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A double dose of Fumiyo Kohinata; arson attack survivor featured on “NHK Special”; CM of the week: Ajinomoto

by Philip Brasor

Well-known character actor Fumiyo Kohinata not only gets a rare opportunity to star in a two-hour drama, but stars twice — playing twin brothers in the mystery “Twins: Saotome Kyodai no Suiri Nisshi” (“Twins: The Saotome Brothers’ Deductive Diary”; TBS, Mon., 9 p.m.)

Kyosuke Saotome (Kohinata) is the chief physician at his family-owned hospital, and one of his patients, Eriko (Ryoko Yui), is undergoing treatment after her husband commits suicide. In his note, he confessed to a robbery that took place six months earlier, but Eriko insists he was with her during the time the crime was supposedly taking place. Kyosuke asks his brother, Yosuke (Kohinata), a police detective, to offer his advice.

On Aug. 19, 1980, a 38-year-old man threw burning gasoline onto a bus that was about to depart from Shinjuku Station in Tokyo. Six people died and 14 were seriously injured. The man said he did it out of a sense of frustration for having grown up in abject poverty and a household filled with violence. He expected the death penalty but instead was put in jail for life.

This week’s “NHK Special” (NHK-G, Fri., 10 p.m.) follows the life of one of his victims, who barely survived after suffering burns to most of her body. Eventually, she wrote a book about her ordeal and even met with the man while he was in prison. She forgave him after he expressed remorse for what he did, though she couldn’t save him. In 1997, he killed himself in his cell.

CM of the Week: Ajinomoto

You’ve probably met people who can’t eat anything unless it’s slathered with mayo. In a new ad for Ajinomoto’s mayonnaise, actress Miho Kanno plays one of these people. She breaks open a piping hot baked potato and deposits a tower of mayo on. She then starts gorging herself, all the while enthusing incomprehensibly since her mouth is full. The richness of the creamy white condiment is played up by the voiceover, which explains that each tube of the stuff has three count-’em three eggs.

By the end of the CM Kanno has mayo all over her face, attesting to her passion for the stuff, but she hasn’t had enough and puts another huge pile of mayonnaise on what’s left of the potato. Obviously she’s oblivious to the fact that the price of mayo has skyrocketed lately.