J-doramajapanese dramajdramajdramasKaitou Tantei Yamaneko

Kaito Yamaneko / Mysterious Thief Yamaneko Episode 1 Review

 

If there was ever a guide how to draw viewers in from the premiere and get them all excited about the next episode, Kaito Yamaneko wins that category hands down! Don’t let those cat-postures fool you, this is a formidable brigade that can bring down corrupted organizations, expose their evil deeds on the public and pocket their money while at that!

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Like I have already stated on a previous post, I did expect to like this show because the ingredients of an uncommon thief hunting down “the wicked”, being assisted by a journalist and a hacker, usually turns out good; possibly not something that will have a profound meaning or move you deeply, but the entertainment value in shows with a basic premise like this, is pretty much more than average.

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Well, Kaito Yamaneko not only has its entertainment value pegged on a high level, it also holds the quality of presenting powerful, emotional scenes amidst all the action and the humour.

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Kame owns Yamaneko already; it feels like this role was tailor-made for him and I got a feeling he relishes playing that part and pulling off all those theatrical moves.

Yamaneko is eccentric, wacky with an affinity for never being able to stand to one place, constantly moving, teasing others and having fun while facing dangerous situations. He also loves quoting from Nitobe’s Bushido, a book he seems to carry at all times.

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His past on why he was captured and tortured is one of the big mysteries, along with what happened to him through the 3 years after he escaped and took the Phantom Thief ID. (and the question of did he/did he not do that in the end of the episode. I choose to side with Mao’s belief on that!)

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Hideo Katsumura (Hiroki Narimiya) is a well-mannered journalist, that has the misfortune (or fortune!) of covering Yamaneko’s notorious adventures- his reports catch Yamaneko’s attention who grants him access to his hideout with his two partners, allowing him to monitor him for his future features. He has a romantic interest to Sakura Kirishima, (Nanao) a rookie at the police force who has it out for Yamaneko as she thinks he killed her father.

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Mao Takasugi (Hirose Suzu) is the last one to join Yamaneko’s crusade; she’s a genius hacker that starts a rival to his goals of exposing a corrupted company, as she works for her father’s best interests, acquiring him data he needs in order to scam people.

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Yamaneko uncovers the real reason she works for her father and she becomes an ally after a very emotionally intense confrontation -there’s an amazing scene near the end of the episode, where both Kame and Hirose are brilliantly presenting their characters’ deep heart scars and it showcases that the show is willing to deal with darker themes.

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Sakura’s superior, Sugo Shekimoto (Sasaki Kuranosuke) a sleazy policeman has connections to Todo Kenichiro, (Kitamura Yukiya) an ex news reporter that plans to run for governor and both of them will probably carry out the villain label.

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Overall, the first episode featured a stylish mix of action, mystery, humour, depth and captivated my interest from the first to the last-minute! I was glad to find out that it scored quite high on the ratings (14,3%), very much deservedly so!

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Onwards to episode 2 then, can’t freaking wait to hear that neko-theme again!

(my favorite kind of bridage, after Dai-Gurren!)

(my favorite kind of brigade, after Dai-Gurren!)

[disclaimer – this post was written by a watching-masha-winning-right-now kipzizz for dramajjang.co only; + huge thanks to mottofreaky @twitter!)

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kipzizz

kipzizz

"There's nothing greater in life than loving another; it leads to love for your fellow people, your country..and the whole world."

I'm pretty outgoing from what I've been told; unless, you bad-mouth Ayase. Or Gakky. Or Ueto. Or Tori. Or Masaki. Or Kame. Hmmm, the or-thing is actually endless! You get the gist of it, right? ; p

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  1. January 20, 2016 at 10:01 am — Reply

    This is on my short-list of ‘current jdramas to check out’ as well. 🙂 Glad to hear it shows promise. The premise sounds similar to Take Five, which I liked quite a bit.

    • January 20, 2016 at 12:05 pm — Reply

      Yeah, it had a very promising start; way, way better than I expected and it seems that most people feel the same way!

  2. kamekazu
    January 21, 2016 at 12:58 am — Reply

    So far it is Kame’s best drama i’ve ever watched. Here he showcases his real talent as an actor. Mostly his roles are on the cool guy sides but this is a big surprise in his career. I know he owns every role he takes and most of those dramas don’t require his twisted sides. But here he can be any of those. Funny, silly, crazy, cutie, dramatic, serious, scary = PSYCHOTIC. I so love kamenashi kazuya more now! Other casts are also great in acting. Seems like they made a thorough audition for every character in the story.

