Masaki Aiba of the male idol group Arashi will star in a live-action television series adaptation of Araki Joh and Kenji Nagatomo's Bartender manga starting next January. This year's 24th issue of Super Jump magazine made the announcement on Wednesday. Aiba will play Ryū Sasakura, a genius bartender who makes the finest cocktails for his customers. People come from all walks of life to his bar, and Ryū not only hears their problems, but helps solve them.
The live-action series will run during the "Friday Night Drama" timeslot on TV Asahi and its network affiliates. To prepare for the role, Aiba has been training with a professional bartender since this fall. The manga has been running in Super Jump since 2004, and the 17th compiled book volume shipped in August. The manga already inspired an television anime series in 2006.
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