I’ve been dry up on dramas lately with the flood of decent anime for the past few seasons. But finally, I have spotted a couple that are intriguing enough to wedge themselves into my weekly line-up. One is a sequel to an old favorite of mine that takes place in a public prosecutor’s office. The other is a live action of a manga about an antique bookstore. I like my television shows like I like my dinner table: covered with many different foods of varying sizes and spices. Fortunately for those of you interested, both are available on Crunchyroll: Hero 2 and Antiquarian Bookshop Biblia’s Case Files.
Hero 2 comes after a thirteen year break, with only a special episode partway through to tide viewers over. I never expected that my 2001 favorite would come back with much of the same cast this year, including the main character acted out by Kimura Takuya (with his always beautiful hair). While a few of the public prosecutors and assistants have been switched out for some fresh faces, the goofy atmosphere still remains intact. The older men still lament their lack of luck with young women, and assistants and prosecutors still butt heads. Unfortunately, the blossoming relationship between Kuryu and Amamiya found an end off screen and he is attended by a new assistant with a fierce personality. Kuryu’s methods to his cases and those involved always seem indirect, but like he aptly reminds us in the first episode, it is their job as public prosecutors to affirm that the innocent are not persecuted. He never takes situations as they appear and always looks further than the testimony and paperwork. I cannot wait to see what other types of cases we’ll see him and Asagi tackle.
Another interesting note about my connection to this show is my current employment at a court reporting firm. When I saw the first season, I was still young and unfamiliar with the legal field, but now that I frequently work with legal assistants, paralegals, and attorneys, the procedures of Josai’s Branch office are clearer. When Asagi and Kuryu go up against a defense attorney, they trumpet their intentions over his backhand methods to settle despite the circumstances. While the argument sounds all good from their point of view in this particular groping case, I don’t find it always true in other events that prosecutors are on the side of justice. Nothing is that black and white, and I was disappointed in Asagi for being bullheaded about pursuing the argument.
Antiquarian Bookstore Biblia’s Case Files takes place in a completely different setting, yet has a similar vibe with its episodic approach to solving puzzles. Instead of a brightly lit law office, we’re surrounded by dusty book shelves and poor lighting. The people involved are few. The curator of the store, Shinokawa Shioriko, is unexpectedly young and astounding in her abilities for deduction and logic using the tiniest of details centered on the books brought before her. Her fixation on specific words reminds me very much of Hyouka’s Chitanda. When tweeting about this drama, it was suggested to me by Akirascuro to check out the original manga. There are only four volumes, but the beginning of the live action feels true to the manga. Shioriko looks very different in the drama with her short hair and physique, but she still exudes that brimming excitement at the mere whisper of a mystery.
While I have always had a fondness for books, it would be a lie to claim that I read anywhere near as much now as I did many years ago. With my job and influx of other hobbies, I just don’t make the time anymore to sit down with a book and lose myself. Instead, time is filled with work, and my commute is usually spent watching anime or catching a quick nap before the destination. And yet whenever I see a new bookstore, my feet lead me through the doors. I can’t leave without picking up at least one new friend. The backlog of books to be read grows steadily larger!
Including live action back into my routine has been refreshing amidst all the anime, and I’m happy to be watching Japanese dramas very different than my sometimes stints of identical Korean romances. Let me know what shows you’ve been enjoying lately, be they Japanese, Korean, Taiwanese, or even American!