While the Getsu9 timeslot is well known for having romantic dramas year round, the only ones that are usually worth watching are those that air during the summer. Rich Man, Poor Woman has been the most successful one so far and there were rumors that it was going to return for a second season (which wasn’t too far-fetched considering all the dramas getting a second season these days), but I guess that fell through as it’s been announced that the new Getsu9 is Summer Nude with Yamapi as the leading man.
Yamapi hasn’t done a romance drama since the much beloved Buzzer Beat back in 2009, so I am happy to see him getting back into the genre. I’m a little disappointed that Erika isn’t the female lead, not that I have anything against Karina. I’m just surprised since Erika moved into leading lady status a long time ago and Yamapi and Karina were paired up before in the Ashita no Joe movie. I think Fuji TV is betting on the Yamapi-Karina combo to bring in ratings; while Yamapi’s recent dramas haven’t been amazing, Buzzer Beat managed to do pretty well when it aired and while there isn’t anything good to be said about the quality of Karina’s drama Watashi ga Renai Dekinai Riyuu, it was still one of the highest rated dramas that year.
Yamapi will play a young photographer, Asahi Mikuriya, who once dreamed of becoming famous, but now works as an every day cameraman in a seaside town after his girlfriend abandons him. Karina will play his love interest, Natsuki Chiyohara, a former manager at a famous restaurant in Tokyo who moves to Asahi’s town to work as a chef and to forget the pain of her fiance leaving her on their wedding day. Though their first meeting is awkward because Asahi was the cameraman at Natsuki’s wedding, they eventually become closer because of their similar circumstances. Erika plays Yamapi’s former classmate Hanae Taniyama, who’s always been in love with Asahi, but has never been anything more to him besides a good friend.
I’m not really warming up to the plot (or the title, what the hell does Summer Nude mean?), but writing is Shigeki Kaneko, whose only work I’ve seen is Proposal Daisakusen (Shigeki also wrote Voice and Honey and Clover) which I liked despite the fact that it was a little slow so there might be hope for this drama.
Summer Nude is scheduled to air sometime in July.