Crisis: Special Investigation Squad - Episode 1 (Recap)

I watched Crisis: Special Investigative Squad in the summer of July 2017 the week after it had finished airing in Japan. I watched all ten episodes in one week and wanted more, and it did a good job helping me fill the void that Secret Forest had left. It was on my radar because I am a fan of Shun Oguri, but the show also made me an immediate fan of Hidetoshi Nishijima as many of you who read this blog already know.
Hidetoshi Nishijima is now forever known as Trot's bae😀. It's so funny, but I didn't know this was where your love affair started. I started this cos of Shuuuuun! But I also came away with a huge liking for the entire team especially TB.
It’s written by an award winning author, Kazuki Kaneshiro, who also wrote Border (starring Shun) and Caution, Hazardous Wife (in which Hidetoshi Nishijima plays the husband). Both of these shows are on my list of shows I’d like to recap for the blog. I had no idea that they were all written by the same person.
Are you for real Trot? They were written by the same person? Wow. I absolutely loooove Border. It is top 5 of my best Japanese shows ever, and I would even argue that it's top 5 of all the Asian shows I have ever seen. Caution too was so good! Well, guess the Kazuki drama trio recap is on then.

Kazuki also trained Shun and Hidetoshi in the type of martial arts that grounds most of the fight scenes in the drama, Kali Salit. They trained for 6 months to prepare for the drama, and it shows. As I said in my RAWR review, the fight scenes here are some of the best I’ve seen outside of the Kenshin movies. Take a look at the official trailer, and you'll see examples of this.

The show won the Bronze World Medal in the Crime Drama category of the 2018 New York International Television and Film Awards Festival and the Silver Plaque for Dramatic Series at the 54th Chicago International Television and Film Festival.

It is ten episodes long with each episode running about an hour. It addresses political corruption, domestic terrorism, and causes of fanaticism.

Episode One:

At the headquarters of Kami no Hikari, a religious group, we see a man, whom I’m assuming is a member, alone amongst what looks like the bookshelves in a small library. He seems to be listening in on a conversation through a wire inside books. He hears some young women coming and quickly leaves.
His exit was very smoothly done too. A pro.

Next we see a group of men at a restaurant at a resort or golf course. Daiki Kaji, the Superintendent Supervisor of the National Police Agency and Security Bureau Director, takes a phone call and leaves the table. He gets a report from Yuko Aonuma, Superintendent of the Metropolitan Police Department of General Affairs, telling him that their guy on the “inside” has alerted them to a possible bombing on the bullet train. The information is spotty at best, but Daiki tells him that they should sent the Special Investigation Squad (I’m going to refer to them as SIQ from now on), but interestingly Yuko balks a bit. Daiki pushes even though he knows the team has finished its training, but he asserts that scenarios like this are exactly what they are trained to handle.
Interesting dynamic between these two that I think will come into play much later on. Yuko seems like a strictly-by-the-books guy while Daiki seems like a Maverick, or an end-justifies-the-means type.
We move to Odawari Nishi Station later that afternoon, where the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Tech is waiting with his bodyguards for the train. The camera shows a man looking over at the group, so we can assume that he is part of the plot. The train pulls up and passengers begin to board. Right then, we see a group of people, a shot that only shows them below the neck, arrive at the stairs to the platform, and they jog up the stairs. When they get to the platform, they split up and spread themselves out by boarding different cars. 
Show might only show them from the neck down, but I recognize both that swag and butt. I'll bet my imaginary cat that Shuuuun is one of our anonymous people :)
The first time I watched it, I assumed (correctly) that this was the SIQ. The second time I watched it, I knew who each person was because our team members are distinctive. And I love the way this show uses this opening to not only set up the exposition of the plot but to also introduce each member of the team, their specialty areas, and how they work together.

