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Re: J-Drama: 相棒 14 (Partners 14)


I must admit that it takes me a while to adjust to cast changes, and I think I probably had similarly negative impressions of Kanbe and Kaito when they first came on board, too. I suspect I will warm up to Kaburagi eventually, too, but it might take me some time. Even if he and Ukyo do get into some disagreements, I don't think I would mind. It would be interesting to see Ukyo and his partner work together while having a healthy rivalry here and there.

It never occurred to me that Kaburagi keeping Ukyo at an arm's length was to protect himself. That's a very good point. Kaburagi really doesn't know Ukyo, and the latter admitted himself that he tends to get people in trouble and drag them down with him - after all, look what happened to Kaito. So, it wouldn't make sense if Kabuagi lets his guard down with Ukyo and trusts him right off the bat.

Maybe Kaburagi is hoping that he and Ukyo resolving this case successfully will result in Ukyo being reinstated into the force. I hope he will use his connections with Mr. Vice Minister to accomplish that.

One thing I do like about Kaburagi is that there is no learning curve with him. He already has an innate sense of how to investigate, and I think Ukyo finds that refreshing, too. With Kaito, it took him a while to follow and get adjusted to Ukyo's 'style' and would sometimes even get in the way. As for Kaburagi, he is on the same page as Ukyo in terms of methodology.

Let's hope Kaburagi will be trustworthy and won't stab Ukyo in the back!

The Itami "demon" scene was cute, yes. It reminded me of Doctor X and how Michiko is always referred to as "Demon." LOL!
4/16/2016, 8:32 am Link to this post Send Email to Hiroshi66   Send PM to Hiroshi66 AIM
 
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Re: J-Drama: 相棒 14 (Partners 14)


<EPISODE 1> (Part 3)

A good conclusion to the first episode, although I found myself a little bit in the dark with some parts of it. The most important part is that Ukyo has been allowed back into the force - his suspension has been lifted. Kaburagi is with the force but his position is not really determined yet. Until it is, he is kind of floating around neither here nor there, and what better place for him than in Ukyo's office. I had to laugh how Ukyo put himself back in the "top dog" position as soon as he got his badge back, though. Did you see how he reconquered his old desk area and had no problem telling Kaburagi to suck it up and deal with getting the (smaller) desk area? I had to laugh. Our old Ukyo is back!

Kai-Dad is the one to thank for Ukyo's suspension being lifted. Kai-Dad doesn't have a lot of people he can trust, thanks to his position. Besides for Kaito, he didn't really have other family, either. I suspect Ukyo is the only friend (or friend figure) in his life, and so he will do whatever he can to keep him around. I wonder if the writers are going to completely ignore Kaito and not refer to him in the script again? They've done this with other ex-partners, and so I wonder if Kaito will be added to the list of Ukyo's former partners, never to be heard from again. Then again, we have Kai-Dad around still, so there might be hope of seeing Kaito again - though he is presumably still in prison at the moment.

The ending was a bit confusing. A couple of questions -

1) Did we find out why Umezu, the cult leader, viewed the prison chaplain as a sort of mentor? My understanding was that the man was essentially responsible for teaching Umezu how to read and write, and so Umezu viewed him as an inspiration and great man of sorts. But, was there any other reason why Umezu held him in such regard - even after he became a role model to the other prisoners because of his work on prison reform and improving treatment of prisoners in the jail? Was it enough for him to kill himself?

2) My main question is why in the world did the prison chaplain want Umezu eliminated? Why did he make those comments to him about how Umezu was a failure and how he feels regret at having "created" him, since Umezu viewed him as a "creator." Was it because the man was a prisoner? Was it because he was responsible for inciting violence in the prison? What in the world caused for the chaplain to make that kind of comment to Umezu - knowing how it would essentially crush him?

The only explanation I can come up with is that the chaplain was on a power trip. He might have never experienced being treated as a divine figure by this man, and he knew that Umezu would do whatever the chaplain said. He might have enjoyed this newfound power and wanted to see how far he could make Umezu go. He was right, since Umezu refusing treatment during his final heart attack was a direct result of the chaplain's instructions not to seek help should he be in a near-death state again. But, maybe I'm wrong about the power-trip theory. Did I miss something?

I suspect the chaplain will either be sacked from his position or face charges for inciting suicide, although Ukyo did mention that if Umezu really wanted to die at that moment, the chaplain couldn't easily be blamed for it.

