Bad Boys J continues from the cliffhanger it left us with in episode five, with Youji (Iwamoto Hikaru) and Eiji (Fukusawa Tatsuya) trapped by an offshoot of Nights led by Kenjo Juri (Shimekake Ryuya). Meanwhile, Tsukasa (Nakajima Kento) has to choose between saving them and saving Takanashi Aoi (Taketomi Seika). Before we find out which side he chooses, we look into the matter of Hisao (Watanabe Shota), who decided to leave Gokuraku Chou in its time of greatest need. Why did he suddenly make that choice?

We see him visiting his father, who is in a hospital bed. It looks like his father’s state brought Hisao to the realization that he had just been messing around and causing trouble. Quitting the group was his first step in straightening up and making sure his father wouldn’t have to worry about him.

BAD BOYS J Ep 06 000BAD BOYS J Ep 06 001BAD BOYS J Ep 06 002

His father, though, is disappointed that Hisao would so easily abandon his friends. He is knows that, since Hisao’s mother has already passed away, if he died Hisao would only have his friends left to lean on.

BAD BOYS J Ep 06 003BAD BOYS J Ep 06 004

Back in Kenjo’s den, he continues to maul Youji and Eiji. He wants to know where Hisao is because then he’d effectively have all of Gokuraku Chou dealt with (as long as whatever he has planned for Tsukasa works, of course). They try to tell him that Hisao is no longer with Gokuraku Chou, but he doesn’t buy it.

BAD BOYS J Ep 06 005BAD BOYS J Ep 06 006

Eventually, some of Kenjo’s guys find Hisao, but Hisao escapes them and calls Hiro (Hashimoto Ryosuke) to demand why members of Nights are attacking him. Hiro immediately understands what’s happening – that Kenjo has rebelled.

BAD BOYS J Ep 06 007BAD BOYS J Ep 06 008

It looks like Tsukasa decided to rescue Aoi rather than going for Youji and Eiji. Was it the right decision?

BAD BOYS J Ep 06 009BAD BOYS J Ep 06 010BAD BOYS J Ep 06 011

Actually, he looks like the one who’s in trouble. As it so happens, black belt Aoi decided to join Nights to go after Tsukasa. But why? And how the heck is Tsukasa going to get out of this without hurting a friend he cares about?

BAD BOYS J Ep 06 014BAD BOYS J Ep 06 015

It’s not looking good for Youji and Eiji:

BAD BOYS J Ep 06 016BAD BOYS J Ep 06 017BAD BOYS J Ep 06 018BAD BOYS J Ep 06 019

Can Tsukasa talk Aoi into letting him go so he can help his friends?

BAD BOYS J Ep 06 025BAD BOYS J Ep 06 026BAD BOYS J Ep 06 027

Well, maybe as Youji and Eiji still keep up their fighting spirit . . .

BAD BOYS J Ep 06 028BAD BOYS J Ep 06 029BAD BOYS J Ep 06 030BAD BOYS J Ep 06 031BAD BOYS J Ep 06 032

. . . help will arrive from an unusual corner.

BAD BOYS J Ep 06 034BAD BOYS J Ep 06 035

Hmm . . . if Hiro was beaten by Tsukasa just because he gave into Tsukasa’s request for the sake of Erika (Triendl Reina), shouldn’t he be able to reclaim the title of Hiroshima’s #2 for saving the leading members of Gokuraku Chou when their top, Tsukasa, couldn’t?

BAD BOYS J Ep 06 041BAD BOYS J Ep 06 042BAD BOYS J Ep 06 044

Ah, if only the dynamics of ruffian groups in Hiroshima were so easy to understand. As it is, the way they react to things seem to make very little sense at all, completely at the whim of writers who need them to do this or that to suit the plot. Can Tsukasa, the silliest character in the series, manage to bring some logic to all of it.

BAD BOYS J Ep 06 048BAD BOYS J Ep 06 049BAD BOYS J Ep 06 050

Soon after that last screencap, we get one of the sloppiest cuts I’ve seen in a drama series. They literally had to cut short the moment of highest tension in the entire episode, immediately jumping to the quiet resolution. You’ll have to watch it to understand what I mean, but it was an absolutely jarring transition.

Aside from that editing fail, though, the last episode and this one finally represented the kind of story I’ve been waiting for since episode one. There were three threads going on at the same time. The story featured some real surprises and did not result in Tsukasa fighting in order to get things straightened out. Aoi was a compelling character – really the only interesting female character so far except Sato Erika.

The Aoi-Shinichi thing was really complicated. It took me a bit of thinking to really understand Aoi’s thought process – how she ended up wanting to cause Tsukasa harm. I wonder if other viewers found it easy or hard to figure out what was going on there. The scenes between Aoi and Tsukasa were a bit tortured, with dialogue that lacked flow.

We got a fairly quick look into the psychology of Hisao, but it did a lot to flesh out his character. In the scene at the start of the episode, Watanabe-kun showed off a bit of good acting, but I’m still looking forward to seeing more range from him.

The better writing in this episode was epitomized by the hospital scene close to the end with Youji, Eiji, Hisao, and Hisao’s father. They could have had some sort of serious moment, but instead chose a much more natural path that worked out a lot better.

So, the long and short of it is that I hope the rest of this series is going to be written more at the level of this episode and the last one, and less like the first four.

Advertisements