Most mystery series or cop dramas usually have some kind of oddball element to set them apart, either a weird member of the team or they specialize in a strange type of case, it keeps them from all being the same show with different actors, which I think we can all agree would be pretty boring.
Iryu Sosa is just like that. It’s a police drama about a specialized criminal investigative unit and the cases they examine, but the unit really isn’t what’s special, it’s one man who looks at things in a unique way.
The Metropolitan Police Department First Investigation Scientific Criminal Unit has Satoshi Itomura, responsible for the personal effects of the victims, but while he’s not supposed to be investigating cases, as they tell him repeatedly, he cannot help sating his curiosity by examining the smallest details of his charges, which invariably lead to case-solving clues. Most of the rest of the team makes fun of him, thinking that what he does isn’t very important, but as time goes on, rookie investigator Miyuki Oda, starts to learn from Itomura that there’s more to police work than the rest of the team seems to think.
I was a bit surprised at how much I liked this series. Most cop dramas are hit or miss, either they’re really good or not so hot, it depends on how much that one special element in every show resonates with me and in this case, it did. Itomura is a man very dedicated to his calling, he’s very passionate about what he does and his belief that even when someone is dead, their belongings can continue to speak for them. It not only allows cases to get closed, but it allows family members to move on with their lives after the tragedy and it’s all done in a very believable and positive manner. That’s the mark of a really good show.
Apparently, the Japanese people thought so too because Iryu Sosa has just completed it’s third series I’ve got the second one and am waiting for subtitles on the third. I’m looking forward to jumping into the second series as soon as I finish another drama.
I think the casting is quite good, especially for Satoshi Itomura, played by Kamikawa Takaya. In my usual trip down memory lane, I always look to see if the actors have been in other shows I’ve enjoyed and here, Kamikawa was a guest on Mr. Brain. Kanjiya Shihori, who played Miyuki Oda, also played Katsura Miharu on Keibuho Yabe Kenzo and Sano Shiro, as Sone Takeo, has also been in a couple of great dramas, Trick 2 and Hidarime Tantei EYE.
If you’re into cop dramas with a little heart, it’s hard to go wrong with Iryu Sosa. At 11 episodes, it’s not a massive time commitment and it isn’t hard to get sucked into the secrets that a person’s personal artifacts can leave behind.