Oha Suta

Although I've watched it off and on for quite a while, recently I've been totally addicted to Oha Suta, a Japanese kids show that airs live everyday in Tokyo (the name is kind of an abbreviation of "Good Morning Studio"). The show is hosted by Koichi Yamadera (Yama-chan), who is a famous voice actor in anime and American movies dubbed into Japanese, and he rides around on a Segway in the most colorful, crazy set you've ever seen, containing everything from moving toy trains and Pokemon to candy walls right out of Hansel and Gretel. Each day he is joined by a different cute girl or two who announce different segments with even more silly characters. Sometimes it's a guy showing off new yo-yo tricks, or a sketch artist who draws funny scenes, or the Nazo Nazo guy (my favorite), who presents Japanese word puzzles and sings a funny victory song when they are solved. Sometimes there are video segments of different grade schools and their activities (like sports groups or choirs), and of course everyday they give the Ogenki Tenki weather report (with moving anime characters all over the map!). Some of the regular girls have Jpop connections (which is how I discovered the show), such as Koharu Kusumi (former Morning Musume, and much more suited to Oha Suta in my opinion) and Saki Ogawa (current member of S/mileage), who does baton twirling tricks and an insect segment where she has to touch a big beetle or something (and usually ends up crying!). Almost every episode is filled with promotions for new toys and manga, and I really enjoy seeing demonstrations of the new popular things that Japanese kiddies are into now. Each Oha Suta episode is only 15-20 minutes (with commercials removed), and it's always hilarious and often teaches me some Japanese, so I love watching it before I go to work!