A 3/11 drama with cast from Tohoku; robots of the future; CM of the week: Rabure

NHK’s Sendai branch produced the drama “Katsuo” (NHK-G, Wed., 7:30 p.m.) as a tribute to the survivors of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. All of the actors are originally from the Tohoku area.

The title character is played by Kohei Otomo, better known by his rock ‘n’ roll stage name Hound Dog, who was born in Miyagi Prefecture. The character is a fisherman who is popular in his coastal village because of his industriousness and positive outlook. After the disaster strikes, his wife, Yukie (Kyoka Suzuki), remains missing, and he quits his work in order to be with his children full-time. Then, one day, he is visited by a woman he doesn’t know.

The cast also includes the comedy duo Sandwichman, who are from Miyagi, too, and traditional theater star Tomio Umezawa, who is from Fukushima.

Continuing with the Tohoku-related theme, NHK is presenting a special documentary, “Tohoku-hatsu Mirai Juku” (“Future Cram School from Tohoku”; NHK-E, Thurs., 11 p.m.), about a robot that was developed to help with the decommissioning of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. The robot was created by Takayuki Furuta, the manager of the Future Robotics Technology Center at Chiba Institute of Technology. Furuta explains through demonstration how society will soon take full advantage of robot technology. He will also talk about specific lessons he has learned through his extensive research, and offer advice to other scientists who plan to use robots in their own work.

CM of the week: Rabure

Ryuhei Matsuda, dressed all in black, stumbles through an open window into a dimly lit room, startling the room’s young female occupant. “Who are you?” she asks. “I’m a vampire,” Matsuda replies coolly. “No way,” she says as he sinks his fangs into her neck.

He recoils. “Weak,” he says, disgusted, in reference to the quality of her hemoglobin, which lacks sufficient iron for his taste, apparently. “Here, drink this,” he says, handing her a container of Kagome’s Rabure iron-rich drink.

The woman sucks happily on the drink through a straw while the voice-over announcer explains that one package delivers “one day’s worth of iron.” Matsuda, looking bored, waits on the couch for her to finish so he can resume his own sucking.