The Cinematopics site reports on the first starring role for actress Rina Kawaei – in a film about sake.
The opening date and poster were released on 26 July 2018, with the image showing a young woman holding a large tasting ochoko in front of what looks like a brewery (with a tall red brick smokestack) and a young man in a white coat carrying wooden trays glancing over at her.
The film’s title is 愛のしずく (“Drops of Love”) and it’s a love story set in the fictional Nogami brewery in Saijō, Hiroshima, a famed historical brewing area. Rina’s character is called Shiori, and the man standing behind her in the poster is actor Hayato Onozuka, who plays the owner’s son Kanji. It stars recently deceased actor Ren Osugi as the brewery owner, Koichi Mantarō as the stern tōji, Mao Miyaji as the daughter of farmer supplying the brewery and a supporter of Shiori, and Yuichi Nakamura as the young rising star of the brewer’s association.
The film is due to open on 20 October 2018, or on 13 October if you’re in Hiroshima.
Shiori is in her third year studying science at an agricultural university [referred to as a リケジョ, “science girl”, which probably tells you all you need to know about the gender balance in science in Japan] in Tokyo and is sent to do some practical training at a sake brewery in Hiroshima – much to her shock, as she’s only interested in wine and hoping to become a sommelier, but so many people applied for the wine internship that they had to draw lots and she lost. She quickly gets caught up in the brewery’s drama, including Kanji’s total disinterest in taking the business over from his father.
The film is billed as a human drama where the experience of working at the brewery awakens her to life’s joys, meetings and partings and helps her to grow. Rina Kawai was previous a member of girl group AKB48, and is currently pursing an acting career in film and TV. Hayato Onozuka is a former member of boy band EXILE.