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Ten years ago, Chikako Kaku was the most popular actress in trendy dramas. Though not classically beautiful, she was good at conveying the type of well-bred charm that’s considered a paramount virtue in Japanese wives, while at the same time possessing a formidable capacity to exhibit nail-biting fear. She was a perfect match for the kind of domestic psycho-dramas that were the fashion on Japanese TV in the early and mid-’90s.

As soon as the kids started taking over trendy dramas, Kaku was banished to TV commercial land. Tuesday night, however, she makes her inevitable move into the realm of one-night mystery shows, the final resting place for over-30 TV actresses.

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