Based on a true story, the new drama series “Aogeba Totoshi” (“Graduation Song”; TBS, Sun., 9 p.m.) takes place at a high school in Kanagawa Prefecture in the 1980s.
Akira Terao plays Hikuma, a saxophone player who has lost his zest for life after an accident ruined his career. He now gives music lessons to children in the public park. One day, the principal of the nearby high school observes the lesson and asks Hikuma if he would like to join the school’s faculty as a music instructor. He says he’ll think about it.
Hikuma’s college-age daughter, Natsuki (Mikako Tabe), isn’t sure if it’s a good idea, but the next day Hikuma goes to the school to see what it’s like. While walking the halls, he complains about the behavior of Aoshima, the leader of a group of punks, and the boy punches him. When the principal hears of this, he figures Hikuma will not take the job, but the musician sees it as a challenge and agrees to teach there. His first task is to form a brass band.
Nanako Matsushima also plays a person returning to employment in the series “Eigyo Bucho Kira Natsuko” (“Natsuko Kira, Sales Manager”; Fuji TV, Thurs., 10 p.m.). Natsuko is going back to the advertising agency she worked for before taking maternity leave and is shocked to learn that she is not the creative director any more. Instead, she is put in charge of the Sales Development.
Unmotivated, Natsuko finds she has her work cut out for her, and she has trouble balancing her job responsibilities with her home life, so she hires Miyuki (Ayumi Ito), a babysitter. Unfortunately, Miyuki’s presence eventually works to tear her marriage apart.
CM of the week
Hearthstone This CM is for the strategy card game “Hearthstone,” which has been getting a lot of attention both in Japan and overseas. In the ad, a typically dour company president gets out of his limousine and enters the company building. Everyone bows in deference to the boss, until he encounters one young uniformed female employee who simply stands in front of him, unbowed. The camera samples the shocked reactions from everyone in the lobby in slow motion. Then the president, sweat falling from his brow, bows to this woman and she smiles. We learn in the next frame that she beat him in a game of “Hearthstone.” But the real question is: Can she get a raise?