We first meet Inspector Mitsunari Yoshinaga, played by Tetsushi Tana (our judge from ep 2 of BG).  Stopping between cars, he tells team through their headpieces,where the Minister is sitting and to look for suspect on train. He asks Rei Oyama, played by Yuko Araki, if she can send them all a picture of the suspect. We immediately go to where she is sitting while she opens up her laptop and pulls up the files. She sends everyone the picture while another member of team, Yusuke Kashi,played by Toru Monaguchi, sits across the aisle from her looking over at her laptop screen.
Very random and off topic, but when I saw Yoshinaga, I remembered his IRL infidelity/affair scandal 😶. I wonder how that eventually panned out... Anyway back to this, we can finally see some of our teammates and their roles are already being defined.
Two other team members open their phones and see the picture, but we only see the face of one, Saburo Tamaru (played by Hidetoshi Nishijima—WOOOOOOHOOOOOOO!!!—sorry that just AU me running through holding a glitter fan sign).
TB! TB! TB!!!!!!!!!
Yoshinaga looks at his phone and tells everyone to go find him. Tamaru gets up and our faceless team member does as well. They both walk through different train cars, and it’s unclear who will find the suspect first. Interestingly, our nameless member stops and sits in a train car. Tamaru stops in a train car as well, but he stops to sit right next to the suspect. He smiles pleasantly at him (like a tiger about to eat his prey, Panda, so not one our Shiro smiles).
I swear I didn't know he could smile so wide till I watched Caution, but those Shiro smiles are on another level entirely!! Those smiles light up everything and everywhere. Oh goshhh. Wait, hmm let me get back to this drama, LOOL.
The suspect tries to get up, but Tamaru twists his arms around and drags/pushes him out of car into the space between cars. They fight there—interrupted to my amusement by the snack cart lady who is never aware that there is a fight—until inevitably Tamaru succeeds. He is just so calm throughout, that there isn’t any doubt. He calls in his location to the others. I’m always fascinated by fights in such confined places.
Short but brutal fight that I enjoyed immensely. As you said Japan and its courtesy, I appreciated that the bad guy let the waitress pass by before pulling out his knife. I guess he didn't want to harm an innocent passerby even though he intended blowing up the train? Hmmmm.
Yoshinaga, Oyama, and Kashi show up, but our faceless team member sits tight—looking at a map on his phone of the train route. When the rest of them find Tamaru and the suspect, Yoshinaga goes through the suspects bag and finds a bomb. He merely gives it to Kashi who puts his nose in the bag to sniff the contents. He recognizes the kind of bomb by its smell, and he says it’s enough to blow up one of the cars, but he can defuse it.
Identification of a bomb by smell is a very useful trick to have in one's arsenal.
He goes into the bathroom while Yoshinaga turns back to the suspect. He kneels down to be at eye level with him, stares a moment with no expression,  then calmly puts his fingers on the suspect’s neck to feel his pulse as he starts asking questions. By detecting that the suspect’s pulse rate rises when he asks if he is alone, Yoshinaga deduces that there is another person on train with a bomb. He even praises the suspect for his honesty because it was so easy.
The scene made me laugh.

He takes the suspects phone but clearly it’s locked, so he hands it to Oyama and asks her to find the call history. He tells Tamura that they need to start from the beginning.  While Tamura goes back into the train car, Yoshinaga tells Inami (our before nameless but still faceless member who is still sitting where he stopped earlier) to go back to car 16 to wait for further instructions. Oyama gives him back the phone with all the recent numbers pulled up.
Kashii comes out of bathroom with defused bomb, and Yoshinaga tells him to go to the car with the minister in it and that if they can’t find they other bomb, he needs to get the minister off the train at the next stop. He then tells them that he’s going to start calling the numbers, and everyone needs to keep on the lookout for anyone who is receiving a call.

We see Tamaru get out his seat and start walking down aisle of his car. We also see our other team member: first a shot of his hands in his lap then the camera scrolls up as he stands, and we see Akira Inami, played by Shun Oguri. 
I love him so much! Just look at him. My baeeeeeeeeeeee.
(When his second child was born, I had a series of dreams that he and his wife hired me to be their nanny. Weird.)
I’m not going to lie. I remember squeeling the first time I watched this. Perfect slo-mo badass music, too. He walks down aisle of car he’s in and hears a phone ringing. He speaks to the guy the guy pleasantly, but when our new suspect doesn't respond, he asks menacingly to see his hands.
Just look at his swag! So much badassery melts.
Suspect #2 slowly brings his hand out. Then he lunges at Inami. Excellent fight scene # 2 begins.
Once he subdues the suspect, Inami checks the bag and finds a bomb. The suspect smiles at him through his bloody mouth. Inami merely looks out window, smiles back and goes to push the emergency stop button on the train, saying he always wanted to do that (You’re not the only one Inami!).
I was disappointed that suspect 2 lacked the courtesy suspect 1 had and tried to use the waitress to distract Inami. I guess that's why my bloodthirsty side enjoyed it immensely when Inami broke his hand. 
The trains comes to about as abrupt a stop as you can get on a bullet train,  affecting people in all the cars with people and items going flying. Inami merely drags Suspect 2 toward the door and once they get in between cars, he pulls the train door open, looks out, and sees that they are on a bridge. He grabs Suspect #2 and the bag, and drags them all to the door, leaping into the river below.
Okay, I thought he would only throw the guy in the water and not jump in the water with him?! What are you doing Inami?
I would have assumed that Suspect 2 might have gotten away if I didn't go with him in the water.
A minute later, the bomb goes off underwater. People rush to the windows to see. Our team is at the open door of train from which Inami leapt. They seem to calmly be looking at the water waiting, but the mood is interesting.
Notice they don't seem shocked at all? That establishes that Inami is the daredevil in the team. Seriously, there was no need to jump in the water too!
They don’t seem to nervous at all, they are more amused than anything. Oyama wonders out loud whether or not he’s really dead this time as if she was talking about someone she doesn’t know. Kashii smirks and comments that headquarters will be pissed if that is true. Yoshinaga agrees, but Tamura thinks he’ll just get a medal.

