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Sunday, Jan. 16, 2011
Love 101; lymphedema in Japan; CM of the week: Z-kai
This season's coveted Monday night, 9 p.m., Fuji TV drama slot is filled by "Taisetsu-na Koto wa Subete Kimi ga Oshiete Kureta" ("You Taught Me All the Important Things"), which stars Erika Toda as a high school English teacher.
Natsumi (Toda), who lived in the United States until the end of junior high school, always dreamed of teaching. Popular because of her cheerful, positive attitude, she's also the coach of the girls' basketball club. Her boyfriend, Shuji (Haruma Miura), is just the opposite: serious and thoughtful. They've known each other since high school and plan to marry in three months' time.
The morning the new semester starts, Shuji wakes up to discover a naked young woman next to him in bed. The night before, he had gone to a bar where he got drunk, and now doesn't remember anything. Late for work, he gives this stranger his key and asks her to lock up.
He arrives at school to meet his new charges, and at the end of introductions one of the students, a girl named Hikari, comes up to him and returns his key.
"Telementary 2011" (Tues., 2:40 a.m.) features documentaries submitted by regional affiliates of the TV Asahi network. This week's submission is "Watashi wa Gan ni Erabareta" ("I Was Chosen by Cancer") from Higashi Nihon Hoso of Sendai.
The video looks at lymphedema, a common but rarely discussed side effect of cancer treatment that leads to swelling caused by removal of lymph nodes. The condition causes painful distension of arms, legs and torsos that sometimes results in immobility. About 100,000 cancer patients suffer from the condition.
Yumiko Otsuka, a therapist who specifically helps people with lymphedema, suffers from the condition herself. The main problem, she points out, is that most Japanese hospitals, even those that specialize in treating cancer, don't have the resources to deal with this condition.
CM of the week: Z-Kai
The new school year starts in a few months, so it's time for parents to think about which juku (cram school) they're going to send their kids to. One chain of juku, Z-Kai, is promoting the idea of "freestyle" with a pair of TV spots that emphasizes the physical presumably to illustrate its approach to the cerebral.
In one, three teens in school uniforms rush out and start dancing on the tops of classroom desks; and not just dancing, but jumping in the air and spinning about. In the second, columns of elementary school students leap over tobi-bako (vaulting horses) in rapid-fire succession. The idea may be to stress Z-Kai's "free" approach to teaching, but these kids couldn't possibly pull off these amazing feats without some good old-fashioned discipline.