One of the most popular new game shows is “Nep-League” (Fuji, Monday, 7 p.m.), starring the comedy trio Neptunes. The quizzes are based on word games that test knowledge of Chinese characters and arcane vocabulary. The show is also famous for its game-arcade atmosphere. The tests are time-intensive and the audiovisual components mimic those of video games, with flying monsters and loud sounds.
But the hook of the show is the way it groups its celebrity contestants. There is always a Neptunes Team, which consists of the three comedians and two guests. The opposing team, however, is usually conceived in terms of a theme. One week it was celebrity housewives, another it was gay tarento.
This week Neptunes’ nemesis’ are the Sexy Boys Team, which consists of infamous actor-adulterer Junichi Ishida; the superhero ikemen (handsome young man) Noboru Kaneko; legendary “charisma host” Jin Sakazaki; the red-vinyl-clad comedian known only as Michael; and Razor Ramon HG, “hard gay” himself. All college-educated, the Sexy Boys Team give the Neptunes a real run for their money.
Another comedy team, Cocorico, is presenting an omnibus drama special this Wednesday at 9 p.m. on the theme of women who are disliked for one reason or another. “Konna Onna wa Kirawareru (These Kind of Women are Resented)” stars the two comics and a variety of female tarento acting out classic situations that aren’t necessarily played for laughs.
In one, Yuki Matsushita plays a woman whose purpose in life is to mold her boyfriend into the ideal mate by teaching him table manners, buying his clothing, and generally dictating how he should act and look.
In another sketch, Maki Sakai is a woman who tries to make herself into an ideal person through plastic surgery, and ends up with the shock of her life.
The police have a department whose job is to keep track of unsolved cases that are reaching their statute of limitations. Such a department is the subject of the drama series, “Jiko Keisatsu (Statute of Limitations Police)” on TV Asahi, Friday, at 11:15 p.m.
Movie star Odagiri Jo plays against his brooding, handsome loner type as the sartorially challenged Kiriyama. Sporting a uniform that doesn’t fit and a hairstyle that looks like it once wanted to be an afro but gave up, Kiriyama is obsessed with unsolved cases, most of which no one cares about any more. Kiriyama is especially interested in a serial murder case that is approaching its cut-off date. However, he’s easily distracted. In this week’s episode, he notices a high-school student shoplifting and talks her into returning the stolen items. He then meets the girl’s mother, who works as a bar hostess.