Tokyobling's Blog

SMAP’s Shingo as Officer Ryotsu

Posted in People, Places by tokyobling on August 4, 2009

I recently blogged about a formerly disgraced member of SMAP (Japan’s number one supergroup bar none!), Kusanagi. Now another member of his group is starring in a TV-drama, this one based on the exceptionally successful manga, Kochira Katsushika-ku Kameari Kōen Mae Hashutsujo (こちら葛飾区亀有公園前派出所). Not only is it the longest running manga in the world it is endowed with what must be the most ridiculously long name! When I started learning Japanese I used to practice speed reading the title of this manga, competing with TV announcers in how fast I could say. Then, I used to practice how to write it (it is hard!). All in all, I credit this manga with having a good deal of influence on my spoken Japanese! Incidentally, the title means “This is the police station in front of Kameari Park in Katsushika Ward. A mouthful even in English.

The anime (and ineed the manga) is about the misadventures of lovable but slightly incompetent police officer Kankichi Ryoutsu. In this TV series he is portrayed by Katori Shingo, who is probably the most wholesome-take-home-to-grandmother-all-around-good-guy of SMAP. According to friends who work with him he is also the friendliest and kindest of the all the members. But I wouldn’t know, having never met any of them.

I really enjoyed watching this animated show when I first came to Japan, the police officer is gruff but kind and displays a rather unique disrespect for authority and regulations, constantly rolling up his sleeves, refusing to wear proper shoes and with two massive eyebrows! Despite his lack of footwear he is a very fast runner.

I can’t remember when I last watched TV. I think it must have been sometime in December last year, so I doubt I will see this new show with Shingo, but I sort of respect him as being the most competent comedic actor in SMAP. Fans of Japanese culture should give this an eye ball or two though. Enjoy these snaps of advertising for the show, a statue that is displayed in front of Kameari station in Katsushika ward, and, gasp!, the actual police station that is the center of the show! But, it doesn’t look anywhere near as cool as the manga or anime staiton. Does it?

On another note, Katsushika ward is one of the least blingy parts of Tokyo, so much in fact, that I have only set foot in there two times in my life. Enjoy!
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