Thoughts August 10, 2015

First Impression: Detective Versus Detectives

It’s hard to believe, the last Japanese drama that I watched was JIN season two in 2011. After that, I was watching Korean and Chinese dramas. After a long hiatus, I decided to check out Detective Versus Detectives (or 探偵の探偵 Tantei no Tantei in Japanese) primarily due to Keiko Kitagawa being the lead actress. So far, I have watched the first three episodes. Here’s the premise which is pretty much episode one in a nutshell.

Rena Sasaki (Keiko Kitagawa) is a beautiful woman with excellent memory and intelligence. She becomes a private detective and risks her life to chase down evil private detectives, because her younger sister was murdered by a stalker. The person that provided information to the stalker on her sister’s location was a private detective.


First things first, I think this drama is nuts! It sounds like a nice detective drama at first but once you watch episode one, you would wonder what you’ve gotten yourself into…

Rena Sasaki learns about the detective connected to her sister's murder. Photo © Fuji TV

Rena Sasaki learns about the detective connected to her sister’s murder. Photo © Fuji TV

After the tragic incident, Rena dedicates her life to track down the detective who helped the murderer kill her sister. After much schooling, she lands a job at a detective agency’s Anti-Detectives department (focused on catching other detectives who may be taking advantage of their clients, holding illegal operations, or doing other crimes) thanks to her teacher/boss. But it seems like he has something up his sleeves in hiring her; perhaps he’s the evil detective? That’s just my hunch since they’ve been hinting in each episode that he’s up to no good.

Craziness Ensues…

I thought these people were detectives? Yet they act like criminals. Okay, they’re corrupt detectives but they go so far as to stalk, blackmail, kidnap, and even kill other people. So I’m supposed to believe that whatever crimes these detectives commit, they’ve already created provisions that would not allow them to get caught by police. I think that’s a bit too much even for a drama. And here we have Rena beating the crap out of them as well with no consequences. It’s like she’s bigger than the law and she can just do whatever violence she wants just because she’s the main character. The more cruel acts she’s done so far includes creating a custom bomb made of nails. Where did she learn how to make that? Before her sister was killed, she seemed like an ordinary older sister. I doubt they’d teach this during her schooling either. Detectives just solve crimes, right? Or am I wrong? Are they also schooled in combat? Anyway, it feels very out of character.

Kotoha's first day on the job as Rena's new assistant. Photo © Fuji TV

Kotoha’s first day on the job as Rena’s new assistant. Photo © Fuji TV

By episode three, it really feels like they’re just trying to show off Keiko Kitagawa’s action scenes as there is at least one in each episode. Rena has pretty much beaten four guys (almost) to death and in the beginning of episode four, she whacks another detective with an iron pipe in front of a whole gang of police and detectives and then easily gets away, gaining the trust of a police officer in the process who was actually chasing her down a few minutes ago! Things are happening a bit too fast here with little to no explanation or logic.

Sota, Rena's co-worker. Photo © Fuji TV

Sota, Rena’s co-worker. Photo © Fuji TV

In one scene, she got a mysterious phone call telling her that her sister’s murderer might not have died and may still be on the loose, contrary to what the DNA report suggested several years ago. With all the schooling that she had and the skills she exhibited in previous episodes, Rena suddenly decided to believe everything that was told to her with no ounce of suspicion and was immediately led into a deadly trap. What happened? In another scene, she was being chased by unknown people trying to kill her. A bulldozer rammed her car with her still inside but yet she did nothing except stepping on the gas trying to overrun the bulldozer…? And her car fell into the ocean. If she was so smart as was previously depicted, why did she not just jump out of the car before it was too late?

Rena faces off with her (supposed) arch-nemesis, Yoshinori Abiru. Photo © Fuji TV

Rena faces off with her (supposed) arch-nemesis, Yoshinori Abiru. Photo © Fuji TV

The Verdict:

Am I fed up with this drama? Almost… But I do want to see what else this drama has in store in terms of character development as it’s only been three episodes. As far as acting goes, Keiko Kitagawa does a pretty good job as the deadpan Rena Sasaki. Although, I liked her more when she played more… normal characters. So far, the inconsistencies in her character can be attributed to poor writing. But I’d continue to watch it just because she’s in it. What are your thoughts on this drama?

This article is purely of my own thoughts and opinions. Your opinions may differ. Any offense caused by my rants and ramblings is unintentional. Thank you for understanding.

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