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entertainment

Tokyo TV station skips ugly controversy over Mako’s marriage; shows 'Blade' instead

36 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

Last Tuesday, former Princess Mako and her fiancé, New York lawyer Kei Komuro, officially registered their marriage. The couple had announced their engagement all the way back in 2017, but the lengthy delay before tying the knot wasn’t the result of arduous meetings with wedding planners to make sure every little thing was just right for the ceremony and reception, but rather part of an ongoing controversy over the appropriateness of the match.

Many non-Japanese-language reports make mention of Komuro being a “commoner,” but for members of Japan’s imperial family in the modern era, marrying a commoner is their only option, as Japan has no other remaining families of official aristocratic status. However, under Japan’s Imperial House Law, a female member of the imperial household is considered to leave the royal family and enter her husband’s upon marriage, thus losing her own royal status. But while Mako marrying a commoner was a foregone conclusion, whenever a member of the imperial family announces marriage plans there’s an intense scrutiny, generally from members of Japan’s far right wing, of their partner’s perceived worthiness to be associated in any way with the emperor’s family.

The major criticism of Komuro stems from a financial dispute between his mother and her former fiancé, in which the fiancé claims he was never repaid a loan he made to her of four million yen. The mother claims the money was given to her as a gift, but Komuro has since issued a detailed document outlining a process to pay the money back. Komuro previously sporting a non-traditional ponytail (which he cut before meeting with the emperor and empress) also irritated his critics, and odds are Mako’s intention to leave Japan and relocate to the U.S. aren’t sitting well with hardline traditionalists either.

With the grumbling still persisting four years after their getting engaged, Mako and Komuro forwent any publicized royal wedding, and an announcement was made that they would simply be turning in their marriage registration form on Tuesday morning, then holding a press conference to address the situation that afternoon at a hotel in Tokyo. Naturally, camera crews from just about every TV broadcaster in the city showed up, with one exception. Instead of broadcasting the press conference live, like pretty much of all of their competitors were doing, TV Tokyo chose to continue with its plans to show "Blade."

▼ The Tuesday afternoon broadcast feeds from NHK, Nippon TV, TV Asahi, TBS, Fuji TV and TV Tokyo

Screen-Shot-2021-10-.png

▼ "Blade" (as though anyone could forget)

Yes, at the same time as Mako and Komuro were standing in front of the nation to thank those who supported them, apologize to those they’d distressed, and ask people to refrain from libelous comments, viewers had the option to tune out from all the drama of two consenting 30-year-old adults being pressured into explaining how and why they wanted to be married, and instead tune in to the action of the 1998 Wesley Snipes vampire-hunting film.

This actually isn’t the first time TV Tokyo has chose to let other networks fight with one another for attention over the same story and instead offer something completely different. Though it’s obviously based in Tokyo, TV Tokyo is technically a regional broadcaster, with a smaller budget than the many national stations that are also headquartered in the city. Rather than try to compete with its wealthier and better-equipped rivals when a “big” story is breaking, TV Tokyo is often content just to keep doing its own thing, and many online commenters were happy to have "Blade" as an alternative to what they saw as the latest round of unfair treatment of Mako and her new husband.

“That’s the TV Tokyo we know and love.”

“I love TV Tokyo’s sense of commitment.”

“Trust in Blade.”

“Everyone else is showing the press conference live and following it with hot-take studio commentary, but TV Tokyo stays the course.”

“They really do things their own way!”

However, skipping the press conference wasn’t just a cagey business decision. At his own regularly scheduled press conference following the "Blade" broadcast, TV Tokyo president and CEO Ichiro Ishikawa was asked if there had been any consideration given to broadcasting Mako’s press conference or putting together a special program to analyze it. Ishikawa smiled and responded with:

“I really can’t understand why so many people are concerning themselves with the situation…We would cover the story as part of our regular news programming. My hope is that Mako-san and Komuro-san can now live the rest of their lives happily together. Nothing more or less than that.”

Sources: Livedoor News/Nikkan Sports via Hachima Kiko, Nikkei Asia, Twitter

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

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© SoraNews24

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

36 Comments
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TBS (and Wesley) get(s) my vote!

11 ( +14 / -3 )

The writer here criticizes a business decision to provide an alternative, entertaining movie to an already, over-saturated local “news”(?) market ?? :

- “I really can’t understand why so many people are concerning themselves with the situation…We would cover the story as part of our regular news programming. My hope is that Mako-san and Komuro-san can now live the rest of their lives happily together. Nothing more or less than that.”

Should we equally criticize this media’s editorial choices of what they want to call “*Entertainment” *?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

This writer’s critique & criticism of “filler content” is to provided his own “filler content”? - The first, five lengthy paragraphs regurgitate the same stories that have been covered numerous time in the other “National” and “Politics” sections this week alone. How is this even considered a good weekend “Entertainment” news(?) story ?

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Blade (1998) is an “Entertaining” movie. See it (and it’s sequels) before the pending Hollywood reboot.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

I’d rather watch Blade too. Good move TBS.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

Rather see Wesley than media snipes.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Blade sounds way more entertaining than whatever some random couple have to deal in their life.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Tokyo TV station skips ugly controversy

Sweeping things under the carpet is the name of the game here folks.

