Strawberry Night

Strawberry Night (2012)

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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 530 users
Reviews: 2 users

Assistant Inspector Himekawa Reiko (Takeuchi Yuko) rose from the non-career track to become the only female section chief in the Tenth Homicide Section of the Metropolitan Police’s First Investigative Division. Director Hashizume (Watanabe Ikkei) has been keeping tabs on her because of her daring investigation methods. Team Himekawa is made up of dutiful subordinates Kikuta Kazuo (Nishijima Hidetoshi) and Ishikura Tatsumo (Ukaji Takashi), the diligent but withdrawn Hayama Noriyuki (Koide Keisuke) and read morenewcomer Yuda Kohei (Maruyama Ryuhei). They proceed with investigations while fighting against Teams Kusaka (Endo Kenichi) and Katsumata (Takeda Tetsuya). Although Reiko has personal problems and past trauma, she does not bring this to the workplace. She tackles cases head-on and closes in on the truth with her sharp instincts.

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22 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Apr 11, 2012
  • Overall 9.0
  • Story 10
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 9.0
  • Rewatch Value 9.0
Before writing a review for this drama, I needed time to cool down a little. Not only I am a fan of dark detective stories, I also love Takeuchi Yuko to pieces. Both premises may have biased my judgment of the show itself.

This drama starts in the very middle of things. Unless you have watched the 2010 special - which I haven't yet - you won't see any introductions, neither of read more the characters, nor of the setting. You are thrust into the first crime and given brief flashes of the characters' past, pieces of a puzzle you'll only complete by the end, and not in full. It's realistic, harsh and frustrating, but it worms its way into the viewer's interest in a very subtle, gradual way, until you come to the end and wish there were another entire season to watch at once.
The cases brought me more than once to the brink of tears. They are desperate and intense, involving such human characters I couldn't remain detached even if I wanted to.

The cast is downright brilliant. My favourite Takeuchi did not disappoint me. Her character's very complex, with a perpetually seething anger as palpable and incomprehensible at the beginning as it is understandable once her past is slowly revealed. I have a weakness for characters who are incapable of expressing their feelings, because when they finally let the slightest glimpse of vulnerability surface it's so much more intense and heart wrenching.
Which inevitably leads me to her loyal subordinate Kikuta, portrayed by an impeccable Nishijima Hidetoshi. He reads her without fail, and I love that his evident attraction to her originates from his admiration for her skills rather than a simple man/woman dynamic.
Some of the characters are downright irritating. The police director - whose role is quite a mystery to me - is so obtuse the sole purpose of his existence seems to be to provoke his detectives' reaction. While it works on a dramatic level, I hope such individuals do not exist in real police departments, or I'd give up on the Japanese justice entirely, mostly if he's paired with the older corrupt detective whom I wanted to punch in the face.
Good or bad, none of these characters left me unmoved, proof of their outstanding job here.

I loved the music: well chosen, well used, well balanced.

Re-watch value is very high, because at first viewing I found some details hard to follow, mainly because of the fast delivered lines and the unusual way the crimes unfold. Most of all, though, I am experiencing withdrawal symptoms regarding the characters and am looking forward to a continuation. I'd vote for a second season in no time.
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19 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Mar 25, 2012
  • Overall 10
  • Story 10
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 10
  • Rewatch Value 10
Well now that Strawberry Night has finished it's run, I can give my full review of the series, and boy let me tell you it was a good run!

As I stated in my comment below, outstanding job by Takeuchi Yuko playing "Himekawa Reiko", but the team as a whole I liked as well. I loved the slight character development we see with the supporting roles, especially "Kukita","Nori" and the last episode's read more bad guy, showing that writing and directing put in a great deal of thought when fleshing out their cops, as well as the criminals to the ongoing cases.

Directing was very well done, unlike past Japan cop dramas which could get really wonky some times. Think Boss (more wacky than needed but still an entertaining show) and Jiu (the lack of common sense in that drama, coupled with bad music choices).

We actually had a very good balance of comedy and drama and didn't lose sight that this is a 'cop drama'. More often than not, some of them tend to loose sight of the occupational part of the drama and start focusing on character relationships, and not in a good way.

