It’s Ouroboros time! I’ve been waiting for this drama since it was announced and it got me more excited when my beloved Juripe has been included in the cast. The first episode failed to deliver expected ratings, only 11.5%. Nonetheless, Ouroboros will let us see the bff’s playing like their past characters, Ikuta crossing between his detective character from “Mogura no Uta” and his psycho self from “Nou Otoko”. While Oguri Shun crosses between a serious and business-like persona from “Tokyo Dogs” and his crazy persona in “Crows Zero”.
Here is a quick recap of Ouroboros : Episode 1
“Ouroboros” is an ancient Greek symbol depicting a dragon devouring its own tail. It means infinity and eternity; death and resurrection. In the case of Danno and Ikuo, their Yuiko-sensei’s (Hirosue Ryoko)necklace depicts not one but two dragons devouring its own tail. It’s their only memento left by their murdered teacher, and the source of their drive take on the revenge that they’ve planned since they were kids.
Fast forward to present year, Ryuuzaki Ikuo (Ikuta Toma) is now a detective who boasts 100% arrest rate from his division. He gets partnered with Hibino Mizuki (Ueno Juri), an elite and career officer, who is also famous for being the daughter of Kanagawa’s district chief of police. Aside from that, she takes everything seriously and she doesn’t like seeing Ikuo smelling the corpse that was ruled-out as suicide.
Ikuo couldn’t care less about the suicide impression and tells Hibino that the man, who have said to have jumped from 6th floor, ate gyoza before he died. Not just any gyoza, he ate the nearby Chinese restaurant famous for their triple garlic gyoza. LOL. Before the body was taken away, Ryuuzaki was able to see the man’s family picture inside his wallet, the man looks too happy to be committing suicide.
After the body was taken away, Ikuo teases Hibino that she must have eaten curry. Well, his guess is right but Hibino is too pissed to agree that she brushed and gargle as soon as they arrived at their division.
The next day at the Shinjuku police bureau, second division’s Chief Mishima Kaoru (Yoshida Kotaro) teases Ikuo about making Hibino fall in love with him and he’ll surely be their mediator. Hibino enters the office and tells Chief not to make stupid jokes and Chief says that if Ikuo and Hibino has a bad partnership, he’ll likely demote Ikuo. Hibino says that it’s weird that someone like Ikuo has 100% arrest rate and in between jokes, Ikuo says that he’s used to that kind of treatment.
Elsewhere, two detectives from second division are conducting a search at a certain store for their bootleg DVDs. The detectives also have information that the store is working for a certain yakuza. So the two detectives enter the store and sees boxes of DVDs, mostly educational, self-help, and meditation DVDs
Well, the real bootleg DVDs featuring french maids and nurses were in a certain office and Fukamachi Takeshi (Muro Tsuyoshi) confirms that the police did go to one of their stores and thankfully, they were saved. The two goons rejoiced with this news and they all have the Lieutenant to thank.
The said Lieutenant is Danno Tatsuya (Oguri Shun), whose busy rolling a cigar, while he checks some stocks on net. Fukamachi and the two goons enters Danno’s office and asks if the rumors are true that he’s a mogul’s illegitimate child, along with Danno being a son of an American and was raised in an organization of spies, etc. Danno calls them idiots and says that everything is a lie since he makes it his motto for the week to lie as he breathe. To prove his point, he tells his minions that they lost 200 million and when Fukamachi says that he’ll do harakiri, Danno says that he was just jesting since in truth, they gained 300 million.
Back at the second division, Ikuo tries to ignore that distress look of his co-workers as they sigh how they swung and missed again. Ikuo decides to concentrate on the online news regarding the man that was reported to have committed suicide. Hibino interrupts his thoughts and says that she’ll be investigating the series of break-ins in the neighborhood, coincidentally, a break-in happened at the site where the man’s body was found last night.
Ikuo goes with Hibino but he requested that they make a stop first, he wants to see Nishida’s family, the man who committed suicide. Ikuo reason’s out that a person wouldn’t normally eat something strong before his death but rather something comforting.
At Nishida’s household, mother and daughter are still grieving the lost of the man in their family. Nishida-mama says that she can’t believe that her husband would kill himself since he hasn’t told mama anything about his problems. After Ikuo and Hibino left, Nishida’s only girl, Yukina-chan, chases them and asks them to find the killer. She’s sure that her father was killed, he won’t commit suicide because it’ll be her birthday few days from now and he promised that they will buy a gift together. Full of grief, she tells Ikuo and Hibino that if they don’t do anything about it, she’ll find the killer on her own and kill him herself.
