended up accepting the money but more than anything wanted to prove to Mana that her faith in her was correct. For the next few weeks instead of working at two jobs Hana practiced day and night, her fellow members were quite impressed with Hana as they too began to work harder than ever. It really paid off as the group was becoming much more professional with their act, especially Hana who improved by leaps and bounds to become a new satisfactory idol. But being better as a group wouldn't get them a slot at the festival as they needed to sell many more tickets and merchandise, it being a drama it of course happened.
There was a web site set up to check the progress of the groups trying to make it to the festival. Sunny Side Up began at the bottom but every day their ranking increased, so much that when it came time to announce the lineup for the Idol Summer Festival the group was #1 in money raised. The other Sunny Side Up fanatics and managers knew that it had to be Mana's doing but they had no clue what she had done to raise so much money. We didn't either for so long but there was a short ten second glimpse of what she was doing at home. The scene wasn't quite long enough but we saw Mana in her apartment, she was dressed scantily in front of her computer so obviously she was doing something very alluring for internet viewers and did she make some cash off that endeavor.
To make a short story shorter(!) Mana was quite successful in raising money to make the group eligible for the festival and as you can see below they did make an appearance. Mana made her return as a Hana oshi at the festival, all of the Sunny Side Up fans wanted to know what Mana did to make so much money though of course her lips were sealed. At the show Mana really noticed the change in the group and how much better their performance had become, mainly Hana's though who has developed into a top notch singer and dancer. The festival didn't appear to be as big as advertised but the group aced their biggest concert to date and where will this lead them?
That's unknown as that festival took place in August 2018, now the scene shifts back to August 2018 when Mana was being interviewed by the detective Shogoin about Urita being pushed off a roof. Mana was identified as the pusher by the witness, for now Mana isn't admitting whether she's guilty or not. But during this closing scene Mana was constantly looking at her watch as it showed the time approaching 7:00 pm. It appears soon after that is when Sunny Side Up will be performing their final concert or at least that's what Shogoin had mentioned, with that huge development this episode came to it's conclusion.
Halfway done now with this series and to date would rank this as my second fave Japanese drama of the year behind '3-Nen A Gumi', third overall as there's one Korean drama sandwiched between them. Will have the second batch of four episodes coming up in about a week, haven't started on them yet but at 28+ minutes an episode they're easy to fly through. As usual have plenty of screenshots to help you follow the story a bit better but all of the major details were covered.