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Absolute Zero – Special Investigation Unit or Zettai Reido – Mikaiketsu Jiken Tokumei Sousa or 絶対零度~未解決事件 (2010) Episodes 7 to 9

Zettai_Reido

Episode 7 of Absolute Zero – Special Investigation Unit or Zettai Reido – Mikaiketsu Jiken Tokumei Sousa or 絶対零度~未解決事件 (2010) has us back in 2006 with the death of the President of Future Steps, a corporation much disliked because of its aggressive acquisition strategies. In modern time, we start off with a man accused of the murder but, once in court, objecting to the way the investigation was handled by the Cold Case Unit. We therefore have evidence given, first by Takumi Kurata (Tetta Sugimoto), to explain how and why the case was reopened, with the relevant flashbacks to show everyone at work. The man on trial was a security guard at the building which housed the corporation. It seems the deceased’s secretary had later seen him wearing a watch perhaps taken from her boss. When his house is searched, he also has an antique knife which belonged to the boss. Naturally, at the trial, the defence alleges the confession was coerced and then produces a witness who claims the victim and the deceased often drank together at his bar. It’s therefore not surprising the accused should have received gifts from the deceased. There’s also no forensic evidence to show the knife found in the accused’s possession was the murder weapon, so the case is adjourned for a review. Hideo Nagashima (Kinya Kitaoji) formally reopens the case and gives Takumi Kurata the chance to get the right answer for the honour of the unit.

They call in the secretary who made the call. Izumi Sakuragi (Aya Ueto) and Yuki Fukazawa (Tomomi Maruyama) interview her and it’s obvious that this victim was not a man to have any friends, particularly those whom he believed were in a lower class. He was fixated on money and what it could buy, which included a company holding the intellectual property rights on a Hello Kitty lookalike. Ryoko Takamine (Sayaka Yamaguchi) and Keigo Tsukamoto (Hiroyuki Miyasako) discover the deceased had been diagnosed with leukemia and needed a bone marrow transplant. Having no relatives, he went in search of a donor. With long odds, a donor was found. With the successful treatment behind him, the victim had to decide what to do with the rest of his life. The episode then marginally fails to achieve an even balance between hard-nosed realism and sentimentality. For me, it shades too much into the latter but, given the point of the series, which is to show the extent to which people adapt and change under pressure of circumstances, I suppose this is defensible on the ground of consistency.

Hideo Nagashima (Kinya Kitaoji)

Hideo Nagashima (Kinya Kitaoji)

In episodes 8 and 9, we’re back to 2008 at the time of the Olympics where we have the “Suginami Case” which continues to haunt Ryoko Takamine and Hideo Nagashima, who failed to find the place where the kidnapped girl had been confined until it was too late to save her. She was in a form of coffin with a device attached which would extract the air after exactly 72 hours. The kidnapper initially demanded a ransom, but never pursued the demand. Now a man who’s seriously ill in prison has drawn the machine used to kill the girl. Although he also admits the killing, the voice of the kidnapper does not match. This sends Izumi Sakuragi and Ryoko Takamine to interview the man in prison using a polygraph. He uses the opportunity to taunt both Ryoko Takamine and Hideo Nagashima who also appears. He has details of the offence only a participant would have known and denies having anyone else involved.

When the parents of the murdered girl come into the Cold Case Unit, this puts more pressure on Hideo Nagashima who becomes even more determined to find out who committed this crime. But the death of this man prompts the Commissioner to order Hideo Nagashima to stop the investigation. If the press realise the case has been reopened, the embarrassment of the past failure will return to the whole police force. We then get the backstory of the investigation in which one of the people Ryoko Takamine profiled as a possible suspect committed suicide. The scene where this man’s mother confronts Ryoko Takamine is powerful and explains the depth of her pain with this case. This leads to other admissions, e.g. that Keigo Tsukamoto became a detective to catch the hit-and-run driver who killed his mother.

Takumi Kurata (Tetta Sugimoto)

Takumi Kurata (Tetta Sugimoto)

On her day off, Izumi Sakuragi decides to try and find the place the kidnapped girl photographed the day she was taken. Unfortunately, she meets a man at this location and suspects him of involvement. This coincidence leads to her being kidnapped. I do so hate it when people are abducted in broad daylight in a suburb and no-one notices but, for the purposes of the plot, let’s pass on by. Our second instalment sets off with Izumi Sakuragi tied up in a cellar while the rest of the team tries to find her. The solution to the original kidnapping depends on one of these long backstories which, when it finally plays out, has considerable emotional power. Although one element of it remains unanswered and there’s the inevitable coincidence as the trigger for the kidnapping itself, the sequence of events hangs together perfectly to show the motive for the kidnapping and to explain how the people involved came together. When you see it altogether, it has nice but-for causes and effects which means everyone thought they were acting in the best interests of those they loved, but the long-term effects are anger and guilt. The current kidnapping of Izumi Sakuragi is solved by the team as a whole. Ryoko Takamine gets her nerve back and offers crucial advice. Hideo Nagashima enters into an agreement with an important member of the press. And Sho Takebayashi (Ryo Kimura) provides critical analysis in the forensic department. The outcome sees Izumi Sakuragi arrest the kidnapper and a more general sense of family emerge in the Cold Case Unit (and perhaps she will hit a baseball pitch before the end of the series).

For a review of other episodes, see:
Absolute Zero – Special Investigation Unit or Zettai Reido – Mikaiketsu Jiken Tokumei Sousa or 絶対零度~未解決事件 (2010) Episodes 1 and 2
Absolute Zero – Special Investigation Unit or Zettai Reido – Mikaiketsu Jiken Tokumei Sousa or 絶対零度~未解決事件 (2010) Episodes 3 and 4
Absolute Zero – Special Investigation Unit or Zettai Reido – Mikaiketsu Jiken Tokumei Sousa or 絶対零度~未解決事件 (2010) Episodes 5 and 6
Absolute Zero – Special Investigation Unit or Zettai Reido – Mikaiketsu Jiken Tokumei Sousa or 絶対零度~未解決事件 (2010) Episodes 10 and 11.

Absolute Zero – Special Investigation Unit or Zettai Reido – Mikaiketsu Jiken Tokumei Sousa or 絶対零度~未解決事件 (2010) Episodes 5 and 6

Zettai_Reido

Episodes 5 and 6 of Absolute Zero – Special Investigation Unit or Zettai Reido – Mikaiketsu Jiken Tokumei Sousa or 絶対零度~未解決事件 (2010) run together. We only go back to 2005 when there was an attack at a cultural festival. A man with a knife killed two adults and six children. He was arrested at the scene and convicted. Three years later, on the anniversary of this attack, a series of new attacks begins at local schools. On the anniversary attack, eight of the animals kept as pets by the children were killed. In subsequent attacks, different numbers of animals were killed. A detective who acted as mentor to Izumi Sakuragi (Aya Ueto) comes into the Cold Case Unit to ask Hideo Nagashima (Kinya Kitaoji) to take over the case. The justification for stepping outside their usual remit (which does not include damage to property, i.e. the animals) is that the killer can quickly escalate to human victims. Because of the link between Izumi Sakuragi and the detective who solicited the help of the unit, she is put in charge. This is somewhat controversial, but the others provisionally agree to go along with it.