My favorite scene was during the suppression of the prison riot, when Itami mouthed off to Ukyo and Kaburagi about how he and Serizawa had to do the dirty work, and Ukyo and Kaburagi are just sitting back and watching for their own enjoyment. Itami was hilarious - making those comments right in the heat of it all! LOL!

I saw shades of the old Ukyo in Part 3. I wonder if we are going to go back to his serious personality from the early seasons.

Episode 2 airs next week!
4/22/2016, 1:35 pm Link to this post Send Email to Hiroshi66   Send PM to Hiroshi66 AIM
 
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Re: J-Drama: 相棒 14 (Partners 14)


<EPISODE 2>

I must say that I enjoyed this episode much more than the premiere. The case itself was pretty standard for a Partners episode - a bribery cover-up by higher-ups, followed by a surprise revelation at the end that the person everybody thought was the innocent victim trying to expose corruption and bring justice was actually blackmailing everyone for his own benefit. What really stood out to me in this episode was the blossoming of Ukyo and Kaburagi's relationship. I have turned my opinion about Kaburagi around and have reason to believe that he might be Ukyo's closest partner since Kameyama.

Speaking of which, Kaburagi gave off shades of Kame in this episode. His mannerisms, the way he acts around Ukyo, and even his height and appearance really reminded me of Kame. The only thing missing was the camouflage jacket Kame always liked to wear. LOL! What I have realized about Kaburagi, and one of the reasons why I believe he and Ukyo will be close partners, is that he doesn't really hide anything from him. If Kaburagi knows something about Ukyo (the fact that he was involved in Kaito's arrest, or the fact that he is secretly tracing him) he makes no qualms about it and lets it be known to Ukyo that he is on to him. This might work for Ukyo (despite his minor annoyance) because Ukyo really operates the same way. Justice is justice - business as usual. Kaburagi seems to feel the same way.

Another thing I realized in this episode was at the very end, when Kaburagi declined Kai-Dad's tea because it would mean an increased "caffeine intake" for the day - Kaburagi has it all measured out and gets all his caffeine from his own brewed coffee. Ukyo used the same excuse earlier in the episode. When Kai-Dad pointed it out to Kaburagi, he seemed a bit amused and almost proud that he and Ukyo shared the same excuse - as if he was proud to act like his older sibling, in a sense. I don't get the feeling that Kaburagi wants to distance himself or his investigation techniques from those of Ukyo. It feels like he looks up to Ukyo in his own way, and though they may disagree, Kaburagi doesn't mind being associated with Ukyo. If anything, it is Ukyo who is keeping a bit of distance from his "roommate."

Perhaps the best similarity between these two is the way they pour their coffee or tea. LOL! I noticed Kaburagi had a similar pouring method (from high up into the cup) when he was preparing his coffee at the beginning of the episode.

The writers haven't buried Kaito into the "unmentionable former partners" category. His name came up twice - once when one of the higher-ups mentioned Kaito's arrest to his father, and another time when Kaburagi brought it up to Ukyo in a rather passive-aggressive fashion. Perhaps Kaito's story has not been resolved yet and will play a part either this season or in future seasons. Maybe even a cameo!

Great Itami moments this episode. It is always enjoyable to see him cooperating and working closely with Ukyo. I loved how the police were begging Ukyo and Itami to take their side against the "outsiders" - they were firmly and embarrassingly turned down by Ukyo and Itami. That's what I love about Itami and Serizawa - they poke fun of Ukyo here and there, but when push comes to shove, they are fiercely loyal and will back him up no matter what. Itami has a strong sense of justice and doesn't seem to care for political scheming and the like.

I was surprised to see Mr. Pill Eater show up, too. He's played a major role this season so far - he doesn't act much like a higher-up anymore. Speaking of which, we haven't seen him do his characteristic pill/candy eating shtick anymore - not since the early seasons. Quite a different persona.

Great second episode. I enjoyed it much more than last week's three-part premiere, and have a good feeling about this season.

Episode 3 airs next week!

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Re: J-Drama: 相棒 14 (Partners 14)


<EPISODE 3>

Another excellent episode which is developing the relationship between Ukyo and Kaburagi. One thing I didn't particularly like about the Kaito seasons was that the transition into Kaito becoming Ukyo's partner happened a little too quickly. It was as if Ukyo automatically chose Kaito as his partner (without an "initiation") and he was accepted by everyone else rather quickly, as well. I think Ukyo is going to make Kaburagi work a bit before he officially becomes Ukyo's partner - for now, he is just the "roommate."