Such sad and revengeful look from the little girl moved Ikuo and recalls a childhood promise between him and Danno. Unknown to Ikuo and Hibino, someone is watching them as they leave the Nishida household.
Back at the parking lot where Nishida’s body was found along with the reported break-in to one of the parked cars, the camera caught Sawatari, a repeat offender, and someone that Ikuo knows. In the video, it was clear that Sawatari stole something from the car but it was also clear that he saw something above before he went running. The time matches Nishida’s time of suicide.
Ikuo says that Sawatari must have seen Nishida falling from the roof and Hibino says that they should bring Sawatari for questioning. She’s beginning to change her earlier belief that Nishida committed suicide and wants to look at other possibilities.
At the first division, Chuono Shinichi (Kenichi Takito) and Shouji have some background info on Nishida. He learned that Nishida works for Kanto transport, a company used as a front by the yakuza group, Handa-gumi. Chuono is aware that the company is a front but the police still has no idea where the money of that yakuza group came from so they can’t make arrest. He also thinks that Nishida got dragged on something and says that the Abiko group’s Matsue-gumi is also located where Handa-gumi’s financial offices is located. Speaking of Matsue-gumi, Chuono’s face scrunch-up with disgust and delight just by thinking the Matsue’s leader, Danno.
Well, Chuono isn’t the only one interested with Handa-gumi, Danno has ordered Fukamashi to investigate about Handa-gumi’s Takigawa. One of Handa-gumi’s illegal work is smuggling contraband guns from China and to hide it from the police, the group hides their loot at one of their fake companies, which is Kanto Transport.
Fukamachi asks if they should “take care” of Takigawa, Danno tells him not to kill Takigawa, well, not yet. It’s better if Danno would take care of Takigawa soon since he just took care of two more lives, Nishida’s mother and daughter.
Along alleyways, Ikuo and Hibino are having a race as they chase Sawatari along the nook and cranny of Shinjuku. Ikuo almost got Sawatari but he decided to change direction and he chases a wanted serial rapist who happened to passed by.
Ikuo’s achievement didn’t make Hibino that happy, she sarcastically tells Ikuo that compared to Sawatari, the serial rapist who is wanted for so long, is a bigger achievement. However, people would normally tell their partner where they are headed so Ikuo promises that he won’t act alone as much as possible. Ikuo’s statement irks Hibino and says that instead of “as much as possible”, he should say “definitely” and adds that they must go after Sawatari the next day. Ikuo tries to pacify Hibino by asking her for a dinner but all he got is an irate reply.
Dinner time and Ikuo is at his favorite restaurant, Shinsoku Kitchen, where the menu goes from Japanese to Thai to Italian. A certain man finds it weird and Ikuo says that the restaurant caters to all walks of life so their menu is like that. When asks if he will recommend anything, the waitress, Kaoru, recommends omurice since that’s what Ikuo ordered all the time. Ikuo also highly recommends it so the man orders it. However, Ikuo didn’t get the time to eat his omurice since he got a frantic call from Hibino, telling him to go to the hospital since the bodies of Nishida’s mother and daughter were found. Ikuo gives his omurice to the man as his treat before he rushes off.
At the hospital, what was assumed a suicide turned-out to be false since Nishida’s mother and daughter doesn’t have any water in their lungs. In short, they didn’t drown themselves since they were dead before they were thrown into the water. The only fortunate thing that happened is that Yukina was revived while it was too late for the mother. Chuono, who was first to arrive in the hospital with Shouji, says that Nishida’s death has become too suspicious.
After hearing about the sad news, Ikuo walks-out on his own, leaving Hibino to wonder where he’d gone off to. Ikuo ignores Hibino’s call on his touchphone but he did answer another incoming call, the one from his flip phone.
At Handa-gumi, Takigawa is red with anger upon learning that Yukina, have lived. He wants her to be disposed immediately and since he can’t trust his minions, he might as well do it himself. He orders one of his goons to bring the car around.