She quickly collects evidence from all ten schools where attacks have occurred, and Sae Omori (Hiromi Kitagawa) and Sho Takebayashi (Ryo Kimura) get to work. Unfortunately, they are not much help apart from confirming the boot prints at each of the sites suggest a male attacker. Izumi Sakuragi and Keigo Tsukamoto (Hiroyuki Miyasako) go to the tenth and most recent school to be attacked. There’s the usual patronising behaviour from the man, aggravated by the fact Izumi Sakaragi has been put in charge. She endears herself to the children who are distressed at the death of their pets, which inspires Keigo Tsukamoto to return to the scene of the original attack. It turns out he was one of the officers first on the scene. While at the school, he admits he sees every cold case as a failure that should be put right. At this point, a middle school girl approaches the memorial and, when she realises they are police officers, suggests they do better and catch whoever committed the murder five years earlier. The point of this episode is to explore the different ways in which people respond to crime. No matter who they are, they are all affected and many carry some degree of pain as a result. This can be for the detectives who feel failure when their case is unsolved to those more directly involved, say as the parents, spouses or relatives of those killed. This particular investigation is triggered by a police officer who’s about to retire. He’s been trying to solve all the little cases no-one else cared about. He’s always taken the failure of other police officers personally. He thought he would go out in a blaze of glory by getting the answer to this pet-killing spree.

Yuki Fukazawa (Tomomi Maruyama)

Yuki Fukazawa (Tomomi Maruyama)

Then Sho Takebayashi comes up with the news that chat in a forum suggests another attack is about to take place. When Izumi Sakuragi and Keigo Tsukamoto go to the school, he’s wounded in a knife attack by the same school girl they had met earlier, but he decides not to record the attack in official records. This sets up a difficult emotional state for Izumi Sakuragi. Hideo Nagashima puts it this way. If she’s only reflecting on how she arrived at this situation, she can draw from the past and move forward. But if she’s caught up in regret for past mistakes, nothing will be settled. Izumi Sakuragi and Yuki Fukazawa (Tomomi Maruyama) then go round the other schools and find that this school girl has been seen at all the schools where the most recent attacks have occurred. But Yuki Fukazawa is not convinced this shows the girl is actually guilty of anything and, for the first time, becomes actively involved in trying to solve the case. The real problem is to decide the relationship between the original attack on humans and the new attacks on animals.

Izumi Sakuragi (Aya Ueto)  and Keigo Tsukamoto (Hiroyuki Miyasako)

Izumi Sakuragi (Aya Ueto) and Keigo Tsukamoto (Hiroyuki Miyasako)

They eventually track down the girl and recover the knife used to attack Keigo Tsukamoto. She also has a pair of shoes with her that shows evidence she’s been around animals recently. In the end, there is an overlap between the original murder spree and the later animal killings. But it’s the explanation for the girl’s initial allegation that the detectives should catch the one responsible for the killings that wins the prize. From the very first set-up scene where we see the young girl going into the school where the massacre is to occur, we’ve been wondering what she was doing there. She was not supposed to be in the school that day. The answer when it comes has a deep and satisfying plausibility. In a way, the explanation is all the more satisfying because, when Izumi Sakuragi first suspects what actually happened, she’s able to find direct evidence of it. That evidence and a little play-acting is the key to opening the girl’s emotional floodgates. She takes the first real step to resolving her feelings of guilt over what happened that day. This is the first time there’s been a real sense of a team effort and catching the animal killer just adds a little spice at the end. There’s also a nice moment as the retiring mentor passes on the baton to the rookie and hopes she’ll be a success. To some extent, this rebalances after Takumi Kurata (Tetta Sugimoto) has both Izumi Sakuragi and Yuki Fukazawa write formal letters of apology for breaching departmental rules. Discipline is strict in Japan. No matter what the stimulus, we’re watching Izumi Sakuragi grow up every minute this series ticks by.

For a review of other episodes, see:
Absolute Zero – Special Investigation Unit or Zettai Reido – Mikaiketsu Jiken Tokumei Sousa or 絶対零度~未解決事件 (2010) Episodes 1 and 2
Absolute Zero – Special Investigation Unit or Zettai Reido – Mikaiketsu Jiken Tokumei Sousa or 絶対零度~未解決事件 (2010) Episodes 3 and 4
Absolute Zero – Special Investigation Unit or Zettai Reido – Mikaiketsu Jiken Tokumei Sousa or 絶対零度~未解決事件 (2010) Episodes 7 to 9
Absolute Zero – Special Investigation Unit or Zettai Reido – Mikaiketsu Jiken Tokumei Sousa or 絶対零度~未解決事件 (2010) Episodes 10 and 11.

Absolute Zero – Special Investigation Unit or Zettai Reido – Mikaiketsu Jiken Tokumei Sousa or 絶対零度~未解決事件 (2010) Episodes 3 and 4

Zettai_Reido

Episode 3 of Absolute Zero – Special Investigation Unit or Zettai Reido – Mikaiketsu Jiken Tokumei Sousa or 絶対零度~未解決事件 (2010) takes us back to 2002 with the fourth killing of a woman with long dark hair by the so-called God of Death. Come forward eight years and a new body is discovered that may be connected to the previous four. Initially, the police have a suspect. A man was seen running away from the place where the body was found and it seems he was stalking the victim. However, when the cold case unit compare the cases, the latest body doesn’t quite fit the signature, but the knot used to tie the victim is the same and the first body was found on the same day in April eight years ago. Yuki Fukazawa (Tomomi Maruyama) and Ryoko Takamine (Sayaka Yamaguchi) were both part of the team that worked on the original case although they did not meet at that time. Izumi Sakuragi (Aya Ueto) and Keigo Tsukamoto (Hiroyuki Miyasako) meet with the father of one of the earlier victims. His marriage has now broken down because he blamed his wife for not responding to their daughter’s request for a lift from the railway station. If mother and daughter had met, she would probably have survived. When the unit contacts the team responsible for the current murder investigation, there’s an immediate jurisdictional turf war and the old wounds from eight years ago come back for Takumi Kurata (Tetta Sugimoto) who lost a competition for a senior post to the man currently in charge. Hideo Nagashima (Kinya Kitaoji) does his best to keep the peace between the warring units. Sae Omori (Hiromi Kitagawa) and Sho Takebayashi (Ryo Kimura) are going over the old forensic evidence and find grains of sand on the rope under in the four cases. Sand is also found at the scene of the new killing which suggests they may be chasing the wrong man.

