Thursday, July 17, 2014


Last season is turning out to be a very good season with two must watch shows (Border & Black President) and a bunch of pretty good shows (Long Goodbye, Mosaic Japan, River's Edge) and now we can add Tokusou to that pretty good list.

Tokusou at the beginning seems like yet another corruption dorama but it turns out to be less about corruption and more about the people with the power to expose corruption and the price and responsibility that goes with it.

Yoshioka Hidetaka aka the kid from Kita no Kuni Kara plays the prosecutor who has been newly assigned to this tokusou/special unit Miura Tomozaku's character to investigate corruption between this construction company and the governor. Our babyface protagonist starts finding that all is not so kosher with the investigation details and some facts are being ignored.

Being a WOWOW shows, there is of course, a journalist character played by Motobu Sei who seems to have some sort of connection with the head of the tokusou and things aren't so black and white.

I won't spoil much but will say that Tokusou is about the price innocent people pay when power is abused by people trying to do the right thing and the relationship between the prosecutors and the media and the dangers of that relationship. There is also a whodunit in the second half that kept me guessing with a nice twist..

The only overacting in the show is by Saiki Shigeru (above), the boss from Kanpai Senshi After 5. His overactive facial expressions are the same whether he's in a sentai parody or a serious WOWOW show. He certainly rivals the bad guy from Hanzawa Naoki in his overacting. Luckily his role is limited and I love After 5 so I didn't mind.

Japanese level-wise, Tokusou was difficult to watch without subtitles but once I got past the first episode, it was relatively straightforward. Words you will need are kensatsuchou (Public Prosecutor's office), oshoku (corruption), zouwai (giving bribes) and shuuwai (accepting bribes).

Two pretty good jdoramas from WOWOW last season. They don't have to hit a home run ala Lady Joker everytime. As long as they consistently make interesting and thoughtful shows like Tokusou and Mosaic Japan, I'm a happy jdorama addict. Very watchable dorama.

No comments: