Zettai Reido Episode 1 Recap

Zettai Reido

Zettai Reido ~ Absolute Zero

絶対零度

Romanized title: Zettai Reido
English title: Absolute Zero
Broadcast station: Fuji TV
Broadcast dates: 13 Aprl – 22 June 2010
Cast: Ueto Aya, Miyasako Hiroyuki, Yamaguchi Sayaka, Maruyama Tomomi, Kitaoji Kinya, Sugimoto Tetta, Nakahara Takeo, Kimura Ryo
Opening theme: “Shadow behind” by LOVE PSYCHEDELICO
Main theme: “dry town” by LOVE PSYCHEDELICO

Ueto Aya

Ueto Aya as rookie Sakuragi Izumi

Synopsis: Rookie detective Sakuragi Izumi who has been assigned to the cold case department. She is tired of being given boring profile assignments and is excited when she can finally start working on the case. She is young with a long way to go, but you can see the makings of a caring and passionate detective.

We start off a lot like American drama Cold Case with a crime that happened in the past being shown. Of course, they don’t show the entire crime and we are left guessing who is the culprit while each piece of the puzzle is slowly revealed throughout the remainder of the episode. We then fast-forward to the present day where workers dig up a skeleton of the person we see killed at the beginning.

Buried skeleton

Unearthing a murder

Miyasako Hiroyuki

Miyasako Hiroyuki as Tsukamoto Keigo

Sakuragi Izumi gets a call from fellow detective Tsukamoto Keigo telling her about a case and demanding that she picks up food on her way into work. The only problem is, Izumi never left. She has a horrible habit of spending the night at the office instead of going home to her apartment. Izumi makes a run for it and sees another coworker, former profiler Takamine Ryoko. Izumi calls and asks if they can order together so Izumi won’t be late, but Ryoko says Izumi is a police officer and should obey the rules of society and wait in line.

Sugimoto Tetta

Sugimoto Tetta as Kurata Takumi

Izumi manages to order and heads back to the office where everyone is getting briefed on the reopening of the infamous bank heist a decade ago (statute of limitation in Japan being 15 years apparently). They found they skeletal remains of one of the suspected perpetrators who disappeared right after the crime. Izumi gets sent to the basement, or rather, evidence locker, to collect the boxes from that crime. She brings them up and they begin going through and laying out all the suspects and evidence they had found earlier.

Maruyama Tomomi

Maruyama Tomomi as Fukazawa Yuki

They begin talking about motives for the heist, all three girls had financial problems, and how money probably caused a rift and one of the girls ended up betraying the other two. Kurata Takumi asks for the detectives to go out and look at every possible angle, gathering and analyzing all the evidence and facts they can get. Fukazawa Yuki says that he will head over to forensics to see what they have uncovered in regards to the skeleton and Izumi volunteers to go along as well. Before she leaves, Takumi gives her a new assignment profile from Chief Nagashima. Izumi is not thrilled but takes it anyways and runs after Yuki.

Yuki takes the assignment and looks it over. Izumi tells him that the chief wants her to do a profile. Yuki hands the papers back to Izumi who jokes about looking at the Guiness Book of World Records to find out what could makes such a huge print. Yuki says nothing and keeps walking. You can tell that Izumi gets on his nerves from her bad jokes to her not-too-insightful deductions on the cases they work on.

Kimura Ryo

Kimura Ryo as Takebayashi Takumi

When they get to the forensics lab, the head medical examiner says they confirmed the skeleton’s identity and puts the time of death at approximately ten years ago, probably right after the robbery took place. The cause of death is a single gunshot wound, apparently shot from close range. Technical guru Takebayahsi Takumi estimates the height of the shooter as 3.8 meters and both he and Izumi are amazed that a person is that tall. Yuki cuts in saying that the victim was probably kneeling. They found a memo on the victim’s remains. Izumi thinks the numbers are a coded message, Izumi thinks they are an account number, but doesn’t clue Izumi in who is basically there to take notes, listen, and learn.

