In search of sea monsters; Matsuko Deluxe solves problems; CM of the week: Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group


Hiroyuki Ariyoshi has become one of the most ubiquitous personalities on television, hosting several regular shows on different stations. What people like about him is his ability to turn mundane topics into something interesting.

On the variety show “Dare Toku” (“Whose Benefit?”; Fuji, Tues., 11 p.m.), Ariyoshi looks at rumors, legends and common beliefs to see if there is any truth to them. The show sends comedians out into the field to investigate these stories.

This week, Takushi Tanaka travels to Okinawa to try and catch a legendary sea monster and find out if it’s edible, a task that is more difficult than he thought because the creature routinely destroys fishing gear. Another comedian goes to Hyogo Prefecture to find out why one eatery’s famous fried rice is so cheap.

The stories investigated on “Dare Toku” are suggested by viewers, who also come up with the topics discussed on another Ariyoshi show, “Ikari Shinto” (“Angry New Party”; TV Asahi, Wed., 11:15 p.m.), where he discusses the submitted problems, questions and opinions with another blabbermouth, Matsuko Deluxe.

Among the topics they will discuss this week are: What should you do if your next door neighbor starts renting his residence out as an Airbnb property? Also, are people who live long lives automatically happier? This question gets a lot of attention because both Ariyoshi and Matsuko assume they will be alone when they are old. Lastly, why do movie advertisements have such detailed information about stories and characters?

CM of the week

Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group: A young woman is browsing in a bookstore and her friend asks her what she’s looking for. The woman says she’s thinking of going abroad to study. Actor Takumi Saito appears next to her singing the melody to the Bafuku Slump song “Runner,” but with only one line — “Mitsui Sumitomo Visa card” — as he takes a guide to studying abroad off the shelf and hands it to her.

He continues singing the song as he walks out the door, and the woman runs after him. “Should I take it with me?” she asks, referring to the credit card he’s singing about. “Maybe it will help you as you run,” he answers mysteriously, effectively selling the card to the woman without actually saying anything about it.