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Sunday, Jan. 16, 2005

CHANNEL SURF

Fuji TV's new romantic comedy series, "Fukigen no Jiin" and more

The title of Fuji TV's new romantic comedy series, "Fukigen no Jiin" (Mon., 9 p.m.), has a double meaning. The main character is a university research geneticist, so the title could be translated as "The Gene for Ill Temper." But this female researcher, played by Yuko Takeuchi, is nicknamed Jean, so the title could also mean "Grouchy Jean."

Her real name is Yoshiko, and the reason she's grouchy is a guy named Nambara (Masaaki Uchino), an ex-boyfriend who shows up at Yoshiko's university as a guest professor. Nambara is a notorious playboy, and when he and Yoshiko were going out, she caught him with another woman, and has never forgiven him for it. Nambara, however, can barely remember what she was upset about, and makes a move on her as if nothing ever happened.

Yoshiko's research is into the behavior of ladybugs, but she tends to reduce everything to the genetic level. When friends talk about their problems, she can't help coming up with an evolutionary explanation for everyday disappointment and heartache.


The busiest variety show emcee in Japan makes the move to drama Tuesday at 9 p.m. on TBS in "Okoru Sodanshitsucho (The Angry Advisor)." Monta Mino plays the head of a local government counselling department named Tamon Ooka, a reference to a famous Edo-era judge named Ooka, which plays on Mino's reputation as a stern but fair giver of advice.

Ooka is visited by a man named Matsuda, who owns a clinic and wants to complain about a home helper who was hired to take care of his bedridden mother. Ooka is put off by the man's superior attitude and angrily tells him off. Later, Matsuda's body is found in a river. Ooka eventually learns that Matsuda was divorced and that he and his ex-wife were fighting over the custody of their son.


On Friday, NHK-G begins a six-part dramatization of a book by the late Sawako Aruyoshi about the wife of Seishu Hanaoka, an Edo-era doctor who is credited with developing a general anaesthetic more than 40 years before it was developed in the West.

In "Seishu Hanaoka's Wife" (9:15 p.m.), we learn that he developed a method to help treat breast cancer, and that he used both his wife and his mother as research subjects.

In the first episode, Kae (Emi Wakui) is introduced as a child who nurses a strong admiration for the beautiful, older Otsugi (Yoshiko Tanaka), a neighbor who marries into the Hanaoka family.

Otsugi's father-in-law and Kae's grandfather have always been good friends, and Kae grows up hoping that she will be married off to Otsugi's son, Seishu, whose father eventually approves of the union. However, on the day of the wedding, the ceremony proceeds without the groom, who remains in Kyoto studying medicine.



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