Nakahara Takeo

Nakahara Takeo as Shiraishi Shintaro

Izumi and Yuki then go and question the victim’s boyfriend who came in to a lot of money ten years ago. He denies having been part of the crime and murdering his girlfriend as he has always been waiting for her to come back. Yuki tells Izumi they will corner the boyfriend soon and that Izumi shouldn’t be so trusting of him. Izumi apparently doesn’t like Yuki as much as he doesn’t really care for her as she mutters he has a bad personality. Meanwhile Shiraishi Shintaro runs into the office saying they have found a video of another one of the robbers being murdered. Ryoko and Keigo go to question the bank manager who says he doesn’t have any new information and that he was lucky he wasn’t fired. Ryoko notices him playing with a button and determines that he is worried and hiding the truth.

Yamaguchi Sayaka

Yamaguchi Sayaka as Takamine Ryoko

Shiraishi takes the video to Takebayashi for analysis and Shiraishi gives him one day to find out where the video was shot so they can see if they can find the second girl’s body. Yuki gets a call about the video and decides to go back to the office. Izumi is excited thinking that she can finally conduct an interview as they still have to talk to one of the girl’s mother, but Yuki says he has already given the task to Ryoko. Izumi goes and buys meals to get toys for Ryoko’s kid to bribe Ryoko into letting Izumi ask the questions at the interview. Ryoko agrees and says that Izumi can give it a try. Izumi does okay at first but gets upset when the mother says she believes her daughter is a criminal. Izumi tries to defend the daughter and talk about what happened 10 years ago and gets slapped. Ryoko tells Izumi that things are easy and are even harder when the crimes are this old without answers.

Kitaoji Kinya

Ktaoji Kinya as Chief Nagashima Hideo

Izumi is upset and confused, not sure where to go with the case or with the profile assignment. The chief comes out and tells her he’ll give her a hint: “can’t see the forest for the trees.” Izumi and the chief seem to have a very close relationship, almost father-daughter-like in many ways.  Takebayashi uncovers the video location and the crew begin pursuing new leads, such as an ex-boyfriend who came into a lot of money as well and going back to the first boyfriend who was following one of  the girl’s for the slimy ex.

Izumi goes to the mother again and says that she will do whatever it takes to find her daughter as she believes there is more to the circumstances than believed. Izumi asks how the girl thought she was like her mother and finds out that the girl’s mother raised her single-handedly. Izumi watches the video and follows the girl’s footsteps and realizes that the fake video turned into a real murder and that the girl was protecting her stomach. Izumi digs deeper and finds out the girl was pregnant. They do a search of the area, but couldn’t find the girl’s body and they question the manager and ex again. Izumi gets angry and says that the girl was pregnant and demands a greater search team, but is told that is not possible after the failure of the first search.

New evidence crops up and Izumi gets her second search. They finally find the last victim’s body and have enough evidence to put the bank manager in jail for the crime (he confesses anyway as well). Izumi is happy they caught the bad guy but still feels horrible at the completion of the case due to the pain and emotion the victim’s mother expressed when she say her dead daughter’s remains. The chief tells Izumi that victims and relatives are frozen in the pain of that moment and it is their job to find the truth so that they can finally start moving forward with their lives.

And that’s where episode one leaves us.

My thoughts: I know Izumi is a young, new detective, but her naivety seems a little extreme. How could a person who has a total lack of investigative common sense become a detective? She is slow, rash, and impatient and prone to jumping to silly conclusions before full details are revealed. And yet, she is good at putting herself in the victim’s shoes and uncovering the hard to find truths, which partly makes up for her stupidity at times.

I would like to know more about why Ryoko stopped being a profiler and is reluctant to trust her own profiling skills anymore and I would like to know why Yuki seems to have a rather strong dislike, or impatience, with Izumi. Overall this is a good show, a lot like Cold Case in its setup and worth watching to see the forensics and cutting edge technology used to help solve these older mysteries.

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