Actress and 9nine member Umika Kawashima (16) has landed the lead role in a television drama series for the first time. She is set to star in TBS’s "Heaven’s Flower," which will also feature D-BOYS member Hirofumi Araki (27) and actor Go Ayano (28).
Set in the near-futuristic 2060, "Heaven’s Flower" combines mystery with a pure love story. Due to a botched experiment, Japan has become a barren land where flowers can’t even bloom, resulting in a severe rationing crisis. While the country works towards rebuilding, "District 7" is one of the areas left behind in the process.
The story unfolds in the neglected District 7. Despite Kawashima’s typical innocent image from her previous works, here she takes on her first "villain" role as a cruel and emotionless assassin named Ai, part of a group known as "Last Garden." While faithfully carrying out her missions every day, she encounters the police detective Yuichiro Manaka (Araki), and she suddenly must deal with her newfound emotion of love. The ensuing story is a romantic mystery involving betrayal and the secret behind her birth.
Ayano plays the police organization’s commanding officer Shion. His counterpart, the leader of "Last Garden," will be played by actress Yoshiko Mita (69), who has not had a recurring role in a drama series since "Ima, Ai ni Yukimasu" in 2006. Hirotaro Honda (59) has been cast as Ai’s greatest enemy, the boss of a Chinese mafia.
Kawashima got her acting start in 2006 and has appeared in dramas such as "Bloody Monday" and "Kaibutsu-kun." Although she has starred in a mobile phone drama as well as two movies, she admitted that she feels pressure since this is her first starring TV role. She will also be training for some action scenes, which include the use of a pistol and fighting with a knife at close range.
"Heaven’s Flower" premieres on January 14, airing every week in the "Friday Break" time slot (12:20am-12:50am).