Izumi Sakuragi (Aya Ueto)

Izumi Sakuragi (Aya Ueto)

The case-note evidence from the initial investigation shows the first victim left home after an argument about whether she should marry. A few days later, she was dead. Izumi Sakuragi walks the ground after the victim attended a planning session for their wedding. She also walks the ground after another victim attended a gallery showing and discovers the victims were likely to have ended up at the same park. Checking back through the camera of that victim shows photographs she took in this place. By a somewhat ingenious route, this leads to the killer. What makes the episode interesting that the the families of the initial four victims come to the office of the cold case unit to thank them for listening and eventually capturing the killer.

Naoya Shimizu

Naoya Shimizu

Episode 4 takes us back to 1999, where a group of four school kids, members of the astronomy club, are both celebrating and fearing the end of the world in one of the many ways predicted by Nostradamus. In 2010, someone sends a skeleton to the cold case unit. It’s a man who has been dead eleven years with head wounds suggesting murder. The dental records give an identity as a science teacher, aged forty-one. Because it was only a missing person’s case, there’s little or no evidence to start off the contemporary investigation. That sends the team out to find the astronomy club members who were apparently the last people to see their teacher alive. It turns out one of these four sent the skeleton but, one hour before the police can get to him for an interview, he “falls” from the fire escape at his apartment block and it’s 50/50 whether he will recover from the coma. So the big question is why this group of four, who were such great friends in middle school, should now appear to be so distant. Hideo Nagashima and Izumi Sakuragi discuss what happens to friendships when people leave school. She admits to having lost touch with all her friends since she became a detective. Her focus is on matters of immediate interest. Is that what happened to this group of four? That they all separated to do their own thing and never saw each other again?

The dynamic of the plot is one of the tried-and-tested ideas but the precise way in which this works out does show a slight variation on the theme. The meeting between Izumi Sakuragi and the woman played by Naoya Shimizu at the end is a wonderful moment in complete contrast to the rest of the series so far. Up to this point, the general feeling of the series has been of the cold case team arriving at a situation in which justice is seen to be done. It’s not that they bask in self-congratulation that they have done a good job, but there’s a sense they have justified the existence of the unit as a means of resetting the emotional clock on past crimes. That’s definitely not what happens here. Indeed, in many ways, there’s a whole new clock now ticking as a result of this investigation. It’s good to see the scriptwriters producing balance in outcomes.

For a review of other episodes, see:
Absolute Zero – Special Investigation Unit or Zettai Reido – Mikaiketsu Jiken Tokumei Sousa or 絶対零度~未解決事件 (2010) Episodes 1 and 2
Absolute Zero – Special Investigation Unit or Zettai Reido – Mikaiketsu Jiken Tokumei Sousa or 絶対零度~未解決事件 (2010) Episodes 5 and 6
Absolute Zero – Special Investigation Unit or Zettai Reido – Mikaiketsu Jiken Tokumei Sousa or 絶対零度~未解決事件 (2010) Episodes 7 to 9
Absolute Zero – Special Investigation Unit or Zettai Reido – Mikaiketsu Jiken Tokumei Sousa or 絶対零度~未解決事件 (2010) Episodes 10 and 11.

Absolute Zero – Special Investigation Unit or Zettai Reido – Mikaiketsu Jiken Tokumei Sousa or 絶対零度~未解決事件 (2010) Episodes 1 and 2

Zettai_Reido

Absolute Zero – Special Investigation Unit or Zettai Reido – Mikaiketsu Jiken Tokumei Sousa or 絶対零度~未解決事件 (2010) is a Japanese version of the American series of Cold Case where Izumi Sakuragi (Aya Ueto), a young female investigator, is part of a unit called in to review cases which happened many years ago. In the first episode, we start off on New Year’s Eve, 1999 with a woman coming late to a bar to celebrate the midnight hour with two colleagues from work. We then see her being shot. Switching forward to 2010, Izumi Sakuragi has spent the night in the office going over dead files for fun. She’s been in the unit for three months, but her seniors don’t allow her to do anything other than observe and take notes. We then get a quick introduction to the rest of the team: Ryoko Takamine (Sayaka Yamaguchi) is an older and more experienced female officer, Keigo Tsukamoto (Hiroyuki Miyasako) and Yuki Fukazawa (Tomomi Maruyama) are relatively experienced young officers, Shintaro Shiraishi (Takeo Nakahara) is the older man with a good memory for facts who was passed over for promotion as team leader. This role went to his then junior, Takumi Kurata (Tetta Sugimoto) which produces some strain in the relationship. The overall boss of the unit is Hideo Nagashima (Kinya Kitaoji). In the forensic science department, we have Sae Omori (Hiromi Kitagawa) and Sho Takebayashi (Ryo Kimura). When the decomposed body from the first case of the Millennium is unearthed, it falls to the team to take over the investigation. The original killing was tied into a large embezzlement case. The case is presented as if the three girls were responsible and disappeared with the money, but the boyfriend of the dead girl is now a suspect because, not so long after the New Year, he received sufficient money to pay off his debts and start a new business. It looks like he was in on the theft or was paid off by one of the three women. The branch manager of the bank where they worked is also probably hiding something.

Izumi Sakuragi (Aya Ueto)

Izumi Sakuragi (Aya Ueto)

Thematically, we’re in conventional territory where the two younger men in the unit disparage both the rookie and the well-established woman who had a failure as a profiler. Needless to say, both women are perceptive and ignoring their views slows down the investigation. Hideo Nagashima is mentoring the rookie, giving her puzzles to solve and advice based on baseball. Ryoko Takamine gives Izumi Sakuragi her first chance to conduct an interview. It’s the mother of one of the three girls who went missing. It’s revealing because the police treated her missing daughter as guilty when they investigated ten years earlier, so coming back ten years later finds a rather bitter woman who’s had to live with the accusation unresolved all this time. This gives Izumi Sakuragi and Hideo Nagashima the chance to consider the real purpose of the cold case unit. Ostensibly, it may just be detectives reopening an old case, but if they solve it, there can be closure for those who have been left hanging over the years. So this is not just about justice for the victims, it’s also about giving those left behind the chance to move on. Although the initial set-up is something of a cliché, this episode has an emotional heart and does offer a quite interesting overview of police procedure.

