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Nobuta wo Produce

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Narrated by
Final episode date
17 December 2005

Number of seasons

Also known as

First episode date
15 October 2005

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Written by
Gen Shiraiwa (author)Izumi Kizara

Directed by
Hitoshi IwamotoNorika Sakuma

Kazuya KamenashiTomohisa YamashitaMaki Horikita

Ending theme
"Seishun Amigo" by Shūji to Akira

Nippon Television Network System

Japanese television drama, Kurosagi, Operation Love, Tatta Hitotsu no Koi, For You in Full Blossom

Nobuta wo produce graduation song

Nobuta wo Produce (野ブタ。をプロデュース, Nobuta o Purodyūsu) is a Japanese television drama produced and aired in 2005 by NTV. The television show is based on the book of the same name by Gen Shiraiwa (ISBN 4-309-01683-9). The story follows the high school lives of Kiritani and Kusano as they attempt to make a shy Kotani into the most popular girl in school.


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Introducing Nobuta

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Shuji Kiritani (Kazuya Kamenashi) is a very popular high school boy who is close to Mariko Uehara (Erika Toda), the most popular girl in school, but whom he does not actually love. Akira Kusano (Tomohisa Yamashita), his classmate, does not really have any friends - something that is attributed to the fact that he cannot read the atmosphere well, or rather, he chooses to ignore the atmosphere. One day, a very shy girl, Nobuko Kotani (Maki Horikita) transfers to their school and is instantly picked on by a group of girls for her shyness. As a testimony to their youth, Shuji and Akira team up and decide to "produce" her, to make her popular. They nickname her "Nobuta".

Production of Nobuta

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The various episodes deal with the pair's attempts at making Kotani popular by making her more appealing. Amidst this, a mysterious person insidiously attempts to waylay all of Kiritani and Kusano's efforts. Fortunately, the trio always manages to pull through with ingenuity.


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Kiritani has to cope with his loss of popularity after he is caught out lying about Uehara and does not assist when a classmate is beaten up. Despite this, with the knowledge that his two true friends, Kusano and Kotani, will always be there for him, Kiritani gets over it. There is also the revelation of Aoi, Kotani's first friend besides Shuji and Akira, as the mysterious antagonist of the story. In the final episode, Kiritani discovers that he and his family must move out of Tokyo because of his father's job. Kusano follows Kiritani to his new hometown and surprises him by showing up at his new school. Kotani is left alone in Tokyo, but she has overcome her shyness, and is finally able to smile. She also becomes popular among the other students, and is no longer bullied. The end of the drama sees all three characters being able to "live wherever [they] are", having learned the meaning of friendship and love.

Main characters

The drama centers around three main characters: Kiritani, Kusano, and Kotani.

Shūji Kiritani

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Shūji Kiritani (桐谷 修二) treats everything in life as a game, and thus, lives his life as a little white lie. He believes that by keeping up a "cool" facade, he can get to his goal without getting hurt. Because he chooses to hide his true self, Kiritani is, on the inside, a truly lonely person. Although he does not like Mariko romantically, he has lunch with her every day in a bid to boost his popularity. He is only truly open to Kusano and Kotani, and considers the two as his only true friends. Always putting the feelings of others before himself, Kiritani does not have the power to say "no". He always bottles up his own feelings, and never complains, that is the main reason why he lies.

Akira Kusano

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Unlike Kiritani, Akira Kusano (草野 彰) is not popular. Constantly on a soy milk high, Kusano always finds ways to get on Kiritani's nerves. Despite this, they become good friends by the end of the series. With much money to dispense of, Kusano finances most of their escapades. With no intention of following the footsteps of his father, the president of a company, Kusano is a free spirit who would rather live his a life as a "dime in the street" and enjoy his youth. At one point in the story, it is revealed that Kusano has affections for Kotani. However, he does not pursue his feelings knowing that he will not be able to make her happy. He demonstrates a high prowess in karate easily beating up a bully and smashing through a set of tiles. Naturally forgiving, he is ready to forgive and forget, as long as it preserves his friendship with Kiritani and Kotani

Nobuko Kotani

Nobuko Kotani (小谷 信子, Kotani Nobuko) is painfully shy after initially being rejected by her stepfather at a young age. Following this, because she finds it difficult to relate to other students, she has been continuously bullied. Because of this, Kotani is cynical. She believes that no matter where she is, or no matter how hard she tries, the world will still reject her. With Kiritani and Kusano's help and encouragement, she begins to open up more to others. Kotani considers Kiritani and Kusano as the two people who are the most important to her. At the end of the series, she has finally gathered enough confidence to smile and continue socializing, even without them.

Mariko Uehara

Kiritani's popular, basketball-playing girlfriend. Mariko Uehara (上原 まり子) brings lunch for Kiritani every day, which shows her determination to have him love her back the same way she does. Although devastated when she finds out that Kiritani does not reciprocate her feelings, she gradually comes to accept it. Although she is not officially a member of the Nobuta Producing team, she was indispensable in helping to produce Kotani. At the end of the series, she has forged a friendship with Kotani, and becomes her good friend after Kiritani and Kusano are gone.

Kasumi Aoi

The main antagonist of the story, though it is found out later in the series. Aoi strives to destroy all of the trio's efforts, relishing the power of destroying someone's life and making others miserable. Because Kotani considers Aoi to be her first friend, nobody suspected her intentions until Kiritani found out. Later on, Aoi learns an important lesson about friendship and redemption, and is given a chance to turn over a new leaf at Kotani's grace.


  • Kazuya Kamenashi - Shūji Kiritani (桐谷 修二, Kiritani Shūji)
  • Tomohisa Yamashita - Akira Kusano (草野 彰, Kusano Akira)
  • Maki Horikita - Nobuko Kotani (小谷 信子, Kotani Nobuko) (aka Nobuta)
  • Erika Toda - Mariko Uehara (上原 まり子, Uehara Mariko)
  • Rumi Hiiragi - Kasumi Aoi
  • Takashi Ukaji - Satoru Kiritani (桐谷 悟, Kiritani Satoru)
  • Yuto Nakajima - Koji Kiritani (桐谷 浩二, Kiritani Kōji)
  • Yoshinori Okada - Takeshi Yokoyama (横山 武士, Yokoyama Takeshi)
  • Tomoya Ishii - Yoshida (吉田 浩, Yoshida)
  • Katsumi Takahashi - Ippei Hirayama (平山 一平, Hirayama Ippei)
  • Mari Natsuki - Yoko Sada (Katherine) (佐田 杳子(キャサリン), Sada Yōko (Kyasarin))
  • Fumiko Mizuta - Kozue Bando (坂東 梢, Bandō Kozue)
  • Shunsuke Daito - Taniguchi
  • Honami Tajima - Misa Inoue (井上 美咲, Inoue Misa)
  • Akiko - Nami (佐伯 奈美, Nami)
  • Tomu Suetaka - Kondo (近藤 利晃(ボケ担当), Kondō)
  • Staff

  • Hitoshi Iwamoto and Norika Sakuma - directors
  • Hidehiro Kawano - producer
  • Izumi Kizara - screenwriter
  • Accolades

    The Television Drama Academy Awards are held quarterly by the magazine, "The Television", and are based on the combined results of votes from the magazine readers, juries, and TV journalists.


    The theme song is "Seishun Amigo" by Shūji to Akira, a special group consisting of KAT-TUN's Kazuya Kamenashi and NewS' Tomohisa Yamashita, named after their drama counterparts. The song topped the Oricon charts in 2005, selling over 1 million copies and climbing to the top as the most successful single of the year.


    Nobuta wo Produce Wikipedia

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