Yami no Bansosha [review]

I was killing some time while waiting for Ishi no Mayu finale last night so I tried to finish this show. Watched the finale again today because I couldn’t really concentrate last night in the midst of real-time Twitter monitoring Japanese feedback on Ishi no Mayu finale XD

Compared to Tenshi no Knife, I feel this is more interesting.


Yami No Bansosha Ep03 (848x480 x264).mp4_snapshot_11.19_[2015.09.13_19.03.52]

Yes, definitely more thrilling. In some ways, Tenshi no Knife reminded me of the ‘terrestrial dramas’ which were some of the downfall for me personally because if I watch WOWOW dramas, I don’t want it to follow the same format as those dramas. Yet some of the flashbacks and scenes reminded me of those. This one is definitely better.

I think with basic to intermediate Japanese knowledge should be fine, though there were a few scenes that needed some rewatching. There were also lots of manga related jargon but set that aside, you can basically get through it and still grasp the whole idea.

Yami No Bansosha Ep03 (848x480 x264).mp4_snapshot_18.19_[2015.09.13_19.11.11]

I’m not going to include spoilers, at least, not the major ones. The subbing is already in process by Wabi-Wabi subs. So let’s hope they release it somewhere near the future so we can all enjoy this great show. I don’t mind re-watching dramas that are worth it. That way, I can also recommend to my friends etc

(I’ll be using their real names instead of character)

What do I like most about this show?


The chemistry between both Matsushita Nao and Furuta Arata. The moment they met till the end of the show, I truly enjoyed their company and mild bickering. The conversations among them were quite funny too mostly because of Arata’s odd behaviour. This conbi is really good, so entertaining I can’t get enough of them. Seriously, put them together in a room and I wouldn’t even mind watching them talk all day long.

Yami No Bansosha Ep05 End (848x480 x264).mp4_snapshot_13.54_[2015.09.13_21.34.32]

So Arata is a witty manga expert whose path crossed with Matsushita one day because of a manga-related case. A deceased manga author, Ajima’s wife asked Matsushita (I’m using their real names) to investigate a 50-page unpublished manga found among her husband’s belongings. She wasn’t sure whether they were Ajima’s real work. This alone didn’t seem very interesting at first if all Matsushita had to find out was whether Ajima really drew the manga himself or not.

No, the catch is this.

The unpublished manga depicted an unsettling act of stalking and murder which didn’t seem to be Ajima’s genre. Alongside the manga, there were few newspaper cuts of missing women cases 35 years ago. Could this actually be a depiction of real cases instead of fiction? If so, then the one who drew the manga was involved in the missing women cases?

As such, Matsushita who was an ex-cop, had literally no experience in manga stuff so she asked for Arata’s help. From there, Arata began to search for clues within the 50 pages of manga while Matsushita did her own investigation about the missing women cases. From time to time, she also got assistance from her father’s colleague, a retired cop.

The Plot and Directing

I usually have very few complaints when it comes to WOWOW dramas. Rightfully so anyway since their quality is often better than usual ones. For example, they rarely treat viewers like little kids who are easily fooled. That said, I really liked what I see in this drama. The lack of cheesiness was great, almost everything was toned down, no over-acting. I liked the transition between Kaname Jun’s initial character to the later. The way they connected the dots from the clues found in the manga itself was efficiently done, it sent some sort of chill down my spine every time Arata discovered something new, for example the one where they saw a boy hiding behind the tree or the part where they realized the numbering of the pages weren’t originally written by the author itself, especially when you consider that revelation alone may change the entire sequence of the story, you see.

Yami No Bansosha Ep03 (848x480 x264).mp4_snapshot_13.54_[2015.09.14_20.48.27]

“I have a sense of justice.
However, that justice is not something the public will forgive.”

I thought episode 3 was the part where things really picked up pace and quite a lot of things revealed, yet at the same time, you feel unsure of what you see or perceive. Episode 4 escalated further, which I didn’t quite expect so it was very thrilling. The end of that episode was such a riveting cliffhanger it made me watch the finale immediately.

Even when we already know the identity of the boy in the finale, the backstory between him and the manga author was really compelling. It made the title itself “Partners in Darkness” very fitting at the end of the show after you realized their relationship. It was a dark pact between the two but at the same time, so beautiful that I couldn’t make up my mind whether to put the blame on them or not.

Overall, such a good show that deserves attention.

Yami No Bansosha Ep05 End (848x480 x264).mp4_snapshot_49.42_[2015.09.13_22.45.46]


3 thoughts on “Yami no Bansosha [review]

  1. Yes! Great review! I enjoyed this drama for the exact same reasons you did. Great acting and subtle funny moments from Arata. You’re spot on with the chilling discoveries. I loved how they didn’t shy away from real manga jargon and how they used manga as the driving point. Arata is our (and Matsushita’s of course) tour guide into the mangaka world, and the creators didn’t skimp on the details.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s