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Sunday, Jan. 9, 2011

CHANNEL SURF

Diplomatic superhero drama; Sengoku princess 'Go'; CM of the week: Mobage Town

A spinoff of the hit movie "Amalfi," the new Fuji TV action series "Gaikokan Kuroda Kosaku" (Thurs., 9 p.m.) stars Yuji Oda as the title character, diplomat Kosaku Kuroda, who is dispatched all over the globe to defend Japanese interests and citizens.

After foiling a kidnapping attempt in South America, Kuroda is sent to San Francisco, where his assignment is to protect Foreign Ministry official Shako Mikami (Tamiyo Kusakari), who is attending a meeting of the World Trade Organization. There, he meets with an informant (Lee Byung Hun) who gives him the lowdown on the security arrangements, as well as with an old friend, Shimomura (Teruyuki Kagawa), who used to work with Kuroda at the Mexican Embassy.

Thanks to information he receives through the informant, Kuroda is able to prevent an extremist from attacking Mikami, but as he's trying to find out how the attacker learned of Mikami's movements, Shimomura throws himself off a building.

NHK's latest yearlong taiga drama, "Go: Himetachi no Sengoku," will be broadcast Sunday nights on NHK-G at 8 p.m., starting this week.

The title character, played by Juri Ueno, was born 30 years prior to Japan's long period of isolation starting in 1603. She was the third daughter of a woman named Ichi (Honami Suzuki), a sister of the pugnacious military leader Oda Nobunaga (Etsushi Toyokawa). Go's father is the regional lord Azai Nagamasa, whose castle is eventually attacked by Nobunaga, who then forces Go to marry Hidetada, the son of future Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu. It would be the first of three political marriages for the princess.

CM of the week

Mobage Town: In September, social network service DeNA launched a CM serial called "Dosakai" ("Class Reunion") for its Mobage Town phone games. The serial followed the style of those "trendy dramas" of the 1980s and '90s about well-off suburban couples and their illicit love affairs. The 15-second spots featured actors Saburo Tokito, Shingo Yanagisawa and Yumi Aso as a trio of old school chums who reconnect at a class reunion and then embark on a misguided love triangle, complete with secret hotel assignations and shifting affections. What it had to do with games you played on cell phones wasn't clear, though in every spot at least one character looked at his or her handset with fixed concentration.

The series seems set for a new beginning. Over the New Year's break, there were spots featuring all three characters drinking at a swanky stand-up bar when an unidentified silhouette appears in the doorway.



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