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Sunday, May 16, 2010


'Mito Komon'; 'Divorce Cohabitation' drama; CM of the week: Suntory's Protein Water

In this week's episode of Japan's longest-running historical drama series, "Mito Komon" (TBS, Mon., 8 p.m.), about an itinerant nobleman who travels the land incognito righting wrongs, the white-haired hero and his retinue enter the town of Hamamatsu and encounter the procession of the Lord of Tsuyamaon, which is on its way back from Edo to present-day Okayama Prefecture. Though Mito is a nobleman himself, he bows to the entourage since he is in disguise.

Shinkichi, one of Mito's followers, is anxious to arrive in Hamamatsu because he has heard that his mother, whom he hasn't seen since he was a child, lives there. At the same time, the Tsuyama procession decides to spend the night in the town, and one of the retainers tries to poison the lord's son. He is saved by Shinkichi, but his life is still in danger.

On Tuesday, NHK starts a five-part drama called "Rikon Dokyo" (Divorce Cohabitation; NHK-G, 10 p.m.), about an unsuccessful photographer named Masaru (Sadao Abe) who has an affair with a young model, Ami (Ryoko Kobayashi). His wife of eight years, Noriko (Eriko Sato), finds out and demands a divorce, which Masaru grants reluctantly. Noriko leaves with their young daughter.

Shortly after, Noriko returns with an offer. Finding it difficult to make ends meet on her own, she wants to move back in with Masaru but with conditions: They will only address each other with formal language; they will not ask about or otherwise interfere in each other's private lives; and they will keep their common space clean and tidy.

As the drama progresses, Masaru's misfortunes multiply, while Noriko's life gets better and better.

CM of the week

Suntory's Protein Water: Suntory has had pretty good PR success with its hoso-macho (thin macho) ad campaign for its milk-based soft drink utilizing two popular actors, kabuki star (and notorious playboy) Shido Nakamura and Shota Matsuda, son of the late Yusaku Matsuda.

The first series featured the Van McCoy disco classic "Do the Hustle," while Nakamura, Matsuda and other thin young men danced in formation and in opposition to a chorus line of bulked-up athletes. Their opponents were sumo wrestlers in the first CM. In the new series they are professional wrestlers.

In the latest spot, the hoso-macho team is dressed in silver lame and sporting glitter scarves, while the gori-macho (presumably "gorilla" macho) team of wrestlers is dressed in Speedos and masks. The Van McCoy tune has been replaced with an original song. The steps are crude, funny and performed with straight faces, though the subtext is anything but straight.

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