  3. January 21, 2016 at 1:00 am — Reply

    So far it is Kame’s best drama i’ve ever watched. Here he showcases his real talent as an actor. Mostly his roles are on the cool guy sides but this is a big surprise in his career. I know he owns every role he takes and most of those dramas don’t require his twisted sides. But here he can be any of those. Funny, silly, crazy, cutie, dramatic, serious, scary = PSYCHOTIC. I so love kamenashi kazuya more now! Other casts are also great in acting. Seems like they made a thorough audition for every character in the story.

    • January 21, 2016 at 1:06 am — Reply

      His performance blew me away as well! It might have been only one episode, but his acting was spot on in every emotion he was supposed to convey!
      He has matured a lot in his acting skills, and it clearly shows here with a very tricky role he has to pull off.
      My respect for him has grown x10 simply from the Yamaneko role (yes I already WORSHIP the series as you can tell lol) and I can’t wait to follow him through the whole journey.
      And yep, wonderful cast all around!

      • January 21, 2016 at 1:25 am — Reply

        I’m glad to have found a co-yamaneko fanatic. Maybe we are born under the same stars. Lol! Honestly I hope they could maintain this. It’s ok if they cannot surpass episode 1 but let it be the same level as what they’ve showed from the start.

        • January 21, 2016 at 1:27 am — Reply

          Hahaha, I’ll take that as a great compliment! ; p

          I hope so too, and I got a hunch it will even get better as we dive more into the characters’ depth and pasts.

  4. Kchan
    January 26, 2016 at 10:03 am — Reply

    I loved the first episode! Yamaneko (Kame) was soooo funny!!! He is such a crazy character and Kame’s acting is soooo amazing!!!

  5. Ai Sky
    January 26, 2016 at 10:56 pm — Reply

    I enjoy your recap, thanks a lot for that.
    I watched this series because of Kame and then when I watched it, I forgot that Yamaneko is Kame. He really portraying the character very well… brilliant. I didn’t expect much at first. Like many people underestimate him, somehow I feel that too since NwP. and I’m glad he broke my expectation. He’s the one who bring me to J-pop and dorama, and this drama make him more special than before. can’t wait to see the next ep.

  6. January 26, 2016 at 11:04 pm — Reply

    Thanks for your recap. I love it.
    This drama is brilliant. I didn’t expect that this drama make my J-dorama syndrome back. I rarely seen any dorama these days. I prefer K, because it looks more realistic somehow. But this one, is exception. Even it’s fiction, I watched it with much pleasure.
    When I watched it, I forget that it’s Kame. Every character he portrayed before, I always saw Kame slightly somehow, but as Yamaneko, I only saw the unique yet charming Yamaneko. The feeling like when I saw NwP for yamaPi but ended with fall in love deeply to Kame, haha… and this time I fall for Yamaneko… ^^
    Can’t wait for the next ep.

    • January 27, 2016 at 8:33 am — Reply

      You’re welcome!

      And yes, like I said in a previous comment, my respect for Kame has multiplied x10 after watching him in that role- even if it was just one episode, he was outstanding and it seems like this is gonna be a very memorable series altogether. (the great thing is, that most people agree with that assessment! ; ) )

  7. February 3, 2016 at 12:50 pm — Reply

    I’m kinda hoping that yamaneko will have a love interest here… someone who will tame the wildcat. We have action, comedy, drama and why not add his own romance, eh? What do you think? Isn’t it cute seeing wildcat with puppy eyes?

    • February 3, 2016 at 12:52 pm — Reply

      Hmmm, I believe the “romance” will probably be his caring/affection towards Mao; I doubt anything will materialize out of it, or there will be any explicit romantic scenes- I believe it will be something as we were shown in the 2nd episode, moments like these.

  8. February 14, 2016 at 6:47 pm — Reply

    I checked out the review because I couldn’t find the show anywhere, and you have made me all excited now. *falls into a pit of despair*
    Kazuya is my favourite actor in the whole world, and I am ecstatic to see this!!
    Do you know where I can see this show with eng subs? Help out a poor soul please!

    • February 14, 2016 at 6:51 pm — Reply

      Check your messages on twitter! ; )

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