Unknown to Takigawa, the guy he was ordering isn’t really fit to do his bidding. He’s currently somewhere, with a bloodied nose and shivering from fear, as he did what Danno have told him. Danno is casually smoking and prepares to kill the man. However, he didn’t do it and asks the man to go through his story one more time. The man confirms that they didn’t kill Nishida, according to Takigawa, Nishida saw something in their company and decided to kill himself. However, he did affirm that they did drown Nishida’s wife and kid.
After his explanation, Danno is satisfied and ordered them to gather up themselves, go to the police, and fess-up. Of course, they should not mentioned Danno’s name. Before he leaves them, the man asks why is he doing such thing and Danno says that it’s because he’s an ally of justice. Obviously, he’s lying. Remember his motto for the week?
At an underground parking lot, Takigawa waits for his goon to bring the car around but instead of a car, he found himself meeting a bullet. As for the goons, well, they turned themselves in with some sort of desperation and urgency just as Ikuo enters the station.
Later on, Chuono and Shouji are at the underground parking lot where Takigawa is obviously dead. They assumed that it’s just some nasty yakuza fight until they received a call that men from Handa-gumi’s have turned themselves to police and they said that it was Takigawa who ordered them to kill Nishida’s family. If that’s the situation, then why is Takigawa lying there, dead?
Furthermore, contraband goods from the Kanto Transport were seized the next day and Fukamashi says that it’ll surely be the end for Handa-gumi. As for Takigawa, he tactically tells Danno that Takigawa’s body was killed and found at the parking lot of Danno’s apartment. Danno casually says the he killed him and after Fukamashi greets him with “otsukare”, Danno says that they are not yet done and shows Takigawa a sachet of drugs. He asks him to look into it as well as to buy something for him.
Back at second bureau, Ikuo and Chief arrives at the interrogation room just as first bureau’s Chuono and Shouji are done. Chief asks him how did the talk go and Chuono says they got nothing except on what everyone else know. Chuono thinks it’s bullshit, especially when the goons said that their conscience is bothering them about killing Nishida’s family so they turned themselves in. It’s so obvious that they were threatened by someone to do it and he directs his anger to Ikuo and asks him if he beat the shit out of those goons.
Ikuo denies it, of course, and Chief tells Chuono that Ikuo is not that bad. However, Chuono says that Ikuo has the number 1 arrest rate in the division, I guess he means that Ikuo beat them up in turn of their arrests.
Anyway, Hibino arrives and tells Ikuo that they have a guest. The said guest is Yotsutani’s detective, Ishimori, whose visiting the 2nd division to tell something about Sawatari. According to Ishimori, he believes that Sawatari murdered Takigawa because he sells drugs for him. Hibino thinks that it’s likely that Takigawa and Sawatari had a fight about drugs, but Ikuo doesn’t believe it. He was the one who arrested Sawatari before and he said that he’s not the type who would sell drugs and even kill someone for it. He doesn’t think that he has fallen that far. Hibino then tells Ishimori that they will pursue Sawatari for his theft case only and they’ll just investigate after that.
Before Ishimori leaves, he tells Ikuo that he can’t judge someone that easily because people who does that are monsters hiding their true selves. After Ishimori left, Hibino says that she doesn’t quite agree with Ishimori, the Chief also shares her opinion, but Ikuo says that he actually agrees with him. For Ikuo, people aren’t what they seem to be. Hibino asks why he would say something like that and Ikuo uses Hibino as an example. He says that even though she doesn’t look like one, she’s actually a big eater and correctly guesses that Hibino’s last meal is gyudon with egg. haha.
At Danno’s office, Chuono and Shouji pays him a visit and starts by telling that he shouldn’t have hired such a gruff bodyguard. The bodyguard in question is a black man behind Danno, but he tells them that he’s actually his lawyer, Sato Douglas Kentarou. Danno says that he learned about Handa-gumi on news, he adds that yakuzas seem to be dying these days. Chuono asks him that with the Handa-gumi gone, Matsue-gumi will benefit the most and they have one or two leads on Takigawa’s murder case. Danno asks if they have proof and Chuono can only fake a laugh. Danno says that they cooperate with the police so they wouldn’t do something like that and Chuono says that all yakuzas are not be trusted, especially Danno, since he always looks like he’s lying and he’s that transparent.
Unable to move-on from Chuono’s statement, Danno looks on a pocket mirror to check his transparency when Fukamachi enters with a gift bag and reports his findings about the drugs.