But finally, they see something bubbling up. It’s Inami with the suspect. He swims him to the shore and slaps him only to have suspect spit up water in his face. The team looks happy, with Oyama  yelling and waving from the bridge. Inami looks up a bit befuddled. She turns to look at the others realizing that she’s the only one waving and admonishes them for not waving, so they all start awkwardly waving , and Inami starts waving back with a genuine smile.
LOOOOL. She is clearly the team Mascot.
More like the bossy younger sister of whom they are a bit afraid but will protect with their lives.
I fell for this team completely here, and right away began worrying that someone was going to die. Japanese dramas have no problem killing off main team members.

It is here that we take break for opening credits (the third time I rewatched this drama, I watched with daughter, and she would sing CRIIIIIISEEEEEESS really loudly each time). 😀😀😀😀

In a public square on a pleasant day, a sweaty, terrified young man staggers through with some odd contraption around his next. He begins to attract more and more attention, especially after he starts yelling out people. He stops, frantically checking a phone that’s attached to his hand and screams for help.
Why do I feel an instant dislike to this guy? He looks very shifty and guilty even as he weeps with what's obviously a bomb of sorts around his neck.
At headquarters, Daiki Kaji and Yuko Aonuma are discussing what happened on the bullet train the day before. Kaji is excited, referring to the team members as "his thoroughbreds," which makes me not like him perhaps unfairly because the next minute he defends them and their methods to Aonuma. Aonuma thinks they took too many risks and a lot of things happened in their favor by luck. Kaji scoffs at that; he believes that they are much more calculating than that.
Ooooh and this scene completely switches my initial observation of the two. Or does it? Initially I thought Kaji was the straight guy and Yuko the maverick but now it seems Kaji is excited that they got the job done and scoffs about them going off the books. Both men have their points, and I don't know who is more right. There is something for going by the book, but in certain situations, improvising is crucial. The thing is, when to know when to stop?
He also talks about the new world of crime and how they have to deal much more with dangerous unknown elements. He thinks it's impossible to address these new challenges without people who will use different methods and warns Aonuma that if he wants to keep rising through the ranks, he’s going to have to adapt to and use unconventional methods. Anouma gets a phone call about what is happening in the square. Before he even shares with Kaji, Kaji responds as if he knows something else crazy has happened.
That smile seems a little creepy.
far too excited about crazy emergencies
We see Inami half naked in bed (not alone) with his phone ringing. The caller ID caller reads: Head Office of the Tokyo Water Supply Equipment Service. What? The phone rings so much that his partner sleepily asks about it. He tells her that it’s work and that a pipe has burst, so he needs to go in. She is still groggy but not too groggy to ask him to leave his number, so they can get together again, but by the time she gets this out, he’s gone.
Inami shows up at an office getting in with his id badge, but we immediately notice that this isn’t a regular office (and definitely not a water supply place) because once he gets past the id panel, he has to do a thumbprint and code at two more places before getting into the inner sanctum.
Trot, what do you mean it's not a Water supply place? Don't all normal offices have 3 thumbprint  scanners?
When he arrives, everyone else is there getting stuff out of lockers and ready to leave. It’s obvious that he’s still wearing the same clothes, so when Kashii sniffs him, I think it’s because he smells, but that’s not it. Kashii can tell from the smell the age of the woman Inami was with. Inami looks impressed, but then Oyama tells him the address of the apartment and the time he went there, increasing his admiration. She scoffs telling him he should turn off GPS is on on his phone when he's going to do "bad stuff."
I also got taken by Kashii's almost "psychic synthesia(?)" skills, but when Oyama tells him the address I realized it was because they tracked him to where he just came from. Pfft.
He clearly sleeps with random women a lot, and everyone teases him with different levels of levity except Tamuru. He leaves the room as soon as he is ready.
TB doesn't have time for such frivolous stuff.

In the teched up van on the way to site, Oyama briefs them on the case, projecting information inside the van. The young man with the bomb around his neck is the son of a the current Minister of Foreign Affairs and front runner to be next prime minister.

