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Sunday, Jan. 22, 2012
Women's investigative instincts — "Kaseifu," "Strawberry Night"; CM of the week: Ellair
Nanako Matsushima was the comeback story of 2011 with her starring role in the hit Nippon TV drama "Kaseifu no Mita" ("Mita the Housekeeper"). Fuji TV is hoping the magic lasts with its new Monday night series, "Lucky 7" (9 p.m.), which features Matsushima as a regular "special guest."
She plays the president of a Tokyo private-detective agency. In the premier episode, the company follows a young man believed to be having an affair with a client's wife. In the end, the lad, Shuntaro (Jun Matsumoto), is employed by the agency as an intern.
In this week's episode, Shuntaro and one of the detectives, Nitta (Eita), are assigned to investigate the business dealings of a company called Stellar Bio. Because of his science background, Nitta is able to convince Stellar's president, Sasaoka (Lily Franky), that he's a fellow researcher.
Another veteran actress, Yuko Takeuchi, stars in the new crime series, "Strawberry Night" (Fuji TV; Tues., 9 p.m.), which is based on a popular novel. Takeuchi plays Reiko Himekawa, a detective for the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department.
This week, Himekawa is investigating the poisoning deaths of three salarymen. The coroner sees similarities in the three cases, and Himekawa believes they are the work of a legendary online-game enthusiast who goes by the name of Shido. As it turns out, the three dead men had recently played games with Shido.
In the meantime, another detective (Tetsuya Takeda) working out of Roppongi finds a connection with the poisonings while looking into a mob-related murder.
CM of the week
Elleair: Paper brand Elleair uses handsome young male stars to appeal to female viewers, but so far it's been for products such as facial tissues. A new spot utilizing actor Junpei Mizobata is attracting special attention, not so much because Mizobata is selling Elleair's sanitary towel Elis, but rather because he directly identifies with the anxiety related to the use of feminine napkins.
We see Mizobata sitting cross-legged on a bed looking slightly uncomfortable. He says, in a halting but gentle manner, that he knows the viewer "wants to feel safe until morning." A female voiceover announcer then describes the product's "ultra-guard" features. Cut back to Mizokawa. His job finished, he says good night.