(not gonna spoil anything major in this first part)
What began as a Gone Girl ripoff (spanning 2 episodes), this drama continued to go beyond my expectations again and again. There are countless plot twists and if there’s one thing I’ve learned from this drama, it is, predicting how things unfold may be futile as more often than not, you’re going to get it wrong.Things are not always what they seem to be.
I’ve tried to predict things with this show but most of them went down the drain. I gotta admit, it’s been quite a while since so many of my predictions were wrong when it comes to mystery/detective shows. Most of them are so predictable that halfway through you’d have known how they end and there’s no fun in that. But this is where Yabai Tsuma thrives. The writers managed to keep the suspense to the very end and quite a satisfying one too. You have no time to do anything else when watching this show. Let’s say if you take your eyes off the screen for even a few mins, you’d probably miss out an important scene. Fillers are scarce and things are kept fast paced.
Plot-wise, like I mentioned, it started off as a Gone Girl ripoff, but fortunately, that only lasted 2 episodes. From there onwards, the story seems to be original and it became more than just about the husband and wife. It involved 6 more characters who will each play certain roles in the plot. At the beginning, when Kouhei seemed to be the only enemy for Maria at some point, she had to face off everybody else in the show. This is the juicy part. With more characters, you never know who’s gonna betray who, who’s gonna team up with who, who’s gonna turn their back against who, and finally, who’s going to win? There’s also a mysterious death that makes you wonder, who’s the real killer? I predicted wrongly as well here lol. Cliffhangers are abundant and I really like the addition of inner thoughts for certain characters. It’s just really nice to hear their thoughts.
Another interesting point that spans throughout the show is Maria’s real motive. What’s the true meaning of N31? Why is she so obsessed with her husband? Why wouldn’t she just divorce such a lousy cheating husband like Kouhei? Why would she go so far to keep Kouhei by her side? Was the fake abduction just a mere revenge? What’s in it for her? These will only be revealed in the final episode.
Acting-wise, considering they’re mostly veteran, I’ve not much complain here. The only minor gripe is Kouhei’s tendency to overreact. However, I do understand that this is the character itself and his actions were sometimes too comical and cartoony that they felt slightly off for me. I’m usually turned off when I see grown up characters act like a kid. If anything, that’s really the only thing I have to say about Kouhei.
Otherwise, Ito Hideaki and Kimura Yoshino carried their roles very well. They’re both very competent and convincing. Of course, being the intelligent one out of the two characters, Kimura Yoshino excelled, almost flawlessly. She executed the role with grace and class, befitting of her princess-like character. Not only that, when it comes down to bordering between sane and insanity, she shone as well.
The others are great too, for example, Aibu Saki who plays the mistress. Although her character’s not that major, I’m glad they gave her moments to shine and some redeeming factors. Mashima Hidekazu’s role was shortlived but he should not be forgotten because Ogata Shougo is probably, the most pitiable character in the show (alongside the police lol).
Speaking of which, Sato Ryuta who plays the cop, is equally competent. At least the writers didn’t dumb them down.
Takahashi Issei in my opinion, should be given more prominent roles, he’s pretty underrated. He did get quite a lot of screentime towards the end of this show, that’s nice. Last but not least, Kimura Midoriko who plays Kujirai Yuki, should be praised as well. Pretty convincing during her moments.
Basically, I think I enjoyed this show more than I thought I would. I came in thinking “Oh Japanese version of Gone Girl” but I was wrong. It’s 10x crazier than Gone Girl with more characters and exceeded my expectations. I’m not saying this is a must watch but it is definitely worth trying if you’re into mystery/suspense shows.
SPOILER REVIEW BELOW
Now that this is the spoiler region, I’m gonna let loose and spill my thoughts.
That ending! Well, what can I say? Where do I start? Halfway through the finale, I thought, “No, don’t trust anything shown to you”. See what this show has done to me? It has shaken my very grounds of trust. And truly, I was right not to trust anything until the final 5 minutes when they revealed the true meaning of N31. Maria’s aim was to get hold of the 1.6 billion yen kidnap insurance money after all. But in order to do that, she needs Kouhei, who’s the beneficiary. To be honest, I was pretty surprised by this, totally didn’t see it coming. Who knows whether she really loved Kouhei from the bottom of her heart? Was her declaration of love towards Kouhei real in front of Anna? Maybe yes but she’s still aiming for the money XD
Besides being a pure mystery/suspense, I’m wondering there’s an underlying message the writers want to tell us. I mean, yes, Maria is really a cunning wife and we should never underestimate housewives, from now on, but what else? What does it say about married couples? Take for example, Kouhei still saved Maria in the end and got stabbed. Though he said he didn’t know why he stepped in between Yuki and her, I think, deep inside, he still cared for Maria and perhaps, still loved her. When it comes to moments like these, I think your reactions show who you truly are. So yeah, think twice before cheating you folks. Anyways, Kouhei wouldn’t be stupid enough to leave Maria after getting 1.6 billion right? LOL
The most pitiable characters are Ogata Shougo and the police. Ogata is shortlived and being killed by Yuki really makes him pitiful considering everyone else lived. The police were chasing after ghosts as well, due to Maria’s tricks and it’s not shown whether they ever catch both Yuki or Kazuki, I think not. As for both Yuki and Kazuki, they’d probably spend their whole life running away even though they have the 200 million. The winners are still Maria, Kouhei and Anna. Maria’s lucky that the police couldn’t find concrete proofs that she actually faked her own abduction.
Oh another thing, I still couldn’t believe Maria didn’t kill anyone in this entire show despite how demented she is! I was totally ready for a sad ending actually. I was thinking there’s no way this show’s gonna end well. Someone would probably be sent to prison or die. Contrary to my predictions, it actually ended quite happily lol