Gokusen Is a Hit!

Seems like the second series of the GOKUSEN drama starring Nakama Yukie is turning into a huge hit. They’re breaking all sorts of ratings records, with a surprising demographic tuning in: the 35-49 group. Most big drama hits are popular with younger viewers, and even the first series followed that same trend. Yuko (for you new readers — and my stats suggest that there are quite a few of you — that’s my wife) was observing that this is especially strange, considering that it deals with the yakuza, and a strong, in-your-face heroin. If you’ve never followed the show (or the manga on which it’s based, as well as the animated series that I loved), it tells the story of Yankumi, a yakuza boss who teaches high-school students by day. The interesting thing here is that the yakuza represented here is in keeping with the old idea of these groups actually performing social services to the community. This is probably what is leading to the older set tuning in.

The show airs Saturday nights at 9 on TV Asahi.


Paper Sky 12

1281680322I was in Aoyama the other day, doing my regular rounds, and stopped by ABC to pick up the new issue of PAPER SKY (12). The sad thing though, according to a few people that have mentioned this to me, is that this will be the last bilingual issue. You can’t really blame the publishers, as it seems that the number of non-Japanese people who are buying the magazine is minuscule (probably me, and a few readers of this site). So this issue is probably the last one I’ll be picking up. Too bad, as it’s usually one of my favorite reads.
If you clicked on the link to their official site, you’ll be greeted with a page that’s 2 issues out of date. This is especially strange, as the new issue has a one-page article on their growing web presence — limited to their Book 246 shop and an Excite Japan venture featuring a blog (Japanese only).