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Could one of the possible reasons behind Toru's move to Special Mission Unit be because of his name? The name starts with "Ka" and ends with "Ru"? Recall Sugishita asking for clarification on Toru's nickname "Kaito" in the first episode.

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Re: J-Drama: 相棒11 (Partners 11)


That was Mr. Contact Lenses' explanation to Kaito when he asked why Ukyo requested him for Special Missions. Mr. CL said each of Ukyo's partners' names began with "Ka" and ended with "Ru." Kaito's response was something like "You're kidding, aren't you?" Mr. CL said no more. LOL.

Ukyo is such an odd guy that the thought crossed my mind as a possibility; yet, I can't really believe Ukyo would be so superstitious, or obsessed by the spelling of names, or whatever. But who knows? Coincidence or not? Guess we'll have to wait to find out.

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Re: J-Drama: 相棒11 (Partners 11)


<EPISODES 1C AND 2>

Season 11 has gotten off to an excellent, excellent start. I share your feelings about the direction this drama is going, Nchristi. After all these seasons, it's so fascinating how the writers of Partners manage to keep the story going in a fresh, new direction. Nothing really gets stale because of all the plot twists the writers keep concocting. Setting Ukyo up with a variety of different partners (all with drastically different personalities) keeps things very interesting, as well. I think Kaito is a great addition to the cast. I'm looking forward to Season 11...

That's true about Kaito's nickname! I remember Ukyo interrogating Kaito about where his nickname came from, and Kaito was a little weirded out with Ukyo's persistent questioning. All of Ukyo's partners' names have started with K—Kameyama and Kanbe. Perhaps that's why Ukyo insists on calling Toru by his childhood nickname, Kaito—even though Kaito doesn't particularly like it and seems to prefer being called by his actual name, Toru.

Kameyama Kaoru, Kanbe Takeru, Kai Toru ... we know how sharp Ukyo is about things like this, so maybe it was a conscious decision on Ukyo's part! Ukyo has had great luck with the partners whose names have started with 'Ka' and ended with 'Ru', so maybe Ukyo considers this a good omen and wanted to get Kaito in Special Missions no matter what. Plus, I'm sure it helped that they got off to a great start. Ukyo and Kaito's relationship in the beginning has been much smoother than Ukyo's early days with Kanbe. Remember how rough of a start they got off to? It took almost a season before Ukyo and Kanbe got along!

OMG, before reading the forum, I got the same impression about Kaito and Mrs. Consul General! I thought her phone call (the only call she could make before her questioning) to Kaito's father was awfully strange—as was the way he reacted to hearing from her. It was as if he found it slightly irritating and bothersome to hear from her after all these years. We know Mrs. Consul General is prone to having affairs and so I wouldn't be surprised if she and Kaito's father were an item back in the day. Perhaps the Consul General, wanting to avoid scandal, kept matters hush-hush, and Kaito was sent to live with his father after Mrs. Consul General gave birth to him. Come to think of it, Mrs. Consul General and her late husband didn't have any children together, did they? At least we didn't see any of their children featured in the episode. It would make sense why Kaito was invited all the way to Hong Kong, seemingly out of the blue.

I don't think we've seen the end of Mrs. Consul General. I have a sneaking suspicion that the question of who Kaito's mother is will be brought up during one of the multi-part episodes. Given how much the writers love to bring back former characters, and since Mrs. Consul General will presumably be doing time in Japan, I have a feeling we'll see her back very soon.

I find it hilarious how Itami & Crew, as well as the Bureau Chief, are now all intimidated that Ukyo's new partner is the son of the Deputy Commissioner! They've all realized that Ukyo is pretty much invincible now. I'd imagine that they've realized by now that Kanbe has his back behind the scenes, and now, the Deputy Commissioner will be able to protect him, as well—through Kai. Even though Ukyo lost Onoda, he's more protected now than he ever was before! I do find it funny how Kai went straight to Itami & Crew with information in Episode 2, though. It's quite different from what Kame and Kanbe used to do. I guess Kaito is still hoping to be transferred to Unit 1, which is why he's kissing up a bit to Itami & Crew.

