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Sunday, Aug. 16, 2009


Shoplifting detectives; TOKIO vs. Takako Matsu; Doraemon in love

When evening news shows have time to fill they often run short reports by freelance news teams about pressing social problems. A common theme right now is the rise of shoplifting among senior citizens, a development that has in turn given rise to specialty security guards who patrol department stores and grocery stores.

That's also the theme of the mystery drama "Manbiki G-Men: Nikaido Yuki 18" (Shoplifting Detectives: Yuki Nikaido 18; TBS, Mon., 9 p.m.), in which veteran actress Nana Kinomi plays a plain clothes security guard assigned to patrol a department store food section. One day Yuki comes across an old man who has fainted and she brings him to the hospital by ambulance. The old man has suffered a stroke and knows he will not live much longer, so he asks Yuki if he can hear his last will and testament.

Later, the husband of the old man's daughter contacts Yuki with an offer. If she tells him what the old man stipulated in his last will, he will pay her a lot of money. This week's guest on the nighttime talk show "TOKIO@5LDK" (Fuji, Thurs., 11 p.m.) is actress Takako Matsu, who rarely talks about her personal life. However, the five members of the boy band TOKIO, who host the show, are quite personable and persuasive, and they get the kabuki family scion to talk about things she's never discussed before on television.

They've even talked her into bringing along a collection of personal photos that she took herself, showing the interior of her home, her lush garden, and her collection of tropical fish. She reveals her favorite place in her house and also discusses what life has been like since she got married three years ago. This facet of her life may be the most secretive of all, and TOKIO pries as much information as they can out of her.

Doraemon, the earless robot cat from the future, can usually solve any problem that comes his way with the help of his magic pocket. However, he can't solve that problem called love.

In this week's episode of the long-running animated favorite, "Doraemon" (TV Asahi, Fri., 7 p.m.), the cat's human companion, Nobita, notices that he's acting strange, and Doraemon confesses that he has fallen in "love at first sight." He brings Nobita to a nearby house where the object of his desire lives: a sophisticated Persian cat named Ria, who sits in the window, out of reach.

There's another problem, though. A proud, black male cat is also lurking around, obviously trying to catch Ria's attention. Doraemon tries all sorts of tricks to scare the black cat away, and Nobita attempts to stop him. Eventually, Nobita's large, imposing friend, Jaian comes along and offers some sage advice.

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