Ikebukuro West Gate Park was a wildly popular, highly influential Japanese television drama by screenwriter Kankuro Kudo, based on a novel by Ira Ishida, that initially aired on the Tokyo Broadcasting System during the summer of 2000, and directed by Yukihiko Tsutsumi. The success of the television series would launch a manga adaptation the following year. In a break from traditional Japanese programming, the series used edgy graphics and scene breaks to highlight a story involving themes drawn from the underbelly of modern Japanese society: hip-hop youth gang warfare, juvenile delinquency, prostitution, drug abuse, the Yakuza, rape and murder. Notable among the cast are Tokio lead singer Tomoya Nagase, film star Ken Watanabe, and future stars Koyuki, Satoshi Tsumabuki, and Tomohisa Yamashita of Johnny's Jimusho idol group NEWS. The series is also credited for bringing up the profile of actor Yosuke Kubozuka.