Speaking of Kanbe, I found it interesting that Mr. Pill Eater mentioned him. I guess there is hope that we'll see Kanbe show his face here and there at some point, maybe as a recurring character in one of the specials? I hope the writers don't make him 'disappear' like they did with Kame. If Mr. Pill Eater is still around, maybe there is still a chance for Kanbe to make a brief cameo appearance at some point, as well.

I also found it interesting how Ukyo is the one driving Kaito around! When Kame was around, I remember he would always be the one driving. Kanbe, too, would give Ukyo a lift in his famous sports car. This time, though, Ukyo is the one driving! I wonder if that signifies anything? Maybe Kaito doesn't have a car yet since he's still brand new to the force?

Both the consulate case and the case of the 'lost' antiques were very well-done, keeping my attention until the end. The writers are really making this into one exciting season. Everything seems so fresh and new. With each and every revamp, Partners keeps getting better and better. Season 12 is filming right now, I believe, so it will be a little while before we see it here in the US, but I'm excited to see what else the writers pull out of their hat!

OMG, I loved the ending with Kaito and Ms. BL, too! I have a feeling they are going to be gossiping at Hana no Sato (I think that's the same name that Ms. Ex-Ukyo gave the restaurant, BTW) about Ukyo every time Ukyo goes to the bathroom! LOL. That was a hilarious scene.

Can't wait for Episode 3 next week!
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I really can't believe this drama is still going on, how many seasons is it?
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class blockquote dfpro wrote:

I really can't believe this drama is still going on, how many seasons is it?
Season 11 is airing right now, and I think that's the most recent season to have aired in Japan. I've heard that Season 12 is currently filming, though. It'll probably air in Japan sometime later this year, so it'll be a little while before we can see it here in the United States.
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Re: J-Drama: 相棒11 (Partners 11)


<EPISODE 3>

Kaito reminds me a lot of Kameyama. He's a lot more emotional and hot-headed than Kanbe was, but this is reminiscent of Kame's behavior, isn't it? Kanbe seemed to focus more on following Ukyo and quietly investigating every little detail. Kaito also has a penchant for meticulous details, but he's been seen to have no problem getting his hands dirty and literally getting physically involved in the investigation—such as when he got into the boxing ring. Yes, Kaito had tried his hand at boxing and seemed to have a genuine interest in the sport, but I think it was also his way of getting close to "Golden Boy" and his circle, so that he could arrive at some leads. Ukyo must have been impressed!

Plus, I was surprised to see how emotional Kaito got at the very end of the episode, after he discovered that Golden Boy had committed suicide. I couldn't imagine Kaito getting emotional, but I suppose I'm not surprise. He seemingly has it all (money, a girlfriend, a job, etc.) but I suppose there is a lot of water under the bridge when it comes to Kaito's family life. I guess he's really an emotional person—he just does a good job of "hiding it", so to speak. We might be seeing Kaito unravel and put his demons behind him this season.

I also get the feeling that Ukyo is going to be the one to try and help Kaito overcome some of his emotional issues that he's hiding under his thick skin. Maybe that's why Ukyo was so adamant that Kaito become his partner in the first place? It shocks me that Ukyo and Kaito's father have sort of become 'friends' in an odd sense of the word... they frequently meet outside of the office (without Kaito) and discuss Kaito. Ukyo is the first person to tell Kaito's father that Kaito isn't who he thinks he is. Maybe Ukyo is going to be the one to bring father and son together. There is a lot of healing to be done here, and I think Ukyo will be the perfect (albeit an interesting) mediator between father and son.

I'm also enjoying the interaction between Kaito and his girlfriend. She seems to be the new "Miwako" of the series. The show was missing a character like that after Kame and Miwako's departure, so I'm glad Kaito's girlfriend has been added into the mix. Now, if only Mrs. Ex-Ukyo would come back...

I get the feeling that Kaito is still figuring out whether or not he can trust Ukyo. He's at that stage where instead of calling Ukyo, he's contacting Itami & Crew. Good thing Ukyo found out—from none other than Mr. Forensics Guy! I guess Ukyo can still count on Mr. Forensics Guy to give him a heads up when something comes up.

