Air Dates: January 18th to March 24, 2011 on TBS at 12:55 am Ratings: ?
Saki Fukuda as Shun
Yuya Matsushita as Takeru
Natsuna Watanabe as Kasumi
Toshiya Nagasawa as Tsukamoto
Takaya Kamikawa as Kuchinawa
Quite a bit of suspense is being carried over from the eighth episode, can this show possibly keep that frantic pace up? The answer is that it came close but may have been a bit of a letdown, while still a very good show the last half fell a tad flat and it seemed like it was the only episode which was too long. On the plus side one can never get tired of looking at Saki who was so excellent as a participant in the game of death.
When we left off Shun was the first contestant to have the gun pointed at her head but being the star we had to figure the chamber would have been empty for her. Which was the case as that pleased many in the crowd for it seemed most bet on her to be the winner in this sick game. Now it was Shun's turn to fire the gun but next in line was her cohort on this dangerous mission Kasumi. Shun didn't want to pull the trigger but Kasumi started pleading with her to do it, Tsukamoto had drugged her up before the competition and she was in no shape to help Shun or Takeru any more.
Instead Shun took the gun to her own head and threatened to pull the trigger to possibly end the madness but once Tsukamoto's men pointed their own guns at the other contestants heads her plan backfired. Looks like there's no way out of this jam for Shun and Kasumi but what has happened to Takeru who fled Midori to go back to the police headquarters to test the drugs from Tsukamoto's factory?
Takeru at the moment of the game is right outside of Midori with Kuchinawa and his assistant as a plan to save Shun and Kasumi along with either killing or arresting Tsukamoto was formed. The plan was the power in Midori was going to turned off for one minute which should be enough time for Takeru to get in and save everyone. Seemed like a good idea on paper but things didn't work out quite according to the plan though in the end things did work out.
The power was switched off at the right time and chaos ensued at Tsukamoto's game. Tan, who was Koharu's brother, managed to grab a gun during the time when the lights were off and started firing. Also a pair of Tan's friends who had turned sides to help Tsukamoto turned sides once again to help out Tan in the battle. They were able to shoot down many of Tsukamoto's henchmen but eventually they also, except for Tan, met their demise but during that time the lights came on after that minute. There was enough chaos going on that it allowed Shun and Kasumi to escape, it appears as though Shun may have been shot during the gun battle but not too severely.
Takeru has entered the factory where the game was being held, during the gun battle Tsukamoto managed to escape with a gun and the pair ran into each other in a hallway. Takeru is an excellent fighter and was able to get the gun away from Tsukamoto who proceeded to pull his own trick and get the gun back. Just when it looked like Takeru was going to meet his maker one of the bettors from the came suddenly appeared, he was a very noted politician. He had his own gun but once again Tsukamoto was able to wrestle a gun away from his opponent, he should have been dead ten times over but he kept on ticking.
Tsukamoto then takes Shun as a hostage and takes her outside where Kuchinawa and his mysterious man were waiting. Tsukamoto figured with Shun as a hostage he would be allowed to escape which wasn't the case. Though in a wheelchair Kuchinawa proved to be an excellent shot as Shun quickly fell to her knees and Kuchinawa finally shot Tsukamoto to his death. Shun and Takeru didn't know what to think, it was such a relief that Tsukamoto was finally dead but it wasn't one of them who did the deed so their revenge wasn't quite complete.
Kuchinawa then tries to pay Shun and Takeru a nice sum of cash for their efforts but they refuse the money. Instead the pair told him to give it to Tan who now how to raise Koharu's son Tao, looks like that pair will finally be able to leave Japan. Not quite the end as some time later the trio of Shun, Takeru and Kasumi hold a bit of a reunion, we have no clue what any of them have been doing since the mission ended. But as the show ends Kasumi gets a call and on the other end it happens to be of all people Kuchinawa! He asks Kasumi if she would be interested in another mission and if possible could she help him recruit the other two for a new job or as it turns out to be, many jobs. Takeru takes the phone and flatly refuses the offer but whether it was final or not we'll never now and right at that point end of episode and series.
Don't know what the ratings were as most of the time late series ratings aren't released but perhaps they were good enough so that the ending left the possibility of a second season open. It's been five years now so looks like that'll never happen unless a genie pops up and grants me a wish.
Like I mentioned it was an okay episode but kind of a letdown from the previous shows, kind of dragged a bit towards the end and was a bit too predictable. All in all though I really enjoyed the series, kind of an edgy drama with a good though perhaps unbelievable plot. Only minor complaints are that the first two episodes could have been combined into one plus the finale was a bit of a step down. May have been an even better drama had it been a bit longer, either 30 minute episodes or perhaps another episode or two. Think then the story may have been a bit more interesting, could have focused more on Midori town and what the Chinese illegal immigrants were doing there plus why did the police turn the cheek about that place.
Will give it a final rating of 8.5/10, most of these late night dramas seem to be much better watches than prime time shows and this one was no exception. Of course the main reason for watching it was Saki who looked so overly tempting in this series, but then again with Saki finishing #2 on my current fave list any way she looks is more than okay with me.
This came out in January of 2011, Saki's next drama was an entirely different show and that one being "IS", talk about two completely shows. We really need Saki in another big drama role or even better having the lead again in one, been about 2 1/2 years since that's happened.
If you read all the posts thanks for doing so, did all of these in one sitting and sometimes it's kind of difficult to keep the juices flowing though I think all the posts came out okay but do agree they weren't masterpieces. What I need to do is watch a few episodes then write up a draft of those watches, think doing it this way I make it so much harder on myself. Not sure what the next older drama here will be but just started watching season one of "First Class" so it looks like that could be next but of course in the meantime will also be following some of the current shows.