News SMAP's Kusanagi to Star in Yume o Kanaeru Zō TV Anime
posted on 2009-01-03 23:57 EST
SMAP bandmember Tsuyoshi Kusanagi will voice a television anime character for the first time in 15 years when he stars in the Yume o Kanaeru Zō (The Dream-Granting Elephant) series, which will premiere this month. The series will be part of the Kimiha Break variety news program, which runs at 8:00 p.m. on Tuesdays. Kusanagi will play Fumio Fumiyama, an ordinary salaryman (Japanese company employee) who dreams of success. The story follows his journey of self-improvement and attainment of goals — with a little help from Ganesha, the Indian deity that happens to have an elephant head and speak with Kansai (Osaka/Kyoto area) accent.
Keiya Mizuno wrote the original novel that sold 1.7 million copies. It was already made into a drama starring Shun Oguri and Asami Mizukawa last fall, and it was also made into a theatrical play. Tsurube Shōfukutei will play Genesha. Kusanagi voiced a role in 1992-1993's Hime-chan's Ribbon television series, but he has not voiced an original anime role since 1995's The Diary of Anne Frank film. (He did voice a character in the Japanese dubbing of Hollywood's Robots film in 2005 and a character in 2007's Strings puppet work.)
Acclaimed director Akitaro Daichi (Fruits Basket, Kodomo no Omocha, Now and Then, Here and There) revealed in his blog on Saturday that he is working on an unannounced television program that will premiere on Tuesday, January 13. He indicated that it is based on an "original story known to many people," and that it will broadcast over-the-air in prime time. However, he did not announce that he is working on Yume o Kanaeru Zō.
Source: Daily Sports
this article has been modified since it was originally posted; see change history