JDRAMA REVIEW: CRIMINOLOGIST HIMURA AND MYSTERY WRITER ARISUGAWA (2016)

I should probably make it my LIFE'S MISSION to try and watch all the Asian dramas that have a familiar aura and concept that Sherlock Holmes and Watson has in their classic pairing. Maybe I'll name the series THE SHERLOCK EFFECT or something. ANYWAY, I have always loved Sherlock and Watson so I will always check out dramas with this concept/pairing or even exact characters. The Japanese drama Criminologist Himura and Mystery Writer Arisugawa on VIKI IS JUST THAT!

*Now as per usual with any review I write, I will not be including any spoilers in this review.*


Here is a short synopsis: Criminologist Himura Hideo works with the police to solve crimes that have stumped them. His companion, novelist Arisugawa Arisu tags along and observes the investigations. They are an unlikely pair but work well together as they solve these mysteries.


Overall, I quite enjoyed this drama. Was it perfect? NO but it was entertaining. This drama is the type of drama you just turn on and enjoy. You don't have to think to hard (unless you are like me and try to figure out the killer before it is revealed 🤣) and you can just enjoy the ride as you watch the drama. I am glad I finally checked out this drama because it has been on my list for A LONG TIME!

WHAT I LOVED IN THIS DRAMA:

-BACK TO THE CLASSICS

If you are a fan of Sherlock Holmes, YOU WILL LOVE THIS DRAMA! The characters Himura and Arisugawa definitely are representatives of Sherlock and Watson in this drama but not EXACT replicas. There are differences between the 2 pairs. The essence of the classic crime-fighting pair is there though so it was fun seeing the similarities. Some of the side characters had counterparts from the original Sherlock Holmes stories like the big bad villain was DEFINITELY a version of Moriarty. Himura and Arisugawa even compared their relationship with that of Holmes and Watson in the dialogue of this drama.


-THE MAIN CHARACTERS

Even though this drama was about the crime fighting duo going around and solving crimes, this drama was also a character drama. You get to see the relationship of Himura and Arisugawa but you also get to see the relationships that Himura has with other supporting roles such as his landlady Tokie. That aspect of the Sherlock/Watson stories was always a plus for me so I like it in this Jdrama as well. I think the actors who played Himura and Arisugawa have great chemistry together so it really works for me. ALSO, SPEAKING OF CHEMISTRY, Saitoh Takumi who plays Himura and Hasegawa Kyoko who plays Moroboshi (Moriarty) HAVE AMAZING CHEMISTRY! When they are on screen together, acting off one another in a scene (which isn't much) their chemistry is palatable. I loved it when they were on screen together. It also speaks to the talent that all these actors had in this drama.


-ITS QUIRKY

Criminologist Himura and Mystery Writer Arisugawa is campy and quirky and that is part of its charm. You can tell that this drama did not have the biggest budget but that didn't detract my enjoyment of this drama. I think the production came up with some creative ways to portray scenes and actions. One thing that stood out is what the production did when Himura was examining a crime scene. The effects that went into those scenes made this drama unique and nothing like I have seen before. The comedy sprinkled into this drama brings quirkiness to the drama and makes the drama more endearing especially when the comedy is used to show as aspect of Himura and Arisugawa's relationship. The quirkiness makes this drama stand out in a good way.


-THE HAIR

SHOUTOUT TO THE HAIR IN THIS DRAMA! It is just magnificent and I could stop looking at it the entire drama. I MEAN JUST LOOK AT HIMURA!🔽

WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER

-THE CASES

As with a lot of procedural crime dramas and episodic cases, some crime cases were better than others. Some of the cases I didn't understand the motive and the drama didn't explain the motive all the way. Other cases were GREAT and very entertaining. I definitely did not predict some of the outcomes which I always enjoy. The big over-arching case was the most boring of the bunch and in my opinion unnecessary. It seemed like the drama really only introduced the overarching case to have the BIG BAD villain in the drama. Without this villain, there was no need for this case.


- THE ENDING

Now, I knew the ending was coming and if you are a fan of Holmes/Watson, you will know what ending I am talking about. So, I was not mad at the ending because it is the ending you get a lot when you have characters based off of this classic duo. I actually liked how this drama handled the ending especially with the last scene. Some other people might not like the ending but you will only know if you dislike it when you watch it because I am revealing no spoilers.


-THE VILLAIN/OVERARCHING BIG CRIME

I have talked about this a little above in other sections. As I stated, I didn't the overarching BIG BAD crime was that interesting. I think it could have been better and really was just a vessel to introduce Moroboshi. I think the Moroboshi character was great when it comes to having a Moriarty like character in the drama. She really stood out and represented that character well. She had great chemistry with Himura. Overall though, her character didn't do much which I guess was the point because Moriarty always never got his hands dirty. Maybe this is all because the drama is only 10 episodes or didn't have a big budget. I just thought this aspect of the drama could have been more creative or out there.


Rating: 8/10 (Streaming on VIKI now)

I'll end this review with a cat picture - NOW YOU KNOW A CAT IS IN THIS DRAMA!

If you are curious - Here is my WATCH THREAD for CRIMINOLOGIST HIMURA AND MYSTERY WRITER ARISUGAWA

So, have you seen Criminologist Himura and Mystery Writer Arisugawa?

What did you think of the drama?

Is it on your list to watch?

Will you watch this drama now after reading my review?


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