The TW Pop Culture Weekly: Anne Watanabe Had a Rough Week

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It seems it’s true what they say: we do end up falling in love with people who are just like our parents. Just look at Anne Watanabe, the popular Japanese model, actress and daughter of Ken Watanabe, Japan’s top leading man known for such movies as The Last Samurai, Batman Begins, Godzilla, and for getting divorced in 2018 for having an affair.

Anne and her actor husband Masahiro Higashide (The Kirishima Thing, Crows Explode) are still technically married but last week they announced that they have separated after it came to light that Higashide has been having an affair. For three years. While Anne was pregnant with their third child. The separation reportedly doesn’t mean that the couple will definitely divorce but… *gestures vaguely to this whole paragraph*

Things Not Looking Good for Higashide

Earlier this month, the Shukan Bunshun tabloid first reported that Higashide was having an affair with Erika Karata, which started when the actress and model was only 19. A week ago, Higashide’s agency confirmed it and the blowback against him has already begun. Since the affair came out, Higashide has lost CM deals with the health and lifestyle brand Sunstar and is most likely going to be dropped by Honda and the popular clothing company next. Even the TV Asahi show he’s been starring in, The Detective and The Prosecutor, suffered a drop in ratings, because, well, it’s actually not just about the affair.

According to the original tabloid report, Higashide was simply a lousy husband, not doing any housework and demanding that his wife (who was raising twins) have his dinner hot and ready for him every night. Too many people are now having trouble seeing the actor in the role of a good guy.

As for Karata, she deleted all her social media profiles and has been let go from the brand-new TBS show Prayers in the Emergency Room, which we mentioned last week.

Not a Great Time for Erikas Right Now

Before November 2019, Erika Sawajiri was one of the most promising young actresses in all of Japan. A multiple Japan Academy Award winner and star of such movies as 1 Litre of Tears and Helter Skelter, she was supposed to appear on the big NHK show Awaiting Kirin about the famous general Akechi Mitsuhide. But then she got arrested for the possession of MDMA and LSD, later admitting that she’s been using other drugs (like marijuana and cocaine) for over 10 years.

This year, Sawajiri’s case will finally move to a public hearing… which will be broadcasted by AbemaTV. So tune in on January 31 around 2:30pm to see what amounts to televised public shaming, coming at you live from Tokyo’s District Court.

Wasteful Days of High School Girls

Adaptations of manga and anime are a balancing act. You need to take everything from the source material that made it good in the first place while leaving behind all the stuff that just wouldn’t work in a live-action medium, like the characters’ cartoonish energy and expressions. That’s what people say but the live-action version of Wasteful Days of High School Girls kind of proves that those people could not be more wrong.

Premiering on January 24 on TV Asahi, Joshi Kosei no Mudazukai, like the original manga, reels people in with its main character Nozomu Tanaka, nickname “Baka” (~”Idiot.”) And it seems like the show knocked that character out of the park. Played by Yui Okada, the live-action Nozomu is hilariously over-the-top with that wild card energy that made the character so popular in the comic book and the anime. The rest of the cast are also great, but the show is rightfully keeping its focus on Okada and so far it has been nothing but pure joy.

Set Sail on ‘Fatty’s Ark’

On January 26, Twitter user @orihara13 discovered a bakery that doesn’t mince words (just meat). In a tweet that currently has been liked more than 121,000 times, @orihara13 posted a picture of the bakery’s massive sandwich consisting of half a hot dog, half a menchi-katsu (deep-fried meat patty) sandwich, and half a yakisoba (fried noodles) bread, all covered in two kinds of cheeses… altogether called “Fatty’s Ark.” Then, to make double sure the customers knew exactly what they were getting into, the slogan above the name says: “Sail away towards an ocean of calories.” Bon voyage.

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