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[Review]Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo SP Hong Kong Kowloon Treasure Murder Case

Kindaichi

I was debating on whether I should do a full recap for this SP, but I decided not to or it would be full of spoilers and that would take all the fun in discovering “WHO IS THE KILLER?”

Quick Recap on Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo: Hong Kong Kowloon Treasure Murder Case

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The story starts with a look at the past of the so-called “Walled City”, the said city is known for not being bound with the laws outside the city but is answerable to their leader- “Dragon King” aka Wang Long. Moreover, the city is also known for having a treasure, which many believed was later on sold by Wang Long for his own purposes. Thus, he was later killed with a son of his even witnessing the murder.

Fast forward to present, Kindaichi Hajime (Yamada Ryosuke) plays along the streets of Kowloon with friend Saki Ryuji (Arioka Daiki) by using siopao as a woman’s fake breast while Ryuji films the rest of his antics. Nana Misuki (Kawaguchi Haruna) gets irritated with Kindaichi’s antics, telling him that he’s bringing shame to Japan with his attitude. She later on confiscates Kindaichi and Ryuji’s passport and wallet to teach them a lesson. Afterwards, Misuki gets splashed by a vendor, which causes her to look for a change of clothes.

Enter Shin Li (Komatsu Takuya), a Chinese man who can speak fluent Japanese and directs them to the nearest clothing store. Shin Li asks them what are they doing in Japan and Kindaichi tells him that Misuki has been chosen to model for “Tokyo Girly Mode Fashion Show”, the name is so weird btw. When Shin Li appears impress that Misuki is a model, Kindaichi and Ryuji were like, “nah, she’s just a replacement because someone back-out suddenly,”…friends, how supportive. Afterwards, Shin says his goodbye afterwards and calls someone as soon as he went out of the store, telling that someone that everything is going according to plan.

While Misuki takes her time in trying on some clothes, Ryuji tells Kindaichi a supposed-to-be urban legend. According to the said legend, a Japanese woman once went to a certain store to try on some new clothes, when she entered the fitting room, she was never found again.

Kindaichi becomes nervous with Ryuji’s story since Misuki has been in the fitting room far too long; Kindaichi even makes a jest, saying “I’m coming in to take a peek” as he neared the fitting room. Still, no answer from Misuki and when Kindaichi really takes a peek inside, he just saw the clothes that Misuki brought with her inside.

Feeling “danger” in his guts, Kindaichi enters the fitting room with Ryuji and a finds another door leading outside, when he opens the door, he didn’t see Misuki but just a garbage bin with Misuki’s red school necktie hanging from the lid. Kindaichi makes a chase using a skateboard (and some awesome stunts after) until he saw the garbage bin being loaded at the back of the van.

Kindaichi’s eyes widen as he saw Misuki, unconscious, and half of her body still on the bin. Kindaichi places his cellphone on the back wiper and turns-on the GPS tracking system.

Ryuji reaches him; Kindaichi takes the bike that Ryuji was riding, and orders him to return the skateboard as he chases Misuki. Thanks to the wonders of GPS system, Kindaichi was able to track Misuki up to the park. While in the park, some kids bring back his cellphone with a message, in Japanese, that he must not pursue Misuki further or she’ll be dead. Ryuji catches on and said that the park is where the “Walled City” used to stand, all that’s left where some ruins and a Walled City’s replica. There’s also that dragon carving from early Walled City where we can see a “pink dolphin” placed below the dragon’s face. Some kid must have left it there. XD

Feeling deflated, Kindaichi and Ryuji sits on one of the bench as they think about their next plan, telling the police is out of question since Misuki’s life might be in danger.

As Kindaichi looks around the place, he saw a somewhat very familiar looking face, which could not be real since Misuki is supposed-to-be kidnap, so who is that woman sitting on the chair beside them and casually eating an ice cream?

Enter, Yang Lan (also played by Kawaguchi Haruna), the model that was supposed to attend the fashion show but backed-out last minute. Kindaichi and Ryuji tell her about Misuki’s current predicament, Yang decides to tell them the real reason why she cancelled.

