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Friday, June 19, 2020

"Shiyakusho" drama: Episode six recap

 Air Dates: October 16th until December 19, 2019 on TV-Tokyo  Wednesday nights at 12:12 am
Also goes by the title of 'Death Office', subs were done by HPriest

Main Cast: Will be tweaking some of the details as we go on and learn more about the characters. Of these five only Michiru doesn't work at the Death Office or at least for now. The four that do have mysterious pasts where it appears they killed someone, were they sentenced to work at the Death Office as a punishment?

Masahiro Matsuoka as Shimura.... main leader of the Death Office who is very stoic person who only goes by the book and has a dark past which we'll be seeing in drips and drabs

Yuina Kuroshima as Michiru Miki.... newly deceased young woman who claims she was killed but can't prove it, for some reason the Death Office is letting her hang around

Sho Kiyahara as Haruya Hayashi.... clerk at the Death Office who is a minor celeb as he was executed back in 2007 for a murder

Marika Matsumoto as Nishikawa.... clerk in the suicide division at the office, she too was condemned to death but why is unknown for now

Denden as Ishima.... older clerk in the murder division who also was condemned to death

Guest Stars for this episode:

Daiki Shigeoka as Kazufumi Takaseki.... one half of the manzai duo 'Kani Subekaraku' who was Sao's best friend

Ayumu Nakajima as Takashi Sao..... other half of the duo who died in this episode

 It's not an essential thing to do but it would help to read the first trio of recaps if you haven't. All of the main stories are stand alone ones that don't continue into the next episode. But there is an underlying storyline about the staff and why they're working at the office. Only bits and pieces of why that's so have been revealed to date but it could turn into the major story soon.

The action takes place at the 'Death Office' where all of us go when we die(?), all of the 'customers' at the office have recently been killed. Customers is the term used for the deceased who are interviewed by the staff to determine their next stage of afterlife.... Heaven, Hell or Purgatory....

 Once again a bit of a different episode as the main character was still a living person while the newly dead man just had the secondary role. Every show has been solid but this one did drag a bit. What I'm missing is Yuina as Michiru, she went to Heaven at the end of the fourth episode. But still expected her to return and she probably will but it's been two shows in a row without her. Watched the first six shows in record time and had only written up the first two recaps. So put viewing this series on hold until this post was done and will get back to the drama tomorrow so perhaps we will see a return of Michiru in the next show.

 Manzai is a Japanese word and it means a comedy duo. Usually there's a straight man along with a fall guy, the comedy team mostly play in small venues but on occasion they do become popular. That wasn't the case for the duo of 'Kani Subekaraku' who had been together for ten years, that term refers to crab fishing. The team of Sao and Takaseki had formed in high school, at school they were best friends and a decade later still are. But their Manzai routine over the years has only been a so-so popular act, Sao usually wrote most of the jokes as that was his strength.
 His partner Takaseki's main talent was being the funny man on stage as he had such a presence but only with his partner as he's lost if he's on stage alone. Finally a chance to hit stardom may be on the horizon as the act was invited to perform on the popular 'Dead or Conte' program which would feature eight up and coming acts. Though the offer to appear on the program happened early in the show the action didn't take place until much later in the episode.
 Much of what took place in this show up until then were flashback scenes, many of them were of the struggling duo from over the years. Won't go into much detail about those older events as there's plenty of screenshots of them at the bottom plus to me it made this episode drag a bit. The other scenes before the Manzai team was to perform on the 'Dead or Conte' show involved Sao who was kind of the quiet guy on stage but wrote most of their material. The reason we saw him was because Sao was.... a newly dead person at the Death Office!!!! Yes, he had died during this show and the events didn't go in chronological order. He had been describing to Shimura his past life and also why he felt Heaven should be his destination.

 Won't leave any major details out but am trying to zip through this as I've written these up mainly at one sitting. For a while Sao has had health issues and it was a very rare disease he suffered from. His father also had it so Sao had acquired it that way, the word(s) for the disease is so long won't spell it out but it's over fifty letters long and had never of it but it's a respiratory condition.
 Sao had never revealed his problem to his partner Takaseki and he should have as he had been his best friend for over a decade. Takaseki had noticed a few problems with his mate here and there as one time he almost passed out in the street but didn't worry as much as he should have. It's finally the day for the popular 'Dead or Conte' program, their duo is scheduled to be the eighth and final team competing. The show had started and all of the other seven teams were there but not the eighth as Sao was mysteriously absent though Takaseki was there. He was frantically trying to contact Sao with no success and many of the staff and performers were also trying to locate Sao.
 But those attempts were to no avail as during this time Sao had been lying in a hospital bed, his condition became so much more severe he sought out treatment. And as mentioned Takaseki had no clue about his partner's health so checking a hospital didn't occur to him. There was little time left until their first TV appearance, with no alternatives Takaseki had to reluctantly withdraw from the show. But being a drama at the last possible second who should be coming down the hallway in a wheelchair but Sao(!) and the pair did their performance. Sao remained mum the entire time as Takaseki did a monologue called 'I Am The Man's Feeling's' which went over well. The pair didn't win the contest but just being able to appear on TV was the highlight of their career.

 Above is the disease Sao had and you can see why I didn't want to write it out! After the performance Takaseki had wheeled his best friend back to the hospital and it was the final time the pair saw each other. Sao had given his will to Takaseki, that's him reading it right above and it was mainly a letter of his feelings about his friend and their Manzai career. Some weeks after the death of Sao Takaseki struck out on his own as a solo act and as I mentioned he's not as good on stage without Sao.
 But in that letter Sao had given his friend so much encouragement and advice, Takaseki used much of that theme in his first solo performance. At first it didn't go over well but once Takaseki began describing his life with Sao and what a friend he was his act was a smash success. There was no comedy in his act and don't know what kind of entertainer he'll be in the future but without the letter from Sao Takaseki never would have moved on with his life.
 Much of the episode dealt with what happened with Takaseki and his friendship but what happened with Sao at the Death Office? It was one of the easiest applications ever for Shimura as after hearing about Sao's life and what he did for his friend the application was approved even before it was finished. So of course the last we saw of Sao was entering Heaven and to date we've never seen what it looks like, with that this recap comes to it's close.

 This was actually a decent show, realized how good it was writing this up. Thanks for reading this or any of the other two recaps for today. There's four more episodes to go in this series and it's one I'm glad was discovered as it's one of the finest from last year. Will be starting on those four remaining shows tomorrow, hope to have the recaps all done by next weekend or at least by the end of June.