Long Vacation was Fuji-tv 1996 production, and one of the pioneer tv series that spakled the Japanese drama dominance in Asia entertainment during the late 1990s.
Long Vacation (????) starred Kimura Takuya, Yamaguchi Tomoko, Inamori Izumi, Matsu Takako, Takenouchi Yutaka, Ryou, Hirosue Ryoko and Morimoto Leo. Most of the cast at that time were newbies but was shot to stardom for the immense success of the tv drama series all across Asia.
Storyline for Long Vacation..
Senna (Kimura Takuya) is a 24 years old college graduate and piano teacher who dreams of becoming a world class pianist, while Minami (Yamaguchi Tomoko) is 31 years old model who was dumped by her fiance on her wedding day.
Minami fiancé happens to be Senna’s ex-housemate and Minami meet Senna for the first time when she rushed to his house in search for her fiancé who ran away with all her savings. With no money and no place to go, Minami moves in and stay with Senna.
(Hirosue Ryoko played as Takako, Kimura’s piano student and Morimoto Leo as Kimura’s college professor, Prof Sasaki.)
Senna has crush on his college junior Ryoko (Matsu Takako) but gutless to confess his love. And just when he started to date Ryoko, Minami’s younger brother Shinji (Takenouchi Yutaka) appears. Shinji wildness and flair in piano attracted Ryoko and Senna is badly hurt. Ryoko and Shinji are not having a good time neither as Shinji already have a long time girlfriend Rumiko (Ryou).
At the same time Senna also finds dead end in his piano skills and started giving up his dream on becoming a world class pianist…
Minami is an out-of-favor model who is having the worse time of her life. However her optimistic attitude has show herself courage and enjoy her life with her hilarious best friend Koishikawa (Inamori Izumi).
While having conflict staying together, Senna later learn a lot from the positive attitude of Minami, and Minami encouragement gives Senna the will to pick up on piano again.
Bit by bit they discover the love for each other, but the age gap cause hesitation for their love affair (Minami is 7 years older than Senna)..
It’s a happy ending all around, Senna become a worldclass pianist and together with Minami they overcome the barrier and get married.
Long Vacation is not entirely about love, it’s about passion and life. People will experience high and low in their living, and when it’s during the dark time, just be positive and take it as a ‘long vacation’ from God.
Long Vacation also sparkle the trend of ladies in love with younger guys, which was unusual before the tv drama.
In real life Yamaguchi Tomoko retired soon after the tv series and got married, she remain as one of the all time favorite Japanese actress.
Kimura Takuya that time already gaining some popularity with the boy band SMAP, and with Long Vacation he became #1 superstar in Japan for years to come. His involvement in another few superhit Japanese drama series that swept across Asia has made him a legendary figure in Asia entertainment.
Others like Inamori Izumi, Matsu Takako, Takenouchi Yutaka and Hirosue Ryoko are still popular faces in Asia, with impressive resume for each of them.
The excellent blending of music soundtrack in Long Vacation also becomes the blueprint for later Japanese Production. The importance of music in tv dramas are still seen today in the popular ha-yu trend in Korean dramas.
Long Vacation, probably the best Japanese drama ever.
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