ST Keishichou Kagaku Tokusouhan SP
By this post, you may be able to figure out just what Japanese drama I plan on recapping this season. That’s right. I’ll be picking up ST Aka to Shirou no Sousa Paire. I figured that I needed to start with the special before I could jump into the series which is set to air tomorrow! And it’s happy news that someone has already declared they’d be subbing this series in English.
It’s been far too long since I did anything with Japanese dramas. Yep, yep. I need to step away from Korean dramas I think. Once I finish up with Smile, Donghae, God’s Quiz Season 4, and Ruby Ring, I think I’ll explore the world of other dramas once more. I’ve been watching far too much Korean, lol. Not that there’s anything wrong with kdramas.
What can be said about ST? Well…it’s rather a typical Japanese special crime unit drama. That doesn’t make it sound too appealing does it? Even though it fits right in there with the tropes of its genre, it’s still a fun watch. At times very serious and at other times very silly, this drama does have its charm even though it’s not really anything new in the world of jdramas.
We have a team of gifted investigators, but they are horribly inept socially which leads them to become persona non grata with the regular detectives. A difference with ST is that this team wasn’t set up to fail like other such teams are, particularly those headed up by a woman—think Boss and Lady~Saigo no Hanzai Profile. This team was created by the higher ups (who are, of course, ignorant to how much these people are disliked by everyone else) to help out with difficult cases. Of course, while the higher ups didn’t create this team for failure, the local force are definitely making sure to do their best to exclude them and give them a cold shoulder. After their formation when they solved a double suicide, they have solved zero cases. Two years later and a newbie detective is brought in as their leader which makes people dislike him immediately since he’s a part of ST and has no real accolades to grant him such a role.
The acting is surprisingly well done even given the comedic elements. Okada Masaki plays Yurine Tomohisa and he does give his character some good depth. On the surface he does seem like a positive, note-taking freak, but he also shows a more vulnerable side when confronted with the truth of his team. He does also have his serious side in which he takes on former classmate who is now a higher up in the police force, Takanashi Kumichi played by Hayashi Kento. The one think I can say about Hayashi is that he is showing more depth as an actor from his roles in Arakawa Under the Bridge and Karamazov no Kyoudai. Love Okada Masaki. Although it does seem like he really does play very similar roles in dramaland. Not a bad thing as he’s shown he’s got other skills when he does take on different types of roles. But he usually plays characters much like Yurine.
Interesting to note is that Fujiwara Tatsuya is billed as a main character, but we rarely see him until the end of the drama. His character of Akagi Samon has a complex when it comes to face-to-face communication after the daughter of the couple who committed suicide kills herself in front of him. Thus he holes himself up in his apartment with three or four different doors and a variety of locks. He is technically the team leader, but never ventures out of his room and does all communication via remote. Again, this is NOT new to Japanese dramas as there are a few other detective stories where the detectives remain inside while their partners do the dirty work outside. It’s really funny to go to the end of the series and see the very serious Akagi slicing open his beloved Gakky doll to venture out into the world to stop the killer. Oh, and him groping Yurine as an excuse to hug him to see if he’s being sincere was hilarious. It shows a completely different attitude than what we expect from all that he’s shown us in what little we’ve seen from the beginning.
Another standout from the ST team is Shida Mirai as Aoyama Sho. She’s a very young profiler who is an obsessive compulsive slob. She also uses “boku” to refer to herself which is what males should be using, not females. She’s the one who is always by Yurine’s side and is also the one who calls him “Cap” which becomes his nickname by the end of the drama. Aoyama is also the team member he opens up and becomes the closest to him. As normal as Yurine seems, he’s actually just as broken as his oddball team and Aoyama recognizes that better than anyone. I like her acting in this role. She’s very weird and at times the character’s actions can seem a bit awkwardly done, but at the same time, there’s great promise and depth to the character as she expresses how she also can’t communicate and doesn’t know how to navigate the world of adults—thus why she keeps insulting the police by calling them idiots and urging them to quickly bring her more evidence for the team to analyze so they can draw a proper conclusion.
I also fell for the character of Kurosaki Yuji played by Kubota Masataka. Kurosaki has a keen sense of smell and his sniffing everywhere is both annoying as well as funny. Due to the traumas he’s faced, he no longer talks aloud except to fellow member (whose also an insomniac due to fearing that he’ll die in his sleep so he also works as a priest) Yamabuki Saizo. He’s also got a phobia when it comes to pointy objects. He goes crazy and breaks every object from knives to sharpened pencils. There isn’t much to the character, but Kubota does a great job with facial expressions and his quiet voice at the end when he kicks the professional killer’s butt and begs them not to make him break their arm was priceless. I’m looking forward to seeing more of his character when the series officially kicks off.
Tanaka Tetsushi who is so good at doing serious and also doing slapstick comedy plays a mentor to Yurine and the team, Kikukawa Goro. He tries to help them out, but when the ST team’s antics get too much for him since they disregard the lives of the officers, he also turns cold, but he’s also one to admit when the team does good and get them involved back in the investigation. Another somewhat mentor is the commissioner or whatever he is—he’s a high up official—played by the awesome Watabe Atsuro (Saegusa Toshiro). I’ve loved him as an actor since seeing him in Keizoku.
Now as the story line. I have to say that when it came to the actual case, there were many moments that fell flat and didn’t jive to well with me. Of course, these moments were overshadowed by other cute moments. Like when Aoyama calls up Yurine to report that the victim’s friend is lying and Yurine can’t beat around the bush and asks the woman directly, shocking both Aoyama and Yuki. LOL. But that woman in the wheelchair along with the big reveal of the criminal at the end really just did nothing for me. I think they could have did the case better and do more with the killer than what they actually did. That being said, I still did like this SP and am anxiously awaiting the start of the drama. Hopefully the magic of the cast and the actors can carry through to the series.