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Sunday, April 1, 2012
'Gon' anime; teachers' drama 'Blackboard'; CM of the week: Orangina
Among the newest additions to Japan's anime menagerie is the eponymous star of "Gon" (TV Tokyo; Mon., 6 p.m.), a cute dinosaurlike critter who is totally instinctual, which, in the world he inhabits, makes him (her?) even more of a troublemaker than your average anime character.
The setting is "a mysterious world where all animals live together in harmony." One day there is a solar eclipse, and all the animals become afraid and start acting strangely. Ussu the bear and Jack the wolf, normally friends, get into a fight, and Ussu wins.
Then something even stranger drops out of the sky. It's Gon, a creature none of the animals has ever see before.
The changing face of education is the theme of a three-part drama series called "Blackboard" that runs for three consecutive nights starting Thursday at 9 p.m on TBS. Each teleplay is set in a specific era to show how teachers had to adapt to the changing times.
In Thursday night's story, Sho Sakurai plays a former public school teacher who returns to Japan in 1947 after the war. He is recruited to teach again but can't quite get used to the new curriculum, which is almost the total opposite of what he used to teach.
On Friday, Koichi Sato plays Goto, a science teacher who, in 1980, has been reassigned to a new junior high school after being punished for an act of violence. In the new school, he encounters even more violence from his students.
On Saturday, Nao Matsushita is Momoko, an English teacher in 2011. A new transfer student named Masaki shows up in her class one day. He has no respect for learning or teachers, and his attitude rubs off on the other students.
CM of the week
Orangina: The citrus drink has been a staple in France since the 1930s, but Suntory bought the company in 2009. A new ad campaign combines three distinct elements: a French setting, the nostalgic "Otoko wa Tsurai yo" movie series, and American actor Richard Gere.
Gere plays the films' itinerant salesman Tora-san, wearing his fedora and checked jacket, and says that he has "become a monsieur" and "returned" to his hometown in France. The idea might make more sense if he were returning to Japan, but despite the jaunty "yo!" Gere mutters, he doesn't seem particularly Japanese, either.