Release Date: October 22 – December 24, 2016
Synopsis: Set in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, “Cold Case” follows Yuri Ishikawa (Yo Yoshida) and her team as they try to crack unresolved cold cases. (Source)
Initially, I wasn’t even planning on watching Cold Case. I never watched the American version of it, for reasons unknown since I love these sorts of dramas, and I was a bit nervous about it being a remake. Then I found out that it had Yo Yoshida in it, so I decided to check it out. My expectations were low going in, but wow did this drama surprise me.
The stories chosen here are heartbreaking, depressing, and every other synonym that you can think of for being sad. It’s not your typical police drama where there are happy endings and we see witty exchanges between the police officers. Each story hits you hard by focusing on racism, pedophiles, abuse, and of course, murder.
Episode Five, which in my opinion was the best episode in this series, broke me. It was adapted from the American version, many of the episodes here were, but they were still some changes to make the stories feel authentic to Japan.
One of the big pluses was to see how they tackled racism, which was a theme in some of the episodes. You don’t really see those sorts of stories told, because it makes people look bad. But I loved how the show went for it and did it in a respectful manner at that.
Speaking of which, not only were the stories superb, but the acting and cinematography were fantastic as well. If were you a fan of the original Cold Case, then you’ll be happy to hear that the cinematography is very similar to it. Considering how gut-wrenching some of the episodes are, if the cinematography wasn’t on point it could have felt over the top and forced. Thankfully, it was just beautiful.
I know I’ve praised this show a lot, but there are some issues that I did have with it. One thing is the music choice for some of the scenes. Even though this is a Japanese remake the majority of the music you’ll hear here is English. Sometimes it works, like when we heard Spice Girls, The Beatles, and even One Direction (oddly enough) and sometimes it felt odd. I don’t remember which episode it was, but I remember that one of the song choices used was Take That’s I Want You Back. Even if the lyrics may have fit the scene (I don’t think it did), it felt like an odd choice to use.
Funny enough, my favourite music choice was Heartache by One Ok Rock and it wasn’t because it’s one of the only Japanese songs on the show, but because Taka’s vocals matched the scene beautifully….and I have a soft spot for One Ok Rock.
Another issue that I had was that some of the stories, involving the actual police, needed more episodes to develop better. For example, Takagi’s storyline involving his fiancée with mental issues and his relationship with Saya, Ishikawa’s sister had tons of potential to them, but because we only got 10 episodes it felt more tacked on than anything else. The same could be said about Ishikawa’s issues with her sister and how she feels about her mother. The latter comes full circle when the final episode comes in, but despite the wonderful acting from Yo Yoshida, it didn’t really pack the same punch had it been fleshed out more.
One of my favourite things about jdramas is that they’re short, but when it came to the police officer’s personal drama we really needed more episodes to get them fully fleshed out. The final episode of this series is an adaptation of a season 2 episode 23 of the original. Like I mentioned before, I didn’t watch the original but considering that they had almost two full seasons to develop the main character’s relationship with her mother I feel like it probably was a bit better than what we got.
That’s not to say it was bad, but we needed more episodes. I hope we get more episodes of this. It was really good and the acting was top notch. Really stellar acting from the entire cast.
If you haven’t watched Cold Case, then be sure to check it out. After watching it I can honestly say that this is definitely in my top five jdramas of all time. It’s seriously that good.
I need to watch the American version now.