After Dinner Mysteries SP


Reviewed by: sukting

September 15, 2013

Rating: three

Year produced
2012 to 2013

How long
4.5h

Foreword
After the success of the drama, the television station spins three more SPs. As they are short, I relate all into one. So sorry that some names are in Chinese as I could only find them in Baidu.

Story 1 – the missing artist – 2 hours
Kageyama tries to fend off Ling Kong's attackers at the harbor. A week ago, there is a bicycle theft case that they try to solve – suspects are a basketball player, a runner, a female netpole player and ice hockey woman manager. Kyoichiro thinks the runner can run fast so he is the prime suspect. But can he jump 15 metres? That is impossible. Reiko thinks that the ice hockey manager can only follow the tracks to walk so the case is solved.

Kageyama rebutes her – there are no footprints – does the culprit wear ice hockey shoes to leave? But if so, he could have rode on the bicycle – he leaves it on the track to frame her as she can't wear the shoe due to a leg fracture. Only the netpole player is the culprit – only the female can wear it. Soon, in the sea paradise, Okinawa. Kageyama, leaves for Hong Kong for a week to give Reiko's father a yearly report.

While Kageyama is away, a burnt corpse of a man thought to be Matsushita Keizan, a world renowned artist, is discovered. The dead body has Keizan's ring. Why are there paintings in the coffin? Kyoichiro is thankful that he keeps some of the paintings but regrets that the four paintings, ‘the woman of the past' that comes in 4 are unable to get. Only Keizan can get into his art studio with his handprint. Kyoichiro jokes to the reporters that Keizan is still alive but it is a locked room mystery.

Reiko thinks that it is suicide since the murderer can't get out with his handprint. But Kyoichiro thinks it's possible to open as the murderer can press Keison's hand but the insurance company doubts it. Keiko deduces that it is suicide but Kyoichiro still feels that 1% is possible.

After the usual round of questioning suspects, Reiko returns home to find that Kageyama is back from his long trip. He brings her tea when she is playing on the piano. Kageyama is surprised to know it as Keizan is an artist who never draws women smiling. He is good at depicting the ugly face of men. When Reiko tells Kageyama about the case, Kageyama takes Reiko to the Hosho family's art storage.

Reiko is shocked to see the 4 paintings at her home – they are not in an Arabic king's hands as claimed by Kyoichiro. Reiko's father has used his wealth to purchase the 4 paintings and also all his other paintings from youth. While showing her Matsushita's collection, he informs Reiko that he suspects that it is a locked room mystery situation.

Reiko makes fun of Kageyama for having the same idea as Kyoichiro. Kageyama, indignant to be compared with Kyoichiro, vows that he will solve the mystery. He asks Reiko for more details of the crime. They discuss if it is really a murder or a suicide before confirming that it is indeed a suicide. As they decide to return to dinner, Reiko suddenly remembers another major incident that had occurred.

A magazine writer, Fu Bu Xiang Zi has wanted to interview Keizan but she sees the fire instead. That is 1am as Keizan is very busy. She deduces that he must have killed himself under stress. Keizan has said before that he wants to die with his works. She likes his past works. Kyoichiro wishes to date her out for chats again in the name of the works.

They look for Keizan's model and she denies him having enemies as he is a gentleman even to people younger than him. Keiko asks if Kageyama meets a woman he likes in Hong Kong. He is having afternoon tea then when he sees Keiko. She asks him to help her to hide from gangsters who force her to marry their underground boss. She is Ling Kong and hopes to get to Okinawa. He can't say no to her since she resembles Reiko. Furthermore, she is gentle, unlike Reiko.

They also talk to the art gallery boss. The boss shows a painting of Keizan 25 years ago which he draws himself. No one knows where it is drawn. There is no enemy that they can find so far and Kyoichiro is pleased to date three women. He wants Reiko to tell the press that it is a suicide case. To Kageyama, it is too and they have to accept this.