Takumi Kurata (Tetta Sugimoto)

Takumi Kurata (Tetta Sugimoto)

Back in 1995, just about the time of the Sarin gas attack, a young woman who was a medical student, is brought into the A&E Department with stab wounds from which she dies. Because police resources were focused on the terrorist attack, the investigation into this murder was limited. Now we come forward to 2010 and some local government officials are clearing out the house of an old bag-woman when they find a blood-stained knife. It’s wrapped in an American newspaper and there’s the pollen of both a red and yellow rose on it. The analysis of the blood reopens the case. At the time, the boyfriend was suspected, but there was no untainted evidence to show he’d done it. He had messed up the crime scene. His girlfriend was dying so he moved everything and picked her up to get her to the hospital. With the fifteen year statute of limitations about to expire, there’s only a week left to solve the case. The ex-boyfriend is now married to one of the nurses at the hospital and runs a flower shop. They sell flowers wrapped in English newspapers.

Also of interest is a man who’s now a famous surgeon. Naturally he’s refusing all co-operation in the reopened case although he later relents and hands over the case notes from the patients being treated at the time. Another man who worked at the hospital says the original investigation stalled because no-one wanted to damage the reputation of the hospital by passing on stories potentially damaging to the hospital’s reputation. Indeed, it appears the murder victim may have suspected an incident of medical malpractice and been silenced before she could make trouble. The victim and her boyfriend were a mismatched couple. She was a resident and likely to become a top doctor. He was working in a flower shop. But he could make her smile when she was sad. In fact she was often quite sad because her attention to detail made her very unpopular with the nurses. Taking the case in context, Izumi Sakuragi worries the investigation may destroy the current marriage between the suspected ex-boyfriend and his wife. She has to make up her mind how far to push the case. In the end, she concludes she can’t forgive the murderer no matter how many people may be hurt. In this case, her method for working out what happened is nicely judged as a piece of fiction — I doubt it would work in the real world. And she ends up making some friends among an unexpected group of people. It’s all part of her learning curve. Put all this together and this is an auspicious pair of episodes with which to open the series.

For a review of other episodes, see:
Absolute Zero – Special Investigation Unit or Zettai Reido – Mikaiketsu Jiken Tokumei Sousa or 絶対零度~未解決事件 (2010) Episodes 3 and 4
Absolute Zero – Special Investigation Unit or Zettai Reido – Mikaiketsu Jiken Tokumei Sousa or 絶対零度~未解決事件 (2010) Episodes 5 and 6
Absolute Zero – Special Investigation Unit or Zettai Reido – Mikaiketsu Jiken Tokumei Sousa or 絶対零度~未解決事件 (2010) Episodes 7 to 9
Absolute Zero – Special Investigation Unit or Zettai Reido – Mikaiketsu Jiken Tokumei Sousa or 絶対零度~未解決事件 (2010) Episodes 10 and 11.

Honboshi: Shinri Tokusou Jikenbo or ホンボシ (2011) Episodes 6 to 8

Honboshi-Shinri_Tokusou_Jikenbo-p1

Episode 6 of Honboshi: Shinri Tokusou Jikenbo or ホンボシ (2011) is one of these episodes where the final element of the solution to the mystery depends on some psychology that strikes me as fake. Or perhaps this is essentially a Japanese phenomenon that does not apply to Westerners. Either way, I’m not convinced by it. The rest of the episode remains interesting with Rinko Tomoe (Nene Otsuka) and one of the suspects going through a crisis of self-confidence. They are both in the same position having been in jobs that did not require them to interact so much with “other people”, but then found themselves thrust into positions that required them to take on positive roles. Rinko Tomoe had not been a success as a front-line police officer so moved into the forensic department. Her view is that objects don’t lie. So while she might not be able to assess when human beings are being truthful, her analytical skills can always go the extra mile to discover the truth about pieces of evidence. The person with whom she bonds had been a product designer and worked quietly in the background. Because her designs were a success, she was headhunted to manage the sales department. This is completely alien to her because not only does she have to manage the people in the department, but also deal with the pressure from the board of directors who want to see their products selling well. Rinko Tomoe does not believe she’s guilty of the murder but, when the evidence seems to suggest she’s guilty, both are in danger of collapse. It takes Kosaku Kirishima (Eichiro Funakoshi) to point out why the manager does have an alibi (a marginally credible psychological insight) and Rinko Tomoe disappears into the laboratory to come up with proof of innocence. Then it’s down to a list of people who bought wool of the right colour and the case is solved.

The team swing into action again

The team swing into action again

Episode 7 reminded me of an episode in The Mentalist where Jane finally finds someone in a wheelchair wearing shoes showing signs of wear. This plot is somewhat complicated but ends up working well as history catches up with two probable wrongdoers, one of whom somewhat inexplicably kills the other. Two factors make this shooting difficult to understand. First, it’s not at all clear how they came to meet and, second, it’s difficult to understand why one of the men should be wearing a wig and a woman’s red coat. As a result of a trick by Kosaku Kirishima, the killer is tempted back to the scene of the crime where he’s arrested. Once his identity is confirmed, a prosecutor who tried to get him convicted for murder about two years earlier comes back on to the scene and acts in a way that raises suspicions. In the end, Kosaku Kirishima gets the right answer and introduces a rather bitter sweet revelation that makes the sequence of events more tragic than we previously imagined. It’s one of these rather “nice” plots in which the manipulator does not so much plan the death as give the killer the chance to kill.

Episode 8 is advertised as a single story, but the reality has the two-hour time-slot occupied by two separate stories scripted to run consecutively, i.e. the couple walking away from the police station pass a man who’s found beaten and shot minutes later. In the first story, the decomposed body of a man is found in some woodlands. Forensic tests identify him as a freelance producer who used to work for a local radio station. Kosaku Kirishima quickly becomes interested in one of the presenters (Waka Inoue) who seems to have a fairly acute anxiety problem. He becomes determined to discover the trigger for the attacks. At first Mamoru Mikoshiba (Renn Kiriyama) suggests it’s the smell or taste of tea, but this fails to explain all the incidents. Eventually, the trigger is identified as Pachabel’s Canon in all its different versions, i.e. as the original and then as adapted to fit into contemporary music. She has a young man (Koen Kondo) trailing after her. He’s obviously besotted with her, but may either be a stalker or have some other agenda. It eventually proves to be an interesting example of a person who suffered a trauma and then found a way to suppress the horror she felt. When she begins to remember elements of that event, the reality is perhaps not quite what she reconstructs.

