Kaitou Tantei Yamaneko

Kaitou Tantei Yamaneko (2016)

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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 1,179 users
Reviews: 10 users

Kamenashi plays Yamaneko the eccentric and mysterious 'Phantom Thief' who steals from the corrupted rich and while exposing their misdeeds. Along for the ride is: Hideo Katsumura a magazine reporter who (at Yamaneko's request) is writing a feature on the 'Phantom Thief', and, Mao Takasugi is a bullied schoolgirl who is secretly a genius hacker.

  • Native title:

  • Also Known as:

    Mysterious Thief Detective Yamaneko; Kaito Yamaneko; Yamaneko the Phantom Thief;

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16 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Mar 29, 2016
  • Overall 9.5
  • Story 9.0
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 9.5
  • Rewatch Value 8.0
In my opinion, Kaitou Tantei Yamaneko is a truly excellent drama! I thoroughly enjoyed every episode the characters and acting being a high point. The story didn't go in the direction I was expecting - that's for sure, but nevertheless if you want comedy perfectly matched with drama, action, and suspense with real edged-of-your-seat and knot-in-your-throat moments you'll enjoy this!

The Story:
Firstly I've got to say DON'T READ SPOILERS! Don't scroll read more down to the comments or look for screenshots! You'll thank me later! Some of the best moments come from the crazy twists this drama throws at you. That's partly why the story didn't go in the direction I was expecting.
Episode to episode it's not as over-arching-plot driven as most mysteries. Some may call some KTY episodes 'filler' as it's focus is rarely it's over arching plot. It's focus is instead on it's fantastic characters. You will fall in love with every one of them I guarantee it. No character is cheaply written, every character has real heart behind them and when the mystery does pick up speed in episode 8 you really care about who these people are and what's happening to them.

The Acting:
The acting is phenomenal. Kamenashi really gives it his all and clearly had a blast playing Yamaneko. He goes from goofy comedy, to heat wrenching drama, to back-flippin' action with ease and is supported by a fantastic cast. Narimya perfectly plays the put-upon and abused Katsumura and later in the series really pulls out all the stops. Hirose went way beyond my expectations almost immediately. Sasaki's comic timing is perfect, Otsuka and Nanao also made me love them, and Ikeuchi was perfect. In fact, all these actors and the other supporting/guest actors were so perfectly cast it's astounding!

The Music:
It's certainly not your average jdrama score. The way the orchestral theme music came in every time, either comically or seriously, was perfect and really sets you up for this slightly bizarre drama. The rest of the music throughout the episode is also brilliantly scored, the composer really outdid himself! UNLOCK by KAT-TUN, apart from being one of their best singles (imo), fits nicely into this drama and is never misplaced only ever coming in at the end and never drowns anything out.

Rewatch Value:
While this drama was coming out I was watching every episode two or three times! It's hilarious, cute, and Kame is a lovely bit of eye-candy when he's not acting like a doofus (and sometimes when he is). However as with any mystery once you know then ending and all the twists - watching it from episode one again is a completely different experience. So it's hard to say this is completely rewatchable but I certainly will come back to it in a month or so as it is quite episodic.

Other thoughts:
The ending has been a problem for some people and I can see where they are coming from. When I first watched it I was a bit taken aback. It's not that things are left hanging (though there is room for a sequel). As I said, you really end up loving these characters and to see what happens to them... it's not unsatisfying it's just unexpected. Once I had finally digested the events of the last three episodes I actually think I ended up respecting the show more. As with any show that has twists, things don't always go the way you were expecting.
Speaking of expectations - this drama had far more comedy than I was first l thought it would!

This drama really packs a punch. From episode one to ten I was 100% on board loving every second. As a Kame fan I must admit that I sometimes do the very bad thing of skipping every scene Kame is not in. However, with this series I had literally no desire to do that. Every character is well acted and the story is very compelling. I highly recommend this series to anyone be they a Kame fan or not!
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10 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Apr 4, 2016
  • Overall 9.5
  • Story 9.0
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 9.5
  • Rewatch Value 8.5
Don't watch this dorama or you'll get feels and you'll die.
Wait, let me try this again.

Absolutely watch this dorama if you're looking for a different kind of crime series.

I am no expert on the matter, but I believe crime series are mostly about heists and police running about trying to catch the bad guys. In here, of course, you will find all that - Yamaneko is a ''criminal'' read more after all, - but you will also find a bit of mystery, quite a bit of sass, a lot of friendship, and loads of comedy. What you will also find is a variety of amazingly well constructed characters that will make you fall in love with them as the series progresses.