Another incident has in fact occurred on a trip to Okinawa that Kyoichiro has arranged. They go to the beach. Reiko doesn't dare to dress in her usual clothes to scare them over her real identity. They stay at Kyoichiro's cousin, Jun Yi's hotel and Reiko dreams of attending the fish carnival. Jun Yi wants to be with her to watch the sunset but she declines. No wonder they are cousins as they are woman chasers.

They befriend, Ling Mu Yuan Qi, a street artist. He lives in the beer house nearby to paint for the tourists. They want Reiko to free her soul instead of dressing in working clothes. Kyoichiro invites Yuan Qi to stay near his room. Kageyama gets Ling Kongto wear a red cheongsum and both walk on the street.

They hold hands and look like lovers. Ling Kong has a problem – her passport is with the underground boss so Kageyama has a fight with punchout Joe. Meanwhile, the rest befriends Shou Zhou who keeps many celebrities photos with their signatures but they are all missing. Kyoichiro promises to help him but a real case occurs as the pictures are then found at the beach – a few pictures on Kyoichiro are missing.

The female shop owner, Zhen Ji gets drinks for them and she recalls that he comes here a year ago. She likes his paintings and buys one. She lets him stay when he is injured by gangsters when he refuses to pay them protection money. He promises to draw her as his model. As for Kageyama, he plays bowling in order to help Ling Kong to get a new passport.

Kageyama wins the contest as both play all day. Joe is tired and Keiko says that he cheats by sneezing. At this time, a fierce man walks into the beer hut and steals money from the owner. Yuan Qi answers that he has given him the ring so it should be enough for the man. He is her ex-husband, Tian Zhao.

Kageyama brings Ling Kong to the harbor and fends off the men. He also goes to Okinawa and stays in the same hotel as Ling Kong. He knows that this is her song when he plays on the piano. She is waiting to meet her father. Those are not from the underworld. They are her managers and she is a pianist. He thanks her for making his heart shutter.

She is born after her father – a pianist befriends her mother in Hong Kong. She wants to meet him but he has died. She places her father's photo with her signature to pass to Shou Zhou to hang out at the hotel. Kageyama plays the piece for her and she returns to Hong Kong after giving him a kiss. Reiko doesn't think much of his romance.

Reiko runs into the owner's ex-husband in the hotel when drunk and lies on the bed. Jun Yi wants to be with her but she slams her phone to look for him. She knocks on another room and finds that a pair of legs are under the bed. She also smells fragrance. When she wakes up, she sees Kyoichiro and punches his face. She goes into Jun Yi's room again but he is alive to see a pair of white female shoes. There is no dead body now.

All think that she is dreaming. She asks if Kyoichiro has been to her room but he denies. He asks her to check her phone and there is no call from Jun Yi. They find her pitiful. Kageyama also says that she is dreaming. Kyoichiro has dated the three women and wants to date Reiko but she declines. Kageyama finds out that he misses something. How can the women not get sick of him after a week?

The witnesses have met them today and they have been to Okinawa last week. That will be more of a murder case then. Although Reiko has taken her key, the staff has given her the wrong one as she tells the wrong number, 315 and not 312. 315 is supposed to be Kyoichiro's room. When the call comes in, she goes to the wrong room. The person inside must be scared to hear her voice so he hides the body under the bed. The attacker hits her and she blacks out. The killer puts her back into Kyoichiro's room.

He must be stunned to see 'Xiao Li' – his dream lover when he returns. But she gives him a punch when he tries to kiss her. Thus, he says that it is a dream since he doesn't see her as she walks out of the room. Jun Yi then carries her into the right room and deletes the message on her phone. He has to hide the fact that he wants to date her as there is another woman in his room. Since she doesn't come, he has to invite another woman but he has to delete it or the woman will know that she is a substitute.