Kaburagi is a hoot. I love how he gets away with little things that Ukyo might be thinking but would never say, because, well, he's Ukyo! For example, when Serizawa was giving him a hard time about how Kaburagi will never advance to higher positions if he sticks around with Ukyo, Kaburagi mutters in a funny voice, I'm already in a higher position than you. LOL! Serizawa ran away faster than he came - with Itami in tow!

I also like that Kaburagi is like a loyal puppy when it comes to following Ukyo around. In that respect, he reminds me a lot of Kameyama. He seems to genuinely want to spend time with Ukyo, and, while he likes ruffling Ukyo's feathers, he seems like a loyal partner already. It will take some time for Ukyo to get used to him, but it makes the progression of events more natural that way.

What intrigues me about Kaburagi is that he is the only one of Ukyo's partners who seems to want to actually learn from Ukyo - even if that means adopting his mannerisms! When Ukyo and Kaburagi were sitting down with someone (it might have been "Sapphire", the man who owned the mansion where the body was found) and had gotten up to leave, Kaburagi borrowed Ukyo's signature move of raising his finger and exclaiming, Ahh! - before asking the suspect a controversial, important question in Ukyo fashion. Ukyo seemed surprised that Kaburagi had picked up on Ukyo's moves in just a couple of cases.

Did you notice Kaburagi making the sign of the cross when the police discovered the dead body? The others (including Ukyo) put their hands together and bowed to honor the dead, which is a Buddhist mannerism - but since Kaburagi made the sign of the cross, he might be a Christian?

Looks like Ukyo has some competition with Ms. Hana no Sato! Kaburagi seems to have a major crush on her. When Ukyo scoffed at the idea Ms. Hana no Sato presented about Kaburagi being his new partner, I laughed when Kaburagi told her that he would come again - this time without Ukyo. LOL!

The case was very interesting, too. This new season feels very fresh and new - not only in terms of cases, but also the dynamics between characters, too. Kaburagi has brought some new life into the show (and into Ukyo, it seems) and I think he will become my favorite partner since Kame.

Episode 4 airs next week!

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Re: J-Drama: 相棒 14 (Partners 14)


Where is Kaburagi from... which department? I love his facial expressions, especially his eyes. LOL!

The sign of the cross scene cracked me up. Kaburagi seemed caught off guard seeing Ukyo do his buddhist respect to the deceased, so quickly fell in line by making his Catholic sign. He does remind me of a kid following his elder, not wanting to make a social mistake in an unfamiliar situation. I recall when I first saw Ukyo going through that gesture years ago, it struck me as strangely unusual. I never expected the police to engage in such respectful behavior. Now, of course, I see it as a pleasant, respectful gesture.

When it came to Ms. Hana no Sato, I just knew that Kaburagi was going to be strongly affected. He is the one partner so far who excels at noticing women. emoticon

One thing I've never understood about Japan is how their language works. What I mean is, how was a guy's name "Jun, written as falcon"? That's probably a very complicated question to answer, but Prof. Hiroshi can you give me a layman's overview explanation? emoticon

The exchange of competitive banter between Ukyo and Kaburagi is also fun to watch. Even though Kaburagi is learning a lot observing Ukyo, still, what's different in this relationship is that both men are equals in a general sense—not superior and subordinate. Both share a level of intelligence, quickness, knowledge and experience. In many respects their minds flow in the same trough.

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Re: J-Drama: 相棒 14 (Partners 14)


Nchristi, I think you summed up my feelings about Kaburagi exactly! With other partners, it always felt like Ukyo was the "big boss" - the partners were often unaware of Ukyo's investigation techniques and didn't figure out the truth until Ukyo told them. With Kaburagi, he is on Ukyo's same wavelength - he figures things out before Ukyo has to tell him the specifics. It is as if Ukyo has met his match! That being said, you can tell Ukyo is starting to respect him and might even begin to see him as an equal instead of someone he has to "train."

I didn't quite catch which department Kaburagi is from. I think he is from the National Police Agency and has connections to the Vice-Minister of Justice. He has been sent to the Metropolitan (Tokyo City) Police Department for whatever reason - I'm not sure if I missed that reason or if it wasn't made explicitly clear yet.

Watching Ukyo ignore Kaburagi's flirtatious remarks to Ms. Hana no Sato was entertaining. I have a feeling he isn't going to be too thrilled with bringing Kaburagi over to the restaurant. LOL!

