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I just finished watching a Japanese drama called Lady – Saigo No Hanzai Profile starring Keiko Kitagawa as a criminal profiler, Kazuki Shoko. The drama also stars Kimura Tae as Yuki Akira, the head of CPS (Criminal Profiling Support), Hiraoka Yuta as Shinbori Kisuke (the statistician), Kaname Jun as Terada Takehiko (the doctor), and Sudo Risa as Okui Marie (the administrative assistant). The drama also had Yusuke Santamaria as Tsuge Masaki, the police officer that is helping them.
The drama starts with the setting up of CPS, and we are shown that criminal profiling is relatively new in and largely derided in Japan. The CPS team has to fight to be heard on every case they are reluctantly allowed to work on. The CPS team members have trouble working together because they all believe that their part of the job, be it psychological profiling, medical autopsy or looking at the statistics, is the most important of criminal profiling. Gradually, we get to see that the team comes to realize that each aspect of profiling is important, and if they different members work together they can only catch the criminal more quickly.
The story itself never gelled together for me to make a good drama. Each of the actors did a good job in their individual roles. I liked Kazuki, Terada and Shinbori, but they characters weren’t really fully formed. We are told that Kazuki is a gifted profiler, and we are shown this by the show revealing the fact that she got to work with the FBI. We see that Shinbori learns that statistics are not enough to profile, and that one has to go out into the field to be successful at profiling. We never get to see much on Terada and Okui, except that we know that Terada is married and Okui is bad at love, but nothing beyond that. Yuki is driven to succeed at CPS because she had to atone for the Kazuki’s father’s death, who may have died because she leaked a case to him. Throughout it all, we see that the police are coming are coming to appreciate the help that CPS provide, and that profiling may be a good way to go.
But, I have seen shows like Criminal Minds on American television, and this show never reaches that level. I never get to see what Kazuki is basing her profile on; it’s as if she’s just pulling stuff out of a hat. When she sat in the corner like the criminal may have or stabbed something, her ability to get inside of their head and say he/she was thinking this or felt this made me question where she was getting all of this from. Her profiling was never really believable. I found Terada and Shinbori better at their attempts at profiling, but even then they made statements like, “The criminal would have come through this way because of x, y or z,” and we are just supposed to accept those statements. For a drama that was supposed to be about profiling, it made a sorry attempt at showing the science of profiling and that failure lead me to disconnect with the drama.
As to the mysteries in the drama… While the show had one overarching mystery of who killed Kazuki’s father, the criminal was pretty easy to figure out. I had to laugh at the dramatic music that played at the big reveal of the killer being a trusted colleague of Kazuki’s father and the psychiatrist that had been treating Kazuki’s sister, because it wasn’t a surprise at all. Additionally, the other mysteries weren’t really interesting and I find it hard to remember exactly what they were about. The only episode that stood out is the serial killer of the first episode. And even then, it wasn’t the adult actor that portrayed the serial killer in the present, but the child actor that played him in the past that caught my attention and pushed me to keep on watching this show. In the episode, that child would see his brother being beaten and starved on a daily basis, and the scene where he drew hamburgers on paper and fed them to his brother, keeping him company by eating them himself, really captured my heart. You felt sorry for that boy and his vulnerability and helplessness, and the child actor did a wonderful job portraying that soul destroying helplessness. I just wish the show had held onto that instead of providing lackluster fare that made me end up regretting watching this drama.
If I had to decide all over again, I would not watch this drama past the first episode.