One person who is sitting beside Jun Yi is Zhong Shen who says that it is impossible. Jun Yi also denies. Reiko is happy that she is not a reserve. Kageyama guesses that Yuan Qi is the killer – he kills Tian Zhao. Doesn't Reiko smell mango which he has eaten at the beer hut? He goes to Yuan Qi's room and yuan Qi kills him. They decide to question Yuan Qi, who is at the beach.

Kageyama sees his drawing and claims that it worths 3 billion yen. The other drawings show the sun and the moon – the last is the sunset. Even though the drawing is different, the signature is the same. Yuan Qi is Keizan. The burnt body is Tian Zhao. Only he can enter the art studio so he burns the body with the paintings. The rings can't be removed to prove his identity.

He remembers that the ring should be on the left hand and not on the right. Tian Zhao can't take out the ring so Keizan sends through the ship to get to Tokyo. The box containing the fish is missing. Keizan wants to move the ring but can't so has to burn him.

The signature theft incident is linked to this as they do not have Keizan's signature. He must have seen it together with the others. The drawing is drawn 25 years ago in Okinawa. So Shou Zhou must have gotten his signature then. He must have noticed it after drinking to steal all the paintings to throw them out. He takes some away with him. The latest work has a different signature due to changes in time but Kageyama has a picture of his old work of his old signature.

Kageyama likes his drawing in the past. As Yuan Qi, he discovers freedom. He has found that he is stuck to be a normal artist and can't draw what he likes. He comes here to draw what he likes. But he can't sell any of them away even at 100 yen. Only Zhen Ji likes his painting. Keizan has to admit to kill Tian Zhao in order to preserve his love for painting and the woman he loves.

He draws her as the fourth person. Tian Zhao's presence ruins her happiness. He knows that he is interested in Zhen Ji and wants money from him. He has no money for him and he kills Tian Zhao in rage. He wants to be Yuan Qi forever so he fakes his death. Reiko points out that he should not have killed so he will surrender to the police. He wants them to keep from Zhen Ji as that has nothing to do with her.

He gives this painting to them to get them to pass to her. Kyoichiro claims that he knows all along that he is alive. Zhen Ji does not get to watch the news as the two visit her beer hut. She learns that Yun Qi needs to leave for a while and she is disappointed. She has known that he will leave one day and accepts it. She finds the drawing beautiful and hangs it up.

Keiko also wishes to relax but Kageyama reminds her not to slacken but to learn everything step by step. She asks if he is going to woo Ling Kong. She is very outstanding but he is only treating it as part of his memory. She is pleased with his answer as they walk on the beach.

Story 2 – Kyoichiro
Kyoichiro Kazamatsuri (Kippei Shiina) is the main star here. He wins a competition and his prize is a hot spring stay. His old female butler, Guang Chuan (Yu Gui Mei Zi) accompanies him there. They are surprised to see the owner, Er Yu Yun Jiang (Gen An Ji Yi) dead in a closed room. She is killed by a vase but it has no fingerprint. There is only spring water on the floor and there are tears rolling down her face.

Kyoichiro meets his ex-classmate from the police academy, A Bu Feng (Zuo Teng Er Lang). He is in charge of the small police station near the hot spring. Yun Jiang's eldest daughter, He Mei (Xiao Zhe Zhen Zhu) is the manager of the hot spring. The second daughter, Qin Mei (Yan Qi Yu Mei) is the finance manager but has no blood relations with Yun Jiang. In order to help it to survive, she seeks the help of Yi Teng Xia Xi (Shi Tian Ya Xi Zi) who is from the tourism industry.

The hot spring is actually not Yun Jiang's. She is in love with An Cheng family young boss who owns it but is chased after as the old mistress looks down on her. The boss and his wife have a daughter but they die young .The young boss has learned that there is a treasure involving many gold coins underneath and tries digging. He dies due to poisonous sulphur gases emitted underground.