Speaking of the characters... don't fall in love with the characters or you'll get feels and you'll die. Or, as some people may put it, every character is so real and so genuine you will definitely get attached to them and, when time comes to say goodbye, you'll feel like you've lost a dear friend. That's what the characters do to you, and that's, no doubt, thanks to the great performance given by the stellar cast, especially Kamenashi Kazuya and Narimiya Hiroki.

Kamenashi absolutely slays it as Yamaneko, going from comedy to action to drama in a split second and in the most realistic way. I've seen some of his previous work, and I have to say he manages to surprise me more and more with each role he gets. Narimiya was, to put it in Yamaneko's words ''fantastic!'' He can hold his own against Kamenashi, and really goes all out as Katsumura, especially in later episodes.

As for the rest of the cast, each of them was phenomenal in their role. If I have to be completely honest, I would have liked for Rikako-san and Mao's relationship to be explored more, because they were both strong people who needed each other, and I found that beautiful. Maybe in the (probable?) next season, who knows. The police officers were great as well - and I especially appreciated Sakura's clumsiness and awkwardness when it comes to her senpai. lol

I liked the music a lot! The main theme is great, and I keep whistling and mumbling it to myself from time to time. The ending theme, which I believe is from Kame's boyband, is good, but not that memorable, in my opinion. Maybe it's because we never got to actually hear it, but it was always played in the background, so I never really paid attention to it.

The rewatch value is somewhat high because this series is enjoyable even after the ''mystery'' component is gone. The characters and the comedy stay with you and compel you to watch the episodes again, to laugh with them once more, just for a bit...

Overall, I am very pleased with this roller coaster of a dorama. Nya~!
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Make a Recommendation More recs (3)Recommendations

If you liked the high energy zaniness of Yamaneko's ensemble cast, you might enjoy the cartoon like energy of the sitcom After School. Although the plots are polar opposites, the energy levels are similar. After School follows the antics of a high school club of hot dudes that draws random "missions" from a box. Their club president, a shy girl tricked into the role, helps them complete their tasks. They might have to dress as a dog for a day, get on TV, or sleep with someone.
Recommended by Megan
It has Kamenashi Kazuya. Its hilarious and comical. Its kamenashi's latest drama and he has given another memorable performance.
Recommended by Swara Bose

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Comments (201)

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  • Reply
    kirasora 14 days ago

    i want a season 2 please (tears)

  • Reply
    Josh Aug 19, 2017

    I would argue that Horikita Maki guest starred as Kinomiya Nagisa not Nobuko Kotani.

  • Reply
    Amy T Jul 8, 2017 - edited

    Sad ending?

  • Reply
    Naam May 15, 2017 - edited

    If they ever make a 2nd season of this, if Hiroki ain't in it, I refuse to watch it!

    Loved his character from the beginning to the end.
    For once, I didn't foresee how things would turn out to be. Rather refreshing that,
    and no one plays a character of that kind as well as Hiroki.

  • Reply
    joannesmith Apr 23, 2017 - edited

    Is there any romance in this?

    • Reply
      Naam May 15, 2017 - edited

      Depends on one's definition of romance (crushes) I guess, but I would say no.

    • Reply
      joannesmith May 16, 2017

      thank u!

  • Reply
    Meeno Apr 16, 2017 - edited

    sad that Narimiya Hiroki retired, if they ever made a season 2 his character was half the story

  • Reply
    Meeno Apr 16, 2017

    sad that Narimiya Hiroki retired, if they ever made a season 2 his character was half the story

  • Reply
    PJATOHOO Apr 12, 2017

    I watched this with a mood for comedy and detective and mystery and got so much more than that. This was literally like more than a twist; It was more of a twirl I swear. There has to be some kind of second season where like the person who plays Yamaneko's part is like a politician or something. I went in expecting typical mystery and got an ACTUAL mystery. This isn't your typical detective/investigation drama.

  • Reply
    ToHro Apr 4, 2017


  • Reply
    Liang-Ying Mar 2, 2017
    Reveal Spoiler »
  • Reply
    Saitamadiaries Mar 1, 2017

    Went in without much expectation, but WOW.

    Possibly amongst the best dramas of 2016, right alongside Ouroboros.

  • Reply
    zinnia Feb 11, 2017

    Absolutely love this drama!!!

  • Reply
    Patricia Jan 21, 2017

    My favorite ♥
    This one NEEDS a second season!

  • Reply
    Anis Syafira Dec 10, 2016

    I love this drama so muchhhhh !! I want moreeee !!! where is my season 2 ?!

  • Reply
    ElenaMontero Dec 5, 2016

    i'm still waiting for the announcement of a special episode but it seems like we're out of luck........


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  • Episodes:

  • Aired:

    Jan 16, 2016 to Mar 19, 2016
  • Aired On:

  • Network:

  • Duration:

    54 min.


  • Score:

    8.3 (scored by 1,179 users)
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