Five years after leaving Josai bureau, Kuryu Kohei, who has been working in Sapporo, Hokkaido, is transferred to Nijigaura, Yamaguchi (a fictitious town, its real name is Nijigahama), a quiet place on the seaside where he arrives precisely when the first murder in eleven years has been committed. Soon, Takita Akihiko, the most beloved and influent person of the town, is suspected and Kuryu has to deal with this problem, as the other members are too frightened to take any action. An SP in which the atmosphere of the renzoku series is kept, even though the cast has been almost entirely replaced. The fact that the story is located in the countryside gives the little bit of originality this episode needed. And it is with great pleasure that we meet again several characters of the renzoku series who make an apparition as guests. (Source: Le Piaf, adapted from dorama-world.com) Edit Translation
Cast & Credits
It is the cast that brings the show down to a disappointing level. It is not so much because they cannot act; on the contrary, I think Tsutsumi Shinichi is an excellent actor. However, when a special airs of a show that previously ran, one would expect the entire cast to return in full force. This was not the case, and for the most part I believe it was a rather large letdown for many viewers, including myself. This became apparent to me when the last several minutes of the show was the most satisfying; no thanks, however, to the central storyline.
To be fair, the subtitles that I was reading were not very good. I really don't wish to say this because I am very appreciative of the ample time and hard work that goes into translation and subbing. Still, there were parts that left me dumbfounded, and because I couldn't pick up smaller bits of information, the epiphanies in the show were lost on me until later when it was spelled out for me. With this in mind, it would be unfair for me to judge the writing. Regardless of the intricacies of the plot, the overall plot was completely transparent and after watching the first several minutes I was able to outline what was going to happen through the whole story with abnormally high accuracy. This is not a good thing when I can't understand people's lines half the time.
The acting wasn't all too good either. Tsutsumi-san was great to watch, becoming a completely different duo with Kimura-san than that in Good Luck!!. To be able to portray characters that are so different is a sign of incredible ability. Kimura-san was decent. I think he tried hard and did the best he could, but the writing for his character didn't seem to match quite right with the writing for the original series. I recall him being quirky but somewhat cool and quiet, doing things without explaining them to others. In this special he talked far too much. Notably, Nakai Kiichi landed a great performance as the prime suspect.
Since the original cast was absent for the most part and the location was entirely different, the music was a welcome hit of nostalgia as it remained largely in tact. I enjoyed the music just as much as I did when I watched the original, and the themes carries the excitement of the hunt for the truth as well as appropriate themes for the emotional parts.
Hero was hard to watch as I struggled with the subtitles, but regardless the story was simple and predictable. While the end was very rewarding, it was not so because of the main story which means I felt like I had to trod through two hours of tediousness for four minutes of fun. A decent special, but disappointing for its primary audience -- the watchers of the original series.
(Originally posted January 22nd, 2007.)