His wife commits suicide. After that, Yun Jiang buys over the hot spring as the business is poor. The old mistress brings the baby girl away with the two golden coins that the government gives them and no one knows where they go.

The other staff include Shou Zhuo Chong (Wan San Zhi Yi) as the chef, Jin Shen (Ban Hai Yi Huang) as the innkeeper, Jian Tian Jun Zi (Yuan Tian Xia Xi) as the helper and also the old An Cheng Chun Zi (Hei Tian Jia Zi) as the old helper who reveals the past to Kyoichiro. Qin Mei is interested in Zhuo Chong all along. There is also another customer Ji Guan (Mu Xia Long Xing) who helps to find out the golden coins whereabouts. He is actually an expert in engraving lions.

Seeing that Kyoichiro likes white radish, Jun Zi prepares for him and also cleans his blood stained shirt with the white radish. All are shocked when the will is read to learn that Zhuo Chong is the successor and is neither of the sisters. Kyoichiro is drunk one night and charges into the kitchen to see that Zhuo Chong is preparing smoked salmon.

The next morning, Zhuo Chong is killed by a knife and there is a gold coin on him. Kyoichiro is puzzled by the salmon soup is prepared instead. He remembers well as he hates salmon soup. He is anxious when the pretty Xia Xi is missing and there is a gold coin on the floor. Xia Xi is found on a hill and released. All are called into the room. Kyoichiro has to use hints given by Guang Chuan to learn that Jun Zi is the killer.

She is actually An Cheng Mei Sui Zi. Her grandmother gives her the two gold coins before her death to tell her to get the hot spring back. She does not know why Yun Jiang dislikes her so much. She makes her do all the chores and also writes the menu weekly. On the fateful day, Yun Jiang tells her that she knows who she is and intends to give the hot spring to her daughter. Without thinking, she uses a vase to hit her head. Zhuo Chong sees this to threaten her to write the will.

After knowing that Zhuo Chong intends to sell the hot spring away, she stabs him to death. After using all the radish to clean away her fingerprints on the knife, she has to pretend that he is cooking salmon soup. After knowing that the sisters do want to sell it away, she has to kidnap Xia Xi.

Guang Chuan shakes her head – she has mistakened Yun Jiang's good intention. She has wanted to give the hot spring to Mei Sui Zi. She is forced to give her daughter away to the old mistress. That is why she trains her so hard after recognizing her. She has even prepared the kimono belt for her. Using her remaining strength, she uses the hot spring water that she is drinking to pour over the vase and closes the door in order to protect her.

Judging from Yun Jiang's looking direction before her death, all find the real will. Mei Sui Zi is in tears after reading the real will. Guang Chuan and Kyoichiro encourage her to restore the glory after her release from jail. Reiko and Kageyama come late after the case is solved but Kageyama is impressed to know that every average witted boss has a witty butler to assist them.

Kyoichiro is shocked to know that Xia Xi is not a tourism staff but is a mayor of the province. The place might be small but she needs to protect it in case the gold coins turn into outsiders' hands. The story of the gold coins is true. They are being locked up in Feng's office. Xia Xi invites Kyoichiro for dinner.

Guang Chuan is lonely at home. Kyoichiro must have forgotten to celebrate her birthday with her as promised thirty years ago. He is often bullied then by wearing white uniform to school while the other boys wear the black uniform. He refuses to give in and keeps dirtying his clothes by them. That is why he grows up wearing white clothes.

That is his formal way to protest so Guang Chuan allows him the way he is to groom him into an adult. She is surprised when Kyoichiro returns home instead of having his dinner with a beauty. She is startled that he still remembers her birthday and their date to burst into tears happily.

Story 3 – Kageyama the detective on board a ship – 30 mins – it is a prologue to the movie version.

Kageyama is on Reiko's personal ship to Singapore. With the help of a penguin mascot, they manage to solve 4 cases for their guests.