The case itself was very sad. Golden Boy lost it after he was betrayed by so many people, including his childhood friend. I guess he was okay if those evil individuals messed with him, but he couldn't let them get away with going after his gym—a gym that had helped him so much, ever since he was a little boy. It was one of those cases where I didn't feel any closure at the end. Though the case was "solved" so to speak, nothing good ended up coming out of it.

I'm really interested in seeing how Ukyo and Kaito's partnership develops. At this point, they get along on the surface, but I feel like Kaito still doesn't trust Ukyo fully. As for Ukyo, I'm wondering why he seems so interested in Kaito. Why did he want him to become his partner so much?

Episode 4 airs next week! This has been one good season so far.
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Re: J-Drama: 相棒11 (Partners 11)


class blockquote Hiroshi66 wrote: class blockquote I guess he was okay if those evil individuals messed with him, but he couldn't let them get away with going after his gym—a gym that had helped him so much, ever since he was a little boy.I felt it had to do more with these guys (Miyasaka, Golden Boy's childhoon sempai, Yanagida, and the head of Oshinkai) defiling the sport of boxing? Miyasaka called boxing a "fighting show". To make money, they wanted Araki to throw the fight, which goes against what he believes. Miyasaka should have known better than to have grabbed for Araki's wrists (because a boxer's fists are to be protected), which lead to his accidental death. And Araki couldn't get over that he had killed someone using his fists.

I'm hoping Kaito will smarten up a bit after this case. If he had properly secured the crime scene, Yanagida wouldn't have been able to escape, and two other deaths wouldn't have resulted. At least he's willing to admit when he's screwed up. But I didn't like his line "I'm a detective after all." And he definitely needs to finesse his way of accusing a suspect--get his ducks in a row before he opens his mouth, otherwise, Ukyo will have to continually apologize on his behalf (remember how the President of White Gloves auction house shut Kaito down?)

Also, I couldn't help chuckling when Kaito asked Ukyo in the presence of Unit 1 and other detectives how Ukyo had access to Yanagida's laptop search history.


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Re: J-Drama: 相棒11 (Partners 11)


I think Golden Boy's motivation for even getting involved with the yakuza boss for that lump of money was because he wanted to help the gym out financially, since he felt indebted to them for all they had done for him (and his career).

Kaito can be a little too hotheaded for his own good. I remember Kanbe used to screw up during his early days with Ukyo, as well. Ukyo's partners have a hard time getting adjusted to Ukyo's "style" and thus can end up saying too much at the wrong times, even when Ukyo has everything under control and is doing just fine by himself, without any help from his partner. I guess it'll take a little while for Kaito to sit back, relax, and let Ukyo do the work. Or maybe not... maybe he'll be like a loose cannon the whole time! LOL!
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<EPISODE 4>

Wow, what an episode. Ushio, the former elite officer in the National Police Agency, was a real piece of work, wasn't he? I kind of wish Kaito punched him in the face after all his talk about the "little people" and "stupid citizens." Give me a break. Is the man delusional? Does he really believe that the people can benefit from his brilliance? What a piece of scum. What really makes me furious is that while two other lives were ruined, Ushio gets off scot free—with only a little monetary pay cut. Nothing else changes—the barter system might be exposed and discontinued, but it will go on, albeit under a different name and a slightly different system.

What really shocked me was that this whole barter system had been created and thought up by Onoda 2.0—Kaito's father. His reaction (when he found out that Special Missions was behind the expose') was interesting, too. This man is against everything that Ukyo stands for, yet they have an interesting rapport going on. It's as if he has stepped right into Onoda's footsteps. Onoda was also involved in quite a few political schemes in his day, yet he and Ukyo always had time for quick lunch date. I wonder if the same thing is going to happen with Ukyo and Kaito's father? It's certainly an odd relationship—which is complicated by Kaito being Ukyo's very own partner.

I find Kaito a very interesting character. He's had a harder time adjusting into his position in Special Missions—seemingly even more so than Kanbe! He doesn't really get along that well with anybody, except for Itami & Crew... probably because of the fact that he wants to join Unit 1 as a "real" detective. Itami & Crew have warmed up to Kaito, too - especially Serizawa! I find that an interesting dynamic.

