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Koizumi Jr. lands a mystery; Yuji Oda is a happy “loser”; CM of the Week: Xylish

by Philip Brasor

Special To The Japan Times

Kotaro Koizumi, the son of former prime minister Junichiro Koizumi, plays against type in the new mystery series “Namonaki Doku” (“Unnamed Poison”; TBS, Mon., 8 p.m.), based on a story by Miyuki Miyabe.

Saburo (Koizumi) rescues Nahoko (Ryoko Kuninaka) from a molester and they start dating, but it isn’t until after he proposes marriage that he learns she’s from one of the most powerful families in Japan. Later, he starts working for his father-in-law’s conglomerate, happy with his new life.

Years later, Saburo is asked by his father-in-law to attend the funeral of a man killed in a hit-and-run. At the funeral he meets the victim’s daughter (Kyoko Fukada), who is suspicious of the way her father died. Saburo is drawn into a situation he doesn’t understand.

Yuji Oda, one of Japan’s most popular action stars, also plays against type in the new drama series “Oh, My Dad!!” (Fuji, Thurs., 10 p.m.). He is Genichi, a 42-year-old researcher who has been working on experiments for 18 years without success. Considered a future science star in college, Genichi has become obsessed with recapturing his old glory, and his wife, sick of being neglected, leaves him.

She also leaves their young son, Kota, whom Genichi barely knows. Things get worse, and soon Genichi is unable to pay the rent. He and Kota are evicted.

Oda has said that he is excited about playing a “loser” for the first time in his life.

CM of the Week:

Xylish Meiji Foods and Fuji TV have tied up for a series of commercials advertising the former’s Xylish chewing gum and the latter’s new movie “Manatsu no Hoteishiki” (“The Midsummer Equation”), a spinoff of the TV drama “Galileo,” starring Masaharu Fukuyama as Manabu Yukawa, a physicist who solves crimes.

The ads have Yukawa trying to figure out why Xylish is so refreshing. In one, his colleague stands in front of a blackboard covered with formulas and says, “I don’t understand.” When Yukawa says he also doesn’t understand, the colleague is relieved, so Yukawa clarifies: “I don’t understand not understanding.” The colleague looks puzzled. “What does that face mean?” Yukawa asks, always searching for answers. He’s more of a mystery than the problems he solves.