Sennyu Tantei Tokage Episode 1 Recap

Why? Uh…is Matsuda Shota enough of a reason? Then there’s Renbutsu Misako whom I loved in Nanase Futatabi and Kimi ni Todoke.

We open two years ago in March of 2011. Oribe Toru aka Tokage [Matsuda Shota] was dumped in a crate from a helicopter into the ocean. How did he survive? We don’t know as we then cut to the present day. Tokage is at the seaside staring out at the water before heading into the city on his motorcycle.

As a city grows and evolves, so does crime. With falling arrest rates, the metropolitan police department had decided, as an experiment, to try covert operations normally considered forbidden.

Yeah. I don’t know why, but undercover operations seem more rare in Asia than in the US and a lot of stuff that I do believe is acceptable to law enforcement here, is not over there. Anywho, a young officer is reading that notice about the allowance of private detectives to do covert operations for the police and asks who it is. The older officer says it is Oribe Toru aka Tokage [lizard]. Why Tokage? Because  wherever he is, he blends into his surroundings like a lizard. However, the older gentleman has heard there is another reason for the nickname.

Enter Tokage. The older man, Ito Shiro as Yanagida Masahiko, calls out to him and says the young woman will be working with him now. She rushes over and energetically introduces herself as Mochizuki Kaori [Renbutsu Misako]. She used to work at a bank and is good with computers and the like, but she had the desire to become a detective so that’s why she’s there now. Tokage doesn’t care to hear her story and tells her to stop talking. Since they are partners, shouldn’t they get to know each other better? Tokage closes the curtains blocking off his room and says he doesn’t care to know her any better. The older officer then explains that Tokage has no friends.

We then cut to an ME’s office where a man has been found poisoned with his kidney missing. Definitely the work of organ traffickers as that is now three bodies since the beginning of the year. Detectives Terashima Shuji [Matsuoka Masahiro]  and Makihara Yoko [Mimura] are called out by a fellow colleague Amane Kenji [Fukikoshi Mitsuru] about an anonymous tip that children’s organs were being sold. A detective has already been assigned and Terashima is NOT happy to learn who it is. Terashima and Makihara complain Kishimori Mikio [Endo Kenichi] about bringing Tokage in. Has he forgotten what happened two years ago? No, but their arrest rates have declined drastically with Tokage’s removal.

Tokage’s mission is to go undercover as a state official and broker an organ deal. Tokage drugs Ikedani from the Ministry of Health and takes him to the operations base. Tokage perfects Ikedani’s voice and is told the plan to meet the people on a ferry for the transaction. When Mochizuki asks why the transaction takes place on a ferry, she is horrified to learn there is a risk of getting killed. Sweety… how innocent are you? Tokage the begins memorizing the layout of the boat and all 100 people scheduled to be on the ship this trip. Mochizuki cannot believe there is anyway for Tokage to memorize all that information.

I had to laugh watching Tokage drink his little soymilk cartons. It seems kind of contradictory to his personality. Anywho, Mochizuka pops in and says he must love soymilk. Tokage replies he doesn’t and asked if Mochizuka was the one who rearranged his books. Yes, she was cleaning and helped him by putting them back in order. Tokage says he had then arranged by how often he used them. Whoops. Nothing like messing with his carefully organized system. 😉 He warns her to never touch then again.

Tokage goes to leave when a little boy named Sota [Kimino Yuma] comes in. Tokage tells Sota he is busy and thus cannot play with him. That’s okay. Sota wants Tokage to buy him a gaming system that all the other kids have. Sota takes a look at the Nintendo 3 DS flier and says no way as it is too expensive. Mochizuka then comes out and says she will be accompanying him. Tokage tells her there is no need, but Yanagida insists that someone else go along so he is kept apprised of the situation. Mochizuka assures Tokage she is good at driving which he quickly negates. He then rattles off a car accident incident from 3 years ago. This pleases Mochizuka—he read up on her? Sota quickly refutes this and Yanagida explains that Tokage has a photographic memory. All crime reports are filed away in his head. Tokage then takes his leave and Yanagida says he hopes Mochizuka will not let this attitude and behavior discourage her.

