Set in Tokyo, Japan during the 1950's.
Tamotsu is suspected of murdering his actress wife Shizuka Harada. He flees to Taiwan and commits suicide. Tamotsu’s friend Banji Masuzawa works as a private detective. Banji has doubts about Tamotsu’s death, but the case is covered up by powerful media mogul Heizo Harada.
Banji is then involved in another case involving the neighbors of the Harada family. He encounters drunk novelist Joji Kamiido, a publish company editor and finally a beautiful woman Aiko who holds the key to case. As it looks likes Banji has solved the case, something unexpected occurs.
Based on The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler. Add Synopsis In Portuguese
Cast & Credits
The Long Goodbye is another adaptation of the very popular Raymond Chandler’s novel. While watching this drama you would get the exact feeling of watching an old Hollywood noir film with all of those pitch-black moments and intriguing tension. However, that doesn’t deny the persistent existence of Japanese fingerprints such as post-war atmosphere and some elements that represent Japan alone.
This somewhat mini-drama depicts a long mystery, it’s not the type of murder that will keep you on your toes to know the truth but it’s certainly the type that creeps into you to give you a nice blow at the end. The suspense part wasn’t fully used but the mystery build-up and revelation were absolutely captivating. For some reason, this drama wasn’t slowly-sailing at all, you’d expect such a drama to become heavily gloomy at some point but it didn’t. Of course it wasn’t humorous either but the use of the dark aura came with moderation; the poisonous relationships, the filthy lies and the intolerable truth didn’t come in one blow. It was slowly building up until it was mature enough to be revealed.
The name of Asano Tadanobu as the main lead of this drama was enough to make me blindly watch this; it’s not only because he’s one of the greatest Japanese actors alive or because he’s one of my all-times favorite actors; it’s also because the man can choose his roles so well. He’s also films’ star so getting the chance to see him in a drama is one of the better news I read this year. Leaving that aside, his portrayal of Banji Masuzawa was consuming, although his character was silent and he couldn’t do much about it but he was able to make it perfectly charismatic and when he snaps; all you have to do is sit back and see how high-profile acting is supposed to be like.
Other actors for this drama were also amazing. First there’s Ayano Go; someone who slowly building his acting to reach greater levels; he was able to make his character quite appealing even with the little running time. Second, there’s the definition of Japanese beauty Koyuki; she was impressive in Aiko’s role, I had a difficult time comparing this to her previous “innocent” housewife roles. Finally, there’s Furuta Arata; man is a very-underrated Japanese veteran actor, he rarely got roles to shine in them but in The Long Goodbye, he was finally given justice.
The cinematography for this drama was quite catching; Japan in the 1950’s was brought to current days with glamour. As for the music, it was too perfectly-chosen to fit the drama’s developments and tension built up. Other than that, the narration must be the strongest point amongst side effects. Takito’s way of narrating was too intriguing to describe, not only his wonderful tone or use of words; but there’s also this artistic and vibrating meanings behind it.
-You’re looking for a different type of Japanese dramas.
-You like Raymond Chandler’s novel because this is a fine adaptation.
-You’re into dark, slowly-building types of mysteries.
-You like Asano (Duh!)
Do not watch if:
-You’re looking for your standard Japanese detective drama.
-You can’t handle slow-sailing mysteries.
-You dislike noir dramas.
The Long Goodbye is an unusual Japanese detective drama that falls between noir and mystery. It may not be to everyone’s liking but it’s absolutely a drama that was able to distinguish itself from the crowd.
The Long Goodbye covers just one case in full, taking place in the early 1950’s. We swap the original location of Los Angeles in the United States for Japan in the same era. This injection of the downtrodden post-war atmosphere throws its shades on the theme and plot. What results is a wholly unique spin on a drama otherwise reminiscent of classic detective noirs popular so long ago in Hollywood. “Shiritsu tantai (private detective)” Masuzawa Banji replaces iconic Phillip Marlowe in this short and sweet adaptation; just like Marlowe did, Masuzawa encounters an unforgettable friend he feels he must protect—then eventually vindicate in the eyes of the public. Our mystery is one fraught with murder, twisted love, and poisonous wealth, filled to the brim with refreshing twists and turns, strewn with clues for the viewer to notice. Nothing is what it seems, and most things are more complicated than first glance.
Something else of note is the excellent narrator, doubtlessly kept over from the source material: he has a wonderfully cheeky style, and often brings much-needed humor to The Long Goodbye when heard.
Asano Tadanobu is a consummate actor, best known for his excellent work in film. Being able to see him on screen for any extended amount of time has been a rare pleasure. As Masuzawa, Asano-san brings an excellent physical performance to the table, using body language to tell what the character cannot. He is a silent type as these detectives tend to be, yet also displays a wonderfully amusing attitude from time to type. Whenever Masuzawa would become fed up with a situation, that scene was golden. Other honorable mentions go to Kato Koyuki, our resident sultry enigma played with style and pathos, and Ayano Go as friend-in-need Tamotsu. His tears won’t soon be forgotten; what a wonderful display of vulnerability in such a relatively short appearance.
Musically, The Long Goodbye offers nothing I would listen to again. But for its purpose, building the atmosphere and tone of the drama, it’s perfect. Like the narrative style and cinematography, a classic approach is taken with the soundtrack. Everything gushes with dark, jazzy color—just like an old-timey film. Of everything one can hear in this drama, the theme song will be most memorable. As I type this out, I can still hear it playing in the back of my mind.