Elsewhere, Danno and Ikuo talks back-to-back about what Fukamachi have learned. Danno tells Ikuo that he probably knows about the guy they were chasing, and it seems that the end is near. He tells Ikuo to gather all his willpower and Ikuo asks him about the paper bag with Danno. Danno tells him that he’ll take care of it since it seems impossible for Ikuo and after a Danno left, Hibino arrives to lecture him and drags him to look for Sawatari. Danno sees that scene and comments on Ikuo’s dominant partner.
The two end up in a manga/internet cafe where Sawatari’s allies says that they don’t believe that Sawatari would do something like sell drugs and kill someone. They learned about the info from another detective, which Hibino and Ikuo presume to be Ishimori.
Afterward, they visit Yukina who is already aware that her mom was killed. She confirms to Hibino is they have caught the criminal, Hibino is surprise on what Yukina knows, and she tells her that a friend of her dad’s came to visit her. Ikuo smells something odd and familiar and sees a paper bag, beside it is a bear, and he recognized it as the bag that Danno was holding earlier. Yukina asks Hibino if they will kill the criminal and when Hibino shows hesistation, Yukina asks why even though her parents were killed. Ikuo chimes in and says that the police can’t do such thing.
Moments later, Ikuo receives a call from Sawatari to tell him that he didn’t do what they were accusing him. Ikuo believes him and asks if he sees someone on top of the building that night, he’ll meet Sawatari and even treat him for katsudon. Sawatari says that he’s scared and says that he did see two other people on the parking lot’s building that night and before he can continue, the line got cut-off.
More moments later, Ikuo and Hibino rushes to the site where Sawatari’s body now lay dead. The police also found a receipt with what appears to be Sawatari’s suicide note with a statement that he’s the one who killed Takigawa. Well, Ikuo didn’t believe it one bit and based from Sawatari’s statement before he died, there is someone else aside from Takigawa when his flip phone rang.
Hibino arrives later at the records section and Ikuo is nowhere to be found. She thought that Ikuo will be working quietly since he seems shock by Sawatari’s death. The Chief says that if Hibino understands Ikuo’s shock then she must just support him because based from his experience, Ikuo is the kind of guy who won’t last long in the business, unless there’s someone like Hibino next to him.
Back at Sawatari’s murder scene, Ishimori arrives because he was called by Ikuo. Ikuo tells him that he learned something interesting about Takigawa’s drug trafficking business. As it happens, most drugs that appear in the market aren’t in their purest form but were usually mixed with other materials like liquids and such. As to where Takigawa obtained those materials, it was the same blend that Yotsutani police was able to confiscate from a defunct yakuza group, and who is from Yotsutani police, it’s none other than Ishimori.
Ishimori didn’t deny it, he took out his gun and asks Ikuo how he found out. Ikuo says his good sense of smell says it all, he smelled it from Ishimori’s breath, the bittersweet smell of a drug user. Ishimori was the one giving Takigawa drugs to sell and Nishida just found-out everything by accident. So they have to bring him down; however, they didn’t think that they’d be seen by Sawatari. Thus, Ishimori also have to take care of Sawatari.
Without any feeling of remorse, Ishimori even make excuses for what he did. Being in police is a business, they cover-up crimes in return of something else, they are a privilege class. In fact, Ikuo can be one of those in privilege class if he wants to, unless he choose to do something heroic and die. While Ishimori drones-on, Ikuo can only think of her Yuiko-sensei as she struggles up to her final breath, the moment when the police arrives, the unseen face of a man with a gold watch, and so. It’s like Ikuo sees nothing but his past and the likes of Yukina who have lost her precious family. It’s simply unforgivable.
Ishimori is prepared to kill him by a bullet of his gun when a motorcycle arrives, he shoots a bullet to the incoming motorcycle while Ikuo battles with Ishimori. Ikuo manages to take a shot first before Ishimori can aim at him. Well, Ikuo didn’t kill him yet, and the guy on the motorcycle happens to be Danno. Ishimori asks who are they and Danno says that they are Ouroboros, the two dragons. Cool.
Before Ishimori can meet the Shinigami, Ikuo asks about the incident 20 years ago near the Kasumi coast. An orphanage called Mahoraba had their owner killed and they haven’t seen the four men who ran away from the scene. Eventually, the crime has been covered-up and the two can remember the man with gold watch who covered-up the case. Hearing about the gold watch, Ishimori says that it’s definitely the Kintokei-gumi. Ishimori only heard rumors but he knows that it’s an organization of the elite of elite’s where its members occupies the top position in almost everywhere from police, politics, financial world etc. Their members have gold watches to show that they graduated from top schools in the country. If the case 20 years ago did involve Kintokei then it’s easy to cover it up since a police holds a top position in the group. Ishimori actually laughs at Ikuo and Danno and tells them that 25,000 police will be their enemies if they fight against Kintokei.
