“Investigator Mariko Special,” Wednesday, March 2, from 8-10 p.m.

Crimes today utilize increasingly clever tricks and techniques. The police and crime laboratories must respond to these crimes quickly and with scientific knowledge. The lab must deal with such diverse tasks as analysis of hair, blood type, DND, voice pattern and handwriting, as well as polygraphs, the reconstruction of facial features, and superimposing. The lab forms the main stage for this drama, which follows a female lab agent as she goes about her work. Mariko Sakaki, the main character, practices forensic medicine at the crime laboratory of the Kyoto Prefecture Police Department.

“Omiya-san 7,” premieres on Saturday, March 5, at 7 p.m.

Watase Tsunehiko plays the role of Torii Kazaburo, a detective who’s stuck in the data division of the Kyoto East Kamogawa station. He has the knack for solving cases that have turned up cold. His innocent looks hide a superior intellect that can store the details of old case files and help solve the unsolveable. You can’t hide anything from Watase-san!

“Omiya-san Special,” Wednesday, March 9, from 8-10 p.m.

Popular detective Omiya-san is back. Using his experience, his powers of intuition and reasoning, and memory of past crimes, he goes to work to unravel a mysterious new crime.

“Mission to Kill 2012 Special (Hissatsu Shigotonin) (ABC/TV Asahi),” Wednesday, March 16, from 8-10 p.m.

Shigotonin are assassins hired by victims of crime to avenge wrongs committed against them. Hiring an assassin would also be considered a crime, but when you get to know the victims, you come to sympathize with them.

“The Concierge (TBS),” premieres on Sunday, March 20, at 8 p.m.

“The Concierge” centers around the daily challenges that go on in the lives of the concierge staff at a luxury hotel. Seeking to fulfil every guest’s request, the concierge staff must sometimes go to the ends of the earth.

“Doctors 3 (TV Asahi),” premieres on Monday, March 21, at 8 p.m.

“Doctors 3” is a continuation of “Doctors 1 and 2,” which is the popular Doctors series about Kousuke Sagara who is a highly skilled surgeon working at a corrupt hospital.

“Black Gospel (TV Asahi),” airs on Wednesday, March 23, from 8-10 p.m.

When a young woman’s body is found one early morning in Tokyo, the only clues to her death are her handbag, an express delivery envelope, and the peaceful expression on her face. That peaceful expression plus no evidence of a struggle leads police to initially rule her death as a suicide. But upon further examination, the cause of her death is determined to be suffocation, and semen is also found at the scene of the crime.

As detectives Rokuro Fujisawa and Yoshitaka Ichimura investigate the crime, they discover that a car with foreign license plates owned by a young priest was seen near the crime scene the night of the incident. Further complicating the matter, the priest was the person who sent the express delivery envelope.

Was the priest involved in the crime?

“Black Gospel” is another fascinating tale from the master of intrigue, Seicho Matsumoto.

“Losing Heaven,” Sunday at 5 p.m.

Bridgette and Ellery are childhood best friends, and their bond becomes even stronger when Bridgette’s parents are killed, leaving her an orphan. Ellery’s father adopts Bridgette, making them sisters.

The best friends/sisters grow up and attain careers they love. Everything is going well until Bridgette meets Jonas. Instantly, she falls in love with him, but he only has eyes for Ellery. After Ellery meets him, they fall in love and marry.

Their happiness is shattered when they learn Ellery cannot conceive. Bridgette steps in and offers to be a surrogate mom through in-vitro, and births a daughter.

Ellery gets into a car accident and is in a coma. Bridgette convinces Jonas to annul his marriage to Ellery for the sake of the baby and marry her.

But what happens to the best friends/sisters if Ellery regains consciousness?

“Chasing Moments,” Sunday at 6 p.m.

A thrilling story about love and intertwined relationships.

Alex and Cindy find love and inspiration in each other’s arms. However, when Cindy leaves to study abroad, though devastated, Alex decides he must continue his life and pursue his dreams of becoming a photo journalist. Janice, an older woman, works as an editor-in-chief at a famous tabloid, but her successful career is not mirrored in her personal life. Despite her age gap and social differences their special friendship grows into an unlikely romance. Things get more complicated when Alex learns that Janice is Cindy’s mother!

