Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Keizoku vs. Keizoku 2: FIGHT!

Before the recent drama Keizoku 2: SPEC was broadcast, I read a few comments by people who were doubtful that it could possibly do the first series any justice. I decided to investigate and found to my surprise that the first series came out some eleven years ago!

Both series are set in the same police department: a section that handles “unsolvable” cases. These tend to have a vaguely supernatural air to them, while the solution is usually ingenious but non-paranormal. The officers investigating are a socially inadequate genius female detective, and her cynical male colleague. So far, so similar, and the only regular cast member in both series is the head of the department, played by Ryu Raita.

The stylistic differences are quite marked. The original is played a lot straighter. In Keizoku, the female detective (Nakatani Miki) is socially inept, but she tries to do the right thing. In the sequel, the detective (Toda Erika) also has problems dealing with people, but this time cares little for the consequences of her rudeness. The second series has a broader sense of humour, with a fair amount of physical comedy which the first series lacks.

The other main difference is that the sequel keeps dropping hints about geniune psychic abilities, with the opening episode involving two scenes in which a criminal is shot by his own bullets. This is, of course, impossible and it remains to be seen if there’s an explanation by the end.

Episode two of Keizoku 2 had a brief appearance from another member of the original cast, which makes me hope that they’ll bring back Nakatani Miki, at least for one case. I hope so. Having the two detectives working side by side would be like one of those episodes when all the actors who played Doctor Who come back for one adventure.

So far, both are enjoyable but the first series definitely has the better stories and more believable characters. Mind you, I've not finished watching either series and there's still time for Keizoku 2: SPEC to improve.


  1. Been watching SPEC 2, but waiting for subs xD I was surprised with how likable I found Toda Erika.

    It seems, however, that they are really building up the paranormal angle -- at least until episode 2.

  2. Yes, I think this is Erika's best role to date. I like the idea of one of Japan's most photographed women has their face half-hidden behind a wall of hair.