Back to J-Drama with Prosecutors and Antique Books

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!

12 thoughts on “Back to J-Drama with Prosecutors and Antique Books

      • Well, for J-drama, I recommend Ghost In Your Arms Again. You may shed some tears (I DEFINITELY did.) And for K-drama, 100 Days With Mr. Arrogant and He Was Cool. Both romantic comedies. These three are my favorite movies ever!

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      • Awesome! Well, I know tears are not preferable in a lot of cases, but I still recommence the movie. It’s really sweet and though it’s sad…it still makes you happy at the same time. I think you’ll like them, though. As I said before, all of them are great!

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  1. Thank you very much for your recommendations! I watched the first episode of Biblia today and loved it. It’s almost as if they had asked me what I liked and then combined it all together into a drama. It’s even better because I just finished reading “And then… ” so I could follow along. Not sure if I should watch the next episode without having read the book in question first….

    I agree about it being so hard to keep up with reading when you’re an adult. Or any hobby, for that matter. Books, magazines, manga, anime and video games are piled all over my house waiting their turn and I still keep going to the library and bookstores, making the piles ever bigger.

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    • I’m so happy you found Biblia to your liking! I finished it so much faster than I would have expected, but I guess I have the weekend to thank for that. I tried to find some of the books in our Seattle library system, but it doesn’t look like the public libraries carry any of them. That’s wonderful that you’ve been able to locate some. I’m sure reading them along with the show will give you an excellent frame of mind with the characters involved in each arc.

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      • Here in the Boston area public libraries pretty much all of Natsume Soseki’s work except for Botchan and I’m a Cat are locked away so that one can only read them in the library reading room – they cannot be checked out. I had to get my copy of Sore kara on Amazon. The book for the second episode, Gleaners, was never translated into either English or French. I might post back later when I’m done watching the entire series, but it probably will not be easy tracking down any of these books for free.

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      • Wow, that’s pretty great you have access to so many Souseki works. I have a friend with access to the UW library who promised she’d grab some of the books for me, but I have no idea of what they actually have. Thanks for the other information.

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