It was time to dive into my very deep pile of J-dramas that I’ve had sitting around forever, with no time to actually watch them. Higanbana, or Whispers From a Crime Scene, is a 2016 series which ran 10 episodes on NTV. It’s another one of those quirky cop dramas that seem to show up on Japanese television all the time, so what the heck, let’s give this one a shot?
So did Higanbana turn out to be any good? You’re not going to find out unless you click below!
Five female detectives are part of Section 7, called Higanbana by the rest of the police force. Ostensibly created to solve crimes against women, it is filled with a collection of oddball characters that many think have jumped the career track. But they are all really excellent detectives. One, Nagisa, has the ability to “synchronize”, or detect the emotions of murderers she’s investigating. She gained this ability after seeing her father get murdered. Higanbana relies on her ability to gain insight into the minds of criminals that they unerringly bring to justice.
Now you’d think that this would be right up my alley, after all, it’s a detective show with some weird element, but a lot of things about it just didn’t set right with me. First off, the whole idea of a police force that only solves women’s crimes is, well, more than a bit sexist and was frankly unnecessary. And worse than the premise being sexist, the rest of the force, particularly Section 1, was always putting Section 7 down, mostly because they were all women. So right there, I had issues with the whole premise. As much as I liked the character of Nagisa, I never bought into her ability. They never explained it beyond “she saw her father get murdered and now has this ability”. Okay… why? And honestly, every single time she uses her “synchro” ability, she faints. Why does nobody go over and catch her? They always act surprised when she falls over!
Horikita Maki stars as Nagisa and she’s been in several things I’ve enjoyed, including Galileo, the Ataru special and Densha Otoko. Rei Dan plays Yukino Minegishi, the transfer from Section 1 who learns to love Section 7. She’s been in Ace Attorney and Fukuie Keibuho no Aisatsu, both of which I’ve previously reviewed.
It’s not bad, the mysteries are pretty standard and good for what they are, the cast is certainly decent and I can’t complain about the overall construction of the show. It’s just the little things that never let me get into it like I wish I could have. It could have been a lot better, had they just had one Section against another, or if they had explained Nagisa’s ability a little better. For only 10 episodes, there isn’t a huge time commitment, so if you like this kind of show, give it a shot.