Yuta Nakamoto, member of the K-pop group NCT, is set to make his TV drama debut on the screen of TV Tokyo. On March 2, the Japanese broadcasting channel revealed Yuta as part of the cast of their upcoming series Cool Doji Danshi, also known as Play It Cool, Guys. The Japanese star — who flaunts the title of most followed Japanese male celebrity on Instagram — joins a lineup that also includes JO1’s Kawanishi Takumi, Maito Fujioka, and Dori Sakurada

Play It Cool

Following the daily lives of a group of young men considered to be “cool but a little clumsy,” Cool Doji Danshi is originally a manga written by Kokone Nata. The manga’s publication in 2019 enjoyed great popularity among the Japanese public, prompting the release of an anime in 2022. Now, TV Tokyo is beating on a live-action version of the manga with a drama series set for release on April 14, 2023. Cool Doji Danshi will be directed by Hiroaki Yuasa, Yuka Eda, and Akina Yanagi, following a screenplay written by Hiroyuki Komine — who has previously worked in series such as Suits Season 2 (2020) and Doctor X Season 7 (2021).

Marking his first-ever appearance on a Japanese TV drama, Yuta will play the role of Hayate Ichikura, a college student worried about his future. “When I took on this story, I was hoping that I could experience the fun of balancing the clumsy parts of myself with what I’m actually thinking in my head, through my performance,” said* Yuta about the role. The Japanese star also shared his expectations for the drama. “I’m still inexperienced, but if the people who watch the drama relax, laugh, or get choked up with emotion, and if the episode releases become a comforting time throughout people’s week, I’d be happy!” he added.

In addition to Yuta, singer Kawanishi Takumi, as well as actors Maito Fujioka, and Dori Sakurada will step into the drama as part of the main cast. Kawanishi Takumi echoed Yuta’s expectations for Cool Doji Danshi, stating, “I think that the viewers are likely to have a part of them that resonates with the struggles that the four leads have. Through seeing the leads overcome those struggles, I hope that the drama is something that blows away viewers’ worries and anxieties.”

Yuta’s Takeover

Yuta’s participation in Cool Doji Danshi follows the star’s acting debut in the action film HiGH&LOW: The Worst X (Cross) in 2022. The idol took on the role of Ryo Suzaki, making an impactful performance as an actor. Yuta then joined his group, NCT 127, on a tour that took them around Asia, the United States, and Latin America in the latter months of the year.

However, beyond the confines of the music and acting scenes, Yuta has also been making waves in the world of fashion. The Osaka-born celebrity has fronted several specialized magazines, including Numéro TOKYO, HIGHSNOBIETY JAPAN, and ELLE Japan — to name a few. Similarly, Yuta has flaunted a growing friendship with the French luxury house, Louis Vuitton, attending events in Japan and participating in social media campaigns. 

In the role of Hayate Ichikura, the star is set to expand his acting range and offer fans something to be excited about every Friday night. Don’t miss out Cool Doji Danshi’s premiere on April 14 on TV Tokyo, TV Osaka, TV Aichi, TV Setouchi, TV Hokkaido, and TVQ Kyushu Broadcasting. 

*Japanese translations courtesy of Rin.

Want to read more about Yuta? Go down memory lane and reminisce how he and NCT achieved fashion world domination in 2022 here