Monday, November 15, 2010

Chase eps 2-6

Chase is an awesome show about revenge. Well, technically its not revenge since Murakumo wasn't really responsible for the airplane accident but Haruma needed someone to hate and blame for the incident. Not to mention that Murakumo is his professional nemesis. I'm glad the writer put that line in there because it also explains Haruma's daughter being so spiteful towards her father. After all she lost her mother and has all the while wondered why her mother would stick by a husband who continuously neglected his family.

The stories in Chase are so fun to watch. Ep 2 deals with smuggling money as jewelry out of the country and things don't go according to plan. Ep 3 is about Haruma's former colleague who has now defected to the other side. Ep 4 we finally start to see Murakumo's plan and one of Haruma's colleagues gets in trouble when his one past moral lapse in judgment is exposed. Ep 5 is when Murakumo's plans finally come to fruition.

A lot of the stories serve to show the difficult moral high ground that Haruma has to stand in order to do his job. While the audience may find him a bit bland, he has to be this man of principle because if he were not, he would be like his former sempai in ep 3 or his colleague who's past came back to haunt him. We have the side story of Murakumo befriending Haruma and when Haruma despairs, Murakumo is there telling him to direct his anger towards the world just as Murakumo is doing. Its like the devil saying, "the world is not fair, why should you be fair to the world?".

I love all this subtext. The characters are mirrors of each other with the difference being different circumstances influencing their actions. Murakumo is the classic villain trying to prove that the only difference between him and the hero is a bad incident but he does it without having some lame and too obvious monologue.

Then we get to the last episode and strangely, I didn't enjoy it much. Chase had so far been a thriller/cat and mouse series between tax inspector and tax evader. The tension and excitement of Murakumo executing his plan and Haruma hot on his heels. In the end Murakumo succeeds but fucking self destructs because he is too fucked up by his past and does not know how to deal with it. It becomes a Greek tragedy with Japanese cliches such as the protagonist reaching out to help the villain understand blah blah zzzzzzzz.

The twist is awesome and clearly Murakumo is a much more developed character and his self destruction makes sense but there was no excitement. Actually the tragedy is not really the problem. What happened to Murakumo was a tragedy of epic proportions. The main problem is that there is no final chase in the end. It was handed to Haruma on a silver platter. Who wants to see a hero finally triumph over the villain just because the villain is too screwed up by his past and doesn't know how to enjoy his hard work? It has be a challenge of high difficulty otherwise the protagonist is not a hero and the writer might as well have reduced Haruma's role and spent more time on Murakumo.

I want to declare Chase as a must watch show but the final episode is what I will always remember about this show. I think the writer just fell so in love with Murakumo's tragic past that it consumed most of ep 6 and left nothing for the other aspects of the series. Still, the first five episodes are bloody brilliant and I would not hesitate to recommend them. Just temper your expectation towards the end.


Anonymous said...

I was quite confused with episode 6. The focus shifted so much that I felt detached from the series at the end of the finale. And I agree, if Murakumo and his past became the climax, they should've focused on him from the very beginning.

Akiramike said...

Its sad how it feel apart in the end. :(