Ouroboros is finally here. I was rather excited about this show when it was announced and all the more when Ueno Juri was added to the already great cast-list. Enter the dark world of both orphans, Ikuo and Tatsuya, we know they once had a loving teacher (played by Hirosue Ryoko) at the orphanage and the necklace depicting the snake biting its own tail (there are two in this show), Ouroboros belonged to her. I have to say, the opening managed to grab my attention, in an emotional way. Especially when Ikuo teared up. But nothing beats the little girl later in the first case that proved sometimes, even a child actress can cry and act better than the overhyped grown ups in so many dramas we’ve witnessed. I was moved and I don’t usually get stirred emotionally easily when the said situation doesn’t concern me.
As for Ikuo’s character, Ikuta Toma is great (for now), I think he managed to balance out the slightly quirky eccentric detective and you can see he portrays great empathy for victims in his cases. He also has a special ability to smell what food the victims or people around him has previously. This ability though is enough to drive Hibino crazy. Opposite him, we have Tatsuya, a cool and smart yakuza who is feeding underground intel to Ikuo. I think this is a good departure from Oguri Shun’s previous character in BORDER, where he played a cop. Both of them work together in order to find out the policeman with the gold watch who told them to not reveal who the real killer was. Since they were both just kids, they couldn’t do anything to bring justice.
Ikuo’s buddy/partner, Mizuki Hibino is a no-nonsense cop who is responsible and a career-track cop whose father is a high-ranking officer. However, compared to Ikuo, she lacks the empathy and would look at things more realistically, I guess you can say, the play-it-by-the-book cop. Together though they make a great team and there’s some sort of affinity between the two. I guess I’m just glad that Juri is back in the drama scene after her suspense-revenge drama, Alice no Toge. She’s the sort of a chameleon actress who’s able to adapt different roles rather smoothly. At this point though, her character is not yet challenging, I hope that evolves in the later part.
I came in expecting a serious and dark cop drama and while you do get a good dose of that, you also get some comedy scenes. There are quite a lot from Ikuo-Mizuki interaction alone. Tatsuya’s side of the yakuza world do offer some as well, especially with his antic of saying something then abruptly inserted the ‘I’m lying’ or ‘That’s a lie,’ quotes. I’m also having some hard time which to believe lol.
I kinda like how they asked Nakamura Aoi to act as a thief, sort of a cameo appearance for the first case. He looked so different from his goody role in Alice no Toge (if anyone still remembers) but he shared the same fate here.
Yes, people die in this drama. A lot. And I love that they stayed close to the manga in that sense for now. I’ll touch a bit on that later towards the end of this post. Overall, the pace is just right, no boring filler scenes. Things just move from one to another and suspense.
Now regarding how close they follow the manga, I’ve read it once about a month ago because I was curious. The manga showed a lot of Ikuo, he’s definitely central character and Tatsuya is his shadow. You can say Ikuo’s in the front line while Tatsuya supports him from behind, while he does his work underground as well, digging for info. One thing I noticed almost immediately is how the drama version does tend to show more of Hibino Mizuki as opposed to the manga. And as a fan of Ueno Juri, I like that. I was a bit worried how her character will play out when there’s nothing much for her to do other than playing Ikuo’s buddy. But I think the scriptwriter will not waste the talent Juri-chan has so there might be some complex development in the future.
I expected Ikuo to show some crazy fighting moves because he gave me the impression in the manga version. Guess we’ll not be seeing those as much in this drama though. However, all things considered, this is a pretty good pilot. So fans of either Ikuta Toma, Oguri Shun or Ueno Juri, you should give this a try.
I never expected the guy in the restaurant who Ikuo met was actually Hibino’s father. So from the short scene around the end, when Hibino accepted a phone call from him and they talked in such a formal manner, we know Hibino is not close to her father, as opposed to what her colleagues think. The final confrontation showed that Ikuo is not your average good cop. He’s the kind that wouldn’t mind staining his hands with blood if it gets him and Tatsuya’s goals.
Special mention for this girl who was really great in the crying scene.