They have a video of him saying why he’s been targeted: he has sexually assaulted many women and keeps getting away with it because of his father’s connections. The people who did this want his father to go on television that night to apologize and to take any punishment coming.
Inami asks whether all of that is true, and Oyama projects different articles about the various arrests. Yoshinaga says that countless police officers have tried to bring him to justice just to get blocked because of political reasons. Tamura adds that there are whole binders on him at the police stations. Inami just sighs dispirited. Oyama says that they are then just a part of everyone else who covers up these crimes, and Yoshinaga, who looks as unhappy about this as anyone, says they are here to take care of political problems behind closed doors that could lead the country into a crisis, so they all need to focus.
URGHHHHH.  I was right about the victim! What a piece of shit. I feel like they should just let what will happen, happen him.
When they arrive, the area has already been secured by police and bomb squad officials. Tsuka Hoshino, Director of the 1st Investigation Division, is already there and doesn’t look that pleased when he sees their van arrive. While filling them in on the basics about this case, he tells them they just need to observe and be quiet. This doesn't seem to phase them at all; they are already doing their own assessment of the bomb (Kashii believes that he could detonate it quickly) and the area (Oyama hasn't detected any other bombs).
However, when the kidnapper calls to tell them they can give the hostage water, Tamura gestures to his Yoshinaga who takes the director aside. Inami smirks because he can guess that Yoshinaga is pulling rank.
Junior Yusuke (victim) is still an entitled brat, just look at him yelling and demanding for water.

When he comes back, Tamura is allowed to be the person to take in the water.

His expression never changing, he walks over to the hostage and starts asking him questions while unscrewing the cap on water. He wants to know where he was kidnapped and if he had any idea who. Hostage hesitates and the alarm on his neck starts going off because Tamura has been there too long. Still Tamura waits him out, and the hostage tells him to look at one of his friends.
TB looks supremely unimpressed talking with the guy. I feel he half supports my idea of just letting him be blown up.
EVERYONE supports this idea.
Immediately upon hearing some of the information the hostage shares, Oyama starts looking things up, so by the time Tamura gets back to group, she has video from cameras in the hostage’s parking garage,in hostage’s apartment as well as info on the friend who, according the security cameras at his place, has yet to leave his house today.  Yoshinaga sends Tamura and Inami off to interview the friend. It is now 3:02, only four more hours until the deadline.
deciding who drives
At the apartment, the friend is watching some of the video of the situation on his phone and looks a bit freaked out, so when he sees Tamura and Inami in his door camera, he doesn’t respond. Fortunately, another tenant is coming out, so they can get into the building. They get there just in time to watch the guy start running down the stairs. And this has got to be one of my most favorite chase stunts ever-with Tamura leaping down the outside of the stairwell one floor at a time.
I love the action scenes in this drama! And this is the first one that features my 2 guys!! Visual treat.
Even Inami is impressed. But he realizes that he can’t just sit and admire but needs be running, too. He starts and decides that he needs to jump down as well and goes for jumping into some bushes. What's funny about this is that they end of surrounding the culprit, and the culprit takes a chance on Tamura—maybe because he looks older and more staid--despite the fact that Inami basically fell out of the sky in front of him and looks as good as a person who can still stand afterwards would.
Ouch, that jump had to hurt. 
Mistake, because he doesn’t stand a chance. Tamura takes him with one blow and still not breaking a sweat or changing expression, handcuffs him with Inami looking on being more impressed and a bit guilty because clearly who has done all the work here? He even makes the bored looking Tamura do a fistbump. Ha!
LOL, that is one of the most reluctant bro-fistbumps I have ever seen.
They bring him back to site where Yoshinaga asks him to tell them the names of people who may want revenge and gets him to talk by threatening to bring back Tashura and Inami (ha!); however, when he comes out of the van, he’s completely disgusted because there are so many victims that he knows that Oyama will not be able to come up with a definitive list of them and their relatives and friends in time to do a feasible search.

Inami is curious though. Why this location? It doesn’t seem to be the best location for revenge and justice because it isn’t popular enough. Kashii agrees, saying with some relish, that if he were going to pull something like this, he’d do it on a Sunday afternoon at a mall where there were a lot of people. Looking around, they see nothing but police officers. Inami clearly gets an idea and goes to ask Oyama to look up something. It obviously works because they have narrowed it down to one victim, a young woman the hostage raped who committed suicide after. They all look disgusted, but viewer doesn’t know yet how or why they came up with this victim's name.
Hmmm, can I make a guess that they narrowed it down by looking to see if any of his victims had ties to any policemen? Let me wait and see...

