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Hiroshi66 Profile
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Re: J-Drama: 相棒12 (Partners 12)


<EPISODE 16>

Something tells me that Mr. Wiretapper is going to become a recurring character, similar to Jinkawa. I can see him popping in every season to help Ukyo and Kaito with a new case. I would welcome it—hopefully he'll replace Jinkawa. LOL! Jinkawa's routine has gotten a little old, so I'm hoping that they could have Mr. Wiretapper replace him as the "third wheel" of Special Missions. He seems to fit in quite well with both Ukyo and Kaito.

I was happy Mr. Wiretapper got back together with his wife at the end of the episode. I had a feeling his story about his wife moving out to care for her ailing mother wasn't 100% accurate. But all is well that ends well. Now they can restart as a family, and hopefully Mr. Wiretapper will be able to successfully continue his research and grow his new company.

I don't know why, but I had to laugh when Itami and Serizawa checked the big freezer in the restaurant, only to find that there was no body there. They both looked puzzled, since it was the first time Ukyo hadn't been correct about something. Itami's What's the meaning of this, Inspector?? line was hilarious, as well. It was as if they could not process the fact that Ukyo was not right for once! LOL!

Bureau Chief and his assistant are being portrayed as rather weak this season. Ukyo couldn't seem to care less about their orders to stop investigating, and he ended up even getting some secret information from them—without them even realizing they had just given some information away! Long gone are the days when they were actually intimidating.

How ironic that the wife wasn't hiding the data—rather, she wanted to make sure nobody found out about her meth habit. I remember reading somewhere once that this is actually rather common in Japan. There was a story a while back about a neighborhood of rich housewives in certain parts of Japan getting busted with purchasing various drugs. It's sad, considering that it was probably due to their loneliness—with husbands at work and children at school, many of these women were home alone all day and lost their will to live. We saw that with the wife in this episode, as well. I wonder if she and the chef were having an affair? She mentioned that he was the one who got her to start using meth in the first place.

Though she didn't murder her husband, I'm sure she'll get busted for both hiding a body and also meth use. Drug offenses are very serious in Japan, and can land someone a 10-20 year sentence, I think.

On to Episode 17! This season is wrapping up soon. It feels like it just started!
8/9/2014, 3:57 pm Link to this post Send Email to Hiroshi66   Send PM to Hiroshi66 AIM
 
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Re: J-Drama: 相棒12 (Partners 12)


<EPISODE 17>

Really good episode! Some of the cases can be a little predictable from the start, but I really couldn't figure anything out about this one until the very end. Wow. The conclusion seemed to come out of left field a bit, but I enjoyed it more than other cases, where we already know all the details from the start. This time, little details were uncovered to the audience by Ukyo and Kaito in real time, during their investigation.

I felt really bad for the young man in this episode. No wonder he befriended the elderly couple—did you see how utterly uninterested and bored the father was with him? I would have left home, too! The subtitles didn't translate it, but the newspaper the father was reading/taking notes on during Ukyo and Kaito's questioning was about the horse races. He probably got himself addicted to gambling after his wife left and subsequently lost all interest in raising his son.

What a relief that the young man wasn't charged with anything. Same with the lawyer. This made me realize that Ukyo can be rather lenient with the charges if he sees fit. I think he realized that there was nothing evil or corrupt in the young man's motives. Had he wanted to, Ukyo might have easily been able to find something on the guy (such as misleading the police investigation?) but luckily that didn't happen. I guess Ukyo isn't completely heartless when it comes to the prosecution aspect of things. It's a relief, in some ways.

But this episode was a plethora of coincidences, wasn't it? I thought the fire at the beginning was staged, too. If not, how would the young man approach the lawyer again? However, it turned out that the fire was the real thing! A real coincidence, indeed.

My favorite scene was when Ukyo and Kaito casually walked out of the Bureau Chief's office after being reprimanded for going to the lawyer's office. When asked where they were going, Ukyo replied—Not to the lawyer's office! Classic Ukyo. Even Itami and Serizawa got a kick out of it. As seasons have passed, Ukyo is less and less intimidated of the Bureau Chief and his minion.

Also loved Itami's stalker comment. LOL!

If that ending wasn't foreshadowing of a potential Ukyo-Ms. Hana no Sato pairing, I don't know what is! LOL! I wouldn't be surprised if something starts happening at the end of this season, or at the beginning of the next season! It seems like they are just playing with the audience at this point and keeping us on the edge of our seats.

Episode 18 airs next week! We probably have one more episode plus the big season finale (3-parter). Season 13 is still filming in Japan, so we probably won't get it here until next year at the earliest.
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Re: J-Drama: 相棒12 (Partners 12)


Very enjoyable episode! Loved the way the story was split up, seemingly into separate stories, only to come together to be one and the same case. The writers fooled us again.

It could be confusing, however, because of backtracking to reveal fuller details of scenes we'd already been exposed to on a surface level. I had to watch it twice to put it all in place. Who knows if I even got it right after that?

