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“The Future of Earth! Urgent Coverage!”; Heroine teacher; CM of the week: Hotto Motto

Monday is a holiday, and Nippon TV will air a 90-minute special in the afternoon about sustainability called “Chikyu no Mirai! Kinkyu Shuzai!” (“The Future of Earth! Urgent Coverage!”; 2:55 p.m.), hosted by popular announcer Seiji Miyane.

The special looks at secrets to future survival for the human race and is divided into three reports, each carried out by a young TV personality. The first one goes to Hawaii to look into renewable energy sources, such as geothermal power, as well as the self-sufficient traditions of native Hawaiians. The second report is from Yunnan, China, famed for its terraced rice fields, which the local tribespeople have maintained unchanged for more than 1,000 years. The final dispatch is from New York, which is gradually turning into the “world’s largest ecologically conscious city.” The reporter finds that the average New Yorker is more environmentally aware than the average earthling.

Teachers have always been popular heroes on Japanese TV, but Yuko, the titular character of the new drama series “Kuro no Onna Kyoshi” (“The Female Teacher in Black”; TBS, Fri., 10 p.m.), is more than just an educator. She’s a superhero who solves problems specific to the school environment in an avenging manner. She’s a dark heroine who fights classroom evil.

In the first episode, novice teacher Haruka (Fumino Kimura) is raring to connect with her students, but is paired in her initial home room assignment with Yuko (Nana Eikura), who in contrast is extremely cool and doesn’t betray any interest in her students at all. Haruka quickly grows to resent Yuko.

CM of the week

Hotto Motto: The idol collective AKB48 has been appearing in advertisements for Hotto Motto, the nationwide bentō (lunch box) chain, for a while now. The latest campaign features Minami Takahashi and Yui Yokoyama enjoying the company’s new beefsteak bentō in a cluttered apartment.

The tag line is “let’s eat together,” and the hook is that the two young idols are discussing their professional lives frankly over lunch, including the “general election,” which presumably refers to the vote for the most popular member of the group. Fans who want to see a “movie” of the entire conversation are referred to a special website.