New actor given major role in drama ‘Mezon Ikkoku’

A university student has won the lead role–which will also be his screen debut–in the forthcoming TV drama Mezon Ikkoku, which starts next spring on the TV Asahi network.

Based on a popular comic series by Rumiko Takahashi, the drama will star Taiki Nakabayashi, a 21-year-old senior at Osaka Gakuin University, as Yusaku Godai–a would-be university student who falls in love with Kyoko Otonashi (Misaki Ito), the widowed caretaker of the apartment house where he lives.

Nakabayashi, a native of Nara Prefecture, was chosen from 3,200 applicants in auditions that were only open to amateurs. He reportedly had been planning to move to Tokyo after graduating from the university next year to become an actor.

"I’m just a newcomer who doesn’t know anything [about acting], but I’ll do my best," Nakabayashi told reporters at a recent press conference.

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