Tag Archive: Maeda Goki


This special is the latest installment of the Case Files of Young Kindaichi (金田一少年の事件簿), a drama series based on a manga and anime with more than a decade of history and three other notable actors playing the lead role. This will be the second time Kindaichi is played by Yamada Ryosuke-kun. The first time, the 2013 special, was . . . not so good. The plot was sloppy and incredible, the method of the crime unworkable, and Kindaichi was often goofy at inappropriate times. I think, though, that all of those complaints and more were probably heard by the producers, so hopefully this time we won’t see any of those flaws.

I also look forward to seeing the three leads – Yamada-kun, Arioka Daiki-kun as Saki Ryuji, and Kawaguchi Haruna-san as Nanase Miyuki settling down into their roles. Kawaguchi-san in particular didn’t get much of a chance in the 2013 special, and last year both Yamada-kun and Arioka-kun handled an overabundance of comic relief but were underwhelming when it came to conveying the gravitas of a murder mystery.

It’s taken me a while to get to this special because subtitles have not been forthcoming and, to this point, I still haven’t found any English subtitles. I hope that’s just an internet searching fail on my part. Anyway, what I did have was the YYeTs version with the Japanese subtitles, and since I had some faith that this would be a decent show, I decided to jot down the words I didn’t know and look them up. On the bright side, this drama has introduced me to over three hundred new Japanese phrases, some of which I’ll share with you during the course of this article. The downside is that it took me about the time I usually take to review at least five drama episodes to get through it. Oh, and my Japanese is still horrible. So, was it worth the effort?

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I have to say that seeing Kindaichi pretending that his head had been severed and placed on a desk . . . actually, I didn’t take much away from that. It was the sort of silly thing that often begins a Kindaichi episode. It’s only when people start dying that I want to see a bit more seriousness.

There’s a lot of exposition up-front from Saki and Miyuki. Miyuki is telling Kindaichi’s severed head about the Prison Gate Prep School (獄門予備校 – gokumon yobikou), and Kindaichi is basically making fun of the name of the school by pretending that he’s been beheaded and his head is about to be mounted on a pike in front of the prison (打ち首獄門 – uchikubi gokumon – a standard practice in the Edo period). Miyuki is totally unperturbed and drones on, reading from a pamphlet about how the main school is based in Taiwan and how the past results are excellent. Saki joins in, saying that he attended the previous year, and that the Taiwan school and Japan school have a combined summer boarding house/training camp (合同夏合宿 – goudou natsu gasshuku). Miyuki reads from the pamphlet that the camp guarantees a boost to participant’s test scores (偏差値 – hensachi – literally standard deviation score) or your money back!

If you haven’t already gotten the picture, Miyuki and Saki are plotting to drag Kindaichi to this summer camp because his scores . . . well, they need a boost. I really like Miyuki and Saki in this scene.

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They visit the prep school, but what they find there is much more up Kindaichi’s alley than academics. Outside the building, they discover posters for the summer camp in Malaysia, but inside they hear a girl scream and discover a dead body up the stairs from her.

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Kamen Teacher Ep 12 Review

Here we are: the final episode of Kamen Teacher (仮面ティーチャー). If you haven’t watched the rest of the series, you might want to do that before reading the rest of this review. Or, you could just read the rest of my reviews 🙂 I know some people like to check out the end of a book before deciding to read it, but as a writer I find the very idea of that . . . problematic.

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With that caveat to the reader out of the way, we discovered that the Jinrou brothers – you know, these guys:

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. . . that they’re officially sanctioned to be violent assholes. That seems weird to me, but apparently the guy in charge of the Kamen Teacher program is also in charge of them. At least it explains why they were able to beat up on Kusanagi (Jesse) a fw episodes back even though Kusanagi as the dark kamen teacher has super fighting skills. To get to be officially sanctioned to be violent, the Jinrou brothers must be exceptionally good at it. Wonder if there’s some sort of audition for that, and whether it looks anything like Battle Royale.

So the fight between the brothers and the two kamen teachers is on . . . .

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Kamen Teacher Ep 11 Review

This episode of Kamen Teacher (仮面ティーチャー) was all about Misaki, the new student we learned about in the previous episode. He’s already positioned himself as the leader of the anti-kamen teacher movement at the school, arranging for two fake kamen teachers to beat up some of the reformed delinquents and then having them take down the dark teacher – Kusanagi (Jesse).

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Misaki takes credit for defeating Kusanagi himself as a way of winning mass support (otherwise I doubt the students would have the confidence to oppose the apparently invincible kamen teachers.

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Araki (Fujigaya Taisuke) tries to figure out what Misaki’s game is, but it looks like he’s just your typical demagogue. He takes a legitimate grievance people have, then convinces them that following him is the solution.

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Unless they toss in a new conflict that they haven’t introduced, the only question left in Kamen Teacher (仮面ティーチャー) is how Araki (Fujigaya Taisuke) is going to win over Kusanagi Keigo (Jesse). The writers decided to give us a batch of new delinquent students in order to further the plot to the point where Araki and Keigo came into direct confrontation. But not that those students seemed to have abandoned their evil ways . . .

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. . . I guess it’s unavoidable that we get a fresh batch of troubled students to help the plot along for the rest of the way.

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Seems like the new guy, Misaki Tomoya, isn’t completely unknown, though – Kinzo (Kikuchi Fuma) sure looks at him menacingly enough to guarantee that they have a history.

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Kamen Teacher Ep 09 Review

Things are certainly getting interesting in Kamen Teacher (仮面ティーチャー). If you haven’t watched the previous episodes, I do not recommend reading this review any further – you’re totally going to ruin it for yourself.

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Trusting that everyone reading has seen the series through episode 8, or at least knows what has happened, it looks like Jesse-kun’s character – Kusanagi Keigo – was the dark Kamen Teacher, after all. I’ve been itching to write about it, but couldn’t in the last review because of my standard rules about spoilers. Kudos to those who guessed it three or four episodes ago. I have to wonder if he had a body-double until the final reveal, since the dark Kamen Teacher seems to have a heavier build, judging especially from the neck, but it’s tough to say.

It’s interesting to see Jesse-kun in this role, since he doesn’t seem the type at first glance. If he continues to pull it off, it will be a real feather in his acting cap, since most actors in J-dramas don’t play against type and this will set him apart.

But something else occurred right at the end of the previous episode that promised a different sort of conflict for Araki (Fujigaya Taisuke) – the daughter of the café owner, Kobayashi Saeko (Yamamoto Maika), found out what her father already knew – that Araki is the Kamen Teacher who Saeko feels was responsible for her brother’s death. Araki and Saeko have gotten along fairly well so far, but this totally shakes her trust in him. It’s not just the incident with her brother – he could potentially explain what happened there – but also the fact that he hid his identity from her for so long.

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I wonder where this unexpected subplot will go.

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