Apparently, it’s all because of the tattoo on her back, which Kindaichi’s reaction was priceless, when Yang raises her top to show them a tattoo that looks like an eel or a swimming dragon. According to Yang, her mother told her that the tattoo is the treasure’s map, and Yang began receiving calls after her tattoo was accidentally shown during one of her gravure photo shoots.  When she learned that the show will take place in Hong Kong, she immediately backs-out, sensing that there will be danger.

So, why did she decided to come to Hong Kong all of sudden when there’s supposed to  be a danger and she’s not even wearing any disguise to conceal her real identity?

Well, talk about concealing her identity, Kindaichi and Yan decided that Yang will pose as Misuki as they unravel the mystery on Misuki’s kidnapping.

The trio went to the hotel where the fashion show will happen. There will be gala dinner/fashion preview  in the evening and Yang/Misuki has to be present. Upon entering the hotel, the trio meets Takigawa Ryuta (gorgeous Kiritani Kenta) who thanks Misuki for accepting the job offer despite last minute changes. He suspiciously looks at Kindaichi and Ryuji, saying that they were not informed that she will be arriving with two others; Yang said that she’s her friends.

A commotion stops their chatting when a furious fashion show promoter Zhang Yong Fu (Yano Kouji) was busy warding off a butterfly, who somehow manages to enter the hotel. Part-time hotel worker Kim London/Rondon (Seung-Ri) apologizes for the inconvenience as Kindaichi catches the butterfly using Zhang’s hat. Zhang  was so disgusted with the butterfly that he orders Kim to just take-away the hat.

As the commotion clears, fashion designer Ivy Liu (sexy and oh-so-pretty Vivian Hsu) enters the hotel and greets Misuki when another commotion happens. Enter Lai Bai Long (Wu Chun) who becomes under suspicion when the guard’s finds a gun from his waist. Lai showed them his police badge, telling them that he is on a special assignment from Taiwan and he will be part of the security force during the fashion show since some “heavyweights” are expected to attend.

Lots of characters in one setting can be quite confusing…

Anyway, fast forward to the gala dinner night/fashion preview, Yang directs Kindaichi and Ryuji to their seats, and Kindaichi feels a bit awkward since Yang is acting oh-so-familiar with the way she calls her. They were seated beside each other when Shin Li (yep, the guy from earlier) arrives and casually seats in one of the chairs, not even giving Kindaichi & co. a look that says, “hey, you’re the guys from earlier, right?”. Afterwards, the rest of the people behind the show arrives, even Detective Lai seats with them, and when Zhang arrives, he asks Shin to swap places with him.

While they were seated, someone calls Shin, which prompts him to leave the show; Kim London began pouring non-alcoholic champagne to Kindaichi and Co. since they are minors. The fashion preview begins with the models participating for the show standing-up and went close to the runway.  When all of a sudden, Zhang began acting sick and nauseated until he just collapses in front of Yang.

Detective Lai, assuming his detective role, orders for everyone to stay back and checks for Zhang’s pulse and declares him dead. Still, the medics should have been called …

Detective Lai retrieves the flute glass that was used by Zhang to drink the champagne; a short inhale leads to Lai’s conclusion that Zhang was poisoned.

Lai immediately accuse the waiter, Kim, that he murdered Zhang since he was the only one who touches the champagne and those glasses. Kim, ofcourse, denied. He was then backed-up by Kindaichi saying that it’s impossible that Kim have placed the poison since Zhang was watching the wine closely as Kim poured the wine. Kindaichi also assumed that the poison was already in the champagne even before Kim began pouring champagne to each glass.

Surprisingly, Detective Lai buys Kindaichi’s analogy, though he didn’t admit it. For some reason, none of the people seated at that table were asked to go to the police for questioning since they just went somewhere after…

Thankful for Kindaichi’s rescue, Kim treats Kindaichi and Ryuji to taste some of Hong Kong’s exotic dishes. Kim admits that even he doesn’t eat those kind of food but every foreigner who visits Hong Kong seems to like it. Kindaichi and Ryuji were presented with foods, such as: chicken’s feet, duck’s feet, and fried frog.