Tetta Sugimoto

Tetta Sugimoto

Tetta Sugimoto plays a profiler from Tokyo who’s called in to share the investigative lead when a police officer is attacked and his gun stolen. That gun is used to kill a man suspected of involvement in a robbery murder some sixteen years before. The three suspects are now immune from prosecution because of a statute of limitation. When the second man is also shot with the same gun, this confirms the motive as revenge. Although he’s not a suspect, Hidetoshi Sanada (Masahiro Takashima) was the investigating officer from sixteen years ago, so he’s all fired up to get to the truth. This rallies the troops and they all apply what they have been learning from Kosaku Kirishima to arrive at the solution. There’s some nice interchange between the team with the auxiliary officer also getting involved. In part, there’s an element of mockery as they pose and mirror Kosaku Kirishima’s mannerisms, but the underlying message is clear. Having begun as a disparate group of individual talents, they have no found a way of learning and working together. Although some of the mechanisms for showing the behavioral traits is heavy-handed, the overall impression of Honboshi: Shinri Tokusou Jikenbo or ホンボシ is favourable. It may not be the best television police procedural mystery series, but it’s entertaining.

For reviews of the other episodes, see:
Honboshi: Shinri Tokusou Jikenbo or ホンボシ (2011) Episodes 1 and 2
Honboshi: Shinri Tokusou Jikenbo or ホンボシ (2011) Episodes 3 to 5

Honboshi: Shinri Tokusou Jikenbo or ホンボシ (2011) Episodes 3 to 5

Honboshi-Shinri_Tokusou_Jikenbo-p1

Episode 3 of Honboshi: Shinri Tokusou Jikenbo or ホンボシ (2011) sees us viewing the body of a heart surgeon who has ended up dead at the bottom of a new steep flight of steps. When the body is examined, there’s evidence the man was tasered before he fell. This would suggest he was attacked at the top of the steps and fell down when the current struck him. Except there’s bruising to his chest which is not consistent with the fall. Curiously, the top button of his shirt is also missing and, despite a painstaking search, remains elusive. Kosaku Kirishima (Eichiro Funakoshi) is immediately interested in the gossip around the hospital and quickly discovered there was a move to close the A&E department. One of the stars of this department played by Yu Kamio had been vocal in defending the emergency services and is suspected. The hospital administrator is also hiding something, but it’s not clear what this is. Thanks to the persistence of Rinko Tomoe (Nene Otsuka) the shirt button is eventually discovered in a surprising place, while Mamoru Mikoshiba (Renn Kiriyama) uses his forensic skills, first to find a datastick belonging to the victim, and then to decode it. Then a man walks into the police station to confess to the murder which confuses everyone except Kosaku Kirishima. This episode is interesting on several levels. First it says interesting things about the politics within hospitals. Second it’s psychologically revealing about doctors who care a great deal about their patients and the reciprocal loyalties this inspires in the minds of the patients they save.

Yu Kamio

Yu Kamio

Episode 4 sees us investigating what may be a suicide involving a group of people that Hidetoshi Sanada used to consider friends back in college. This group had come together for a reunion celebration but, for some reason, had neglected to invite Hidetoshi Sanada (Masahiro Takashima). This strikes Kosaku Kirishima as strange. If the bond had stayed for twenty years between the others, why had the detective been excluded? This and the unnatural tidiness of the dead man’s house suggest the death may not be a suicide. The problem therefore is to decide which of the people attending this reunion might have had both motive and the opportunity to acquire the potassium cyanide used to cause death. One of the group is an engraver who might have had reason to use it when dealing with some metals. Although the explanation for how the death occurred makes perfect sense in retrospect, the episode slightly cheats because there’s no way we viewers could have known of the detail of the backstory. Since I tend to prefer episodes that give the viewer a fair chance to understand the basis of the crime as the facts emerge, this is a less successful plot. The main point of interest at the end is Kosaku Kirishima’s insistence on protecting Hidetoshi Sanada’s feelings. It’s quite painful for him to realise one or more of his friends might turn out to have feet of clay.

The team walk towards their next case

The team walk towards their next case

However, episode 5 recovers with a genuinely pleasing plot of twists and turns as we try to work out who killed the living legend potter and, in the process, apparently destroyed four very valuable antiques. This is not a robbery gone wrong because many of the other pieces of pottery remaining in the workshop were valuable and could have been removed for sale to dealers. So if robbery was not the motive, why would someone kill this old man who was showing increasingly severe signs of Alzheimer’s? There are two brothers and two apprentices, plus the housekeeper who were either in the house at the time or had the opportunity to enter the workshop at the rear without being observed. It actually gives the other team members a chance to shine. Rinko Tomoe invests the time and effort to reconstruct the smashed pottery, while Mamoru Mikoshiba is included in many of the interview scenes with Kosaku Kirishima and offers his interpretation of people’s behaviour to be measured against the expert’s opinion. In fact, our youngster does put his finger on one key event, but fails to draw the right inference. Nevertheless, he’s beginning to get on to the right wavelength. The answer is rather sad as it shows such serious lack of understanding within the family. This is not a problem particular to Japan, but it may be more serious in its impact because of the social practice of hiding emotion. If people were not so obsessed with the idea of avoiding any loss of face, they might remember the past accurately enough to understand why it’s important to maintain lines of communication. Thus, Honboshi: Shinri Tokusou Jikenbo or ホンボシ continues the good standard of the first episodes and the team begins to blend together.

For reviews of the other episodes, see:
Honboshi: Shinri Tokusou Jikenbo or ホンボシ (2011) Episodes 1 and 2
Honboshi: Shinri Tokusou Jikenbo or ホンボシ (2011) Episodes 6 to 8

Honboshi: Shinri Tokusou Jikenbo or ホンボシ (2011) Episodes 1 and 2

Honboshi-Shinri_Tokusou_Jikenbo-p1

Honboshi: Shinri Tokusou Jikenbo or ホンボシ (2011) brings us a new detective, Kosaku Kirishima (Eichiro Funakoshi), who worked as a doctor, but when a patient of his was charged with a crime, he felt powerless. This feeling grew worse when the patient committed suicide. A few days later, the patient was proved completely innocent. Our hero viewed the suicide as a personal failure. He resigned as a doctor and joined the police, hoping to prevent future miscarriages of justice. Deciding that an unconventional approach might sometimes be the right approach, the senior officers create a special investigation unit with two other people who have shown ability plus Hidetoshi Sanada (Masahiro Takashima) a relatively conventional officer to run the unit. Rinko Tomoe (Nene Otsuka) is poached from the crime scene/forensic science department, while Mamoru Mikoshiba (Renn Kiriyama) was an IT guy who changed careers.