Tokage arrives at the ferry and calls Minster Kashiwabara who tells him to tread carefully as it has taken the minister 5 years to find his daughter this donor. Kashiwabara promises that if Ikedani serves him well, he’ll help him in the upcoming election. Tokage’s undercover mission starts now as he must find the child targeted as the donor and infiltrate the organization. Once he is in his room, Tokage changes into all black with a face mask and heads into the “ceiling” of the ship where he plants devices all over.

Once he is done, he turns back into Ikedani and goes out to the orphanage ceremony. It’s for people to get to know the children and make donations to help. Tokage is not happy at all to see Kaori there as a waitress. He calls her over and asks what she’s doing there. She happily states she’s working undercover (using her REAL name to boot) to try to help. Tokage takes her to a room and orders her to stay there, which of course she doesn’t want to do. I LOVE when he tells her to go home and she replies they are in the middle of the sea.

I won’t go in depth on some parts. It’s just mainly Tokage observing people and conversing about certain things to try to glean information about the culprits and which child was selected. Kaori is amazed at how much he memorized. Meanwhile, back at the operations center, Kishimori pays a visit to thank Yanagida for taking on Tokage. Yanagida waves this off and tries to discuss his payment. Ikedani then says he will talk as long as the minister is not implicated. Yanagida and Kishimori assure him they are after the gang as it will look bad if they start arresting ministry members.

Back on board the ship, Kaori is passing out chocolate covered fruit and assuring Tokage she is working by getting info from the children. She notices one unhappy little girl called Ema and asks what is wrong. Her friend Minori is missing. Tokage remembers who Minori is as Kaori takes Ema to look for her. It’s at this time Tokage gets a call about the deal. He looks around and sees several people on cells. Who could it be? Kaori comes and asks if it was from the criminals. Is Minori the donor? What should she do? As little as possible. LOL.

While everyone else searches the boat for Minori, Tokage is viewing everything from the ceilings. Ema then wonders if Minori is being punished for telling a lie. The three men asks what this is and promise no harm will come to Minori if Ema tells. Ema then reveals that Minori swapped places with another girl named Misato as Minori wanted to be adopted, and Misato didn’t. This looks like it throws a wrench in the bad guys’ plans.

Tokage rejoins the party and Murai is particularly showing signs about being unnerved about the switch. He and Kaori go back to his room to talk when he gets a call about the plans changing. Tokage reasons the gang are now planning to kidnap the real donor. This horrifies Kaori. Surely he will stop them? No, for this operation to be a success, he must let the kidnapping happen.

Meanwhile back on shore, Terashima, Makihara, and Amane are all meeting at Makihara Masato’s bar [Yamamoto Ryosuke] to discuss the case. When Kishimori arrives they are horrified to learn that Tokage plans on helping the gang ensure the kidnapping is a success. Terashima thinks its horrible to put a 10-year-old through that ordeal just to nab the criminals, but Tokage seems to think this is the only way to succeed.

On the ship, Kaori is not happy that Tokage is not searching for Misato. Since she is not the real donor, they don’t need to worry about her. Still…Tokage then says that feelings cannot save a life. Kaori angrily leaves the room and Tokage flashes back to two years ago when he was dumped into the ocean. His crate hit rocks and broke open. When he came to, he broke free of his bonds and struggled to the surface. After taking a breath he struggles to make it back down to the second crate, but he just cannot make it. Who is in that crate? I don’t know. He surfaces again and swims towards shore. Back in the present, Kaori is desperately searching for Misato while Tokage watches and plays with a stun gun.

Terashima and Makihara talk about Tokage and how ruthless he is. Terashima cannot forget what happened to Modeki. Makihara cuts him off and says she isn’t hung up on what happened two years ago. Besides, they are off duty now. Makihara then says to leave everything to her as she knows Terashima will do whatever he can to stop him. Terashima apologizes for this.