While Ryuji was all “eeewwww” over the foods, Kindaichi tasted the duck’s feet and finds it delicious. Kindaichi even ask Kim to sample the fried frog and Kim’s was awed as well. Lucky Dai-chan for not having to taste those…

Despite thetumblr_mdzvttaPRf1qe84y4o5_250 murder that happened, Kim invites Kindaichi and Ryuji to his place to view the Victoria Harbour’s city lights/laser show. While the two was watching, they invited Yang to come-over; Yang was coincidentally with Ivy Lui for dinner. This is so weird, Yang’s life is supposed to be in danger and yet Kindaichi and Ryuji were separated from her. Ivy decided to come to Kim’s place with Yang to watch the light’s show.

While they were on the terrace, a commotion (again) happens on the floor above. Coincidentally and surprisingly, the room above of Kim’s happens to be Shin’s apartment. When they went up, they saw Shin’s dead body and Detective Lai assumed that the cause of his death was after his head hit the post.

One murder after another…Kindaichi’s quest to solve the mystery on Misuki’s disappearance just got bigger…

Watch the rest on DramaCrazy

Thoughts

[may contain spoilers]

One of the reasons that Kindaichi is so popular is not just because of the fact that only talents from Johnny’s Entertainment plays the key role, but also because of the STORY. After all, what’s the point of Kindaichi being a deka series if the story is a fail.

In the 4th instalment, aside from having an ultra-long title, the story this time is pretty fair even though Seimaru Amagi (author of Kindaichi’s light novels) was the one who wrote the story this time. I was expecting something more mind-boggling ; though I must admit that the killer revelation in the end was something I really didn’t see it coming.

There were some loopholes and weird scenes that just make this version seem pretty incredulous. You might think that I’m over-analyzing things instead of just accepting them, but that’s the whole point of detective dramas, you must analyze them.

The motive for murder is strong enough to drive someone for murder yet the method which lead to murder seem incredulous. There was not enough explanation when did the murderer place the poison of Zhang’s glass and the explanation on Shin’s death is really unbelievable. The murderer must be so mad to Shin to exert all those effort just to see him dead, and really, where did the murderer learn those things? Is there some kind of a handbook for killing available for the murderer to be able to concoct such feat? Moreover, the last murder involving Ivy was pointless, Ivy was the only one who is willing to talk, yet the murderer just killed her without preamble.

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Kindaichi did a good job in patching-up things until he leads to conclusion as to whose murderer. The sequencing of murder and the looking for clues makes the story a bit believable despite some flaws. The side-story, about Kowloon’s “Walled City”, was good since it gave us a troubled past that needs resolving in the future. It reminds me of that abandoned city in “Get Backers” anime where the lawless lives. However, towards the end, the supporting part of the side story has turned into a family reunion that I just can’t fathom how it just fell into pieces and how highly coincidental everything is.

Aside from the murderer’s conviction to kill those people involved in killing her parents, it’s unbelievable that those “three”, who should have enough motive for killing, doesn’t seem a bit interested in avenging their father. I mean, Kim even chose to leave below Shin’s apartment, Takigawa works with Zhang for the fashion show, and Lai just chose to live in Taiwan.

As always, when it comes to acting, there will always be the bad and the good. Yamada as Kindaichi appeared more humorous than cool. I know that Kindaichi is really supposed to be the “happy-go-lucky guy” then Yamada did his best and his character has been engaging enough. Daiki is funny to the core, his facial expressions are just priceless and his character seems closer to Kindaichi when Misuki is the “childhood/bestfriend”. Though I guess that the reason for the lack of chemistry between Kindaichi and Misuki is the fact that Misuki is supposed-to-be kidnapped and the one acting as Misuki is fake. Kawaguchi Haruna’s is fair enough, though there were times when she just looks so…flat.

As with the other casts, Wu Chun’s voice sounds dubbed, Kiritani Kenta’s worry over Yang’s appearance was so believable that I thought he is in love with her, Seung Ri’s acting comes-off a bit force and flat, but I guess that was just what his character is asking from him, and Vivian Hsu is as pretty as her acting.

Nonetheless, Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo: Hong Kong Kowloon Treasure Murder Case is worth your time to watch. Aside from seeing international Asian casts in one drama, it’s always fun to solve mysteries.

Image credits here

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2 Comments

  1. Pingback: Asian Stars from 3 Countries to Appear in Yamada Ryosuke’s “Kindaichi” | JE fandom

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