Sunday, 30 January 2011
Recommended: Furuhata Ninzaburo
This detective series ran from 1994 to 2006 (albeit with a seven year gap between the third series and the last) and got high ratings throughout its run. It was written by the playwright Mitani Koki, who I’ve written about before regarding the University of Laughs and The Uchoten Hotel, and it maintains the high standards he set in those two films.
It stars Tamura Masakazu as the detective in the title role, and his performance expertly compliments the cleverly written scripts. Each episode begins with the crime being committed, so the viewer already knows the murderer by the time Furuhata arrives on the scene. From what I’ve seen, this is a smart and engaging show in which the excitement is not “who did it? ” rather “how will he work out who did it?”
It’s a shame that it’s so hard to find subbed episodes. [Big edit - subs for series one are on d-additcs.]
On the show’s Wikipedia page is a link to Columbo, and there are similarities between the two. I’d even say, if you don’t like Columbo, you probably won’t like this. But if you’re like me and find the process of deduction just as interesting whether you know the answer or not, this is unmissable.