Tokage then hears that Misato is found and we learn that Murai found her in the sickbay. Yep, Murai is definitely part of the bad guys. Tokage then joins Murai, Isaka, and Katayama for dinner and learns more and more information from them and about them. Kaori also listens in on their conversation and later tells Tokage they seem so nice. Tokage’s reply? They say nice things, but you can’t always believe what you see. Kaori then asks why he left the force two years ago and why he became an officer in the first place. Tokage turns the question back on her instead of answering. Kaori’s reply? She’s looking for someone very important to her. She then excuses herself.

We flashback 16 years ago where we see a little boy crying over his father’s death. In the present, Tokage stares out the window as Kaori cries. She then gets a phone call from Yanagida who asks why she’s crying. She quickly denies that she is. Yanagida asks how things are going and Kaori replies that everything is going fine. He encourages her and says he has a hunch she and Tokage will form a good team. Kaori promises to do her best. Tokage then flashes back 19 years ago where his father gave him a chocolate banana and has him clothes his eyes and starts asking him questions to test his memory. Sheesh. His father was a policeman, too. So that’s why Tokage is one. Fairly typical.

The next morning the boat docks at Sendai and Isaka, Murai and Katayma hurry and rush out. Tokage tells Kaori that since he has no idea what will happen, its best for Kaori to wait in his room. Kaori then tells him to let her know when he needs her. Tokage then rushes out.

Amane and Makihara report to Kishimori about discovering a hospital that is associated with the illegal organ dealings. Kishimori then wonders why Terashima isn’t there to report to him as well. Amane acts surprised and says maybe he’s still out investigating. Kishimori says that might be possible, but he wants no one interfering with Tokage’s operation. Makihara quickly asserts that Tokage is not trustworthy to keep the child safe and Terashima is worried about this.

The man who is supposed to kidnap Minori is attacked by Terashima and handcuffed. Tokage arrives and uses the stun gun on him. Tokage says Terashima is in the way. If the girl isn’t there by 9, they won’t get the bad guys. Terashima smiles and says Tokage is still a pain in the ass. Tokage says if things go wrong, they’ll all end of in the sea. Terashima promises that won’t happen. Tokage buckles Terashiman and the bad guy in and Terashima scolds him for not getting a proper greeting in two years. Tokage doesn’t reply to this and tells Terashima to do his best to get info out of the guy as they head to the harbor.

Time is running out and Kaori is worried. Meanwhile, Terashima can’t get any info out of the guy as he is a grunt who knows nothing. Terashima then asks if Tokage will really hand the girl over. He has to otherwise the bust won’t work. What about the girl’s safety? Tokage tells him that there is no way they would kill the girl as she is much more valuable alive as a threat to blackmail the minister. Besides, doesn’t Tokage have Terashima as an ally to keep her safe?

Yanagida calls up Kaori for a progress report, but the girl is getting freaked out as the time to meet is almost there and still no word from Tokage. She then hangs up as she has a call from Tokage. He tells her to hack the security systems. How can she do that? Isn’t she good with computers? Only Apple computers. He tells her to think of the child and do her best. This gives her inspiration and she promises to try her hardest.

Murai sees the van with Minori arrive and immediately rushes off. Meanwhile, Tokage rushes Kaori through the steps to hack the system as he hides in the van. She succeeds and Tokage tells her to turn the dummy off in 3 minutes. He then exits the car and hands a communicator over to Terashima. Tokage then hides the grunt in a bathroom just as Murai confirms Minori is in the van and puts in a call telling Tokage where the deal goes down. Tokage then rushes to his cabin where he hands the communication device to Kaori who asks what it is for. Tokage says nothing and puts it in her ear.

Tokage then goes to the laundry room where he is told to drop the money down a shoot. He then recalls what Kaori said about smelling the laundry room smell an Katayama. After the money is confirmed, Tokage is told where the van is. Instead of going to the van, Tokage jumps into the shoot where he sees the criminal’s shoes which are a match for Isaka’s. He reports this and continues his chase. He finds Isaka dead with no money. What is going on? Tokage reports that Isaka’s death is the work of a professional killer like the one who killed the yakuza three years ago. But that killer was killed. Maybe he faked his death and changed his face? Kaori then yells that there is someone suspicious in the parking garage of the boat.

