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“SPEC” backstory special; Tohoku medical care update; CM of the week: TopValu

The hero of “SPEC” (TBS, Wed., 9 p.m.) is Toma (Erika Toda), who works for Section 5 of the Metropolitan Police Department’s Public Security Division. Her exploits in the crime-fighting organization were the subject of a 2010 series, but this week’s two-hour special explains how she became a member, and how she lost her left hand.

When she is in high school Toma’s parents and younger brother are killed in an air crash. The police official who breaks the news tells her the accident was caused by someone with special powers called SPEC. Toma becomes obsessed with SPEC and six years later is inducted into the police force and receives training from the FBI. Later she is assigned to Section 5, which handles unsolved cases.

‘NHK Special” (NHK-G, Fri., 10 p.m.) continues with its series on the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake. The latest installment looks at the current medical care situation in areas affected by the disaster.

Even before the earthquake and tsunami, the Tohoku region was on the brink of a medical catastrophe, owing to its large population of elderly and a lack of medical personnel. In the short term the disaster made matters even worse, but in the long run the situation is likely to improve, since the disaster spurred changes that might not have come about otherwise. Doctors are flocking to the area to study new ways of addressing the issue of elderly care and improving their methodology when it comes to house calls, which will be the medical norm in the future for all of Japan.

CM of the week: TopValu

National retailer Aeon isn’t the first company to exploit the 2020 Olympics, but it is definitely the most creative at this point. To promote its TopValu brand of generic “inner wear” as an alternative to Uniqlo’s inexpensive line, which dominates the market, it shows two athletes wearing the garments while partaking in their respective sports. One is a male long-jumper and the other a female uneven-bars gymnast.

But these two individuals are not who they seem to be. The long-jumper is comedian Yuki Himura, while the gymnast is comedian Hanako Yamada. Both are famous for their funny faces and dumpy figures, so obviously those svelte, toned bodies aren’t theirs, which means their heads have been digitally stitched on. Creepy.