As the filling in the Rugby World Cup - Tokyo Olympics sandoitchi , Japan is the subject of a torrent of televisual feasts coming to a screen near you. What better way to begin the onslaught than with James May, the avuncular arm of The Grand Tour and former Top Gear trident? In James May: Our Man in Japan , the easy-going hero of Amazon Prime Video’s six-part travelogue, now streaming in its entirety, meanders from frozen north to sunny south, admitting that he’s never understood Japan’s enduring mysteries but gamely giving everything a go in the quest for enlightenment. This despite the fact that for Londoner May, Japan is “possibly the most ‘abroad’ place you can go” and therefore alien and confusing. No matter: at the risk of merely trotting out already overfamiliar stuff, “blue-eyed British samurai” May, as one interpreter calls him, courageously confronts karaoke, the Shibuya Scramble, salarymen, sakura, Shinkansen, swordsmithery, sumo, fast-food sushi, calligraphy, Fukushima, anime, bento, gigantic killer robots, niche-interest gadgetry, haiku, onsen, geisha and holy mountains, rescuing them all from cliché with a winning combination of bewilderment, incompetence, profound foreignness, wonder, perseverance and a willingness to learn. The people whom May meets genuinely seem to like him, notwithstanding his insistence that they’re just indulging in the Japanese national sport of being polite. Which goes to show that when he steps out of the large and small shadows of his regular co-presenters, May can, by luck, judgment or affability, deliver an entertainment package that’s informative but not hectoring, charming but never twee. And while he recognises that there are still many veils of mystery to be parted before Japan divulges all its secrets, he doesn’t forget his friends, or at least one of them. Having visited a radical apparel shop called Sperm for a disastrous makeover, then having helped to carry the likeness of a giant pink phallus during a fertility festival, May tells an interviewer (post-filming and viewable on YouTube) that the penis featured is “not the biggest d**k I’ve ever worked with”. Banzai ! The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.: Reawakened – an anime with attitude Which brings us to another hero of Japan, albeit one who is decidedly home-grown and more recognisably Japanese, thanks, naturally, to his pink hair. And the antennae protruding from his head. This is Kusuo Saiki (“psyche”), droll, disgruntled star of The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.: Reawakened and who – you guessed it – is a digital drawing. In a new six-episode series of the Netflix anime with attitude, teenager Saiki, suffering from a potent case of misanthropy, continues to despise his own superpowers. Well, obviously: it must be such a drag when your spoon-bending aptitude makes it difficult to eat, your clairvoyance makes everything predictable and your mind-reading skills constantly reveal what people really think of you. Saiki just wants to be left alone to cruise through school and has no ambitions to destroy, save or otherwise engage with a world he regards as so dull and unoriginal it isn’t worth his attention. And there we have the show’s unsparing opinion on modern life: uninspiring, underwhelming and alienating, especially for anyone more evolved than the rest of us. Yet like any good monotone comic, Saiki is mordant enough to find black humour in almost any human interaction. But: will this super-loner ever tune in and come to realise that social ping-pong is all we really have? Those antennae must be there for something.