There are some series that are just unique. Cold Case, a 2016 Japanese drama, is actually a re-imagining of an American TV series of the same name that ran from 2003 to 2010. The Japanese series is also sponsored by Warner Brothers, which I was quite surprised by. I never watched the American series, so I have nothing to go by, so let’s look at the overseas version and judge it by its own merits.
Set in the Kanagawa Prefecture, which is just south of Tokyo, the series follows detective Yuri Ishikawa and her team as they try to solve unsolved cases that have fallen through the cracks.
The cases are all independent, which in and of itself is a little unusual because most series will have some kind of thread throughout, or at least by the end try to tie things together, but here that isn’t really the case. Yoshida Yo is amazing as Yuri and her younger partner Kento, while he starts off a little bland, picks up, especially as he starts to date Yuri’s younger sister and this results in a lot of friction. Now I will admit that I thought that relationship was a bit quick, especially since Kento’s wife kills herself during the series, but what can I say?
The main team features Yoshida Yo as Yuri Ishikawa. She’s had parts in shows like MR. BRAIN, as well as starring roles in things like doS Deka. Nagayama Kento plays Takagi Shinjiro and popped up in Trick Shinsaku Special 2, as well as the drama version of Ranma 1/2. Takito Kenichi was Tachikawa Daisuke and showed up in Bloody Monday and BORDER. Mitsuishi Ken plays Kaneko Toru, who has been in a huge number of things like BOSS, MR. BRAIN, Tokyo Bandwagon and ON, which I need to get around to seeing one of these days. Finally Miura Tomokazu as Motoki Hidetoshi, who has also been in Tokyo DOGS and Shinzanmono, which I’ve reviewed. That’s a lot of acting power in just one place.
And all that power brings some really strong emotions to the screen. The thing about cold cases is that these are people who have lost hope of their cases ever being resolved. Often, the criminals can never be brought to justice and it has to be enough to just know that the mystery is solved. There are some real tear jerkers here, such as the case of the Korean living in Japan about half-way through, that will test your resolve. That’s really where this series shines, it has a huge emotional impact while they’re working through the cases and that’s really pretty rare.
If you get a chance, give Cold Case a look. It certainly won’t make me go back and look at the American series, but I’m certainly glad I spent 10 episodes with this cast, revisiting these cases.