Jdrama Review: Okitegame Kyoko’s Memorandum
If you’re looking for a detective drama that steps outside of the normal mode, then Okitegami Kyoko’s Memorandum (Okitegame Kyoko no Biboroku) could be your cup of tea. 3 years ago something happened to Okitegame Kyoko so now her memory resets every time she falls asleep. Thus she only takes on cases that can be resolved in a day.
The first several episodes of the series focuses on our male protagonist, Kakushidate Yakusuke [Okada Masaki] who is a man who lives mired in misfortune. He has colossal bad luck just like the meaning behind his first name. He frequently uses the services of private detectives to prove his innocence since he’s constantly getting falsely accused in all manners of crimes. While his outlook on life is not a positive one, he is unwilling to believe the worst in people since he’s constantly being suspected of misdeeds.
The final few episodes focus more so Okitegami Kyoko’s [Aragaki Yui] perspective. We finally get to see her daily routine. There is a lot of unknowns with her. We see the fragment of her last memory which is her running down an empty tunnel. We see how she rights certain memos to herself on her body to remind her of who she is and what she does. We see how she does an investigation of everything and once her investigations are over she can go along on her way for the day. This drama could do with an SP or a movie to actually end all the mysteries, but maybe that’s the point. Kyoko is happy living her life as she does. All she needs are the rudimentary necessities of life and a little mystery and she’s good.
One thing that this drama does well is show the evolution of Kyoko and Yakusuke. Thanks to Kyoko, Yakusuke finds a purpose in his life and learns to enjoy his days. Thanks to Yakusuke, Kyoko begins to soften her resolve of needing nothing but the bare essentials in life. I like this. These aren’t instant changes that don’t make sense, these are gradual and subtle changes for the characters and really do suit the overall pacing.
The acting is done well. The biggest problems are the mysteries. While the main crimes of each episode are solved, many things revolving people aren’t. Sure, we do get to know about Kizunai Horo’s background. Horo [Oikawa Mitsuhiro] is the manager of Sandglass, the café/apartments where Kyoko lives and he’s also her broker. And we also get his connection to the wealthy old man that passes away. We learn about Nuru [Airoka Daiki] also being hired by the same man to send reports, but we don’t really know how Nuru got that job. Nor do we know about Makuma Makuru’s [Uchida Rio] hidden past and connection to the old man. It’s implied she’s his long lost daughter, but nothing is every actually written in black and white. So…there still exists mystery surrounding the people around Kyoko. And, of course, how Kyoko lost her ability to create new memories is the biggest mystery that remains unresolved. I’m curious and disappointed that we never get to learn the truth behind her condition.
Despite how well the series is paced, the ending episodes leave much to be desired. Mainly because the bad guys just disappear at the end and nothing more happens with them. Are we to assume Horo and his gaggle of PIs subdued the baddies and sent their butts to jail? It’s just weird how that big conflict disappears without real resolution. There definitely should have been a little more there.
Other than that, this is an interesting and enjoyable drama. It’s almost like Sherlock meets Memento meets 50 First Dates. The romance is subtle, but there. I like how Yakusuke accepts his fate that he would of course fall for a woman who may never remember him, but still decides to do his best and pursue Kyoko. And you know that she’s falling for him, too. If not, there would be no reason for her to write a memo to herself everyday that she can trust Yakusuke.