The team considers the latest clue

The team considers the latest clue

The first episode is both an introduction to the key characters in the newly formed unit plus an engaging mystery. Our hero as a form of agent provocateur comes into the unit with the skills of a kinesiologist, i.e. he’s an expert in the scientific observation of human behaviour. We’re therefore to believe he can tell when someone is being less than truthful or use the interpretation of body language to say something about a person’s emotional state. The story begins with a man stalking and then making a feeble attempt to murder a relatively famous journalist played by Ken Yasuda. The attacker is wrestled to the ground by people in the area but the conventional police conclude this man’s life is in danger and try to persuade him to come under their protection. From the outset, Kosaku Kirishima assumes there’s something wrong about the set-up and, rather in the spirit of Columbo, sets out to provoke the journalist to get a measure of how he reacts in different situations. Needless to say, this comes as something of a shock to Hidetoshi Sanada who constantly finds himself wrong-footed by this maverick. But because he’s prepared to talk and, more importantly, listen to people, Kosaku Kirishima soon has interesting information to try to fit together. In fact, everything does come together rather nicely with Rinko Tomoe coming up with useful insights into where the body might have been before it was dumped, which helps expose a very nice piece of misdirection by the killer. This is beginning to establish the basis of a team and, perhaps against his better judgement, Hidetoshi Sanada agrees to accept the leadership of the unit.

Ken Yasuda

Ken Yasuda

The second episode is another of these mysteries where, once you know the answer, you berate yourself for not thinking of it. It’s so magnificently obvious once you know but masterfully hidden in plain sight from the opening scene onward. The set-up is easy to state. Four mothers have a very difficult relationship because of the difference in their son’s performance at the local kindergarten. On the relevant day, one child is celebrating a birthday so two of the other mothers come round for a party. Early the next morning, the body of the hostess is found dead on the roof of her apartment block. The neighbourhood is abuzz with rumours of a stalker wearing a black hoodie. Not surprisingly, the conventional police set off to identify this man who’s also thought to have been involved in an incident some two months earlier. Kosaku Kirishima can’t understand why the body was left on the roof. In due course, they discover enough evidence to show she was killed in her own apartment but an excellent cleaning job was done. Despite this, the conventional police continue their pursuit of a stalker (now assumed to have cleaning skills). Meanwhile, Kosaku Kirishima is focusing on the kindergarten and gossiping with all the mothers, even trapping Hidetoshi Sanada into paying for cake and coffee to loosen tongues at a local café. As the investigation proceeds, each of the three mothers is caught out in lies but none of them seem to have the opportunity to commit the murder. And there’s still the puzzle of why the body was moved from the apartment to the roof. When it comes, the answer is not unique to Japan but we’re shown different reactions to the problem from people living in this apartment block.

I just have one small niggle. Being brought up in England, I’m familiar with the hunting dog breed called a Pointer. As the name suggests, it’s trained to adopt a static pose pointing towards the desired prey. The human hunter waits with his gun as beaters move forward to startle the prey into the open. The director has Kosaku Kirishima adopt the Pointer approach to his potential prey. Every time he senses something not quite right, he freezes into immobility with his gaze locked on the human as the camera cuts away to shots of eyes looking away, lips thinning, hands being thrust into pockets, and feet shuffling uncomfortably. Hopefully, this heavy-handed signalling of behavioural analysis will become less clunky as the series progresses. As it stands. Honboshi: Shinri Tokusou Jikenbo or ホンボシ makes a good start.

For reviews of the other episodes, see:
Honboshi: Shinri Tokusou Jikenbo or ホンボシ (2011) Episodes 3 to 5
Honboshi: Shinri Tokusou Jikenbo or ホンボシ (2011) Episodes 6 to 8

Blade of the Samurai by Susan Spann

July 25, 2014 3 comments

Blade of the Samurai Cover

Blade of the Samurai by Susan Spann (Minotaur Books, 2014), the second Shinobi Mystery, is attempting something inherently difficult. As a historical mystery, it’s always problematic to take the reader back in time to a different culture. The challenge is perhaps less demanding when the number of years travelled is relatively small and the reader is moving back to an earlier time in his or her own country. As a British reviewer, I’ve had a lifetime to immerse myself in contemporary culture, but I also have the benefit of oral history from family members and older friends about how the culture has changed over the years. School began the process of introducing earlier times and subsequent reading has filled in some of the gaps. However, this all breaks down when the reader comes to a completely different culture and, in real terms, you can’t get much more different than Japanese culture in June, 1565. Our heroes are Matsui Hiro, a shinobi assassin, and Father Mateo, a Portuguese Jesuit priest. For reasons unknown, someone has paid the relevant guild of assassins to send one of their more experienced members to guard the priest while he’s in Japan. Ostensibly, our ninja is a translator but, through his guidance and practical assistance, he actually keeps the priest alive. From our point of view, it also gives us the chance for a running critique on how well (or badly) the Portuguese man is fitting in with local culture. This is an elegant device because it unobtrusively allows the author to explain how this rather opaque class structure and less overtly emotional culture actually works. For once, an author has satisfied my Goldilocks tests. Too often, authors overexplain, leaving the book as dry and rather didactic. This is just right!

Susan Spann

Susan Spann

The second impressive feature is the prose. If you’re going to write about Japan. it’s better to do so in a minimalist style. If you pick up any modern Japanese text in translation, authors do not go in for flowery language. It’s an essentially functional means of conveying meaning with very little adornment. As in the spoken version, there’s an implied subtext of meaning the reader is expected to supply from the few pointers given. While allowing for the need to explain much of what’s going on, Susan Spann has contrived to produce a text that’s surprisingly Japanese in spirit.

This leaves me with the plot which is set against a fairly well-travelled background of practical politics in the higher levels of the shogunate. As the shogun is the most powerful man in Japan, more important than the emperor, there’s always plotting to depose him and then control who succeeds based on family status and political power. Since a visit between the shogun (one of the Ashikaga clan) and one particularly powerful faction led by Lord Oda is about to take place, the murder of Saburo, a senior individual (and the shogun’s cousin) within the shogunate, is a dangerous warning sign, particularly because it was this individual’s job to set the schedule of guards within the shogun’s enclave. Because his knife was used, suspicion first falls on Ito Kazu, Matsui Hiro’s drinking companion and fellow assassin, who makes life difficult for himself by refusing to say where he was. When it’s explained why this man is unlikely to be the killer, suspicion then falls on Saburo’s wife, the current mistress, the stable boy who also loved the mistress, the master carpenter, and so on. This is also an excuse to look at different people within the rigid Japanese class structure and to see how they relate to each other. Put all this together and you have a beautifully balanced historical mystery with a clearly articulated murder puzzle to solve set in a particularly unstable time at the top of the political tree with different factions pushing for more power and influence. Blade of the Samurai is strongly recommended.

A copy of this book was sent to me for review.

