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Sunday, April 24, 2005


Teens can't imagine marriage without love in NHK's "Shinken Judai Shaberi-ba" and more

Yuko Asano returns as "Zaimu Sosakan Amamiya Ruriko" on this week's "Monday Mystery Theatre" (TBS, 9 p.m.). A zaimu sosakan is a police agent who handles financial matters.

Amamiya is summoned to help police detective Murakami (Toshiro Yanagiba), who is investigating two murders. The first victim is a young female college student named Akiko, and the second, which occurs in the middle of the first investigation, is a female employee of the accounting department of the college Akiko was attending. Because the college is one of Japan's most prestigious, the case receives a lot of media attention. Amamiya is brought in because a great deal of cash was found with the corpse of the accountant. Murakami thinks the murders have something to do with embezzlement, but they need Amamiya to go over the university's books.

The premise behind the popular late-night variety show, "Flying Gout Temps," is narcissism: What do you think of yourself and how do you think others view you? Centered around three celebrities -- actress Ryoko Shinohara, tarento Yuka, and a guest -- the show purports to analyze and understand individual personalities by any means available. Last week, actor Richard Gere was the guest and the two regulars flattered him and bought him gifts, the point being to make him choose which young lady he liked better.

On this week's show (Fuji TV, Wednesday, 11 p.m.) the guest is Tokyo University graduate Rei Kikkawa, who will join Ryoko and Yuka in a study to classify "women's feelings" on a variety of topics. Using a questionnaire that is distributed to 50 women in the studio, the three will guess what things, for instance, women try not to do in front of their boyfriends. A very heated discussion follows.

The topic on this week's teen-talk show, "Shinken Judai Shaberi-ba" (Serious Teenage Forum; NHK-E, Friday, 11:30 p.m.) is "kekkon no nai renai wa kangaerarenai." Usually, most people "can't imagine" a "marriage without love," but what this phrase really means is that "love that doesn't lead to marriage is unimaginable."

The topic was submitted by 18-year-old Yuriko Miyauchi, who lives with her extended family in a 160-year-old house in Chiba Prefecture. Proud of her family's history, Miyauchi plans to take over the estate, since her older sister does not. To this end, she has made a plan to marry by the age of 23. Before that she thinks it is ideal to date her intended husband for three years.

That doesn't give her much time, especially since she will have to convince whatever man she dates to take her name in order to perpetuate the Miyauchi line. However, the main sticking point is her belief that dating without the possibility of marriage is a waste of time. She and a group of other teens discuss romance, family, and marriage.

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