-13 ( +2 / -15 )

Parasitic media should be ashamed of themselves! Well done TV Tokyo!

And

there’s an intense scrutiny, generally from members of Japan’s far right wing, of their partner’s perceived worthiness to be associated in any way with the emperor’s family.

How dare a bunch of old right wing fascists decide who is worthy or not!!!

6 ( +8 / -2 )

TBS knows that nobody is really interested in any of this. Especially young people.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Good to see TV Tokyo's attitude remain non-conformist and consistent. Should it follow suit of other major broadcasters, that would be indeed the doomsday for Japan :)

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Like it of loathe it "Blade" was the forerunner to the entire Marvel/Sony (Spiderman) 'rollercoaster' we've been part of for the last 20 years. Maybe not everyone's cup of tea but the hundreds of thousands of people who have been gainfully employed probably raise a glass to Wesley every evening!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Agreed *@roylance.norton 9:00am*. Blade (1998) and it’s 2 sequels were “*The First* Black MARVEL” character/superhero in cinemas, well before DISNEY attempted to label Black Panther (2018) as such.

No disrespect to Chadwick Boseman (RIP) but DISNEY has since reworded their initial press releases and marketing to accredit BP as “the first Black superhero in the Marvel Comic Universe” (1966, Fantastic Four).

Perhaps DISNEY wants to distance themselves from such “R” rated Entertainment ?

*- @roylance.norton 9:00am: “Like it of loathe it "Blade" was the forerunner to the entire Marvel/Sony (Spiderman) 'rollercoaster' we've been part of for the last 20 years. Maybe not everyone's cup of tea but the hundreds of thousands of people who have been gainfully employed probably raise a glass to Wesley every evening” -*

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Wesley Snipes kicks @ss! This guy never gets the credit he deserves. Especially these days, it’s like young people don’t even know he exists. Well, now they do.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Disney and all of the fandom should be thanking Wesley Snipes and treating him better. If there was no Blade then there would not be the modern day MCU Univese. He started the franchise and kept it a float all on his own!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Oh no.

Gasp!

An alternative in TV programming.

An actual option.

Say it isn’t so.

How will life survive?

What will happen now?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Marvel Comic’s Midnight Sons, anyone ?? - With a Morbius (2022) release and a later Blade 2022 (October) release with Mahershala Ali and directed by Bassam Tariq, it would be in DISNEY’s beast interest to perhaps pursue some “R” rated blood & violence to bring back ‘adult’ audiences to theatres.

Snipes could do what Russel Crow’s Dr. Hyde and Tom Cruise’s The Mummy failed to launch with Universal’s Dark Universe.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

TV Tokyo doesn't have those kinds of programs to begin so it's not a matter of whether they skipped it or not.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

It's only a controversy if you make it one.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Mother refuses to pay back a loan. Wesley Snipes jailed for tax evasion. Fun times!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

but for members of Japan’s imperial family in the modern era, marrying a commoner is their only option, as Japan has no other remaining families of official aristocratic status.

They could go the Ptolemy/Cleopatra way.

odds are Mako’s intention to leave Japan and relocate to the U.S. aren’t sitting well with hardline traditionalists either.

What the heck has it got to do with them. She's a commoner now. More busybodies.

Why on earth are people so concerned about TBS? If you want to see the couple, then there are plenty of other channels. When Prince Phillip died, I think all UK channels started talking about him non-stop all day. People were angry that even EastEnders was cancelled. Life has to go on.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I love TV Tokyo -​ they just do their own thing. #irreverencerulez

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Blade was BA. Loved those ninja vampires.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Another rerun of an old movie.

Amazing!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"Ugly marriage controversy"? Even uglier American meaningless brain-dead filler content! Dumbing-down the populace!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

So 1 station out of 15 don't have the same boring stuff? Good.

How many people were streaming something else instead?

If I want news (cough - gossip), then I can get that whenever I like. At least the couple will be able to disappear in the US, for the most part, except the Japanese paparazzi in the US.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Smart choice I say.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Whilst I'd say it's a good move by TBS, it's pretty sad that the only alternative amongst all the stations was Blade. And you wonder why so many people turn to the internet instead these days...

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Whilst I'd say it's a good move by TBS

Why is everybody talking about TBS. TBS and TV Tokyo is not the same thing. TBS showed news conference, TV Tokyo showed Blade...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I’d rather watch Blade too. Good move TBS.

TBS didn't show Blade, so what good move?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

With the grumbling still persisting four years after their getting engaged,

This petulant little article is attempting to fuel outrage, very pathetically. Give it a rest already.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I think commenters are mistaken. The article says TV Tokyo showed Blade and the picture shows TBS broadcasting the press conference, but commenters are praising TBS instead of TV Tokyo. Or did I misread something?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"My hope is that Mako-san and Komuro-san can now live the rest of their lives happily together. Nothing more or less than that.”

THANK YOU! This guy just got my respect. And so did the choice of Blade.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Some confusion in the comments here, though that is hardly surprising as the story is poorly written, burying the lead in the fourth paragraph.

It was TV Tokyo that aired the movie NOT TBS (Tokyo Broadcasting System), so the praise for TBS is mistaken.

Also, TV Tokyo airs a movie every weekday in the 13:40-15:30 time slot, so it didn't change its programming.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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