Naniwa Junior Detectives or Naniwa Shonen Tanteida or 浪花少年探偵団 (2012) episodes 9 to 12

Naniwa_Shonen_Tanteidan-p1

Naniwa Junior Detectives or Naniwa Shonen Tanteida or 浪花少年探偵団 (2012) continues the story from the Keigo Higashino novels Naniwa Shonen Tanteida (1988) and its sequel Shinobu Senseni Sayonara (1996). Episode 9 sees us in full teacher mode as our doughty hero, Shinobu Takeuchi (Mikako Tabe), has some of the girls over to her apartment for study. Except, of course, they are far more interested in using her make-up and machines for a facial than actual studying. The studying gets even more remote when the boys turn up with pork skewers to eat, closely followed by Taeko Takeuchi (Keiko Matsuzaka) with other goodies to snack on. Meanwhile Shuhei Shindo (Teppei Koike) and Susumu Urushizaki (Yasunori Danta), our two detectives, have been called to what could be a burglary gone wrong. An elderly lady, about to move into an old folks home, has withdrawn a large sum of cash from the bank to pay the first year’s fees. That night, a man enters her home and she kills him by bashing him with a mallet (the sporting variety or unsporting since she may have hit him from behind). What follows is outstanding as our hero’s neighbours, a single mother and her young daughter, get sucked into the investigation. It’s the balance between the mystery and the social pressures that produced this particular situation that makes this such a perfect episode. Perhaps if the neighbour’s parent’s had not so strongly disapproved of her marriage, or if her first husband had not died in an accident, or if the little girl had not broken her arm. Life is full of these what-ifs and, for once, everyone on the system proves to be full of understanding. At first it looks as though our hero has opened her mouth and will cause great problems for everyone but, albeit in a sad way, it all comes out right in the end.

The teacher and the cohort of detectives

The teacher and the cohort of detectives

 

Episode 10 is another of these very ingenious mysteries in which we have a young woman found dead. There are drugs in her system and her wrist was slashed with a knife. She bled out in the shower-room of her apartment. Remarkably the knife turns up in one of these quite exotic fresh fruit and cream cakes the Japanese so love. It’s a unique way of disposing of the weapon used to cause death (to prove the point, the local CSI units confirms the blood on the blade is indeed the victim’s so there’s no cheating). But why would anyone put the knife in such a place? Then there are the stories going round the neighbourhood of a UFO. This is not just one person making a sighting. There’s a pattern to people reporting something strange in the sky.

Yoichi Nukumizu and Yuki Saito running their BBQ pork shop

Yoichi Nukumizu and Yuki Saito running their pork skewer shop

 

The last two episodes run together to make the grand climax to this serial. There are three parts to the ending. Obviously, there’s a mystery, we need some resolution for our hero and guidance on what the future holds for her, and there’s a general paean to the profession of teaching and this teacher in particular. For the final case, there’s a murder and one of the mothers who has a child in the hero’s class has a very odd accident. The Japanese culture comes very much into focus with an interesting insight into the attitudes both of the “elite”, i.e. those who have been to the top universities and so command the maximum respect in whatever professions they choose to enter, and of those lucky enough to work for or with these elite individuals.

Shinobu Takeuchi (Mikako Tabe) and Shuhei Shindo (Teppei Koike) walk beside each other

Shinobu Takeuchi (Mikako Tabe) and Shuhei Shindo (Teppei Koike) walk beside each other

 

There’s also a fascinating discussion of how best to air a futon. Although this thread in the plot is not without interest, the solution ultimately depends on the coincidence of our hero happening to have the girl in her class. There’s also a chance for the junior detectives to get into the action as we have an overly long confrontation with the killer about two-thirds of the way through. The romantic climax plays absolutely fair as one of the two suitors makes a proposal and the other decides not to make a fool of himself — I leave it to you to guess whether Yoshihiko Honma (Koji Yamamoto) makes the proposal. Her answer is predictable even though you can see she’s tempted to give a different answer. It’s the element dealing with the teaching profession that emerges as the most problematic. I don’t in principle object to a series deciding to make such a feature of the role of teachers, but this is excessively sentimental and goes on far too long. No matter how interesting a character, and this teacher is certainly interesting, there comes a point when you just wish the end had come, but see there’s still ten minutes to go. This is a shame because the serial almost manages to go out on a high, but this two hour finale overruns by thirty minutes.

 

Looking back, Naniwa Junior Detectives or Naniwa Shonen Tanteida is a very pleasing ensemble piece with the community strongly represented through the children and their parents. It’s been good to see Yoichi Nukumizu and Yuki Saito as the semi-comic relief. They run the pork skewer bar and represent a social hub through which all the main characters pass. With their older son off fighting crime alongside his teacher instead of going to the graduation ceremony, they have a chance to shine in straight drama terms in the last two episodes. Put all this together and this serial emerges as fairly undemanding in mystery terms but a nevertheless enjoyable set of twelve episodes with Mikako Tabe as Shinobu Takeuchi creating a memorable character on screen.

 

For other work based on Keigo Higashino’s writing, see:
11 Moji no Satsujin or 11文字の殺人 (2011)
Broken or The Hovering Blade or Banghwanghaneun Kalnal or 방황하는 칼날 (2014)
Bunshin or 分身 (2012)
Galileo or Garireo or ガリレオ
Galileo 2 or ガリレオ (第2期) (2013) episodes 1 and 2
Galileo 2 or ガリレオ (第2期) (2013) episodes 3 and 4
Galileo 2 or ガリレオ (第2期) (2013) episodes 5 and 6
Galileo 2 or ガリレオ (第2期) (2013) episodes 7, 8 and 9
Galileo 2 or ガリレオ (第2期) (2013) episodes 10 and 11
Galileo: The Sacrifice of Suspect X or Yôgisha X no kenshin (2008)
Midsummer Formula or Manatsu no Houteishiki or 真夏の方程式 (2013)
The Murder in Kairotei or Kairoutei Satsujin Jiken or 回廊亭殺人事件 (2011)
Naniwa Junior Detectives or Naniwa Shonen Tanteida or 浪花少年探偵団 (2012) episodes 1 to 4
Naniwa Junior Detectives or Naniwa Shonen Tanteida or 浪花少年探偵団 (2012) episodes 5 to 8
Platinum Data or プラチナデータ (2013)
Thursday Theatre Keigo Higashino Mystery or 東野圭吾ミステリーズ (2012) episodes 1 to 5
Thursday Theatre Keigo Higashino Mystery or 東野圭吾ミステリーズ (2012) episodes 6 to 11
White Night or Baekyahaeng or 백야행 : 하얀 어둠 속을 걷다 (2009)
The Wings of the Kirin or Kirin no Tsubasa: Gekijoban Shinzanmono or 麒麟の翼 ~劇場版・新参者~ (2012)

 

For a Galileo novel, see Salvation of a Saint.