Interestingly, even though we are running out of time, nothing about this hostage situation is in the news or online. It is now 6:50, and the hostage gets a call from his dad. At first he’s excited, but it quickly turns to dismay. When he starts screaming, Hoshino tells his men that he’s going to check on the minister’s plans but when he looks at his phone, he tells them to pull back all of their men without attracting attention. Pfft. They basically scramble out of there like nobody’s business.
The apple clearly didn't fall far from the tree, the dad could bury his crimes and yet in same vein abandon him so callously? Both are trash.
There is one police officer who remains; he holds the detonator. No wonder, Inami got the idea from all the police officers. The bomber has been able to hide in plain site with no one suspecting him because he's a member of the police force!
Yayyyy, I guessed right!
Inami is behind him though asking why he hasn’t pushed the button yet. When the police officer turns to look at him, the rest of the team goes out to the hostage, blocking the view while Kashi tries to detonate the bomb.

While Kashii works on defusing bomb, they all listen to Inami tell the police officer that he understands the cop's anger because of what happened to his daughter. Inami tells him that the difference between him and the cop is that he would’ve pushed the button long ago. None of this is on the news, so hopes of him getting justice for his daughter will only happen if he pushes the button. Yoshinaga is like “umm is this really a stalling technique?” Tamura smirks and says that he thinks it’s just what Inami believes.
Yeah, definitely what Inami would have done.

Kashi is able to find the right wire to cut in time despite the wriggling of the hostage. Oyama gets a good satisfying smack to this rapist's face before they lead them all away. But something is still bugging Inami because when the cop told him he thought the plan was good, the cop admitted that this wasn’t his plan. Someone had approached him who knew the story of his daughter (Pied Piper feels to this one, Kakashi!) They came up with the plan; they call themselves the Heisei Restoration Army. He looks into the crowd before he gets into the van and makes eye contact with a young man who stares with no expression before walking away.
Ohhhhhhh this just ramped up the stakes! I love a good PP-ish story with a master puppeteer trying to rid the world of evil.
Back at headquarters, Kaji is bragging to someone on the phone that it was his team that took care of everything while Aonuma continues to looked pained.

He laughs and talks about his thoroughbreds running like the wind today, but Aonuma warns they broke their legs before so Kaji shouldn't push them too far too fast. Daiki merely replies that if they break their legs again, he’ll just put them down. I knew he was a creep!
Seriously this guy is extremely creepy.

The news has nothing about the real event, making it out to be a prank with a fake bomb started by some college kids. You can tell the team is disheartened by this, but there isn’t much time to mope because they get a call about the government’s website getting hacked and all the portals posting the same message. It’s from the Heisei Restoration Army and includes a quote from Nietzsche all about how the government lies and they will expose the lies of the government so the people will be free.

We get closure with each member doing what they do to decompress: Kashii is working on plans for some device, Oyama is saving all her files, Yoshinaga is sitting by his sleeping daughter’s bedside, and Tamura looks up at a apartment building where a woman looks out later after he is gone.
Is this the reason why TB doesn't like discussing about passionate love? Well, I am a sucker for a tragic love backstory so bring on the pain.
She's baaaack. I wonder if Kakashi will like her as much here?
And we see Inami flirting with a woman in a bar. I’m going to honest. He’s quite good, poetic, and hitting all the right spots sincerely with her. No one wonder he’s so successful. But this is interrupted with a flashback of a man in a suit being traced by someone in fatigues, wearing a gas mask. The man finally falls, and leaning up against a tree begs for his life. The person in fatigues takes a moment and shoots him at close range. When he pulls his mask off, we see that it’s Inami.


I am going to try not to have these recaps this long anymore, especially since Panda so graciously volunteered to comment. Like my recaps for BG, I'm finding it hard to know what to keep and cut since relationships are just as important as the the action to the plot.
Do what feels natural to you Trot! I think it's obvious by now that you love writing long recaps. LOL. And it's no hassle for me cos it just makes me feel like I am watching the episode for the third time.

This team is spectacular. They do have their quirks, and it's obvious they do not and would not fit in to a regular team. It will be interesting to see how they were put together and why Kaji and Aonuma have such different opinions about their work.
All I can say is Shuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuun!! He even makes the "so-mustache" (The Greatest Love reference here) look good!!
I like how the show already sets us up to question who the good guys and bad guys are. We know that we are supposed to love our team, but we already know our hero has a sketchy past. Also, none of them really wants to spend so much time trying to "save" a serial rapist.

I also like how they are so not phased about the things happening. They get through with dry humor, talking about bombs as if they are talking about groceries.