Goro plays up comic side; the journey of the cherry blossom tree; CM of the week: Kirin Hyoketsu

Goro Inagaki adds his peculiar comic touch to the role of a prosecutor’s investigator, thus muscling in on fellow SMAP member Takuya Kimura’s territory. Kimura’s most famous character is the irreverent (at least in terms of sartorial choices) prosecutor in the “Hero” series. In the special two-hour drama “Dr. Kenji Morohashi” (“Dr. Prosecutor Morohashi”; Fuji TV, Fri., 9 p.m.), Inagaki’s special distinction is that he also possesses a license to practice medicine.

After a female idol singer dies under mysterious circumstances, Dr. Morohashi suspects malpractice is afoot at the hospital where she was treated. In order to infiltrate the hospital without the administration knowing why he’s there, he goes on a drinking binge and then has himself admitted for observation as a patient. While under the hospital’s care he secretly looks into the activities of Dr. Ryoko Okita (Yoshino Kimura), who was the attending physician for the dead idol. As it turns out, Dr. Okita is up for a professorship.

If it’s spring, then it’s time to sit under a cherry tree and act silly. Japanese people may think sakura belong only to them, but the species of tree that’s so popular in Japan evolved from another species that originated in the Himalayas.

On the special travel program, “Sakura Zensen Daitsuiseki” (“The Great Pursuit of the Cherry Tree Front Line”; TV Tokyo, March 25, 7:54 p.m.), reporter Juri Ueno traces the route that the cherry blossom traveled from Nepal to Japan, a 4,500-km journey that took about 1 million years to complete. She explores the different types of sakura along the way and talks to locals about their own relationships with the blossoming tree.

CM of the week

Kirin Hyoketsu: It was recently announced that Japanese techno-pop unit Perfume has been signed to an international recording deal by Universal Music. In this commercial for Kirin’s Hyoketsu canned chu¯hai (carbonated, fruit-flavored spirits), the three members are in the middle of a very foreign-looking city dancing to themselves and singing their song “Spring of Life,” with lemon-colored music staff and notes zooming and splashing around them. “The world bursts into glitter,” says the catch phrase. But who needs alcohol when you can get drunk on cuteness?