Koshonin


Reviewed by: sukting

February 17, 2012

Rating: two-point-five

How long
8 episodes

Foreword
The violent crimes are on the rise so there is a team that tries to resolve cases without bloodshed. It is the SIT (Special Investigation Team). The SIT conducts negotiations with criminals. It is made up of a team of men. So when a female negotiator, Usagi Reiko joins them, she courageously fights against crime and also has to change her colleagues' impression on her. Will they accept her in the end?


The cases
1) A man is sour over his divorce and holds his ex-mother-in-law hostage. Reiko tries to talk to the man but is dismayed when Kirisawa gets the police to kill the man instead. It becomes redundant for her as she has hoped to let him live. It is later found that he is only using a toy gun as he has no wish to stay alive. Kirisawa slaps her for talking back at him.

2) A group of employees are taken hostage for money. Reiko goes in and wants to be exchanged for them. The criminal demands her to remove her blouse and she has secretly hidden a gun behind her bra. (All her male colleagues get attracted by her well-toned body and rush to Hasebe's laptop. ) However, she is trapped when his accomplice – a female subdues her by pretending to be one of the hostages. She hints it in her conversation with them and the rest frown.

They force her to drive a car to escape. Reiko is quick this time to grab the man's gun to point at the woman. Although she rescues all, she gets slapped again by Kizaki this time. Doesn't she know that her team worries for her? Moreover, there are no bullets in her gun! Stories of her half-naked spread all over the news and the police think that this tarnishes their image.

3) There are several cases of bombs found in eateries or telephone booths. The head of the bomb disposal unit is mad when he can't remove them within 9 seconds. The 9th place is the police station and Sumida gets freaked out as he holds it. He gets the box of cake from a mamas an. Reiko stays with him to calm him down. The rest are moved outside, some try to seek out the caller but they can't get the location.

Hasebe discovers that the caller is a woman so they track her down. She is a call girl but who is
Is her accomplice? As time goes by, the head and his assistant try to figure out what to do. Reiko
and Kirisawa find something amiss. The assistant diffuses the bomb but the two do not clap with
with the others. They have discovered that he is the culprit.

The woman is his colleague's wife who is killed in a bomb attack as he is unable to diffuse it with
the head. The head has boasted that he can diffuse any bomb within 9 seconds but fails miserably.
The man has thought that he is more capable than his head and he is able to deal with the crisis.
Thus he conspires with her to come up with the incidents.


4) A female high school teacher kidnaps her rich student after quitting her job. They are lovers but she is in debt as her parents owe a lot of money. The student's mother gets frantic and promises to pay the ransom. It sets them on a goose chase when the money is taken but the teenager is never found. Later, they discover that the mother gets worried for a good reason.

Her son is not angelic as he looks. He is a devil in disguise, drawing cult and devil pictures. He is
sore when this woman gives him low grades for art and thus he seeks revenge. They finally gather
where he is through his drawings to arrest him.

In the meantime, Reiko reveals that her father is a former member of the team who dies 5 years ago
on duty. It is associated with case 5. She wants to find the truth on why he is shot from the back
and not by Mariya as she thinks. Needless to say, she gets slapped again by Kirisawa.


5) There are a group of gangsters who kills 2 people after stealing a gun from Reiko's father's colleague. The only girl wants to quit but she is so badly beaten that she becomes comatose. Mariya takes the rap to go to prison on behalf of the rest.

Reiko's father has wanted to report the case to the commissioner. Katayama informs the commissioner after failing to dissuade him before him and is forced to kill Reiko's father during the commotion. The other team members have no idea how this happen so they are silent whenever Reiko asks them questions. Mimura is shocked upon knowing that Amari is told to tail Reiko – what has she done wrong? Amari can't tell her anything while Kirisawa tells Reiko to bear it for now.


6) Thinking that he might be released soon, Mariya writes a letter to the 5 of them. This sets them frightened and one by one is killed, with 3 remaining. The girl's boyfriend is revengeful and wants to kill the rest for wiping off the memory when she is dead.

Mio's boyfriend is the man's friend but he has turned over a new leaf. He gets them as hostage and demands to see Mariya. He appears after injuring Amari, taking his gun. Mariya later wants to get away. Reiko goes after him and they approach very near to the cliff. Anxious over Keiko's safety, Kirisawa and Kizaki also trek on the deep snow to look for her.

Luckily, Reiko talks him out to surrender. Kirisawa tells her that she has worked hard and should wipe off the mucus from her nose. Reiko bursts into tears when the whole team smiles at her. The commissioner is now under investigation after Mikio gets news provided by Katayama to release to the press.

Amari is hospitalized but Mimura takes care of him. It is Kirisawa's birthday but he still needs to set off to work. Others wonder why he still looks so serious on this very day. Only Keiko smiles in the back of his car, detecting warmth in his voice.

Introduction on characters
1. Yonekura Ryoko as Usagi Reiko
A new member of the team. Some try to take liberties with her. She is often bullied or beaten but still turns up for work. When the police commissioner questions her, she lies that they get along well. She turns up for work even though she is on leave upon knowing that there is a new case.

