In addition to singing and dancing, the popular male idols managed by Johnny & Associates do a lot of educational TV, including “Aiba Manabu” (“Aiba Learns”; TV Asahi, Sun., 6 p.m.), in which Masaki Aiba, a member of boy band Arashi, learns about some common process. In the past, Aiba and his guests have had hands-on lessons about how to plant rice and how to catch tuna.
This week they go to an ironworks and a steel mill to learn how iron ore is turned into steel. They watch as molten pig iron flows into a huge vat, and Aiba himself handles a giant ladle to transfer the liquid into other containers. Then they go to the plate mill where they are shown how different cooling processes produce different kinds of steel, depending on the purpose.
Koji Ishizaka is one of Japan’s most distinguished actors, but like all show business professionals, he also appears on variety shows. For many years he was the co-emcee of the popular antique appraisal show “Nandemo Kanteidan” (“The Appraisal Team for Anything”), but he left in April, reportedly because he didn’t get along with the show’s producer any more.
This week he returns with his own show in the same mold, “Kaiun! Dandemo Kanteidan Gokujo Otakara Salon” (“Good Fortune! Appraisal Team for Anything High Quality Treasure Salon”; BS Japan, Thurs., 9 p.m.), which goes beyond antiques to cover almost anything.
This week’s guest is popular economist Takuro Morinaga, who is an avid collector of toy cars. His collection of 30,000 items includes cars made all over the world. He started it when he was a child living in Vienna, and he brings several dozen of his rarest finds into the studio.
The show also profiles a doll collector from Tochigi Prefecture.
CM of the week
Lotte In the latest installment of Lotte’s “No Think” campaign for So, its vanilla ice cream, actor Ryoma Takeuchi is waiting at a bus stop in the middle of nowhere, worrying because the bus is already three minutes late and he has somewhere he needs to be. Sensing his anxiety, actress Mayu Matsuoka jumps up from the bench and whispers in his ear, “Don’t rush through life.” A montage of crowded city streets and racing minute hands on clocks follow. “Stop thinking,” Takeuchi says to himself, and he and Matsuoka sit back down on the bench to enjoy containers of So. Who needs a brain when you’ve got ice cream?