Gai Ueno to Appear in New Historical Drama ‘Kimi to Yukite Saku~Shinsen-gumi Seishyun Roku~’


Gai Ueno will appear in the upcoming historical drama Kimi to Yukite Saku ~ Shinsen-gumi Seishun Roku~  scheduled to air on TV Asahi’s Super Bara Bara Daisakusen programming block on Wednesday nights starting April 24.

The series is based on Osamu Tezuka’s manga series The Shinsen-gumi and is being directed by Hayato Kawai and written by Fumi Tsubota. It will be broadcast in two consecutive cours, telling the coming-of-age story of a boy willing to join the special brigade of samurai known as the Shinsen-gumi to get revenge.

Ueno participated in the ‘Life-Changing New Historical Drama Audition – Serious SHINKEN ~Road to the Shinsen-gumi’ project in January, which selected which young actors would be added to the show’s main cast. Finalists were selected from approximately 8,00 applicants after proving their acting skills, sword fighting ability, and dancing prowess. Ueno will play Gengo Shonai, a samurai of the Choshu clan who slays the protagonist’s father.

<Comment from Gai Ueno (Gengo Shonai)>
–What were your thoughts when you were first chosen to star in this series?
“Of course, I was overjoyed, but I didn’t get the role I was aiming for during the audition process, so it felt a little different than when I’ve successfully nailed auditions in the past. It was like getting an acceptance letter, but it was mixed with joy and regret.”

–Share your motivation with us.
“Playing this role is going to be tough because while Shonai is seen as a villain by the audience, he does what he does because he believes it to be right. It’s by his righteousness that he commits terrible acts. He wants to improve the country just like the Shinsen-gumi do, but they believe in different things and have different visions for the future…I’m going to play Gengo Shounai without seeing him as a terrible person!”

<Episode 1 Synopsis>
Kyoto, 1863. Kyujuro Fukakusa (Tomoya Oku) who works at a small teahouse run by his good-natured father, Nanaya, lives modestly and faithfully in his daily life. One night, however, that peaceful routine changes drastically. His father, who had been sheltering a pro-Shogunate samurai, is killed by Shonai Gengo (Gai Ueno), a Choshu samurai. Stricken with rage, Kyojuro races out of the shop to pursue Shounai and his comrades, but a man suddenly appears, understanding Kyojuro’s intentions. He cuts the samurai down swiftly and introduces himself as Isami Kondo (Akira Takano), the chief of the Shinsen-gumi, offering his condolences and expressing gratitude for his father’s bravery before departing.
Determined to get his revenge, Kyojuro enlists in the Shinsen-gumi. After seeing a poster recruiting soldiers, he attempts the entrance exam, but all other applicants–including Kihei Shibukawa (Kan Hideyoshi)– are skilled fighters while Kyojuro himself can’t even use a sword. Still unable to give up, Kyojuro, under the instruction of Souji Okita (Maito Fujioka), finds himself pitted against Daisaku Kamagiri (Kentaro Maeda), the most skilled swordsman among the recruits…

Kimi to Yukite Saku ~ Shinsen-gumi Seishun Roku~ (New Historical Drama)
Airing: Wednesdays from 0:15~0:45 starting April 24
Starring: Kentaro Maeda, Tomoya Oku / Kazuto Mokudai, Shouta Hatani, Kohei Shoji, Totaro, Hideyoshi Kan, Gai Ueno, etc.

Original Work: The Shinsen-gumi by Osamu Tezuka
Screenplay: Fumi Tsubota (My Beautiful Man series)
Director: Hayato Kawai (Mirai e no 10 Count)

Official Site