Soon, they admire her perseverance. They never know that she is checking on the 4 – Kirisawa, Kizaki, Hasebe and Sumida. She puts their photos near her wardrobe daily to remind herself. They are in the same team as her father – has one of them killed him? She has found ways to get into this department and will never give up.

To make her body more tone for a strip scene, Ryoko took Israeli defense lessons. But she isn't convincing as the negotiator She can't act well. I still associate her with her old bimbo roles as her eyes keep showing signs of surprise when there is no need to.

2. Jinnai Takanori as Kirisawa Keigo
He is the head of the unit. He is very MCP and looks down on women. He slaps her on the first day of work as she defies his orders. He can be inflexible at times but this is due to the incident 5 years ago so he doesn't wish to lose any man anymore. He is anxious when Usagi is taken hostage to go after the kidnapper and finally acknowledges her credit in front of all for the first time. This actor doesn't look serious enough and the acting is stony.

3. Takahashi Katsumi as Katayama Kazuyoshi
He is the management head of investigation unit. He has forgotten the case 5 years ago till Reiko reminds him. Overridden with guilt, he decides to help her this time.

4. Sasano Takashi as Sumida Kohei
He is the oldest in the team and has the same rank as Kizaki. He often gets female officers to give him massages. He even tries to get fresh with Keiko. After watching this drama, I feel that the policewomen's status is low and pathetic.

5. Suzuki Kosuke as Hasebe Kunio
He records all conversations of the cases. He is a quiet person but is very swift in getting the network. That is why ridden with guilt, he plays the tape to Usagi to shed light on her father's case.

6. Kakei Toshio as Kizaki Seiichiro
He is the assistant head of the team. He is also serious and dedicated to his work. He also dislikes Keiko initially, thinking that a woman will hinder his team. Many tease him for liking Keiko although he tries not to show it – as he is shorter than her.

7. Yasu Megumi as Mimura Rumiko
She is Reiko's friend who later goes steady with Amari.

8. Takaoka Sousuke as Amari Yusuke
He is a newcomer like Keiko. He graduates from Police University and studies in FBI for his masters. Thus, he feels for her whenever she gets bullied.

9. Shirota Yu as Mariya Kyosuke
He is a murderer and gives Keiko pointers to solve cases when she meets him. This is a love-hate relationship as he is also connected to her father's death. He is going to be hung soon. He is an orphan abandoned at birth but longs for friendship. He is disappointed when he writes to his friends but none reply to him. After the hostage incident, Keiko promises to wait for his release.

He appears in many scenes but little for every episode. He is extremely eyecatching as the psychopath. His strange, crazy nature steals the spotlight from the rest and Shirota does well. If Takuya is said to be the most handsome pilot, he must be the most handsome criminal. The last scene is most memorable – the only credit of the drama.

10. Osugi Ren as Takabayashi Shizuo
He is the commissioner who tries to hide the truth to prevent a scandal from getting place. To the extent of having no regrets to kill his own colleague. He also thumbs Reiko down at times. Upon knowing that Reiko is taken hostage, he deliberately gives Mariya a chance to get away, hoping that she will get killed by him. Katayama notices that he is angered when she is still alive and is more than determined to help her out.

11. Ibu Masato as Mikio Kudo
He is a reporter who tries to seek the truth. Reiko tries to get information from him too.

12. Nakayama Megumi as Sugawara Yumi, Komoto Maki as Yamamoto Midori They do not do much except to gossip or give Sumida massages. They even tell Keiko to give in to men as they can never fight them.

13. Takachi Noboru as Hasumi Yoshiki
He is an investigator who shows Amari the ropes although they are in different teams . He doesn't think SIT helps him much till he works with them.

14. Hayashi Tantan as Usagi Mio
She is Keiko's willful sister and she knows her every move when she lies to her. So it doesn't work when she tells her that she is pregnant in order to get more money. She is hotheaded and jealous when her late father will give in to her when playing games but this sister will still stick to her rules.

When she appears at her apartment, she only asks her for this. But their relationship turns for the better when Mio gets a new boyfriend. Keiko then asks the guys to take care of her. That is why Keiko knows that she is taken hostage when Mio calls her out of the blue. She arrives calmly at her apartment but is too late to be taken as a hostage together.

Most favourite character
Kizaki, height isn't a barrier as we can see how he gives orders when Kirisawa isn't around. Normally, he is calm but whenever Keiko is taken hostage, he starts to break in cold sweat in secret although he doesn't show it openly. He can still read her hints to help her out.

Most hated character
Kirisawa, his temperament is unpredictable. He is a potential wife- basher. He is initially so harsh with Keiko, why is he suddenly so nice to her in the ending?

Conclusion
It has been a long time since I catch a Japanese detective drama on television and I really look forward to it.

If you like strong women, you probably like this drama for this one woman show. But I feel that more attention is drawn to Reiko's body instead. She – a negotiator can be taken as a victim for so many times! No wonder her colleagues look down on her. How is she going to rescue others?

Fortunately, it improves a little in the second half. But the negotiations are certainly too short and she reveals her identity too early! It kills all the suspense for me. This makes the stories lame and boring. I still feel that the 80s or 90s detective dramas are better. This drama falls short of my expectations so I don't really like it that much.

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

On story : *** (Scale of 5)


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