Hehe, this is probably not a good word to describe Kikuta, but he gets cuter with each episode!
As usual, the episode opens with a gruesome murder of a man. Then we switch to a scene of a guy being hung and there was a silhouette of someone standing in front of him.
Reiko played Reversie with Kohei and Kohei lost terribly for the 6th time. He wondered out loud if it's better to change all white into black, or black into white, in their job and Reiko said that it's best to find out all the black and take it out. Kohei was 'enlightened',"That's right, it won't look good to change all the white into black right?" and Nori cut in, "It's just as bad to change all black into white." In case you didn't get it, white stands for justice, something right here while black stands for evil deeds.
Reiko contained her feelings of disappointment of not having a case to solve, but Nori and Kohei saw through her. She got a call from Imaizumi, who said that the doctor specially requested for her to pay a visit and find out whether the corpse that was sent to the forensics that day was killed by murder or suicide. Reiko called Kikuta who was gambling and told him to accompany her for a while.
The doctor was displeased to see that Reiko had brought Kikuta along, and she said that it was for her own protection against his proposal. Kikuta was alarmed and repeated the word, "Proposal."
Hahahaha. Is this a spark of jealousy?
So. The case goes like this — the guy's death was estimated to be about eleven pm but his right side reached rigour mortis faster than the other side because it froze faster. Kikuta asked if this meant that things like the air-conditioning could change the estimated time of death and the doctor nodded, which was why he suspected it could be murder instead of a suicide. Reiko rushed out and Kikuta hastily asked the doctor what he meant by the proposal, to which he got an agitated reply, "So irritating! It's not the proposal you are thinking of. Leave, leave, leave." Hahaha.
Reiko had to investigate this case in another station because of the territorial markings, and waited for Imaizumi, who was involved in another investigation of the first murder (victim was determined to be the leader of a Mafia gang), and there's this police guy, Kusaka, who rambled on about his findings and insisted that they might come into use even if they weren't about the Mafia rivalry. Extra Guy, Ioka, makes an appearance again. He had another amulet that he couldn't wait to pass to Reiko, and was ecstatic to see Reiko but Kikuta ward him off.
Ioka then said that he's here because he's following the red string tied from his pinky to Reiko (there's this belief that everyone has an invisi red string of fate tied to their last finger to someone else, and even if there are knots and tangles in the string, one day, this string will lead you to the other half.)
They had a temporary change of work station and were both displeased to find the room small and cramped. However, Reiko got down to things and learnt that it was a woman who had called the police about the corpse but they couldn't find her till now. Reiko and Kikuta popped by the apartment and she commented that it was kept in a good condition (meaning the police took care not to mess things up) but Kikuta commented that it's most likely the police hadn't even started investigating this case. They learnt from the landlord that the victim had a woman in the apartment, and later, Reiko found 13 pieces of hinoki stashed in a drawer.
After clearing the trash out of the room, the team got down to work.
They listened attentively as Reiko briefed them about the case right now — find the woman who was about 30 to 35 years old, since that's their only clue. "The station is unable to give us any manpower right now, so it's the case for our team. We must take it down." They got up and Reiko paired Kikuta and Nori together. Kikuta noticed that Nori looked a little down and asked if he's all right to do the tasks alone, to which Nori said determinedly, "Yes." Everyone smiled.
Aww that's sweet of you, Kikuta. Kikuta is a guide for Nori a lot of the times and he's very observant. He thinks that Reiko knows a lot about them, but he knows a lot about his co-workers too.
Kohei asked Tamotsu later what was the meaning of a phrase that Kikuta said, and he explained that in their line of work, they used to see how many pairs of shoes one had worn out as a result of one's hard work. Aha, now we see why Reiko has to keep buying shoes! It's like a parallel to how much they had walked in their investigation.
Nori was disappointed to find that everyone near the victim's house was not at home, but he remembered Reiko's words that they must work hard for the next cases and he persevered. Kikuta and Reiko visited the victim's workplace.
They make such a good pair((((:
They managed to find out from one of the workers that the victim did have a girlfriend who constantly picked him up from the construction sites, but he didn't know the name. Nori strived on in walking every flight of stairs and ringing the doorbell but was put off to find that no one answered the doors. He saw a glimpse of hope when a middle-aged woman walked up another block and he hastily asked her questions, from which he learnt that the victim had a quarrel with the girlfriend, had thrown her out and had slapped her when she begged for forgiveness.
