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The all-new “Doraemon” premieres on TV Asahi with an hour-long special and more

Marriage is often thought of as a win-lose proposition, as if it were a gamble. Under such circumstances, the clear winners in the marriage game are Japanese women who marry wealthy foreign men.

This tiny subset of lucky housewives is the subject of this week’s quiz show, “Sekai Baribari Value” (World Exciting Values; TBS, Tuesday, 10 p.m.), where a panel of celebrities have to guess yen values of products and services in foreign countries.

This week’s program aims to show how “Japanese women are prized by men all over the world.” A female comedian visits Japanese women living in “gorgeous splendor,” picking through their possessions and property and asking the folks back in Japan to estimate the value of this villa or that luxury car.


The popular animated series “Doraemon,” about the blue, earless robot cat from the future, will undergo a makeover for the first time in its 26-year run.

The producers recently held auditions for a new voice cast. Unbelievably, the cast, which includes Nobuyo Oyama as the voice of Doraemon, has remained unchanged since the show’s beginning. The average age of the cast members is over 60.

The coveted lead role was won by the very young actress Mizuta Wasabi. But there are other changes as well: a brand new theme song and a new look to the characters and the overall production design. The all-new “Doraemon” will premiere on TV Asahi, April 15 at 7 p.m. with a special hourlong program.


‘Tiger and Dragon,” a two-hour drama special broadcast on TBS last New Year’s was a huge ratings winner. Directed by hot young filmmaker Kankuro Miyafuji, it starred Tokio member Tomoya Nagase as a gangster who is drawn into the world of rakugo storytelling. TBS has decided to expand the drama into a series, which starts this Friday at 10 p.m.

Nagare plays Toraji, who was orphaned when he was 12 years old and his father went on a rampage, killing himself and every other member of the family except Toraji. By the time he was 18, he had fallen in with a yakuza group, and for 10 years the criminal underground was the only life he knew.

Then, his boss sends him to collect a debt from rakugo storyteller Donbei (Toshiyuki Nishida), and while waiting for him to finish his stage act, Toraji watches from the wings and becomes obsessed. Later, he asks Donbei if he can apprentice with him and they make a deal: Toraji will pay off Donbei’s debt in exchange for lessons.

Toraji becomes acquainted with Donbei’s son, Ryuji (Junichi Okada), who is a brilliant storyteller in his own right, but wants nothing to do with that world. He wants to be a designer, and opens a Harajuku boutique that runs into financial problems.