Case 1 - Be careful of the thief on board the ship
A hooligan like man (Zhong Chun Shi Tong) demands that a sailor (Jonathan Aaron Sieger) must pay him damages for using his ship card. He has overheard the other sailors calling him a thief. That is actually a nickname given as some time is stolen as this person takes the shift.
Kageyama checks through his bill – many glasses of red wine are opened before midnight. The sailor remains silent and Kageyama sees the man pointing his finger at the sailor. Kageyama gathers that he is recently married but why is he having perfume smell from another woman? Shouldn't he be with his new bride? The man is tongue-tied.

The sailor can't tell him that he is with his wife then – his wife pays the bill with his card in her room. What the two are doing together at this late hour need not be explained. The man is completely defeated.

Case 2 – are you looking for your prince charming?
A cute bespectacled girl (You Chun Jia Chun) is looking for her male penpal on the ship whom she has not met before. She has arranged to meet him on the deck but is surprised to find three handsome guys instead. She is too shy to know who is the one and only takes photos of the 3, wishing Kageyama to look for him on her behalf.

The guy has given her a hint that he is the only one working in this profession and no one else works like him. Kageyama gathers that he must be a hairstylist since he includes a hair in his letter. Since he is busy and hardly has time to go offshore, he must have done his hair on his own by using a mirror. His hair must not be long and neither has he the time to dye his hair too so he rules out the other two.

He chooses one who has a crew cut. The girl blushes when the hairstylist also comes to seek for Kageyama's help to look for his dream girl. Kageyama recommends the girl to him for a hair cut. He promises to make her pretty. Kageyama believes so too.

Case 3 – where is the drawing?
The penguin mascot is busy signing autographs on photos taken with guests for a charity event. An artist (Xiao Dao Sheng) comes with her young daughter (Xiao Lin Xing Lan) to find her missing paint brush. She loses her feel to draw without it. She has been drawing the sea and the sky with it. Kageyama notices that her bathrobe has a blue stain while her bathroom slipper has a red stain.

Kageyama gathers that the paintbrush is still in her room. The artist is mad with him but her daughter offers to look for it again. Kageyama then tells her about the stain – it must be caused by her daughter who wants to draw like her but accidentally stains the strawberry onto her slipper. He shows her plenty of photos of her daughter eating or walking alone when the others are having fun with the mascot.

She must have envied others and thus hides the brush, hoping that she will spend time with her. The artist realises that she has neglected her daughter and promises her to keep her company for a day. She wants to pay Kageyama but he requests them to take a photo together for charity instead.

Case 4 - please use the secret code
A teenager girl, Bai Hua (Xiao Dao Teng Zi) brings her quiet uncle (Ji Tian Gang Tai Lang) to Kageyama. She wants to help him to find his first love whom he befriends on the ship. He is a sailor then. They look at the stars from the deck. Kageyama replies that he refuses to help someone who doesn't speak at all. Both men start to play with darts on the dartboard. This bored Bai Hua and she leaves in anger.

Actually, they are exchanging secret codes with one another. Kageyama knows that his lover is a man. The two look at the stars when they are in the bathroom. The old man simply has no courage to tell Bai Hua that. Will Kageyama mock at him for finding someone – a male at this age? Kageyama replies that love has no boundaries and the old man gives him a photo.

Kageyama approaches the mascot – so he is looking for him. The photo of the man who is younger is taken with a young foreigner which has the same signature as on the charity photos. Kageyama gives him a dart to ask for his decision. The mascot throws the dart to seek Kageyama's help and he agrees.

Conclusion
I find the stories enchanting. They are worth your time following as they have anti-climaxes. However, the second story tends to be weaker in content and it is too easy to guess the killer's identity. Those who like mysteries and thrillers should be able to like them.


Sukting's ratings :
On acting : ***1/2 (Scale of 5)

On story : *** (Scale of 5)


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After Dinner Mysteries SP

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