It was night time already but Kohei and Tamotsu were still out investigating. Tamotsu sighed that he's getting old since this was only the second pair of shoes that spoilt in that year, and Kohei murmured, "I've worn my shoes for two years." It was time for the team's usual dinner but since Tamotsu and Kohei were still out, the rest decided to wait as they discussed the possibility of the girlfriend getting angry over the breakup and killing the guy. Reiko commented that only the two parties would know what happened between them, and Ioka appeared. Hahahah, we have this moment of chaos where Ioka wanted to sit next to Reiko and she stuck out her leg at the same time Nori got up to sit next to Reiko and Kikuta pulled Ioka down next to him.
Ioka noticed a few bags next to the table and sneakily hooked the amulet onto one of them. He was shocked to find out though, that he had hooked it on Kikuta/Nori's bag. Hahaha fail. The three of them rushed back to the station because Kohei and Tamotsu found out a lead on who the woman was — Harukawa Mitsuo. She's a hostess at one of the clubs where the victim always patronised and on the night of the murder, she had received a call before leaving hastily.
Harukawa was shown at this point in time, sitting in a bus that's speeding to somewhere, and she recalled the incident of getting strangled by someone. This caused her to get into a fluster and when she got water from out her bag, the cloth folded back to reveal a gun. A fisherman discovered a floating body that had a gun shot. Kikuta walked into the room finding that Reiko had slept through the night. He covered her with a blanket and scrutinised the evidence of the key, before Reiko jerked awake. She commented that Kikuta was quite caring in matters like this, and he apologised.
Hahaha, this is not a matter that needs to be sorry for, Kikuta!
The floating corpse was determined to be the leader of a Mafia gang that was rivals with the first victim's Mafia group. The police took this as a sign that this was a fight between the Mafia but Kusaka felt that they shouldn't make assumptions. After Reiko passed the hinoki to the forensics to analyse, she got a call from Kikuta — he found out where the key was from. It's actually a key for a private mailbox, and the victim must have had something that he didn't want Harukawa to see. They opened it up and there were two boxes. In one of them, there was an envelope which contained Harukawa's photo. Kikuta opened the other box with too much strength and its contents scattered onto the floor. The two of them were taken aback to see stacks of photos of other people that they didn't recognise.
A woman (most probably Harukawa) knocked into a child as she hastily walked to her destination.
Aww, so cute.
The police thought it was a Mafia fight, but a lead the forensics found changed the direction — the same type of gun was used in shooting the leaders which most probably meant that it was the same murderer. Kusaka added on that he had found out that the two leaders who were supposed rivals had very close meetings frequently, "It will be very dangerous to continue the investigation in the assumption that these are murders stemmed from rivalry."
Reiko's team scrutinised the photos and they found both the first leader's and the second leader's, Takami, photos stashed in the stack of photos of 11 people. They thought hard why the victim would have photos of the people, and Reiko scrutinised the sole photo of Harukawa. She scrunched up her hair once again and muttered that she might have been on the wrong track.
There's something positively strange and quirky with the way this show is presented, and that's really interesting to watch — sudden cuts to scenes that have relation with each other, close ups on things that we don't usually have, focus on objects in daily lives, play up on sounds.
That's from a technical point of appreciation…so now for the less technical bit. Don't you guys just love it that they are playing a little on the Kikuta — Reiko pairing. They make such a good couple I can't wait to watch. However, I can't really imagine them being lovey-dovey as well, which is what makes it all the more interesting should they get together because they wouldn't be a conventional couple.
It has also come to a point where I can safely say in a neutral tone (however this following statement sounds) that I won't love this series. But it's not because it's badly done or acted out, no, of course not. It's just that this genre is not really my favourite and while I appreciate watching it, there's a kind of a lack of climax that pulls me in. I guess I'm just suckers for usual 'conventional' type of plot lines where you have the build-up, rising action, conflict, climax and resolution! Series that follow the same kind of development every two episodes will hardly get me invested, unless there's an amazing back thread of plot pulling everything together.
For the sake of this argument, I will have to pull in titles from other series. So, if you give me a really good shape of rising action etc and everything keeps building up in a good way, you get my interest, say The Moon That Embraces The Sun. You have a mini development every two episodes with a good plot, and I will like the show, for example, this (Strawberry Night) and Ending Planner. But I will not come to loveeeeee the show (love perhaps, but not loveeeee. Haha, yes there's a difference to me), unless you give me a back thread like Gloomy Salad Days where the interaction between Shen Qi and Du holds the entire plot together.
I remain open-minded towards both Strawberry Night and Ending Planner though.