Sometimes drama castings are so unbelievable I need to stop for a moment to even process the pairing. This so shocking I don’t even know where to start. Nagasawa Masami is currently in Taiwan for a long stay filming a TW-drama co-starring Blue Lan. Yes, you heard that right. It’s a 13-episode CTS adaptation of a Japanese manga called Gangster Patisserie. The adaptation will involve a female Japanese college student who runs away to Taiwan and gets involved with a reformed young hoodlum who just got out of jail after five years. Turns out his old gangster boss lost his wife to an illness and has decided to turn over a new leaf and become a legit businessman by starting a bakery that employs all his former gang members. His beloved deceased wife’s daughter from her previous marriage is the Japanese girl and she arrives in Taiwan looking for her mom, and ends up living with her step father, who dreams of being a master baker but sucks big time at baking. The entire gang of misfits all live and work together, and heartwarming hilarity ensues. I have a super duper soft spot for Masami since she played not one but two Adachi Mitsuru heroines in the movie adaptations of the iconic Touch (she played Minami, of course), as well as Rough (where she had fantastic chemistry with Hayami Mokomichi). My jaw further dropped when it was announced that Masami is refusing to be dubbed and will speak her own lines. Little girl say whut?
In the drama, her character speaks half her lines in Chinese and the other half in Japanese, so Masami is not only filming she’s also cramming Chinese lessons in during her free time. Her leading man Blue Lan is also taking Japanese lessons as he wants to communicate better with Masami and help her get closer with the cast and crew. The drama is scheduled to film for 4 months and will air sometime in mid-2013. I’m truly stunned to see a genuine Japan-Taiwan collaboration drama, and with Masami no less, who is undergoing a career revival of sorts after her hit movie Moteki (also known as Love Strikes) last year. This drama will definitely be fascinating to watch. Masami appears to have finally transitioned from the girl-next-door to the next stage of her career, and I’ll be curious if this TW-drama choice turns out to be worth her time.