On November 30th, TBS finally announced the exact broadcast date and more details for the upcoming special episode of the popular drama ‘ATARU‘, which aired during the spring season of 2012.
Aside from the fact that it won’t be just one special episode but two with a total run time of four hours, they also revealed that three new key roles will be played by actress Horikita Maki, actor Okada Masaki, and AKB48 member Shimazaki Haruka.
‘ATARU’ will star SMAP’s Nakai Masahiro as the lovable ‘Chokozai’ aka ‘Ataru’ who is suffering from the savant syndrome. In the drama, Chokozai helps out two detectives – played by Kuriyama Chiaki and Kitamura Kazuki – solve various difficult cases by using his extraordinary memory and deductive skills.
The two special episodes are titled ‘Suteyama Tanteisha Monogatari ~’Anan Kota-kun Yuukai Jiken’ ni Chokozai tachi ga Idomu!!~‘ and ‘ATARU Kanzen Shinsaku Special – New York Kara no Chosenjo!!‘ Both specials will air on January 6th, 2013 from 7:00 until 11:00 pm. In the first episode, detective Ebina Maiko (Kuriyama) opens a private detective agency that is specialized in so-called ‘discarded mountains’, which are cases the police believes to be closed, although there are still some unanswered questions. A three-year-old boy has gone missing and her agency is supposed to find him.
The second episode is the main special with the additional characters. Chokozai’s younger brother, Tasuku (Okada) becomes the prime suspect in a serial murder case, therefore Chokozai returns to Japan in order to save his brother. While trying to solve this case together with his friends, they run into a mysterious woman named ‘Alessandro Carolina Madoka’ (Horikita). Madoka and Chokozai have gone through the same special training by the FBI, but their interests and path in life are completely different.
Horikita, who is said to be a big fan of ‘ATARU’, commented, “I was personally looking forward to the continuation of the drama, therefore it’s a really big honor for me to actually make an appearance in it.” She continued, “Madoka’s mind is very complex, which made it difficult to express what’s on her mind. It’s the last episode, so please don’t miss it.”
Okada expressed, “I would like to express the warmth in the bonds of family that is one of the themes of the drama. I am looking forward to working with Nakai-san.”
The 18-year-old idol Shimazaki plays the 36-year-old ‘Bimajo (=beautiful witch)’ Mizuno Rumi, who is a member of the Metropolitan Police Department’s mobile forensics unit. In the drama, a similar role was played by former AKB48 member Mitsumune Kaoru.
She stated, “The age difference is huge, but it should be a lot of fun to play this role. I’ll be able to gain so much valuable experience by taking in the detailed guidance of the director and by watching the performances of the other actors up-close.”