On Air
Author: Miri Yū
Specifications: ISBN  978-4062774017
359 pages
10.8 x 14.8 cm / 4.3 x 5.8 in (WxH)
Category: Fiction
Publisher: Kodansha Ltd.
Tokyo, 2009
Volumes: Vol. 1-2
Print logo
Volume Titles ISBN Pages Year
1 Part 1 978-4062774017 359
2 Part 2 978-4062774024 376
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Spanning six years in the lives of three female announcers on NTS TV’s flagship news program “NewsEYE”, the story centers on the ambitions and disappointments, hopes and defeats, and dogged determination of a group of women working in the highly charged and intrigue-filled world of broadcast news.

They are coanchor Ayumi Fujisaki, 26; sportscaster Chihiro Mizusawa, 32; and weathercaster Yuika Mochizuki, 22. Ayumi is in a humiliating adulterous relationship with the program’s chief producer; Chihiro is seeing popular baseball player Daiki Inoue, who ardently loves her, but she is not yet ready to get married; and Yuika contends with the extreme possessiveness of the boyfriend she’s been dating since college, Takumichi Kobayashi.

Though female announcers may seem glamorous, they work in an environment where rapid turnover is the rule, with 30 being considered their mandatory retirement age by many in the industry. Even as these women appear to enjoy favorable winds and smooth sailing in their careers, they find themselves faced with a variety of trials. When Yuika breaks up with Takumichi, he takes revenge by selling revealing photos to a weekly magazine. Their publication leads to her being removed from the show; she turns in her resignation, and disappears from the public eye.

Four years later, new announcer Aiko Yoshikawa steals Daiki away from Chihiro. Although Chihiro is spared a public scandal, she must hide her wounded feelings as she continues reading the sports news on the air.

Meanwhile, Ayumi discovers that “NewsEYE” lead anchor Toshihiko Ishikawa, whose incisive commentaries often sway public opinion, is a drug user. Even as political coverage at NTS increasingly sides with the opposition, she contacts a leading member of the ruling conservative party and hands over the incriminating evidence?Toshihiko’s American Express card bearing drug residue. Placed under police surveillance, Toshihiko is caught red-handed and arrested. In the course of things, the chief producer with whom Ayumi has been carrying on an affair is demoted, and Ayumi herself announces her retirement on the air.

Two years later, NTS cancels the scandal-ridden “NewsEYE” and launches “Press Report Re:” in its place. Chihiro is tapped as the lead anchor. The inaugural broadcast features a segment on three former female announcers. First is Ayumi, who stood for national office and was not only elected on her first try but named Minister of the Environment. Next is Yuika, who was driven to the brink of suicide by scandal, but has rebuilt her career as a DJ on community FM with the help of a man who runs an announcer training school. And last is Aiko, who married Chihiro’s former lover Daiki and moved with him to New York, where he now plays big-league ball.