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Sunday, Feb. 1, 2009


Pet vet mystery, 'character' wear on youth fashion show, post-war cop drama

Pet lovers get their turn in the suspense drama spotlight in "Dobutsu Byoin: Ayako no Jiken Karute" ("Animal Clinic: Ayako's Case Charts") (TV Tokyo, Wednesday, 9 p.m.). Veterinarian Ayako (Yasuko Sawaguchi) works at the Enoki Animal Clinic. One day she sees Tokie, the owner of one of her former patients, arguing with a man who turns out to be a veterinarian at the Imura Pet Clinic, which Tokie started patronizing not long ago.

Tokie plans to sue Enoki for allegedly causing the death of her pet and she gathers testimony from friends and acquaintances for the trial. Soon thereafter, Ayako needs to get in touch with Tokie, but Tokie doesn't answer her telephone, so she stops by her home and there discovers Tokie's dead body.

When overseas visitors come to Tokyo, their favorite places are the youth meccas of Shibuya and Harajuku, since that is where much of the world's most exciting street fashion is born. The NHK information show "Tokyo Kawaii TV" ("Tokyo Cute TV") (NHK-G, Wednesday, 12:10 a.m.) profiles the latest youth trends coming out of this area.

This week's theme is the "character" business, which encompasses everything from accessories like cell-phone straps to colorful prepaid cards. There is also the "character fashion" boom, typified by young women who decorate themselves with dozens of character products. The most extreme manifestation of character fashion are aficionados of "doll style," meaning girls who dress up exactly like dolls.

The character business also has a "serious" side in the development of mascots that have been created and adopted by local governments and other public organizations.

Next weekend, TV Asahi will present a special two-night drama, "Keikan no Chi" ("The Blood of a Policeman") (Saturday and Sunday, 9:03 p.m.), based on a best-selling novel by Jo Sasaki that chronicles three generations of Tokyo cops.

After World War II, Seiji (Ryosuke Eguchi) joins the Tokyo police force and during his training makes friends with Hayase (Kippei Shiina), a former Imperial Army officer. Seiji is perplexed by the murder of a male prostitute who was rumored to be a police informer, and he asks for a transfer out of the detective force and into a desk job. But he continues to secretly investigate the murder.

Years after Seiji dies mysteriously, his son, Tamio (Hidetaka Yoshioka), joins the police force, partly with the aim of trying to find out how and why his father died. In the course of his research he is also killed, thus bequeathing the mystery to his own son, Kazuya (Hideaki Ito), who becomes a policeman as well.

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