Monsters is a comedic mystery series starring Katori Shingo-san and Yamashita Tomohisa-kun as police detectives. Young detective Saionji Kousuke (Yamashita) has to keep tabs on the more eccentric Hiratsuka Heihachi (Katori), and find evidence of Hiratsuka’s wrongdoing. In the meanwhile, Hiratsuka uses methods both ethical and otherwise to solve cases.

This episode begins in a hospital, where a man named Ando is being told that he will not get the position he had aimed for.

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It will instead go to Murakawa . . .

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. . . and Ando is visibly displeased. But is it enough to commit murder over? Well, that’s not all – his boss has heard bad rumors about him, and plans to have him hauled before an inquest. That’s more like it.

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In a surprising twist, Saionji is already at the scene – as a patient. The nurses are all over him when his girlfriend, Takano Emi (Yanagihara Kanako) enters.

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She takes excessive delight in pushing them all aside and chastising them for neglecting all of their other patients:

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His doctor, Suzuki, is quite nervous. Apparently, Saionji is here for a minor leg surgery, and it will be Suzuki’s first operation.

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Back in the director’s office, a fax arrives, and it might have something to do with the brewing conflict between Ando and Murakawa.

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The next day (the day of Saionji’s operation), we see Hiratsuka walking down the street, smiling away.

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Suzuki is still nervous about the operation, and says that Ando should handle it. Unfortunately, Ando only bothers with especially difficult or high-profile cases. Saionji’s is routine.

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Ando is discussing one of those unusual cases with the staff, and that particular surgery begins:

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Presumably at the same time, the director is attacked. That . . . sort of rules out Ando . . . doesn’t it? Somewhat difficult to kill someone while you’re in the middle of performing surgery. I mean, other than the patient, of course.

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As an added twist, the apparent murder weapon arrives in the mail for Murakawa with a note saying “you’re next.” In my mind, that immediately makes Murakawa the prime suspect, so that probably means he’s innocent.

Saionji is being rolled out just as the staff is gathered around Murakawa, the knife, and the note.

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Reinforcing suspicions about Murakawa, he immediately wonders whether the director is all right. When they call the director’s office and he isn’t there, Murakawa orders a search.

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Well, they find the body . . .

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. . . and soon enough, the police are on the case.

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After Kaneda (Endo Kenichi) makes a halfhearted attempt to get Saionji to relax after his surgery, he spies a fruit basket and tries to read a dying message or clue in it.

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Instead, it’s just Hiratsuka messing around with him.

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We don’t get much by way of Hiratsuka’s usual antics, though. Instead, the camera turns to the start of the official investigation. Saionji leads Kaneda to the murder weapon and the threat that came with it.

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Hiratsuka watches the investigation and interjects with a question or two . . .

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. . . but generally stands quietly through this phase.

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He does throw in a question about the cut on Ando’s finger, but that’s it.

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After hearing that Ando was in the middle of an operation, Saionji concludes that the doctor has a perfect alibi, but Hiratsuka seems less sure about that. They head back out to the crime scene.

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From this point forward, I’ll leave out the details of the case, except to say that the first real point Hiratsuka makes is that there’s no place to hide at the crime scene.

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Saionji quickly turns skeptical about Ando’s alibi, too – partly because of the information Murakawa has been feeding them.

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Since Saionji is just getting over a leg surgery, you can guess that Hiratsuka is going to make him do a lot of footwork.

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Will it really just be a matter of solving an alibi trick that allowed Ando to leave the surgery room for five minutes to commit the murder?

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Well, Ando will surely try to do everything he can to pin the blame on Murakawa:

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And Murakawa’s meek reaction to this makes him seem less and less like the culprit . . . but maybe that’s his plan.

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Considering how simple the timeline for this case is, I wonder why they decided to take an extra scene to go through it.

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Maybe it was because there really wasn’t much substance to this case? With only two suspects, and one of them (Murakawa) without a real alibi, it’s really lackluster as a mystery. Halfway through the episode, we can tell that the whole thing hinges on a clue that hasn’t been presented yet, simply because we haven’t gotten many details except the murder weapon and the timing.

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In short, the pace to this case was extremely slow compared to that of the earlier episodes. It was very thin on details, and the result wasn’t surprising at all. This one is trivial to figure out before the final reveal. In particular, the culprit is telegraphed well in advance, and once you know that, it’s not too hard to figure out the rest.

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There also wasn’t much comedy in this one. Sure, we still got broad smiles from Hiratsuka, but no real antics. So it was lacking in both the mystery side and the comedy side.

Going forward, I’m hoping they come up with plots with more than two suspects, or a more intricate method for Hiratsuka to unravel. This one was way too easy.

Thanks to LuffyNoTomo for the English subtitles.