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‘Tunnels’ I Am the King of Sports’; ‘Normal Is the Best’; Asahi Beer

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You may wonder what former New York Yankee slugger Hideki Matsui has been up to since he retired several years ago. Well, one thing he’s been doing is appearing on the sports variety show “Tunnels no Sports O wa Ore da” (“Tunnels’ I Am the King of Sports”; TV Asahi, Sun., 8:58 p.m.), hosted by the comedy duo, Tunnels.

Last year, a baseball team headed by Matsui lost a game to a team headed by Tunnels’ Takaaki Ishibashi. Matsui, who believes his team lost because he tried too hard to hit home runs, has demanded a rematch in New York. Ishibashi honors his request, though he wonders how Matsui can demand his team travel overseas when it was Matsui who lost last time.

Also on the show, Ishibashi’s partner, Noritake Kinashi, puts together a “kick baseball game” featuring several professional soccer players. His team, in fact, will play against one headed by Borussia Dortmund’s Shinji Kagawa.

Shuhei Fujisawa, who died in 1997, was one of Japan’s most popular postwar historical novelists. His salad days are portrayed in the drama “Futsu ga Ichiban” (“Normal Is the Best”; TBS, Mon., 9 p.m.), which is based on an essay written by Fujisawa’s daughter, Nobuko Endo

The drama takes place in the 1960s, when Fujisawa (Noriyuki Higashiyama) was working at an industry newspaper and writing fiction in his spare time. After his wife dies, he barely has time to write because he’s so busy raising his daughter, until he marries again, this time to a woman named Kazuko (Takako Matsu).

Though he now has time to write, his daughter has entered her rebellious adolescent phase, causing tension in the household. Kazuko runs away and Fujisawa takes out his anger on Nobuko.

CM of the week

Asahi Beer Actor Yo Oizumi plays a factory manager who is trying to figure out the fastest way to deliver fruit from faraway orchards to his plant. His colleagues express their doubts, so he draws a diagram on a whiteboard showing how he can get the fruit delivered and “squeezed”within 24 hours of being picked. Is this an advertisement for a transportation company? Or a fruit juice company? Neither: It’s an ad for Asahi’s Mogitate Chuhai, which contains 9 percent alcohol but only 3 percent real fruit juice. It’s still the juice, however, that Mogitate drinkers apparently really care about.