“High School Chorus” (TBS), Sunday at 8 p.m.

At one time, the chorus club at Omotesando High School was famous for its top-notch program. As high school students, both of Makoto Kagawa’s parents were part of the club, and their many positive memories of high school are centered around their chorus experiences.

So when the Kagawa family moves to Tokyo, joining the club becomes Makoto’s dream. But things are not as they once were.

The club barely has any members, and its instructor, who ironically first taught Makoto to sign, has lost his passion. Can Makoto be the catalyst for the club’s revival?

“Behind the Noren 2 (Fuji),” Sunday at 9 p.m.

The showdown between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law at a traditional Japanese inn continues in this second series. But this time, “the spirit of good service” bypasses international boundaries as some of the main characters venture to Taiwan.

“Age Harassment (TV Asahi),” Monday at 8 p.m.

Emiri Yoshii has it all: brains, youth, and beauty. She lands a position in a top rated trading company and seems to be on the fast track for success.

But she quickly realizes the old guard of the department she’s in is only paying lip service to equality in the workplace, and all they see is her youth and beauty.

To make matters worse, she also becomes the target of jealousy from older female staff.

Will Emiri be able to change the mentality of her company?

“Beauty and the Fellow (NHK),” Monday at 9 p.m.

A competent, but aloof beautiful woman.

A handsome, but unmotivated young man.

Will they propel each other to success in the entertainment industry . . . and beyond?

It’s a girl-meets-boy tale with a twist. The girl, Ichiko, becomes an entertainment agent following an unexpected turn of events. That’s when she scouts the boy, a reluctant young actor named Ryo. Ichiko struggles to transform Ryo into a superstar. And even though he’s disinterested initially, he gradually begins to enjoy acting. Together, the pair navigates the unfamiliar and sometimes choppy waters of show business, rising to the pinnacle of fame. They share the same fate, despite the constant friction. Soon, their professional bond morphs into an emotional one, and sparks fly. “Beauty and the Fellow” is a heartfelt and captivating story of an entertainment power duo in search of success, but destined for love.

“Sanada Maru (NHK),” premires on Tuesday at 8 p.m.

“Sanada Maru is the 55th Taiga drama from NHK.”

The story about the life of the last great commander in the Warring States period, Yukimura  Sanada, whose real name was Genjiro Nobushige Sanada.

Curious and adventure-loving, Nobushige Sanada tore through the the Warring States period and eventually became a legendary commander who even awed the ruler Ieyasu Tokugawa.

He completed the construction of Sanada Maru, which is the last and strongest fortress to defend the most vulnerable gate of the castle during the Siege of Osaka.

“Hatchobori no Shichinin (TOEI),” Tuesday at 9 p.m.

This is the story of seven police officers in the district of Hatchobori in ancient Edo. Under the direction of inspector Aoyama, they work together to maintain peace and solve the crimes that plague the locals.

“Homicide Team 9 – Season 5 (TV Asahi),” Thursday at 8 p.m.

Homicide Team 9 which is composed by the few elites, is the most unusual team in criminal investigation divisions of the Metropolitan Police Department. They are always the top as criminal arrest rate. They try to solve criminal cases with struggling and cooperating each other.

“Truth of Zero (TV Asahi),” Thursday at 9 p.m.

Mao Matsumoto, who has an IQ of over 150, is a mysterious medical examiner.

She has no family. And she knows neither love and fun nor so-called happiness. Nothing interests her except the corpses, and she believes in only forensic evidence.

“A Bright Tomorrow (Hanasaku Ashita from NHK), Friday at 8 p.m.

In this comedy, a mother who abandoned her five children comes waltzing back into their lives over 20 years later. The siblings still live in their family home in Kamakura, and each is dealing with his or her own daily challenges. Does their mother’s return ease or further complicate their already complicated lives?

“Japan’s Local Secrets,” Friday at 9 p.m. and Saturday at 8 p.m.

Although Japan is a relatively small country geographically, each prefecture has its own traditions, dialects, and
. . . foods!!! This program takes us to the secret places throughout Japan known to the people of the area and introduces us to things unique to each place.


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