 

Naniwa Junior Detectives or Naniwa Shonen Tanteida or 浪花少年探偵団 (2012) episodes 5 to 8

July 22, 2014 20 comments

Naniwa_Shonen_Tanteidan-p1

Naniwa Junior Detectives or Naniwa Shonen Tanteida or 浪花少年探偵団 (2012) continues the story from the Keigo Higashino novels Naniwa Shonen Tanteida (1988) and its sequel Shinobu Senseni Sayonara (1996). Episode 5 sees the serial shift to a more personal and less investigative mode with our hero, Shinobu Takeuchi (Mikako Tabe), sidelined from the main action by an attack of appendicitis. Naturally both Shuhei Shindo (Teppei Koike) and Yoshihiko Honma (Koji Yamamoto) are dancing attendance in the hospital ward. The only result of their competition is to annoy our patient who prefers peace and quiet. After all, she’s due to go before the school board to see whether her position can be made permanent. That’s why she’s delaying the operation. But, of course, the old woman in the bed opposite behaves in a way that attracts interest. She and her husband run the tobacconist shop in her neighbourhood. They are known as solid and reliable people (and sharp traders). Yet there’s something distinctly odd when her husband comes to deliver a change of clothing. When he returns to the shop that night, he’s tied up and the shop searched. This brings Shuhei Shindo and Susumu Urushizaki (Yasunori Danta) into play, but the old man offers no explanation for this attack and search. The next night, someone breaks into the hospital ward and tries to attack the old woman but, despite the pain, our hero chases him away. One of the schoolboys in the junior detectives’ class is also acting oddly and the detectives are on the job to find out what’s wrong. In the end, they follow him to a police station where he drops off some banknotes. In due course these are shown to be forgeries. Now it’s just a case of getting a confession out of the boy, persuading the old woman to tell the truth, and extracting the appendix from our teacher.

 

Pursuing this rather quieter theme, the next episode gives us a little history as to how our hero came to fill a vacancy in this school. A slightly overweight boy was injured when trying to use a vault. No-one is entirely clear how the vault could have become so unstable, but one thing is clear. The teacher was not properly supervising the pupils in his class. The parents complain and he’s moved to another school. This leaves a minor mystery and, when our hero thinks one of her students is bullying another, she intervenes in the family situation and, by accident, solves the mystery of the unstable vault. It’s not a great episode in amateur detective mode, but it has a heart-warming quality as difficult emotional relationships are managed and improved.

Shinobu Takeuchi (Mikako Tabe) and  Taeko Takeuchi (Keiko Matsuzaka)

Shinobu Takeuchi (Mikako Tabe) and Taeko Takeuchi (Keiko Matsuzaka)

 

The next episode begins with a not untypical argument between our hero and Taeko Takeuchi (Keiko Matsuzaka), her mother who accidentally breaks the softball trophy most prized by her daughter. In the heat of the moment, the daughter throws her mother out. This sets the theme as the need for all children to have an adult to depend on. The meat of the story is that the stepfather of one of the girls in our teacher’s class lets out a rundown building to an unemployed man who can’t afford to pay. They get into an argument and a pushing-match sends the stepfather into the wall and unconsciousness. When he wakes up, he has a knife in his hand and the man is dead. The key to understanding what happened is the unemployed man’s son who has gone missing. The teacher and her detectives organise a sweep of all the streets and eventually track him down. She takes him home and cooks him a meal, thus releasing the inner parent. Now all she has to do is solve the problem of how the stabbing occurred and make up with her mother.

Shinobu Takeuchi (Mikako Tabe) and Hiroshi Hatanaka (Akira Takahashi) and Osamu Harada (Oshiro Maeda)

Shinobu Takeuchi (Mikako Tabe) and Hiroshi Hatanaka (Akira Takahashi) and Osamu Harada (Oshiro Maeda)

 

We now have one of these slightly clichéd episodes. The problem is not so much the fact this is less a mystery and more a commentary on the nature of family life in Japan when a working husband moves from a provincial city to Tokyo, it’s that the mechanism involved is obvious from a very early stage. Although there’s one element of uncertainty even that disappears about three-quarters of the way through. So we’re left to reflect on two of the continuing threads. I’m increasingly of the opinion our hero is never going to marry. For all she’s twenty-five and people keep suggesting she could be left on the shelf if she does not take action soon, she’s seems oblivious to the two men so ardently pursuing her. This episode gives her the chance to completely ignore one and treat the other very shabbily (much to the amusement of the junior detectives). The other issue is the realism of the ending. Personally, I would have expected there to be shouting screaming and bloodshed. It’s very disappointing things seem to settle down again so quickly.

 

For other work based on Keigo Higashino’s writing, see:
11 Moji no Satsujin or 11文字の殺人 (2011)
Broken or The Hovering Blade or Banghwanghaneun Kalnal or 방황하는 칼날 (2014)
Bunshin or 分身 (2012)
Galileo or Garireo or ガリレオ
Galileo 2 or ガリレオ (第2期) (2013) episodes 1 and 2
Galileo 2 or ガリレオ (第2期) (2013) episodes 3 and 4
Galileo 2 or ガリレオ (第2期) (2013) episodes 5 and 6
Galileo 2 or ガリレオ (第2期) (2013) episodes 7, 8 and 9
Galileo 2 or ガリレオ (第2期) (2013) episodes 10 and 11
Galileo: The Sacrifice of Suspect X or Yôgisha X no kenshin (2008)
Midsummer Formula or Manatsu no Houteishiki or 真夏の方程式 (2013)
The Murder in Kairotei or Kairoutei Satsujin Jiken or 回廊亭殺人事件 (2011)
Naniwa Junior Detectives or Naniwa Shonen Tanteida or 浪花少年探偵団 (2012) episodes 1 to 4
Naniwa Junior Detectives or Naniwa Shonen Tanteida or 浪花少年探偵団 (2012) episodes 9 to 12
Platinum Data or プラチナデータ (2013)
Thursday Theatre Keigo Higashino Mystery or 東野圭吾ミステリーズ (2012) episodes 1 to 5
Thursday Theatre Keigo Higashino Mystery or 東野圭吾ミステリーズ (2012) episodes 6 to 11
White Night or Baekyahaeng or 백야행 : 하얀 어둠 속을 걷다 (2009)
The Wings of the Kirin or Kirin no Tsubasa: Gekijoban Shinzanmono or 麒麟の翼 ~劇場版・新参者~ (2012)

 

For a Galileo novel, see Salvation of a Saint.

 

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