Kento Nakajima, the lead singer of the idol group Sexy Zone, announced on Thursday that he would be acting in the new manga-based drama Bad Boys J. Nakajima will play the lead character Tsukasa Kiriki, who has a strong sense of justice, but rebels against his rich parents and joins a motorcycle gang called the Paradise Butterflies. In Bad Boys J, Tsukasa has become the leader of Paradise Butterflies. The role will mark Nakajima's first starring role in a drama.
Kis-My-Ft2 member Takashi Nikaidō will play the leader of the Beast gang, the most powerful gang in Hiroshima, and A.B.C-Z member Ryōsuke Hashimoto will play the leader of Paradise Butterflies' rival gang, Hiroshima Knights. All three performers are former members of talent agency Johnny's Jr., and many other members of the agency will also co-star in the show.
When asked about his role, Nakajima said that he does not have much experience in dramas, but that he is going to get into a different mindset for the role. Nakajima also noted the he and Hashimoto have been on good terms for a while, and Hashimoto's role suits him well. Nakajima added that because Nikaidō shows a lot of intensity during sword practice, he is not eager to fight him.
The story is based on Hiroshi Tanaka's manga Bad Boys, which ran in Shonen Gahosha's Young King magazine from 1988 to 1996. The series has more than 50 million copies of its 22 compiled book volumes in circulation. A sequel manga, Bad Boys Glare, also ran in the same magazine from 1996 to 2003. Toei Animation and directors Osamu Sekita (Cross Game, Ichigo 100%) and Takeshi Yamaguchi (Happy Lesson, Slayers Next) adapted the manga into a five-part original video anime series from 1993 to 1998. A live-action film adaptation of the original manga opened in Japan in 2011.
Bad Boys J will air late at night every Saturday starting April 6 on NTV.