Raiou, based on the novel by Mari Ueza about tragic lovers, is set to open next week on Friday the 22nd. It stars idol-in-the-rise Masaki Okada opposite established-idol-transitioning-to-actress Yu Aoi. What does Raiou mean to their careers?
A rising-star and an established-idol starring in a period drama romance? If it succeeds, it means the rising-star will keep on rising, and the established-idol still has “it”. A period drama romance lays solely on its protagonists’ shoulders, and their chemistry. If it fails, it’s because of them. That’s a lot of scary thoughts right there~
Why does Yu Aoi need Raiou to succeed? She is indeed an idol still. She sponsors products, and she makes a living selling products. She’s young — to westerners, anyway — she’s cute, youthful… the whole shebang. However, the life-span of a Japanese female idol is short, some of them have retired at 20! So Yu, having turned 25 already, isn’t… well, a young idol any longer. She’s been away of major mainstream entertainment, she’s had relationships, she’s been on tabloids as people discuss who she really is dating. Everything takes its toll. She’s now a woman. An actress who is still an idol. Will people support her passed her prime-early-twenty years like they did when the hit Hula Girls came out?
Raiou holds Yu’s idol-hood future. Will it be a hit right away? Shoot to number one the first week to then drop the next? Will it slowly climb to number one in two or three weeks and stay there a week or two? Will it climb slowly up to stay there for several weeks? Will it never reach number one?? Whatever happens, it will change Yu’s bankability.