Terashima quickly rushes in and cuffs Murai to the van as Tokage rushes to get to the parking garage. Terashima reports he has the criminal and will get the girl to safety. Things then click into place for Tokage. The killer isn’t Murai but Katayama who is really Nakao Hideki with a changed face. This news surprises Terashima who suddenly turns around only to be shot by Katayama who then pistol whips him. Katayama then grabs the little girl as Terashima pulls his gone. It’s a showdown. Meanwhile, Kaori is rushing to the carport. What will happen? Terashima won’t shoot as he’s afraid of hitting Minori who Katayama is using as a shield.

Katayama then kicks Terashima’s gun away and threatens to kill him, the girl, and everyone else for getting in his way. Tokage jumps down the stairwells and lands on top of a car. He quickly makes a run towards Katayama who shoots at him. He runs out of bullets and gets his gone pointed at Tokage as he jumps to hit him. Terashima gets up at the same time and a shot is heard. So who got shot? Katayama. Kaori rushes to the young girl and Tokage says she’s safe all thanks to Terashima who headbutts Tokage in retribution for the stun gun incident. Kaori then wonders why Murai went to the van if he wasn’t the bad guy. He’s the anonymous informant!

Tokage uncuffs Murai who explains he overheard Isaka’s organ plan. He didn’t know how to stop Isaka, nor could he say Isaka’s name to the police. During Murai’s confession and relations of events, I had to laugh as Tokage stuffed a kleenex up his bloody nose. Katayama then speaks up complaining about Murai ruining the plan. This earns him a kick from Tokage who hands the money over to Murai to help the orphanage since the minister can’t use that money anymore. Murai asks if Ikedani is a cop. Nope, he’s a private detective.

Tokage then calls the minister and tells him the donor is with him. He then asks if organ trafficking is something a minster shouldn’t be involved in? Enter Makihara and Ikedani. The minister is shocked. If Ikedani is there then who is he talking to? Makihara says Kayamata confessed everything. The minster complains about his daughter’s disease and rare blood type. Makihara then points out that as a father, he’s the perfect donor. But if he donates, how can he do his duties? Makihara then tells him to look at his daughter and he clutches her hand and promises to do it himself.

Kishimori pays Yanagida a visit. So Tokage was useful after all. Kishimori then hands over three envelopes stuffed with money and when Sota arrives, he gives him the Nintendo that he wanted as Tokage told him about it. Kishimori asks if Sota is Modegi’s son. Yes. Tokage and Yanagida have been raising him since the incident. The little boy wishes to grow up to be just like Tokage. That’s what you call fate.

At the harbor, things are being wrapped up and Kaori says she can’t wait for the next case. She was useful, wasn’t she? Tokage reluctantly agrees to this. She then tells him that feelings can save a life before rushing off where she spots Terashima. She asks how he’s doing and Makihara asks who she is. Kaori introduces herself and Makihara responds by saying Kaori won’t last. What? Does she know why Tokage is called Tokage? Because he blends into the bankground? No, because a lizard will rip off its own tail to survive when cornered. Two years ago, Tokage abandoned Modegi to save himself. End episode.

In the long run, I doubt he would have been able to save Modegi, but who really knows? This is an interesting drama so far. I’m looking forward to more operations and learning more and more about Kaori’s and Tokage’s pasts.


  • Extra thumbs up for mentioning Renbutsu Misako, I also liked her in Nanase Futatabi! I’m glad she’s getting another chance at a (sorta) lead role! So do you think the chemistry between Renbutsu Misako and Matsuda Shota is good? *curious*

    • Yeah, it’s nice to see her in a starring role again. As for chemistry… I’m not feeling much of anything yet, but they do make an interesting duo & had some fun interactions.

      • Hopefully she won’t be overshadowed by Matsuda’s character. You know, like the typical genius-detective paired with a clueless-newbie kind of thing T_T

        • Well, there is that chance, but I’m hoping not as she isn’t just an innocent, silly newbie and seems to have a painful past. Sure, we focus more on Tokage’s, but I’m sure she’ll get the limelight, too.

Wanna share your thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.