25 May 2012

Kagi no Kakatta Heya First Impressions

It has been a long time since I have felt like I have had the time to do these kinds of drama reviews again. But I figure I should try to at least watch one drama each season to work on my Japanese and I have heard a lot of good things for several dramas in this current drama season I figured I would give doing this another go with Kagi no Kakatta Heya.

For those unfamiliar with these drama reviews what I do is write up my impression of the drama from the first episode (example for Engine), then around the midway mark, usually episode five or six, I do another write up about how I feel about the drama then (example for Engine). Then I do one final write up after I complete watching the series to sum everything up (example for Engine). I decided to do this as I really did not want to do a write up for every episode and in fact I was thinking of doing just this for Shiritsu Bakaleya Koukou but I fell in love with that show so much I changed my mind and made it an exception to the rule.

So enough of explanations and on to my impressions.

When it comes to mysteries I love Agatha Christie and grew up watching shows like Murder, She Wrote and Matlock. From that I have a soft spot for murder mysteries, especially ones that allow the audience to pick up the clues themselves and figure it out around the same time the characters in the show does. And Kagi no Kakatta Heya fits this very well so far.

In fact the first scene of the episode gives the viewer the basic set up for the murder so from the get go your mind can start working on figuring the mystery out.

Junko should never be around big red buttons.
The set up for the show is rather simple, Aoto Junko (played by Todo Erika) is a new employee of a law firm and has been assigned to be under one of the firms big time lawyers, Serizawa Gou (played by Sato Koichi). Junko has a rough start of things by agreeing to look into a suicide case that clients of the law firm worry was not suicide much to Serizawa's annoyance and then managing to accidently lock him into a bank vault that cannot be opened until the weekend is over. She gets the answer to both her problems when a security expert, Enomoto Kei (played by Ohno Satoshi) shows up to crack the vault seems to have the right kind of knowledge for helping them figure out if the suicide case could not have actually been a murder despite it being a "locked room" case. And from there is this main cast of three going through the facts and evidence to solve the mystery, which I will not give away, you'll have to watch the show for that.

I think it is interesting that the "investigators" of the series are mainly lawyers and not police, though when you think about it it's a sensible decision. Using police for this kind of show is done all the time so using another profession gives things a bit of a different spin and lawyers would still have enough interest in getting to the truth in matters such as this so it is not overly far fetched to why they should care even though this is not about the court trials as other mystery shows with lawyers tend to be.

I think I see why these glasses are so popular right now.
Even though he is shown to be almost completely emotionless you cannot help but feel that there is a mystery to be solved about Enomoto himself which should be used to tie everything together if this drama is remain as good as the first episode. Of course I do not think he would work as well as a lead character if Junko and Serizawa were not there to be the more relate-able characters for the viewer.

The investigation is afoot!
As I mentioned before the show pretty much does what my favorite mysteries do and sets up the clues for the audience to pick up on so the interest is not so much who was the culprit but rather with how did they pull it off and how they can be linked to the murder.

"As you can see the culprit lifted the roof off the room..."
It is easy to see the formula being set up for how the episodes will most likely go for the series. But I think the writers made it interesting and quirky enough that it should not get too tired as the series progresses, but final judgment of that will have to wait until later. Though I do love the miniatures that are used to help explain the possibilities of the locked room murder.

Overall I really enjoyed the first episode of this show and I am in a way glad that I waited to watch it as I do not have to wait a week for the next episode. At least not yet as I have the feeling I will be catching up to this series pretty quickly.

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