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Sunday, May 4, 2008


1970's anime, female focused drom-com, court room drama

"Yatterman" is one of those 1970s anime series that's recently been revived for a generation that wasn't alive when it was first aired.

It involves a pair of technically adept teen superheroes who thwart the villainous Dorombo Gang in their quest for the legendary Skull Ring, which gives the person who wears it unbelievable wealth.

"Yatterman Genteiban (Yatterman Limited Edition)" (Nihon TV, Monday, 7 p.m.), a special one-hour episode, features none other than Monta Mino, Japan's busiest emcee, in his cartoon debut.

Mino has somehow come into possession of the Skull Ring, and the Dorombo, who are broke and thus stuck in Tokyo for Golden Week, decide to take it away from him. However, Mino is constantly surrounded by bodyguards.

Ganchan, the male half of the Yatterman team, has nothing much to do during Golden Week, either, and is watching Mino on TV when the gang invades the studio. He and his female partner, Aichan, spring into action.

T he ubiquitous 23-year-old actress Yu Aoi plays the title character in the new drama series, "Osen" (Nihon TV, Tuesday, 10 p.m.), which is set in a traditional restaurant-inn located in Tokyo's shitamachi (downtown) area.

Osen is the okami (mistress) of Isshoan, which may sound strange for someone so young, but her mother, Chiho (Saori Yuki), has retired and left the place in her charge.

Osen is a bit of a bird brain, and she likes to drink as well, but she's a natural when it comes to cooking, and each episode focuses on several dishes whose preparation is described in detail.

In this week's episode, Osen's sous chef, the excitable Ezaki (Hiroki Uchi), starts talking to an ex-chef named Tatsu in a bar.

Tatsu loathes Isshoan, but doesn't explain clearly why.

When Osen hears of the conversation, she gets to thinking that Tatsu is the father she's never known and conspires to meet him.

A nother 23-year-old actress who seems to be everywhere these days is Aya Ueto.

She stars in the new drama series "Hokaben" (Nihon TV, Wednesday, 10 p.m.). The title translates roughly as "hot lawyer," but "hot" in this case means something like "just out of the oven." In other words, Akari (Ueto) is a rookie attorney.

In this week's episode, Akari takes the case of a man who is deep in debt. She recommends that he declare bankruptcy, and when the court approves, he loses his new job. But the man is angry because, in accordance with the court proceedings, his name has been published on a list of bankrupts.

He sues Akari for malpractice. But Akari becomes suspicious. The man seems to know more about the law than he initially let on, and she later learns he has a long history of bad debts.

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