Japanese detective shows dwell on procedure and deduction, but the new Fuji TV series, “Bitter Blood” (Tues., 9 p.m.), adds an action component: If the preview trailers are any indication, Japanese police detectives get into a lot more fights than previously thought.
Some are intermural, since the bitter blood of the title is between veteran cop Akimura (Atsuro Watabe) and rookie Natsuki (Takeru Sato), who are assigned together after Akimura’s partner is killed on the job. As it happens, they are also father-and-son, though they haven’t talked to each other since Akimura divorced Natsuki’s mother when the latter was 13. He’s resented his father ever since, and that resentment comes out in their work situation. Akimura is strictly by-the-book, while Natsuki has a more idiosyncratic approach to solving crimes, though maybe he’s just trying to get under his old man’s skin.
Detective work of a more conventional kind is the theme of “The Long Goodbye” (NHK-G, April 19, 9 p.m.), a five-part adaptation of Raymond Chandler’s classic mystery novel. Transplanted from 1950s Los Angeles to 1950s Tokyo, the reimagined story takes advantage of Japan’s postwar situation, when people’s sense of value was changing in significant ways.
Tadanobu Asano plays the Philip Marlowe character, a private eye named Banji. He strikes up an acquaintance with Tamotsu (Go Ayano), a likable layabout married to an actress. When the wife is murdered, Tamotsu becomes the main suspect and he disappears. Then, his body is found in Taiwan and the police deem it a suicide. Banji is suspicious, and thinks a powerful media figure, Harada (Akira Emoto), has something to do with the two deaths.
CM of the Week: JT
Forced to expand its products into other areas for obvious reasons, Japan Tobacco has found success with another supposedly stress-reducing item in its line of canned coffees. A new spot is set in a conference room of a large company, with the chairman clearly upset by the firm’s performance. When the sales department is called upon to report, the manager, played by Yutaka Takenouchi, doesn’t immediately respond since he is enjoying a can of Roots Aroma Black. After an uncomfortable silence he finally stumbles to his feet and apologizes. There is such a thing as being too relaxed.
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5