So, it seems that everybody was helping Team (Unit?) 5 solve a murder. Ukyo and Keito pretended to go on separate mini-vacations, splitting up as they secretly worked on the same case. Then there was our Itami, who was also helping Unit 5 work on the case, on his own it seemed.

I enjoyed the basic story (Minnie Mouse shoes and all...). It was interesting to see both Ukyo and Keito on their own, revealing more of their own personalities.

In another "parallel universe," we also see Itami living his fantasy of being Ukyo. It was impressive that his mind could actually work on a higher level than usual and that he figured out some of the key factors and clues all by himself. Unfortunately, as usual, he was a day late and a dollar short. (He did steal the show, though!)

Very well done production. The stories have certainly taken a different tack in this season, one I have enjoyed very much.




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Re: J-Drama: 相棒12 (Partners 12)


<EPISODE 18>

I think this was the last episode before the big multi-episode season finale. One of my favorite episodes of the whole season! I, too, loved the way that the writers tried to fool us in the beginning. For a while there, I thought that Ukyo and Kaito weren't investigating at all and had coincidentally ran into the two ex-lovers. However, little did we know that this was all part of the investigation which they had started the night before! No wonder Ukyo just so happened to find himself in that deserted train station, while Kaito did have a motive for moving to the other woman's table.

Yes, that sounds right, Nchristi. Ukyo and Kaito just happened to stumble on the scene of the crime that Team 5 was investigating, and they did all their preliminary work in the middle of the night and early the next morning—which was before they each set off to their respective destinations. Itami and Serizawa didn't start until the next morning, which was already way after Ukyo and Kaito had already discovered the preliminary suspects. The only problem was that the audience had no idea that Ukyo and Kaito had done all the leg work before hand!

Itami stole the show, indeed. What an excellent actor! An outstanding parody of Ukyo. Itami didn't try too hard or go out of his way to mimic Ukyo's voice or mannerisms, but the fact that his parody was so subtle made it all the more entertaining. I noticed Itami's manner of speaking changed ever so slightly, as well, when he was in "Ukyo mode." The ironic thing is that despite his transformation, nothing changed about Itami's bad luck when it comes to solving cases! LOL!

I also enjoyed how Mr. Forensics Guy was a bigger part of the case this time, around, too. He is usually ignored by Itami but this time, he was right there with him and Serizawa, working on the investigation.

In terms of the case itself, I was sad that the man was driven to commit murder. It was one of those cases where I felt worse for the murderer than for the victim. What a creep. I don't believe what he said about the mother having an affair with him, which was the reason why she lent him the money. I think it was more because she felt sorry that the guy had to lose his job after her husband passed away and the shop closed.

So, I can see why the murderer was driven to such a point. After 25 years, the creep who had ruined his and his mother's life and happiness was walking around freely—not even remembering anything about what happened before. Nonetheless, he committed a crime, and so he has to face the consequences of his actions, no matter what his motivations were.

I definitely enjoyed this episode! Very light-hearted way to end the season before the action-packed finale.

One quick note on the abandoned train station. Most stations in Japan are busy (almost like mini-malls or department stores) but I did go to quite a few train stations that reminded me a lot of the one we saw in this episode! There was nobody there, and since the trains in rural areas run once an hour (or less) if you get stuck waiting in one, it's really boring! LOL!

Part 1 of Episode 19, the final episode, airs next week!
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Re:


I liked this episode very much as well.

When we first saw Kaito at the elegant-looking restaurant, I kind of knew something was up. That's not the type of place he would usually hang out at. That's usually Ukyo's type of place to have tea and enjoy the atmosphere while reading a book.

Itami was very good at mimicking Ukyo's mannerisms at a crime scene analyzing clues and details that were initially missed.

Poor Itami. I feel bad he ended up at the train station so late he would have to stay overnight not knowing the case has been resolved. Even the lady station attendant turned the lights out on him.
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Re: J-Drama: 相棒12 (Partners 12)


Well, if poor Itami gets bored during the long night, he could always play a nice game of checkers by himself! LOL!

Speaking of checkers, I thought Ukyo was losing it when he started arranging and rearranging the checkerboard in rapid succession, while he was trying to convince the suspect to fess up and turn himself in! Great acting by Mizutani Yutaka as Ukyo, but I thought he was going mad for a second there! LOL!

I was afraid that Kaito wasn't kidding when he told his girlfriend he was going to "pick up girls", so it was a relief when we found out it was all related to the investigation.

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Re: J-Drama: 相棒12 (Partners 12)


<FINAL EPISODE> (#19, Part 1)

Though we have another hostage situation, I am excited for this final episode. The plot is unique enough, with the whole witness protection aspect of it. Plus, the return of Setouchi and Onoda (well, at least his picture!) was a pleasant surprise.

I get disappointed when TV shows do a cast change or write out certain characters, but it's even worse when the writers get amnesia and never bring up the departed characters again. Kame and Kanbe have been mentioned a handful of times since they left the show, but Onoda was written out and never mentioned again. He was soon replaced by Kai-Dad, who sort of took Onoda's place as the powerful ally who could save Ukyo from time to time if the going went tough. Since he played such an important role in the story, I was disappointed that Onoda had been evidently forgotten, so the fact that he's "back" now is a relief.

