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Sunday, Feb. 13, 2011

CHANNEL SURF

Etsuko Komiya's leisurely walk; Kanpei Hazama's grueling journey; CM of the week: Daihatsu

Announcer Etsuko Komiya occupies a hallowed place in the annals of Japanese broadcasting. In 1985, she became the female sidekick to anchorman Hiroshi Kume when TV Asahi's groundbreaking nightly news program "News Station" premiered. She was considered as important to the show's popularity as the colorful Kume was. A staff announcer, she left TV Asahi in 1991 and became a free agent, eventually landing her own anchoring job on Asahi's evening news show, "Super J Channel."

All things come to an end, and recently Komiya was removed from the show and banished to the wasteland of Sunday morning news. The next logical move is as a guest on quiz shows, but before then she can enjoy some of the fruits of her notoriety.

Komiya will accompany rakugoka (comic storyteller) Tsurube Shofukutei when he visits the picturesque town of Onomichi in Hiroshima Prefecture for "Tsurube Kazoku ni Kampai" ("Tsurube Toasts Families"; NHK-G, Mon., 8 p.m.). The pair will start at the top of the hilly town, made famous in Yasujiro Ozu's classic film "Tokyo Story," and work their way down to the harbor, dropping in on families along the way.

Last month, comedian Kanpei Hazama finally completed his Earth Marathon when he arrived to a hero's welcome in his hometown of Osaka. His monumental run, which started in 2008 and took him completely around the world, was watched by millions of people on the Internet.

Around the time he reached Turkey, a routine physical examination indicated that Kanpei had prostate cancer, and he received treatment in the United States before resuming the marathon.

Kanpei will talk about his motivation to run around the world, and his cancer, on "Takeshi no Kenko Entertainment" ("Takeshi's Health Entertainment"; TV Asahi, Tues., 8 p.m.). Mostly he'll discuss how important his wife's support was for his impressive endeavor.

CM of the week: Daihatsu

Many of the characters and TV personalities used by automakers during the eco-point campaign have survived the campaign's passing, and the funniest is Daihatsu's animated anthropomorphic deer, whose saucy sense of humor seems to be making fun of the product he's selling.

In the latest spot, the bespectacled ungulate sashays into the frame to the romantic strains of "A Summer Place," throwing roses about. Affecting a Western accent he says, "If you say this is baramaki then maybe it is." "Baramaki" means to toss things around indiscriminately, and has been used derogatively by the opposition parties in the Diet to describe the government's stimulus schemes. In Daihatsu's case, it refers to ¥300 million in gifts that showrooms will give to people who test drive its Move model.



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