Hippocrates no Chikai ep1-2 [review]


**Subtitles are available here. It’s not always WOWOW dramas get subbed!

I’m hoping for good quality crime shows from WOWOW this season, especially when they’re offering 3 – Hippocrates no Chikai, Cold Case and Suisho no Kodou. I’m beyond excited to be honest. Praying to the Gods of Jdrama to not let WOWOW disappoint us crime fiction lovers.

Hippocrates no Chikai stars Keiko Kitagawa as a medical intern, Tsugano Makoto. Her drama last season, Ie Uru Onna is probably one of the best and most enjoyable (thanks to the comedy). While her stiff robotic-like character makes us laugh in that show, it’s the other way around for Hippocrates. This is grim and heavy (as expected from WOWOW) and always, always right up my alley. I love serious crime shows. I’m also pleasantly surprised to find out that the Akira Uchikata who directed Ishi no Mayu is responsible for this too (really like his work for Ishi).

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So far, I like this show for touching on controversial issues regarding postmortem. While it’s the norm in Western countries for suspicious deaths, Asian culture prefers bodies to be perfect when cremated or buried. It’s probably the sense of wholeness and most family members wouldn’t want their beloved ones to suffer any further scarring.

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Thus, the first episode deals with a family who refuses postmortem even though the medical examiner team has doubts over the real cause of death. Makoto (Keiko Kitagawa) is a medical intern who is asked to train under Professor Mitsuzaki. Despite her initial reluctance because she aims to go into internal medicine (cure the living), after some advice that the Hippocrates Oath doesn’t discriminate between the living and dead, she continues the training.

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As someone who abides by the law and empathetic towards the bereaved, she can’t accept Mitsuzaki’s methods when he literally deceives the family (with the cop’s help) to perform autopsy on the victim (without the family’s permission). However, when they finally find out the truth about the victim’s death (which police suspected an accident by a negligent driver), it turns out that the death is due to hematoma and not the accident. That way, the driver is proven innocent and the bereaved finds closure.

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In the second episode, an athlete died and the police confirms it to be an accident but the wife is not convinced. She asks for a more thorough investigation. Mistuzaki is once again interested to find out more. I’m not going to spoil the twist for this second case here but let’s just say, sometimes, knowing the truth hurts more than expected. This is an example where ignorance is bliss.

Mitsuzaki is an intriguing doctor as nobody really knows what’s going on in his head. He doesn’t elaborate much when not necessary, but the cop has respect for him (since they’ve worked together many times) and would normally go along with his quirks. However, deep inside, the cop wonders if Mitsuzaki is just gathering data for himself. Whether or not Mitsuzaki is really concerned about finding out the truth or his hobby is to perform autopsy regardless the truth, that still remains a question.

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There’s a subplot where Mitsuzaki’s boss is not happy with his work ethics and plans to remove him. He asks Tsukuba (Makoto’s superior) to use her as  a spy and report whatever Mitsuzaki is doing to him. Of course, Makoto has no idea she’s being used.

Makoto’s best friend has been sick for quite a while and it’s also one of the reasons why she chooses to pursue internal medicine, in hopes to help her friend. Towards the end of 2nd episode, her friend passes away and this devastates her.

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Initially, I thought this would focus on one case for the whole 5 episodes but it seems like they’re going for case per episode. As such, it probably won’t be too dull to follow. The pacing is alright so far, just nice. Character development is fine too. Since the show is being subbed (and we know how rare WOWOW dramas get picked), and if you’re like me, looking for a more mature crime/medical show that sets a different tone than the usual stations, this is worth checking out.

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One thought on “Hippocrates no Chikai ep1-2 [review]

  1. Yes this is so worth checking out, I enjoyed it through and through. So good! Thank you for sharing your thoughts on it 🙂

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