Speaking of interesting dynamics, I got a kick out of Mr. Contact Lenses telling Kaito that his job was to make coffee for the whole office. That's true, Kanbe used to be in charge of the coffee, while Ukyo was in charge of the tea. LOL! Kaito looked so insulted. I loved the funny back-and-forth he had going on with Mr. Forensics Guy and Mr. Contact Lenses over the flight-attendant mixer.

Speaking of Kaito's flight-attendant girlfriend, I'm happy that she's become a full-blown recurring character. The cast needed someone to fill Miwako's position after she and Kame left the show, and it looks like Ms. Flight Attendant (FA) has taken her place. Now I'm just waiting for her to join Ukyo and Kaito at Hana no Sato. It'll be just like the old seasons, where Ukyo and Kame would have 'double dates' with Mrs. Ex-Ukyo and Miwako. It's a little different now, but it would be nice to see the 2 men/2 women dynamic again. I think Ms. Flight Attendant and Ms. Bad Luck would get along, too!

I think Ukyo and Kaito are getting along well, though. It could be a lot worse, so it's going much better than I expected. Kaito is the type to lose his cool when the going gets tough, but then again Kame was as well, and we know how well he got along with Ukyo. I actually find the Ukyo-Kaito dynamic a lot more fun and interesting than Ukyo-Kanbe. Kanbe was fun to watch in his own way, but sometimes it felt like he was just following Ukyo around. He would get quips and digs in here and there, but Kaito takes it to a whole other level! I get a kick out of his mini-arguments with Ukyo.

I hope we don't see the creep Ushio again. He was a piece of work. Although they've left the story open for him to slither his way back into the main story at some point...

Overall, Season 11 has been superb so far. One of the best seasons yet, from the looks of things! I like how they keep the Kaito/Kaito-Dad story going. It keeps things interesting and is sure to bring some shake-ups to the story at some point.

Episode 5 airs next week!
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Re: J-Drama: 相棒11 (Partners 11)


It seems to me that Ukyo's character is the one who has been changed the most. He's gone from being Mr. Cool at all times to regularly being a rather frenetic type. Sometimes I get the feeling that he's being morphed into an odd, quirky old man whose respected aura is now becoming one more patronized and put up with, especially by Kaito.

My read on Kaito's father is that, while his ethics are very different from Ukyo's, he is genuinely fond of Ukyo on another level. It's almost as though he gets a kick out of how brilliant and unswerving Ukyo is in his standards. The thing about a person like Ukyo is that you can always trust him. You may not like how straight-laced he is, but you have confidence that he will do what is upright and that he will not be the person stabbing you in the back for political reasons or personal gain.

Kaito v Kanbe - Kaito is a young, inexperienced guy who has just passed his detective exam. On the other hand, Kanbe is much older, experienced, and sophisticated both socially and within the government system. Kanbe came to Ukyo to spy on him and get rid of him, but then became rather loyal to Ukyo as a friend and partner. Kaito seems mostly interested in solving crimes, in being a detective—not in being the socially prominent man that was of major importance to Kanbe . (No leather coats, fancy sportscar, etc., though I would like to run a comb through Kaito's hair!) Kaito also has the common youthful exuberance of thinking too highly of himself when it is unwarranted. It will take Kaito a while to appreciate and develop a healthy respect for Ukyo both as his superior and as the primo inspector/detective Ukyo has long proven himself to be.

One thing I enjoy about Kaito is his quickness to catch onto crime clues from Ukyo. He is rapidly learning to "read" Ukyo and is beginning to follow his way of figuring out this and that.

Kaito's girlfriend is interesting, too. Being a flight attendant for the major airline, she comes into contact with many people all the time, from all levels of society. Mawako was also a pivotal character when it came to involving her in different plots/crimes since she was a reporter.

Hana no Sato - In a way, I'm enjoying Ms. Bad Luck more than I did Mrs. Ex-Ukyo as the proprietor. While there was a lot of interesting baggage between Ukyo and his ex, I didn't care for the veiled barbs she threw at him now and again. The history between Ukyo and Ms. BL is more positive, thus their relationship seems a little more friendly. I liked the ending where Ukyo wanted her to join in a drink with him, pouring her a glass himself—a gesture of friendship. Hana no Sato continues to be a place for Ukyo to unwind, relax, and feel comfortable at the end of a long day.

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