OK, am I completely forgetting this, but did we ever hear that Onoda was murdered!? For the life of me, I can't remember ever seeing that scene play out on TV. From what I remember, we just heard that Onoda had passed away and that was that. Now, it seems like he was killed in some sort of a raid, and Ukyo was at his side when he died. I can't remember that from another season, so perhaps we are just learning about it. If so, I wonder if Onoda's death has anything to do with the current case?

It was also nice to see Setouchi again after all these years. I can never tell if that man is lying or telling the truth, but this time, he seems to be honest when he says that he knows nothing about Tomomi's whereabouts. I always enjoyed his character and so it's nice that he'll be helping in the investigation.

The case itself - I didn't know that Japan doesn't have a Witness Protection Program, but that makes sense that they don't. After all, since the country still uses the family registration system, arbitrarily creating a new identity for someone is very difficult. After all, whose register would they be put into? I'm curious how Ukyo and Kaito are going to find this person with very few leads.

I think this was the first time we saw Mr. Forensics Guy get so offended! I don't blame him, though. If someone had dismissed me the way Ukyo curtly told Forensics Guy to shut up (in so many words) I would have stormed out, too! I know Ukyo had good intentions (he didn't want Mr. Forensics Guy to get caught up in the mess) but I'm sure Mr. Forensics Guy felt that he was being used by Special Missions, whether or not that was the case. I'm glad the misunderstanding was cleared up before any permanent damage was done.

My favorite scene was when Ukyo called Kaito in the middle of the night. Kaito came running out when Ukyo came by in his car. Before they left, though, Kaito's girlfriend came out with some snacks for the partners to eat before their big mission. It was really sweet of her, and I found it a very endearing and kind gesture.

This is the first multi-part episode I am looking forward to! Part 2 airs next week. (I suspect this will be a three parter.)
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Re: J-Drama: 相棒12 (Partners 12)


Just a quick note that UTB will be rearing Season 12 (starting from the beginning) on Tuesday nights, beginning this Tuesday, September 2nd, at 9:00p. It's a good chance to catch an episode you may have missed or wish to view again!
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Re: J-Drama: 相棒12 (Partners 12)


Very interesting opening to the multi-parter. Hiroshi, I'm so glad that you kept reminding us that the three-part episode was coming up. In the past I have been caught up in the story and suddenly the infamous "To Be Continued..." comes onto the screen. That has been quite frustrating to me in the past. But this time I was expecting it and when Ukyo's little Figaro came up out of the garage I just knew this had to be the end of Part 1.

It was great to see both Onoda and Setouchi reappear in this one. Even if they didn't have a fuller explanation about Onoda's disappearance, it's always interesting when they come up with a more detailed version, even if it is two seasons later. LOL And Setouchi! I really was surprised to see his appearance, especially doing his time in prison.

Ukyo was acting up again in this one. He must be going through Aibou manopause. I've never seen him so cranky and rude. I was glad for Mr. Forensics on two counts. First, that he wasn't going to take it any longer; and second that he hung around eavesdropping and heard the case details Ukyo refused to reveal to him. I got the feeling, though, that Ukyo orchestrated that whole scene, knowing that Mr. Forensics would be curious and come back, willingly joining their inner circle of "the informed," those placed at greater risk than if they didn't know what was going on.

Looking forward to Part 2.
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Re: J-Drama: 相棒12 (Partners 12)


You're very welcome, Nchristi! I'm glad to hear that. emoticon With UTB's trusty old schedule gone, it's been a little hard to keep up with the multi-part episodes and how many parts they'll be split up to, but at least we can somewhat know in advance. I know what you mean, it's my least favorite feeling when I'm engrossed in an episode and then it abruptly comes to a close!

I think Onoda was a secret weapon for the writers—they had quietly written him out and were planning to elaborate on his demise during a later season. Season 12 just happens to me the chosen season for us learning the truth about Onoda! I'm really excited to find out more about what happened to him, especially since Ukyo was involved in some capacity. For now, all we know is that Onoda was stabbed to death during some kind of a raid, and that Ukyo was at his side (Onoda basically died in Ukyo's arms).

Mr. Forensics Guy has been treated badly by Ukyo for so many seasons, hasn't he!? I get the feeling that Ukyo does respect him deep down, but at the end of the day, he only calls upon Mr. Forensics Guy when he needs something. This time, when Mr. Forensics Guy was woken up by Ukyo at 4:00a and asked to come to work, only to be ignored numerous times by Ukyo, the poor guy had enough. I'm glad they reconciled, but I still blame Ukyo a little bit! I don't think we've ever seen him act so childish and crabby before. Did you see how pouty he looked when Mr. Forensics Guy walked out? It's a much more immature side to Ukyo!

This is one of the better season finales we've seen in a while, at least after watching Part 1. I'm excited for Part 2!
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