Ikuo and Danno have heard what they want to hear, Ikuo aims the gun to Ishimori but he begs for his life. Danno then lays a gun beside him and tells him to kill himself. Well, Ishimori doesn’t want to kill himself and fires the gun at Danno. Unfortunately, the gun is fake and Ikuo repeats Ishimori’s words earlier on how people like Ikuo are monsters hiding their true selves. Together, the twin dragons aim their guns toward Ishimori.
Later on, Ikuo sits at the sidelines as the police checks-on Ishimori’s body. Hibino arrives and asks what had happened. Ikuo says that he met Ishimori to talk more about Sawatari and while they were talking, he hears gunshot, and Ishimori was shot. Ikuo excuses himself because he’s not feeling well and when he walked past by Chuono, Chuono says that Ikuo’s eyes aren’t that of a detective but the eyes of a killer. Chuono says that he has good intuition, Ikuo’s nose isn’t that great at all. Of course, Hibino wouldn’t agree with that observation. haha.
As Ikuo walks away from the crime scene, a scene from his childhood plays on his mind. A certain member of Kintokei, the police with a gold watch, tells them that “they didn’t see or know anything” as if he’s trying to hypnotize them.
Elsewhere, Danno orders someone to investigate about Kintokei. The man, who calls himself Mikoshiba Jesus, is an underworld specialist demon writer. Danno promises a handsome reward if he can learn more about Kintokei.
Speaking of reward, Ikuo has a reward to Yukina as Hibino and he sees her off. Yukina will be staying with a relative and before she boards the bus, Ikuo whispers, “the bad guy is gone”.
Back at Shinsoku restaurant, Hibino receives a call from her father who tells her that he’ll be transferred soon so he’ll be near Hibino. Hibino coldly shrugs it off while her father, the man whom Ikuo gave the omurice earlier, says how it’s the first time he spoke with her daughter after three years.
At a more posh restaurant, Danno and Ikuo talks back-to-back as Danno reminds Ikuo to prepare himself, it’s the real thing from here on. Danno will control businesses in Shinjuku while he gathers information for Ikuo so he’ll get promoted. They need to move up, rise through the ranks of police and yakuza, until they reach Kintokei and will surely kill them all.
That was such an intense episode! The first few minutes will remind you of “Ryusei no Kizuna” where siblings promised one another of extracting revenge. It has the same feel here in Ouroboros, revenge, and how they glorify killing, yet at the same time treats it as justice being served.
You can see Ikuo is quite twisted and I love a twisted Ikuta Toma. haha. I think that he’s the one who killed Takigawa because Takigawa wouldn’t be asking, “who are you?”, if it’s Danno. Surely, he knows Danno, right? As for Danno, he’s business-like appeal looks more sane than Ikuo. Judging from the scene of Yuiko-sensei’s death, Ikuo looks more affected and Danno is like the elder brother who needs to pacify Ikuo by promising to take on revenge. Anyway, I wonder how they managed to get where they are now, Ikuo as a detective and Danno as a yakuza. I’m interested to see that in the next episodes.
As for Hibino, I already have suspicions about her father because that’s the only “sad romance” angle I can think of between her and Ikuo. I think she also has suspicions about Ikuo after what Chuono told her but I guess, she refuses to believe it. She looks particularly shock when she sees Ikuo’s eyes after he killed Ishimori.
I think that the big question is why Yuiko-sensei was killed.She looks too innocent as an orphanage owner but I guess, just like what Ikuo says, some people aren’t who they seem to be. After all, why does Kintokei have to cover it up and why does someone in their organization will kill someone like Yuiko-sensei.
For first impressions, Ouroboros is a must-see, you can see Ikuta and Oguri flirting with one another, Ikuta flirting with Ueno Juri, and Ikuta being awesome. haha. Seriously, the plot is branch-out, connected, and intertwined to other things that it’s unlikely that they will run out of cases and stories to tell. This is one of this season’s deka drama that won’t bore you.
Usual credits apply.