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Sunday, Aug. 5, 2007


Superstar fortuneteller, Nuremberg trials special, manga dramatization of WWII

Superstar fortuneteller Kazuko Hosoki usually works her caustic consultations on pliable, willing celebrities, most of whom take her harsh criticisms to heart. It will be interesting to see how her style goes down in Hollywood.

This week, on a special two-hour edition of her show "Zubari Iu wa yo! (I'll Give It to You Straight!") on TBS, Tuesday at 9 p.m., Hosoki travels to Los Angeles to visit actor Charlie Sheen, who is about to be married for the third time. Given Sheen's bad-boy past, Hosoki will obviously find much to be critical about, but her main mission will be to tell Sheen about his future.

Other guests on the show include former model Anna Umemiya, whose fame mainly rests on a long-term romance she had with actor Kenji Haga, who was recently arrested for extortion. Anna has since remarried, had a child and divorced.

This week, NHK broadcasts a three-part British "docu-drama" TV series about the first Nuremberg Trials, "Nuremberg: Nazis on Trial" (BS1, Wednesday-Friday, 11:05 p.m.), in which 24 Nazi leaders were tried for war crimes in 1945-46. The series mixes documentary footage with dramatic recreations. Twelve defendants were eventually condemned to death.

Part One focuses on the trial of Albert Speer, the "first architect of the Third Reich," who was a close friend of Hitler and was the minister for armaments. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison and became known as "the Nazi who said sorry."

Part Two is about Herman Goering, considered the most powerful Nazi after Hitler. He was found guilty on all counts brought against him and sentenced to death, but committed suicide the day before he was scheduled to hang.

The final part looks at the trial of Rudolf Hess, Hitler's earliest political confidante. Hess was arrested in 1941 in Scotland where he had flown, supposedly to negotiate peace. He became a prisoner of war and at Nuremberg was sentenced to life in prison.

Keiji Nakazawa's semiautobiographical manga, "Hadashi no Gen (Barefoot Gen)," has been dramatized as three live-action movies and two animated features. It is considered one of the seminal works about the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

This week, Fuji TV presents a new two-part TV production (Friday and Saturday, 9 p.m.) based on Nakazawa's work.

Kiichi Nakai plays Daikichi, who in 1945 paints designs on wooden sandals to support his pregnant wife Kimie (Yuriko Ishida) and their four children in Hiroshima. He grows wheat to keep his family fed during the lean war years. He is also resolutely against the war and is arrested by the public security police for being "unpatriotic." Consequently, his son Gen is bullied at school.

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