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The tale of Tiger & Dragon revolves around the traditional Japanese theaterical comedy art-form known as rakugo, which has an impressive 400 year history. Well known pop-idol Tomoya Nagase portrays the surly & scary yakuza gangster Toraji, who, in the process of collecting debts from a rakugo master, is inspired to become a rakugo comedian himself. Junichi Okada plays Ryuji a gifted rakugo player who left the old fashioned ways of rakugo for good. As these two extremely juxtaposed characters cross paths through a girl named Megumi, played by the lovely Miskai Ito, the real mishaps & misadventures start thru the scenary of modern day Tokyo to its feudal past amidst a cacophony of colorful characters which make up this wonderful jdrama/comedy series.
The song this music video tribute is rendered to is UTAO UTAO by V6.
The cast of TIGER & DRAGON are:
Nagase Tomoya as Yamazaki Kotora / Hayashiyatei Kotora / Tora / Toraji / Toravolta
Okada Junichi as Yanaka Ryuji / Hayashiyatei Kotatsu
Ito Misaki as Megumi
Nishida Toshiyuki as Yanaka Shoukichi / Hayashiatei Donbei / Shishou / Don-chan
Shoufukutei Tsurube as Nakatani Ken / Ken-chan (Shinjuku RyuseIkai Kumicho)
Tsukamoto Takashi as Nakatani Ginjiro / Gin-gin
Takuma Takayuki as Hyuuga Jun
Gin Pun Chou as Yanaka Sayuri
Abe Sadao as Yanaka Ryuhei / Hayashiyatei Donta
Nekoze Tsubaki as Yanaka Tsuruko
Shunputei Shota as Hayashiyatei Donkichi
Hoshino Gen as Hayashiyatei Dontsuku
Fukami Motoki as Hayashiyatei Donburi
Asari Yosuke as Murata Susumu / Hayashiyatei Udon
Aoi Yu as Risa
Kiritani Kenta as Chibi T / Takeshi-kun
Arakawa Yoshiyoshi as Awashima Yukio / "Jumptei Jump"
Omi Toshinori as Ta-chan (Soba Shop owner / Rakugo Fanatic)
Hankai Kazuaki as Hanzou (Oden Stand Owner / Rakugo Fanatic)
Itou Shuuko (伊藤修子) as Nakatani Shizuka
Emoto Karin (江本花琳) as Yanaka Saya
Horaguchi Shinya (洞口信也) as Manabu
Hiroishi Keiichi (廣石恵一) as Kariya
Koumoto Junichi as Liu-san
Guest stars include:
Hiroshi (ヒロシ) as Death Kiyoshi (Sp&ep7)
Sugawara Daikichi (菅原大吉) as Tamotsu (Sp&10)
Oomori Nao as BOSS Kataoka (ep3)
Takada Fumio (高田文夫) as Takadatei Babahiko (ep3,7,10&11)
Morishita Aiko as Mizukoshi Koharu (ep4&11)
Furuta Arata as Maruo (ep5)
Shimizu Michiko as Marimo (ep5)
Yakushimaru Hiroko as Shiraishi Katsuko (ep6)
Kohinata Fumiyo as Yanagitei Koshin (ep7)
Takaoka Sousuke as Kaneko (ep8)
Kitamura Kazuki as Tanabe Yasuo (ep8,9,11)
Ino Manabu (猪野学) as Tetsuya (ep9)
Shoji Yusuke (少路勇介) as Yasuji (ep9)
Hashimoto Jun as Kaji Rikio (ep9-11)
Amongst the honors TIGER & DRAGON has received are the following:
45th Television Drama Academy Awards: Best Drama
45th Television Drama Academy Awards: Best Actor: Nagase Tomoya
45th Television Drama Academy Awards: Best Supporting Actor Nishida Toshiyuki
45th Television Drama Academy Awards: Best Screenwriter: Kudo Kankuro
45th Television Drama Academy Awards: Best Music Arrangement: Nakanishi Kyo
45th Television Drama Academy Awards: Best Opening: Katayama Osamu
9th Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix (2005-06): Best Supporting Actor: Okada Junichi
One review cited:
This drama continues off from where the special that aired early this year, 2005, ended. It's about a yakuza member, Toraji (Nagase Tomoya) who has to collect payments from a man whose son used the money to open an eclectic clothing store. However, Toraji discovers rakugo (traditional Japanese comical monologues) through the man who later teaches him the art. The situations between the characters were hilarious and the comedy was very refreshing. I really enjoyed how the director was able to create a seamless transitioning between the rakugo story-telling - the re-enactment of thestory itself - and then the current drama happenings. It was very innovative and impressive to say the least. Each episode focuses on a different rakugo story and it was surprising that because of this factor, the series still didn't seem episodic, but still proceeded at a nice pace.
The main characters, Toraji played by Nagase Tomoya and Ryu played by Okada Junichi are both memorable and funny. They each had a specific character type and firmly stuck to it throughout the drama. The other actors also did a wonderful job. The dialogue in this drama was refreshing and witty. Overall, a great jdrama!
Tags amv, dorama, dragon, ito, japan, jdrama, junichi, misaki, music, nagase, okada, tiger, tomoya, tv, utao, v6, video

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