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Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012

CHANNEL SURF

'The Anonymous Detective'; 'Wide Area Police'; CM of the week: Bausch + Lomb

Actor Katsunori Takahashi is known for his suave good looks, as well as making fun of them, and this week he appears in two dramas playing idiosyncratic crime fighters.

In the series "Tokumei Tantei" ("The Anonymous Detective"; TV Asahi, Fri., 11:15 p.m.), he plays the title character, a private eye who only reveals his true identity to a chosen few. He's quite a colorful character, obsessed with good bourbon, fine coffee and jazz. He also only takes cases from women.

In this week's episode, a college student enlists the detective's services in helping extract her brainwashed sister from a religious cult. The detective pretends to be a TV director working on a news story and visits the cult's guru (Arthur Kuroda), who not only sees through the disguise but knows exactly how much money the detective has on him.

"Tokumei Tantei" is at least partially a comedy. The drama special "Koiiki Keisatsu" ("Wide Area Police"; TV Asahi, Sat., 9 p.m.) is more serious. Takahashi plays Azuma, a police detective who works for a special interprefectural division, which means he is often assigned to local police stations to oversee investigations that overlap with other stations. The local cops tend to resent him as an intruder, so he tries to keep a low profile.

The case he is working on involves the kidnapping of a lawyer's son. The kidnapper leaves detailed instructions: The ransom money must be brought to a certain place in Hiroshima by bullet train. Azuma has to act fast because the victim doesn't have the insulin he needs and will go into shock in three days.

CM of the week

Bausch + Lomb: Self-improvement of the cosmetic sort is traditionally seen as a quest to stay young-looking, but the TV commercial for global eye-care company Bausch + Lomb's disposable contact lenses, Naturelle, seems to promise something more fantastic.

Actress Yoko Maki is presented in super-soft focus, her skin uniformly smooth and shell-like, as if it were the product of computer graphics rather than touched up in the usual photographic way. Apparently this look is intentional, because the contacts are specially designed to make the pupils and irises look larger than they really are, more like an anime or manga character's. Natural, as it turns out, has nothing to do with it.



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