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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Channel surf

This year, singer-songwriter Ringo Shiina celebrates her 10th year in show business and to commemorate this milestone she gives a rare in-depth interview on NHK's personality profile program "Top Runner" (NHK-G, Monday, midnight).

Shiina is considered one of the truly unique performers on the Japanese pop-music scene.

In fact, neither her music nor her image comes very close to anything one would normally associate with J-pop, except for the fact that she sings in Japanese.

Some critics have said that she purposely draws a line between herself and conventional pop. She has a reputation as an eccentric and her lyrics are often quite sensational.

Shiina talks about the difficulties she experienced in her early career, when she felt there was a gap between what she was doing and what she wanted to do.

From there she traces the development of her music and also discusses the sabbatical she took more than a year ago to get married and have a child.

She also performs three songs in the studio.

T he title character of the new drama series "Gonzo: Densetsu no Keiji (Gonzo: The Legendary Detective)" (TV Asahi, Wednesday, 9 p.m.) was once the best investigator on the Tokyo police force.

However, three years ago he quit the homicide division for mysterious reasons and ever since has worked in the equipment division doing paperwork.

His life is much less exciting than it used to be, and he seems to prefer it that way.

However, Sakuma, his former subordinate, has been baffled by a case involving the murder of a young violinist, and he asks his old supervisor, Gonzo Kuroki (Seiyo Uchino), to re-enter investigation work and help him.

Kuroki reluctantly agrees and mostly goes through the motions.

While questioning a reticent homeless man who may have witnessed the murder, Kuroki does such a skillful job of chatting the man up that the man eventually breaks down and says he knows who the murderer is.

Y oung interns studying to be "flight doctors," or physicians who accompany emergency patients on helicopter rides, are the heroes of the new drama series "Code Blue: Dokuta Heri Kinkyu Kyumei (Code Blue: Emergency Lifesaving Helicopter Doctors)" (Fuji, Thursday, 10 p.m.).

This week's episode takes place at night, when all the senior doctors are off duty, leaving the young interns in charge of emergency services.

Patients are being taken care of, one of whom is a woman being stalked by an emotionally disturbed man who shows up and stabs himself in the chest.

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