Posts Tagged ‘Kagi no Kakatta Heya’
The hit locked-room mystery series Kagi no Kakatta Heya (鍵のかかった部屋) is back with a special a year and a half after its original run. Since they were clearly patient with it, I hope this special is the tour de force that this drama deserves. They have a whole two hours of program time to impress us.
It starts with security expert Enomoto Kei (Ohno Satoshi) setting the atmosphere of the episode, as he did during the main run of the series . . .
. . . and then they give us a run-through of the key points from the original series, including the character intros. That was a good move – I don’t like it when specials presume that the viewer watched the original series, especially when it’s been more than a season. This is was a fine and efficient recap (that happened to capture the most famous moments of the original drama) . . .
. . . and a reminder of how Enomoto made his exit from the lives of lawyers Serizawa Gou (Sato Koichi) and Aoto Junko (Toda Erika) under suspicious circumstances, potentially getting away with quite a haul.
Catching up to the present, we see Serizawa doing quite well for himself, wrapping up what looks like a big day in court.
So, we come to the conclusion of Kagi no Kakatta Heya (鍵のかかった部屋). This episode resolves the case the previous episode introduced, so if you haven’t seen episode 10 already, be aware that this review will contain spoilers from that episode, pretty much right away. As far as the contents of this episode go, though, I won’t give away anything that occurs in the latter part, and in particular nothing that leads directly to the case’s conclusion.
At the end of episode 10, Enomoto (Ohno Satoshi) was arrested on suspicion of committing the crime, because the victim – the president of Bay Leaf – accused had caused legal trouble for him years ago. The scene where he gets hauled away was a wonderful cliffhanger, and led us to wonder how Serizawa (Sato Koichi) and Aoto (Toda Erika) would get on without him.
No dice, though. Right after they took a few minutes to detail what had happened in the case so far, Enomoto gets released. Since this is almost the first thing that happens in the episode, I hope you will forgive me for not considering it a spoiler. So much for the tension there, though, as Enomoto is back at in the lead in barely the blink of an eye.
The final case of the Kagi no Kakatta Heya (鍵のかかった部屋) series is a two-parter called “The Glass Hammer.” I think at the end of the review for episode nine, I gave the impression that this would be the last episode, but I’m delighted to say that there will be an episode 11.
Unlike all the episodes so far, this one does not begin with our security expert/detective Enomoto Kei (Ohno Satoshi) outlining the nature of the locked room. In fact, no murder has occurred when Serizawa (Sato Koichi) brings Enomoto into the situation. In this case, Serizawa is working for a company that is about to go public – that is, issue publicly traded shares on a stock exchange. You might have heard that Facebook recently did the same thing to rather unfortunate results (the value of the company is still twenty percent below its initial value), so it’s an extremely tense time for a company and there’s a lot of pressure to get things right. There’s also a lot of legal trouble involved.
It’s pretty clear that tensions are high in this company, but that’s understandable. What isn’t so clear is why there’s a bullet hole in the president’s office, and why the company and its president have been receiving threatening mail.
Clearly, more security is called for, and since Serizawa is already involved, he naturally suggests . . . well, you know:
This episode of Kagi no Kakatta Heya (鍵のかかった部屋) begins with only the second time that Enomoto (Ohno Satoshi) asks Serizawa (Sato Koichi) for a return favor. This time, he asks Serizawa to act as legal consultant for a trading company his security firm does business with.
It quickly becomes apparent to Serizawa that this trading company might have the wrong kind of connections . . .
The viewer is left in no doubt what kind of connections as the gangster/yakuza leitmotif is played in the background when the company president walks in to meet with Serizawa.
Shida Mirai-san! Hisashiburi! (志田未来さん! 久しぶり! – It’s been a long time) And, wow, it has been a long time since the last time I saw her in a drama – since Seigi no Mikata in 2008, though I mainly know her from one of the first two dramas I ever watched – Tantei Gakuen Q in 2007.
In this episode, Shida-san plays Nakata Tomoko, the niece of the victim, a manga artist. The show begins with Serizawa (Sato Koichi) on the set of a news show where he’s giving his opinion on a corporate case. While he’s sitting there, though, they move on to a story on – guess what? – a locked room mystery. And that’s when Nakata Tomoko walks in to explain the situation and why she thinks her aunt’s death was not an accident.
The looks on Serizawa’s face are priceless (and sure had me laughing):
And, of course, they mention that he’s solved locked room mysteries before:
A locked room mystery with an open window? Is that possible? The teaser at the start of this episode promises that we’ll find out.
Locked rooms are, of course, the whole point of Kagi no Kakatta Heya (鍵のかかった部屋). You might ask how they could make the mysteries sufficiently different to fill a series, and the answer is subtle alterations that make all the difference. Is an open window going too far, though?
At the start of the episode, the investigative lawyer Serizawa (Sato Koichi) is hounded by a man with a case (guess what type) going to the underhanded trick of supplication:
That leads Serizawa’s earnest assistant, Aoto (Toda Erika), to insist that he take the case:
You might call the circumstances of this week’s case a bit too convenient. I mean, this series is about locked room mysteries, and two of the main characters, the detective Enomoto (Ohno Satoshi) and his friend/employer Aoto (Toda Erika), attend a play called “Prisoner of the Locked Room.” I mean, come on!
And, of course, a murder occurs during the play. Heck, Enomoto only agreed to see the play because of the locked room association – maybe he expected something like this to happen?
By the way, Aoto’s reactions during the play are hilarious (especially because of the contrast with Enomoto):