This is a very old dorama- dated in 2004. Was recommended by YY to watch this dorama. I bought it in one of the shops in low yat- was on the same floor with the hand phone shops ( i think ). But you can get this dvd in most video shops.
Ningen no Shoumei - ningen means Man, shoumei means proof. It sounds like a scientific dorama but actually it is a detective story. Starring Yutaka Takenouchi and a host of season Japanese actors. The man who played the grandpa in Ruri no Shima stars in this movie. Also stars Matsuzaka Keiko who plays Tokiko in Yoshitsune. (Btw: Dorama Wiki says she is of korean ethnicity) .
Story starts of with a murder of a black man in Odaiba. His last words were "Stora-ha". Yutaka stars as Munesue Ichiro, a police man who investigates the death of this black man. The black man- called Johnny Edwards was found with no identification, no money, no passport seeming just appeared in Tokyo. What was his purpose here? Munesue and team tries to find out why. Munesue is actually a lone cop but when transferred to the Central HQ department, is paired up with a seemingly bumbling cop called Yokowatari.
At the same time, there is a second story running about a middle age lady, Kouri Kyoko ( plated by Matsuzaka ) who runs for election when her husband is hospitalized. She seems like the perfect candidated- a housewife, well groomed and educated and a mother of 2 children, but there seems to be a past of hers that is now catching up with her.
The show is shot in parts of Tokyo and parts of US. Yutaka actually goes to US to meet up with some of his counterparts to find out more on Johnny Edwards.
I must say i am totally impressed with this show. I actually finished this show within 2 days as it was exteremely addictive. It doesnt look attractive to begin with but it was good! Firstly, it is the cast, there is blend of younger japanese actors as well as the older japanese characters which i feel are great. Kudos to Matsuzaka- she plays a really cold hearted person very well. Benefit her cool and calm facade, the "evil" person she plays here is excellent! I also like how Yokowatari and Munesue in the end paired up pretty well. Yokowatari - stood up for Munesue when everyone thought he was a hothead and a liability to the department.
I am not fangirl-ing Yutaka here but i feel he is one Japanese actor that has the most potential. Everyone talks about Ken Watanabe but they should start looking at Yutaka. Firstly- like in my last review of Kazuko- he is willing to take on roles that shows his talent and is not those of the pretty boy looks kind. Munesue's character is one with alot of anger and pain. As a young boy, he watched how his father got beaten to death by American troops that stopped in the port town he was saying. Since then, his was always looking out for the guy who beat his father to death. I must say this is the saddest part of the show. Can he put aside his anger and hatred and be a better person? Watch it to find out more!.
The whole story of Johnny, Munesue and the Kouri family are all tied up together, leading to a final discovery of who Johnny Edward really is.
One more thing- Yutaka showcases his english here. Initially i expected his english to be very thick with the Japanese accent but no, suprisingly he is good. Very smooth with a hint of american accent.
Do i recommend you watch it? Yes. Good story of what people will do to actually keep up appearances. It also deals with the past history of American trops in Japan. Still a sore subject for a lot of people. Good show with good actors and good story line. I like the bit where yutaka says "No one deserves to die".
Suprisingly - i can't find any much screenshots for this show. This one, i took from someone's blog ( thank you)