Air Dates: July 12 to September 6, 2016 Tuesdays at 10:00 pm on Fuji-TV, rating: 7.98%
This drama also goes by the name "On: Special Agent Hinako Todo"
Haru as Hinako Todo, rookie detective
Yu Yokoyama as Yasuhisa Shoji, senior detective
Atsuro Watabe as Iwao Atsuta, department's supervisor
Jun Kaname as Keiichiro Kurashima, detective
Kento Hayashi as Tamotsu Nakajima, doctor
Mieko Harada as Taeko Ishigami, medical examiner
Tsutomu Takahashi as Keizo Kataoka, detective
Saku Momose as Ryoshin Shimizu, detective
Ryo Sato as Maki Tsukioka, traffic officer
Shiji Saito as Takeshi Miki, investigator
Guest Star: Mariko Shinoda as Hitomi Susuki, traffic officer
Been way too long since I've viewed a J-drama, there seriously haven't been any that have really swayed me back from my current Korean drama addiction. However I've had my eye on this series for a while, it just finished it's run last week. The plot looked a bit interesting and did hear someone comment that it turns into quite a dark drama with much suspense and figured this may be a drama to bring me back to the Japanese shows. Don't think it will as there aren't enough of them in this vein but this first episode was a really superb watch and it's only supposed to get better, doesn't happen often but think I made a wise decision.
Haru may me a name not many here have heard of but she's been around for a while and is a solid actress. This is her first lead role in a prime time drama though she did have the starring role in the "Asa ga Kita" asadora that aired in 2015. Haru portrays the character of Hinako Todo who is a rookie detective on the Tokyo Police Department's #1 investigative team.
Hinako has been on the force for a year but is still considered a rookie as she hasn't done any field work and has mainly just been a office worker though a very efficient one. Hinako in her spare time has memorized every sex crime in the Tokyo area that's happened in the last decade, that knowledge, though a bit strange, ends up being a huge asset for her.
There's been a recent murder with the victim's name being 32 year old Miyahara. That name means nothing to the other detectives but it does to Hinako who remembers that he's been arrested a few times in the past for some sex crimes. That really impressed her supervisor Atsuta, he lets her join the detectives on the case and now she's finally going out into the field.
None of the officers knew what to make of the death, looks like Miyahara could have been strangled or stabbed. The marks on the neck though were not the regular marks of a strangulation as the only way they would have appeared would be if Miyahara strangled himself. Those marks jogged Hinako's memory as they were similar to another case that happened four years ago, one that Miyahara was involved in.
Won't try to make this as long as my Korean recaps. It's not impossible to strangle yourself but you would have to be under the influence of something to do it. The detectives then stumbled across a video of the killing and it appeared Miyahara had been beaten fairly badly. However in the video there was no sign of the murderer as all of the action took place off camera.
That video ended up on the internet as there was an app on Miyahara's smartphone which the killer had sent, that killer also sent that app to a few other victims. Victims as there was another killing about to happen and the next one was Hinako's best friend on the force, Hitomi Suzuki, plus that app had been sent to a female who had recently committed suicide.
Hiako was supposed to go on a group date that night with her but couldn't so Hitomi went by herself. After the gathering broke up Hitomi called Hianko to tell her she was heading home, in the background Hiako heard the voice of a man who stuttered. That voice in the background ended up being the killer. Hitomi never made it home as she was murdered in a park, there was also a video of that killing which was uploaded to the internet.
For you astute J-Pop fans that is Mariko Shinoda, had hoped she'd be a regular in the show but sadly her character Hitomi was killed off too soon. The whole force is quite angry and upset at Hitomi's murder, especially Shoji who is a bit of a hothead and who doesn't like Hinako at all. He thinks she's a weirdo for knowing so much info about crimes committed over the last decade but he's also a bit of a jerk to everyone. Hinako's boss seems like a fair person to work for and he's always standing up for her. There's also detective Kurashima who also has Hinako's back, few of the others on the force we didn't get to know too well but it was still only the first episode.
One other character was the medical examiner Ishigami, she's kind of strange person herself which means it looks like her and Hinako will end up getting to know each other much better. The last character to introduce helps Hinako solve the mystery of the killings and sex crimes. That person is Doctor Nakajima who is still an intern, he's not a regular doctor but is about to become a full fledged psychologist.
Hinako and Shoji had met Nakajima at the residence of another victim of Miyahara's, however that victim had killed herself as a video of her sex attack was also somehow uploaded onto the internet. Hinako saw Nakajima praying at the site where Hitomi was murdered, after that they went out to eat where Hinako asked him a ton of questions. Nakajima revealed many secrets about his patients, enough so where after their meeting she said to herself she knew who the murderer was.
Ten years before this a young teen had murdered his mother, he was able to get off due to him being not quite right in the head. The man's name was Otomo but he changed it to Kobayashi, that murder of his mother was just the beginning as the recent murders were also his doing. Hinako tracked him down to the restaurant he worked at and was able to convince him to meet her outside. She used much psychology on him as he was about to confess, she really put herself in a dangerous situation.
But before anything could happen to her, then again nothing may have, Shoji arrived on the scene and was able to subdue Kobayashi. Shoji has his own contact man who was able to discover the name of the murderer. But Shoji just didn't just subdue Kobayashi silently and arrest him, instead he started pummeling him and wouldn't have stopped but luckily for Kobayashi the rest of Hinako's team arrived to stop Shoji from killing him.
As I said Shoji is one hothead, after that it almost appeared he was about to start hitting Hinako and may have if their supervisor wasn't there. The reasons for his temper hasn't been revealed yet but this was just the first episode so we do have a lot to learn about all of the characters. That final scene brought us to the conclusion of this episode, Shoji may not like Hinako but looks like her finding the murderer first has won her the respect of so many people at the department.
Could have made this recap much longer as it was a 92 minute episode!!!! Didn't know that until I started watching it which almost made me stop but thought if I got this first show out of the way I'll be fine as the rest of the series are the usual 46 minute episodes. Did tell you most of what happened but probably did leave a few details out but after this is another post as I took so many screenshots and they should help you with the details that were omitted.
It's only been one episode but think I'm really going to enjoy this show, finally a drama with a bit of suspense and intrigue. Plus I did hear the series gets much better as it goes along so really looking forward to the next episode. There are a total of nine of them, Japanese dramas are much shorter than Korean ones which usually have 16-20 episodes. Hopefully I'll be back tomorrow with the recap for the second episode, think this is a series that'll be easy to zip through.