**Subtitles are available here.
That was a solid finale, even better than the one in first series.
Let’s get the bad stuffs out of the way first. I’m not going to lie, I had mixed feelings in ep2-3, especially the way Kisaragi Toko is written. If you’ve read my previous posts, you would know what I’m not satisfied with. Mostly regarding her actions that make us question her maturity after one year in the supposedly esteemed First Division. The inconsistencies of her going back and forth between being composed and easily distressed can be slightly frustrating. It’s also kind of crossing that thin line of making female characters weak in male-dominated environment. The drama’s not perfect either, there are some loopholes here and there. Fortunately, the protagonist starts redeeming herself in ep4 and her biggest accomplishment is none other than the finale’s climax.
All things considered, there are good points making it still very watchable. If you like crime suspense, well-crafted cinematography, great OST, flawed protagonist with good character development, teamwork and police procedural, you might want to give this a chance. Also, if you’re tired of terrestrial cop shows and want something with different vibe, say…more atmospheric. The only way to know is to watch and decide whether this kind of drama is your cup of tea or not (not exactly the best advice lol)
One thing for sure though, if you’re planning to try this, START by watching the first series, Ishi no Mayu. Since the finale brings back a major character, Kisaragi’s nemesis, it would deliver a greater punch if you understand their history and their conversation would make a lot more sense.
(Spoiler review after the break)
Is it predictable like Ishi no Mayu?
Nope. It’s clearly more complex with lots of questions raised throughout the series. The culprit is not as predictable and having two simultaneous cases do add some confusion and chaos, making us wonder if they’re connected. The presence of Public Safety can be annoying because they’re nothing but a pain in the ass. However, this gives us insight into the ‘rivalry’ between different departments.
As for the wrap up, it’s a bit rushed due to time constraint. Unlike Ishi, Toremi’s background is elaborately shown with tons of flashbacks, and make you feel for him. The villain here doesn’t get much screentime and most of the revelations are done by talking (instead of showing) so some people may find it less engaging or emotionally attached to the villain. We also don’t know a lot about the organization, in fact, because that is under Public Safety, so by the end of the finale, that case is still ongoing.
For those who find the investigation progress or momentum in Ishi slow for their liking, this is definitely more fast-paced. There’s always something to look forward to in every episode, more action for example.
KISARAGI + TAKANO
These two. Probably one of my favorite konbis this year. I can’t say anything bad about their partnership. Since the first series, they’ve captured our heart and continue to do so, in fact, much more this time. They complement each other very well. Takano being the senior of few words, smart, terse, no-nonsense attitude, responsible but gentle on the inside. Kisaragi, on the other hand, the less experienced junior, reckless and timid. There are ample scenes featuring both of them, developing their trust and relationship as buddies (sorry folks, no romance here!). I really think they did a good job with their chemistry in this second series. Also, Takano shines a lot this time (I don’t mind watching a spin-off just for him).
KISARAGI + TOREMI
Wow! That finale though. Nerve-wrecking bomb deactivation scene which ultimately questions Kisaragi’s faith but also brings forth a fitting closure for these two.
There’s no need to bring Kisaragi’s nemesis, Toremi back really, but after watching the finale, I’m glad they did. Like I said, I’m not sure if they follow the original novel or they’re just including Toremi here to give a sense of continuity from first series. It works out great though. By linking Toremi to the bombs and Kisaragi suffering PTSD from that case, this presents an opportunity for them to find closure. Besides that, Kisaragi is forced to face her trauma and overcomes it with Toremi’s help. Their history makes the entire finale more compelling.
Their conversation during the bomb deactivation scene really feels nostalgic, so many references (you would understand if you’ve watched Ishi) and lastly, gives such a feel-good closure, melancholic even, to both of them. Another thing is when Toremi lets Kisaragi into his world after refusing her reaching out to him for so long with some casual chit chat and reminiscing the past. There’s a sense of relief, yet, intense because bomb is ticking (^^;;) When they finally bid farewell to each other, it’s just so bittersweet because even though he saves them all, he’s still going to die. But Toremi, you do have a thing for Kisaragi, don’t you after all?
Not forgetting the other members in Section 11. I really think ‘team spirit’ is more palpable here compared to the first. As a result, the scene right after Kisaragi managed to stop the timer is emotional and I truly feel happy for them.
Finally, just like in the first series, I hoped for a sequel so I’m crossing fingers for a 3rd series next year if possible. After all, there are 4 other novels to be adapted. It depends on the show’s ratings though, so we’ll see.
Some behind the scenes pictures