Kaburagi is reminding me more and more of a combined Kame-Kaito-Kanbe. He has Kame's loyalty, Kaito's tough-guy exterior, and also tones of Kanbe's professionalism. However, he also has quirks of his own - a very entertaining personality. They made a great choice bringing this actor on the show as Ukyo's new partner!

Good question about the Jun/falcon reference! Yes, the way Japanese language is written can be quite complicated, namely because of the three scripts that are used. Two of them are phonetic syllabaries, and the third script is kanji, which is the Japanese term for Chinese characters. Chinese characters are complicated in that one character represents an entire word, and can be pronounced different ways depending on various factors. For instance, the Chinese character that means "falcon" can be read in several different ways. One of the pronunciations is Jun, which also happens to be the name of the character in this episode. He writes his name (Jun) using the Chinese character that means "falcon." Does that make sense? emoticon It takes a while for us to explain this in class, too!
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Re: J-Drama: 相棒 14 (Partners 14)


<EPISODE 4>

This was a good episode, but I found the storyline rather dark - even for a Partners episode. Plus, the storyline of a man in his 70s forcing himself on a girl of only 16, keeping her a practical hostage for a decade or so, and then murdering her for daring to abort his child was difficult to watch. The fact that she was the daughter of a man who killed himself to hide the crimes of this despicable man was also disgusting. No wonder Ukyo and Kaburagi were so disappointed that the man passed away before facing the justice system. He had ran way from the law for decades, and now that he was finally apprehended, he died without even spending the night in jail.

It is ironic that the 'double agent' who committed a crime just to apprehend the old man also couldn't relish in his victory. Just a few moments after he realized the man he had been chasing for decades was finally caught, he was stabbed to death in the parking lot for being a "traitor" - presumably by one of the underworld types. He, too, never got to enjoy his victory. Quite ironic.

Perhaps the writers are trying to take Season 14 in a darker, more different direction - which is fine with me, if that's the new format the show will take. If you've noticed, we haven't seen much of Ms. Hana no Sato - she may become an occasional, supporting character. Mr. Forensics Guy, Mr. Contact Lenses, and Itami are still around, but I feel like they, too, are not really comic relief anymore and are just popping up here and there to further the plot in some way. It will take some time to get used to these changes, but it may be needed to keep the drama fresh without going stale.

Though the case was rather too dark for me, I did enjoy the Ukyo-Kaburagi interactions. Kaburagi can't seem to hide the fact that he is enjoying working with Ukyo. He loves the fact that they are a "team" and reminds me of a kid who has just made a new best friend at school. As for Ukyo, it takes him some time as usual, but I think he will warm up to Kaburagi faster than he warmed up to his last two partners.

Some of Kaburagi's past has been revealed now. He is from the Ministry of Justice and has been sent to 'keep an eye' on Ukyo. That being said, he isn't really spying on Ukyo in the sense of the word. I think the Vice-Minister of Justice is well-disposed towards Ukyo and is having Kaburagi see whether or not Ukyo can be used to do anything for the Justice Department. Kaburagi isn't really being sent in to sabotage Ukyo (like Kanbe had been sent in to do during Season 8) but rather to team up with him and see if the Police Department could be brought closer to the Justice Department.

Kaburagi is still a "roommate" to Ukyo but I think he will change his tone sooner than later!

The best scene was when Kaburagi told the Vice-Minister (in English) that he and Ukyo were "the most dangerous team." LOL. He really seems to love following Ukyo around!

Interesting episode. Episode 5 airs next week.
 
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Re: J-Drama: 相棒 14 (Partners 14)


Before the "double agent" die, he said that it is not the old man he betrays, it is Ukyo that he did. What does he mean by this?
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Re: J-Drama: 相棒 14 (Partners 14)


引用 (quote):

Josephinec01 wrote:

Before the "double agent" die, he said that it is not the old man he betrays, it is Ukyo that he did. What does he mean by this?



Good question, Josephinec01. I'm not too sure. Since he used to be Ukyo's partner before going over to the "dark side" and breaking the law, I assumed that the double agent felt that he had betrayed Ukyo's sense of trust and justice in the end. After all, though they were working together again temporarily, Ukyo didn't want anything to do with the man.
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That ending brought up way more questions than answers. Who ordered Mr. Double Agent killed? It couldn't have been the old man because, well, he died. Maybe it's not important and they just showed the scene to show how deeply ensconced into organized crime he was.

His final words "I betrayed you, Sugushita" I suppose puts emphasis that he spent the better part of his life betraying everyone to achieve a goal that would never come to pass.
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