Budokan (武道館) was a Japanese TV drama starring Juice=Juice as a five-member idol group called NEXT YOU, who dream of performing at Nippon Budokan. It is based on the novel of the same name by Naoki Prize winner Asai Ryo.
The drama premiered in February 2016 with two versions. The first aired on Fuji TV from February 6 to March 26, and the second aired on BS SKY PerfecTV! with 15 minute longer episodes from February 10 to March 30. The longer version has original scenes, full singing scenes, and the NEXT YOU variety show. The Fuji TV broadcast had an average rating of 2.73%.
The Blu-ray of the drama was released on July 6, 2016. The second disc includes BS SKY PerfecTV! extras, NEXT YOU Station videos, and making of footage. The bonus CD contains "Next is you!" and "Otona no Jijou" and their instrumental tracks.
- (Translation of official Fuji TV synopsis.)
The popular and highly admired idol unit "NEXT YOU" is formed by five members. In 2013, they were selected to form the unit by music producer Natsume Jun (35) after making it into the "Tsugi wa Kimi da! Contest" (Next is You! Contest). After their formation they had their indie debut and made their major debut a year ago. They are currently in the middle of carrying out the live activities of their third single.
The five members are: the one responsible as center and the most popular, Aoi (17); the cheerful mood maker, Mayu (18); the oldest member and leader, Hana (19); one of the oldest but a spoiled child, Rurika (19); and the only amateur chosen, Aiko (17).
Enthusiastic male fans rush to their lives. The fans support the girls' dream: "To stand on the stage of Budokan!" However, they are still far from reaching Budokan. They are popular among idol otaku, but in reality they are inexperienced when appearing on TV, and have never entered the top 10 with their highest rank being 15th in Oricon. So far their agency has produced many leading top idols, and now they will be focusing on NEXT YOU. Natsume, of course, wants NEXT YOU to aim for the top spot. Idol otaku, charismatic bloggers around the world, and now NEXT YOU's number one fans are especially supporting Aiko.
Aiko is the kind of girl who has loved to sing and dance since very young. Longing to be an idol, she sure enough became a NEXT YOU member, and now she will do her best to achieve standing on the stage of Budokan. She is an active high school student, balancing work and school everyday. At 8-years-old, her parents divorced and she chose to live with her father. In a Tokyo apartment live only the two of them, father and daughter. Aiko's salaryman father understands and is willing to give Aiko his support. However, Aiko has been secretly mailing reports of her idol activity to another person, her mother who lives separated from her.
There is also one more person she sends mail to, her childhood friend Daichi (17). He lives one floors above in the same apartment and they are classmates in the same high school. But in spite of Aiko aiming for being top idol, Daichi has secretly come into her heart. However, the idol world prohibits love. Although the agency's views are severe, the fans are even more so. Now, she won't even think about love. Not only Aiko, but the other members obediently believe "love is absolutely unthinkable" and do their best to aim for nothing but Budokan.
Various challenges descend upon the girls. The ordeal that "idols should not be fat," injury as a result of an incident with a pervert, differences of opinion with a popular member, love problems, and so on... To overcome these things, will it be possible for these girls to stand on the stage of Budokan? Is it possible for them to obtain enough popularity to fill up Budokan? To obtain the top spot of idols, will it be possible for them to throw away all their other desires?
Focusing mainly on Aiko, this will portray the stark inner world of idols at the same time, and depict the other side of the idol boundary realistically.
- NEXT YOU
- GREEN-UP PROMOTION (グリーンアッププロモーション)
- Kinoshita Houka as Nomura Yoichi (野村洋一), chief manager of NEXT YOU and the section chief of GREEN-UP PROMOTION
- Koide Keisuke as Natsume Jun (夏目純), music producer of NEXT YOU
- Takahata Yuta as Maeda Haruki (前田春樹), on-site manager of NEXT YOU and subordinate of Nomura
- Yoshizawa Ryo as Mizushima Daichi (水嶋大地), Aiko's childhood friend
- Yashiba Toshihiro as Hidaka Tsunehiko (日高恒彦), Aiko's father
- Ono Karin as Takagi Eri (高木恵理), Aiko's classmate
- Rokkaku Seiji as Hakase (ハカセ; Professor), a charismatic idol blogger and the narrator
- Kimijima Asaya as Kanno Takuya (菅野卓哉), a hair and make-up artist
- Guest Stars
- Mano Erina as Omitani Kyoka (尾見谷杏佳), actress and former member of NEXT YOU (Episode #1)
- Hayami Akari as Koizumi (小泉), from Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san (Episode #2)
- NANA (MAX) as Yagi Fuyumi (八木芙由美), NEXT YOU's choreographer (Episodes #2, #5)
- Yaguchi Mari as herself (Episode #5, BS SKY PerfecTV! version of Episode #8)
- Tsuji Nozomi as herself (BS SKY PerfecTV! version of Episode #8)
- Asai Ryo (Episode #1)
Drama "Budokan" Document ~Aidoru Tanjou Kara Sotsugyou Made~ (ドラマ「武道館」ドキュメント ～アイドル誕生から卒業まで～) was a multi-part series documenting the creation of the drama. It began airing on CS Fuji TV Two on January 14, 2016, airing every other week and ending on March 25 with 6 episodes.
- Tsunku helped produce the image and sound of NEXT YOU.
- Juice=Juice had a casting audition to decide their NEXT YOU member roles on September 9th, and were announced their roles on October 8th.
- There were lotteries for fan club members to participate as extras for the filming of a handshake event after Miyamoto Karin's 2015 birthday event on December 1st, and the filming of a Christmas live that included Hidaka Aiko's birthday during Juice=Juice's 2015 Christmas fanclub event on December 23rd. Fuji TV lent NEXT YOU T-shirts, but fans were also encouraged to make their own original goods for NEXT YOU and the members in the color pink, NEXT YOU's unit color.
- The drama makes several references to UP-FRONT GROUP/UP-FRONT PROMOTION, including using concert footage of Hello! Project acts performing at Nippon Budokan in the opening of the first episode and featuring Hello! Project merchandise as set decorations.
- "Juice=Juice、ドラマ主演で“武道館”の思い強く「改めて立ちたい場所」" (in Japanese). ORICON STYLE. 2015-12-11.
- "新ドラマ「武道館」スカパー！×フジテレビ" (in Japanese). BS SKY PerfecTV!. 2015-12-15.
-  Miyazaki Yuka Blog Post (Translation). 2016-1-14.
- Drama "Budokan" Document ~Aidoru Tanjou Kara Sotsugyou Made~ (Episode #1). 2016-01-14.
- "Juice=Juice主演 フジテレビ＆BSスカパー！放送ドラマ『武道館』エキストラ募集のお知らせ" (in Japanese). Hello! Project Official Fan Club Website. 2015-11-06.
- "Juice=Juice主演 フジテレビ＆BSスカパー！放送ドラマ『武道館』エキストラ募集のお知らせ（12/23 ディファ有明）" (in Japanese). Hello! Project Official Fan Club Website. 2015-12-18.