Nobuta wo Produce

Nobuta wo Produce[1] (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.

Nobuta wo Produce
Promotional picture for Nobuta wo Produce
Also known as野ブタ。をプロデュース
GenreJapanese television drama
Written byGen Shiraiwa (author)
Izumi Kizara
Directed byHitoshi Iwamoto
Norika Sakuma
StarringKazuya Kamenashi
Tomohisa Yamashita
Maki Horikita
Narrated byKazuya Kamenashi
Ending theme"Seishun Amigo" by Shūji to Akira
Composer(s)Ike Yoshihiro
Country of originJapan
Original language(s)Japanese
No. of episodes10
Producer(s)Hidehiro Kawano
Running timeAbout 48-53 minutes
Original networkNTV-4
Original releaseOctober 15 (2005-10-15) –
December 17, 2005 (2005-12-17)
Preceded byJō no Kyōshitsu
Followed byKuitan
External links

Plot overviewEdit

Introducing NobutaEdit

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 NobutaEdit

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.


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 charactersEdit

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

Shūji KiritaniEdit

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 KusanoEdit

Akira Kusano

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 KotaniEdit

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.

Minor charactersEdit

Mariko UeharaEdit

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 AoiEdit

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.



Cover of the novel Nobuta wo Produce by Gen Shiraiwa



Episode title Romanized title Broadcast date Ratings
Ep. 1 いじめられっこ転校生を人気者に Ijimerarekko Tenkousei o Ninkimono ni October 15, 2005 16.1%
Ep. 2 (秘)キレイ大作戦 Kirei Daisakusen October 22, 2005 14.9%
Ep. 3 恐怖の文化祭 Kyoufu no Bunkasai October 29, 2005 17.0%
Ep. 4 恋の告白作戦 Koi no Kokuhaku Sakusen November 5, 2005 16.4%
Ep. 5 悪夢のデート Akumu no Deto November 12, 2005 17.1%
Ep. 6 親と子の青春 Oya to Ko no Seishun November 19, 2005 17.7%
Ep. 7 女を泣かす男 Onna o Nakasu Otoko November 26, 2005 16.7%
Ep. 8 いじめの正体 Ijime no Shoutai December 3, 2005 18.0%
Ep. 9 別れても友達 Wakarete mo Tomodachi December 10, 2005 16.8%
Ep. 10 さようならアミーゴ Sayōnara Amigo December 17, 2005 18.2%


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.

Year Award Category Result Recipient
2006 9th Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix Best Actor Won Yamashita Tomohisa
47th Television Drama Academy Awards Best Drama Won Nobuta wo Produce
Best Actor Won Kamenashi Kazuya
Best Supporting Actress Won Maki Horikita
Best Director Won Iwamoto Hitoshi
Best Scriptwriter Won Kizara Izumi
Best Musical Arrangement Won Ike Yoshihiro


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.


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External linksEdit