So the new coronavirus has people slightly on edge. The death toll from the bug, which seems to have originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan, has already surpassed that from SARS, and that’s enough to frighten anyone. Sadly, when people get scared, they tend to get stupid, which actress Suzu Hirose experienced for herself this week.
If You Have to Be an Idiot, At Least Learn to Spell
Suzu Hirose accomplished more before turning 20 than most people do in their entire lives. Besides being a Japan Academy Prize winner, she’s also starred in popular TV shows like Natsuzora, worked as a model, and hosted and judged the Uta Gassen song competition. So when Louis Vuitton were looking for a brand ambassador for their recently-opened Midosuji Maison flagship store in Osaka, they were lucky when they landed Hirose, which they celebrated with a simple Instagram image post. And that’s when the stupid comments started.
“Ahhhh corona virus!!!!” “It is infected,” “Koronovirus?” or “Coronavirus” were just some of the nasty messages left under the post because to the ones who made them, all Asian people are the same. The comments were deleted as soon as they appeared, but the sheer volume of hate quickly turned the entire thing into a depressing online game of whack-a-racist. Other people soon flocked to Hirose’s defense, while others went a step further and decried bigotry against all Chinese nationals. They probably weren’t talking about a candy shop in Hakone, which allegedly banned all Chinese tourists from entering, but the message still applied to them. Again, fear often makes people stupid.
New TV Asahi Show Puts People in Boxes
On February 8, TV Asahi premiered their brand-new show Nibiiro no Hako no Naka de (~ “In the Blunt Box”), a story about the complicated, sometimes romantic, sometimes confusing relationships between a group of four childhood friends. Originally based on a manga published by LINE, the company behind the popular messaging app that’s also gotten into e-books, Nibiiro no Hako no Naka de does not look groundbreaking after the first episode… but it is very well done. It’s been a while since we had a good high school drama/romance on Japanese TV, and Nibiiro might’ve arrived at just the right time to give fans of the genre what they’ve been craving for a while.
Of particular interest is Kamio Fuju (Nippon Noir) in the role of the distant Ritsu Sanada who seems to be on the road to becoming the show’s breakout character. Hopefully we will see more of him in future episodes.
Star-Studded Show Coming to TV Tokyo
Helical Labyrinth is an upcoming show that tells the story of a DNA expert and a detective working on a murder case. But that’s not really important. What’s important is who’s been cast in the two main roles: Kei Tanaka and Ken Yasuda (not to be confused with “Japan’s Arnold Schwarzenegger.”) You might remember Tanaka from Hit Me Anyone One More Time and Ossan’s Love: Love or Dead, two of the best movies of 2019. Yasuda has the exact same claim to fame, having starred in such 2019 hits as When My Mom Died, I Wanted to Eat Her Ashes and The Fable. The two could be playing stamp-collecting accountants and it would probably make for great television. Helical Labyrinth premieres in April on TV Tokyo.
Trailer Drops for Gone Wednesday
What if every day was Tuesday for you? That’s kind of what the protagonist of the upcoming Gone Wednesday movie experiences. Suffering from a multiple personality disorder, the man’s seven different personas change depending on the day of the week while communicating with each other via a diary. It’s a setup that could work in a variety of genres, from a quirky comedy to a heartfelt drama. But according to a recently released trailer, the tone the movie is going for is… suspenseful thriller? It will be a directorial and screenwriting debut for Kohei Yoshino but if he manages to pull it off, it will quickly put him on Japan’s filmmaking map.
How to Find Fresh Fried Goods in Supermarkets
One of the best parts of Japanese supermarkets is the fried food section full of tempura and korokke and other goodies. But how to find the freshest ones? Ask people? No one has time for that. That’s why Twitter user @kizuki_jpn, in a post that’s been liked nearly 160,000 times, explained how he does it: by using a smartphone thermal camera. We may not have flying cars yet but it’s safe to say that the future is now.
— 山口真弘 (@kizuki_jpn) February 7, 2020