04.07.2004 (Wednesday), 11:57 PM

Kochira Hon Ikegami-sho

drooling idiot alert

Nothing's normal, even television. If it's not gangster drama, it's Japanese television. I just sign over a healthy portion of my paycheck to the local video store (props to Video Eye! Hi Umi and L-R-G-man...) renting tapes every damn week.

Yeah, I'm the white guy usually squatting down to read all of the titles on the bottom rows, or mouthing out the kanji like an elementary school student trying to understand the meaning of the universe as if Hawking wrote it. And like it's really a challenge and sometimes it gives me a headache but I usually end up just being thankful that there are RESOURCES such as this.

However, there are weeks where there's nothing all that interesting on the vid-racks and then it's Mr. Tivo to the rescue. Our local Channel 26 although a bit behind the times in most aspects, does run some consistently entertaining shows. I like just about all of them but am especially enamoured with Kochira Hon Ikegami-sho (こちら本池上書). Following in true Ch. 26 tradition, this show could be 1-to-6 years old. I could find out but why?

Hon Ikegami-sho is set at a police station and is kind of a situ-dramatic-comedy which, in Japanese drama terms, always has a happy ending because let's face it, you can't get a borderline goofy-ier bunch of actors together and not have a bit of a laff at the end of chasing a school faculty room thief or exonerating the most/least likely suspect. In strict terms, it's a silly, extremely light show. Easy on the eyes and even easier on the brain. Ahh, just the elixir to combat the stress of yet another terrifying day.

OK, I'll have to admit that the show would have eventually captured my attention because I'm just a sucker to always have spoken Japanese present in any room I'm in. Just ask my poor coworkers who are subjected to my multi-hour listening to NHK internet radio (ok, they're not that bad off really, I keep it low but bear with me, I'm on a roll here...how often do you get two days in a row of this shit anyway...quit'cher complainin'...).

OK, to the point. Hon Ikegami-sho got my absolute attention because the Police Chief's daughter is played by none other than the ultra wacky and cute Kago Ai (加護亜依) who is also in all-girl singing pop group Morning Musume. How could I not watch? Of course, Jan thinks I'm completely insane and I'd be hard pressed to argue against such logic. I guess. But then a few weeks ago Konno Asami (yeah, Kon-kon is also in MM) played a character in the show and I was in my own private MoMusu heaven and the living room was a pretty unbearable place to be for anyone else but me. Even the dogs decided to hide....and Tivo got the worst of it that night too. (Cue Miranda: "Oh no, is Tivo ok? Did you hurt Tivo?")

Posted by wjc