With Strawberry Night we get a good look at the psychological and moral sides of the cops in which the main character and the supporting characters alike are included. More than 'who dun it' dramas we are given 'why' and the varied procedures that lead to that why which makes this an interesting pick to watch.

So to conclude, it may not be 'on the edge of your seat' action, but it most definitely won't keep you bored.
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Make a Recommendation Recommendations

Although the dramas are quite different in the sense that BOSS is a lot more comedic, there are still quite a few similarities with the 2 dramas.
Both have strong female detective leads who are both in change of investigation units.
Both have very well thought out crime cases.
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Comments (9)

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  • Reply
    Antonin 20 days ago

    I just love her name "Himekawa"

  • Reply
    Albairis Sep 13, 2016

    I really liked this drama, defenetly needs another season!! great cast!!!

  • Reply
    anniiing Apr 10, 2016

    I love the last crime even though it's a bit hard to understand since I'm not good with people's name. Hahahaha

  • Reply
    VladimirS Nov 6, 2015 - edited

    Just one thing about description, if i am not wrong the newcomer is hayama, not yuda fell free to tell me if i am wrong :D

    • Reply
      Juls Dec 4, 2015

      They are both newcomers, that's why neither of them know the meaning behind the tamagoyaki dish.

  • Reply
    Netta Aug 7, 2015 - edited

    Yuko Takeuchi was brilliant as the hard boiled detective. The cases, the music and the rest of the cast were also excellent. I tend to avoid crime dramas due to lack of interest in the genre, however I'm so glad I took a chance on this dark, gritty drama.

    If you're going to watch this series, start with the special that precedes it before starting this series.

  • Reply
    bossmama Aug 2, 2015 - edited

    Kinda meh, the last three episodes arc was epic though. Just skip the rest and watch that one, it's not like there's any notable character development or important plot point through out the show

  • Reply
    aros Jul 30, 2015 - edited

    As great as it is to finally see more female leads in traditionally male-dominated fields, I was disappointed that they didn't do more to *dismiss* the constant sexism she faces. I mean, if anything, they seem to ENCOURAGE it. Even to the point of saying "oh, it's okay, she's ~different~ from other women. Just give her a chance and you'll see she's not even stupid and weak like women usually are."

    They're lucky the series is as good as it is, 'cause the constant, blatant misogyny is just terrible. I mean, I know Japan still likes to pretend we live in the 1950's, but man. I've seen TV shows set in the frickin' 17th century that are less sexist than this.

  • Reply
    scarleT Jan 7, 2015 - edited

    This series is incredible! Way to go Himekawa Reiko for being such an awesome team leader. Finally a woman in charge in a detective series. A really great find. I wished it was longer, but since it's a Japanese drama I know that's standard. I would love to see more of this series characters and cases though. It's been a while but maybe a season 2? ^^

  • Reply
    kittyflumpin Apr 5, 2014

    So... if I ship Kikuta and Himekawa (like, HARD) will the movie destroy me emotionally? (I'm trying to decide whether I should watch it, or just retain the drama's ending as the definitive end of the story for me).

  • Reply
    DNa Nov 5, 2013

    can someone recommend me other drama with similiar type?? crime, procedural investigation with dark atmosphere

  • Reply
    lontongstroong Oct 31, 2013

    One of the more realistic crime dramas out there. The investigation procedures are well-replicated, unlike shabby Jdramas at the same trait

  • Reply
    bluemoon_onna Sep 17, 2013

    One of the best investigative drama I've watched.

  • Reply
    bilge Sep 9, 2013

    It was a great watch and boy Nishijima's acting was the highlight for me. I don't know how I never got to know him before but I'm gonna watch him in a different role right away.

  • Reply
    Nabuh Aug 9, 2013

    Disturbing and great! :)

  • Reply
    green_tokki Jun 11, 2013

    she has to endure chauvinist pigs in her police department. gosh. i hate prejudice on women. at this time of 20th century Japan is still living in the ancient times. grrrr... when will they value the strength of women in their culture???


  • Country:

  • Type:

  • Episodes:

  • Aired:

    Jan 10, 2012 to Mar 31, 2012
  • Aired On:

  • Network:

    Fuji TV
  • Duration:

    45 min.


  • Score:

    8.2 (scored by 530 users)
  • Ranked:

  • Popularity:


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