Monday, May 12, 2008

Help Us Kimutaku, You're Our Only Hope!

"The person who changes could be you, maybe."

So with this teaser Fuji Television tonight invites us to enter a world that is supposed to be like our own, except in it Kimura Takuya is a nebbishy elementary school teacher and amateur astronomer in rural Nagano (implausible? Noooo...) whose world is turned upside down when his father and elder brother are killed in an automobile accident.

Oh, the ghastly carnage necessary to set up a fish-out-of-water comedy-drama!

Now it just so happens Father was a member of the House of Representatives from Fukuoka (a political hotbed in the real world right now, the home prefecture of three faction leaders--Aso Tarō, Yamasaki Taku and Koga Makoto--as well as Justice Minister Hatoyama Kunio) and Elder Brother was being groomed to succeed him. With the seatholder and the heir apparent out of the picture, the chairman of the General Council (played by the avatar of exhaustion, Terao Akira) and his frighteningly bloodless secretary (played by Fukatsu Eri, revisiting their pairing in Hakase no aishita sūshiki) hatch a plan to have Son #2 run for the seat in the necessary by-election.

A hopeless plan, given that Son #2 is a total dweeb.

Still, they see something in him...something fresh, something new...something that gets them thinking about the Prime Minister's record low support levels in the public opinion polls...something that might have something to do with Son #2's being Kimura Takuya hidden behind thick black glasses and underneath an electro-shock medusa of hair.

Real by-election victory material, seemingly.

And the title of this new series, in English: CHANGE

Prime Minister Fukuda, watch your back.

Political junkies of a certain kind will furthermore be grateful that staffer Miyamoto Hikaru (played by semi-Italiana Katō Rōsa) will be providing supplementary explanations of the political jargon used in the program.

Something about the excessive attractiveness of the main players me has me guessing that CHANGE will not be a hard-hitting and cynical examination of the political process.

But you never know.

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