Video clip of Masaaki Sakai's appearance in Fuji TV's new Monkey TV show!
The main character is Shingo Katori, who plays Monkey (he is very famous as
a member of SMAP)
Eri Fukatsu - Tripitaka
Atsushi Ito - Pigsy
Teruyoshi Uchimura - Sandy
It follows the Masaaki Sakai series in many ways; the male priest is
played by an actress again, and his/her costume is almost identical.
Special effects are noticeable by their absence. Monkey's cloud has turned into a skate board.
Web site for the series: http://wwwz.fujitv.co.jp/gokuu/index2.html
A general Japanese TV drama site containing lots of information and comments in English: http://www.jdorama.com/drama.990.htm
Fuji TV (main site): http://www.fujitv.co.jp/jp/index.html
The BBC News article: BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Monkey magic casts spell in Asia says that an undisclosed British TV company has secured the rights to this remake and it will be shown in the UK later in 2006! More news when I get it.
The Times newspaper in UK contained this article back in February 2006: Broadcasters in a spin as Monkey swings back to TV - TV and Radio - Times Online
The Guardian newspaper published this article: Guardian Unlimited | The Guardian | Confessions of a Monkey lover
Just before the final episode of this Monkey remake series screened on Monday 20 March 2006, it was announced that Masaaki Sakai would co-star in the final episode of the new Monkey remake series, alongside Shingo Katori.
Here's the Japanese news story about Masaaki Sakai's appearance: http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20060311-00000030-sanspo-ent
Here's some stills from his appearance: http://blog.goo.ne.jp/tokyoradio/e/26a555d51d8efe672135e3a24a823947
Check out his stick-fighting - not bad for someone who's almost 60 ;)
The viewing figures for this series so far indicate that it's the most popular Monkey remake series yet!
Here is a video that may be of some interest. Its the actor who plays Goku
being interveiwed and doing magic tricks. There is a small clip of the TV
show in there as well:
There have been AT LEAST 4 remakes of the Monkey TV series:
EPISODE TITLES --------------- BOOK LOCATION
1) The Monkey King Comes Into The World Ch 1-2
2) Being Appointed Protector Of The Heavenly Horses Ch 2-4
3) Havoc In Heaven Ch 4-7
4) Interment Under The Five Elements Mountain Ch 7-9,12-13
5) Escorting The Tang Priest Ch 13-15
6) Trouble From The Guanyin Monastery Ch 16-17
7) Capturing Eight Prohibitions Pig With Tricks Ch 18-19
8) Overcoming Three Disasters On Their Rough Way Ch 20-24
9) Stealing Manfruit Ch 24-26
10) Beating Lady White Bone Up Ch 27
11) Monkey King Is Prodded Into Action Ch 28-31
12) Treasures Recovered In Lotus Flower Cave Ch 32-35
13) Eliminating The Monster In Wuji Kingdom Ch 36-39
14) Fighting With Red Boy Ch 40-42
15) Deep Wisdom Monastery Ch 44-46
16) An Interesting Experience In The Kingdom Of Females Ch 53-55
17) Three Bouts To Requisition The Plantain Fan Ch 59-61
18) Cleaning The Pagoda And Clearing A Framed Case Ch 62-63
19) Lured Into Lesser Thunder Monastery Ch 64-66
20) Monkey King Skillfully Practices Medicine Ch 68-71
21) Trapped In Gossamer Cave Ch 72-73
22) Four Visits To The Bottomless Cave Ch 80-83
23) Passing On Martial Arts In Yuhua Prefecture Ch 84-85,88-90
24) Capturing The Jade Hare Ch 91-9X
25) More Troubles In Western Heaven Ch 9X-100
Note: TVB is the world's largest producer of Chinese-language programmes, and people in Europe can see TVB programmes on TVB Satellite Channel - Europe (TVBS-Europe).