Picks up following the 2015 drama special of the same name. This drama follows the relationship between Tabito Higurashi and Yoko Yamakawa. Various mysteries like the tragedy that struck Tabito Higurashi 20 years ago are revealed.
*Based on the novel "Tantei Higurashi Tabito no Sagashimono" by Kozaburo Yamaguchi.
Cast & Credits
I think what I loved most, besides the compelling plot that threaded through and built up with each episode, was the characters and their relationships. Each was so lovable and unique, even if some were technically stock characters. The casting was perfect in my opinion, and some of the best performances from many of the actors I've yet seen. And Sumida Moeno who played the amazing little Tei-chan was truly incredible in her first main role. The main characters, guest roles, and even the villains and purely comedic characters were multifaceted and had depth, and many of them had really emotionally satisfying character arcs. The relationships were fascinating, enjoyable, and dynamic, and I love how perfectly they fit into certain expected relationships while being totally unexpected at the same time. I also loved some of the societal issues they spoke to in subtle ways, both directly and indirectly; both through satire and serious, idiosyncratic character creation that I felt was a perfect connection between the original novel's author, the screenwriter, and the actors.
Also, the comedy was pitch perfect...in my eyes, at least! The combination of satire, gags, utter wittiness, physical comedy, riffing between actors, timing, and *even* post-production perfection had me rolling. I don't know if everyone would love it, as I grew up with Japanese humor and have realized more recently by way of international comments that sometimes I probably don't have the best awareness if everything is translating cross-culturally, or multi-lingually as well as I assume at first. Then I realize what I am taking for granted as normal or what is untranslatable or whatever, and realize what I think is hilarious may not be to more people than I think. But I *think* a lot of the basic humor would translate...and I even think a bunch of very subtle touches can be appreciated by international audiences, although there probably are many subtleties that might not, that I felt really added to the multilayered brilliance. Again, I may not be the best judge of this. I should probably mention that if you don't enjoy the quick juxtaposition of humor and very serious or even moments of dark drama (as I've noticed quite a few people saying they really don't like that aspect of many J-dramas), you might find parts of this a bit jarring.
As a J-drama genre, this is definitely a comedy and not a dark crime, detective, or police drama (I'm speaking of specific genres, as this includes all of those elements). So if you're a fan of those, don't expect those tonally, if that makes any sense. But I think anyone who enjoys those elements will appreciate the story. As for the mystery, while each of the early episodes has an episodic element, it also has the overall mystery of Tabito's backstory woven through in such a compelling way that not only isn't very predictable, but has a perfectly balanced sinister edge to it than never quite goes into truly disturbing territory and yet creates a unique kind of suspense.
As for his strange condition/ability, I don't want to throw in any potential spoilers, but I'll just say that it's best to suspend disbelief. Each episodic 'case' is satisfying and none are throw-aways. There is that awesome emotive quality to many of them that J-dramas in this genre do so well...touching without being maudlin. Main characters are developed through their interaction with the cases and their personal conflict also builds too. Lastly, for those who care, the romance element is really well done. It's paced just right and feels genuine. For those who are more of K-drama watchers, this is not like your typical K-drama crime comedy-romance (which I also enjoy), so don't expect that.
The music was perfect, imo, with the exception of the very short opening song. The composer got every mood just right, from the lovely string and piano themes to the jarring, discordant guitar when we get hints of the darkness roiling beneath the surface of the storyline. The songs are also great and not melodramatic. Rewatch value...I would definitely watch this again, it was so enjoyable, and I'm not a big rewatcher! But the mystery element is strong enough that a second watch would definitely not have anywhere near the same effect. Anyway, hope more people will take a chance on this drama! If you don't enjoy it as much as me, I imagine you'll find at least something enjoyable in it.
I'm not one for music in dramas, however, this shows music fit into the show with each moment perfectly to set just the right mood for the scenes. The casting was well done, it was nice to see a few regular actors/actresses out of roles I'm used to seeing them in.
The story of this drama is a bit complicated in some, small parts of the show but if you pay attention it shouldn't be that hard to understand. Though that just may be me, personally.
I recommend you start with the special from 2015 first, but this is a very good drama to marathon!