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Series cast summary:
Masato Atsumi ...
 Cop (11 episodes, 2006)
Hajime Tsukumo
(11 episodes, 2006)


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Unlikely Tale of Suspense
12 November 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Based on a novel by Keigo Higashino, Byakuyako is a tale of suspense about crimes committed by two children.

Ryoji Kirihara ( Takayuki Yamada, Tuuki Izumisawa ), and Yukiho Nishimoto ( Haruka Ayase, Mayuko Fukuda ) are a 11 year old boy and a girl from a disenfranchised family. Unbeknownst to them, their parents are having affairs with each other. But Yukiho's mother Fumiyo ( Michiko Kawai ) in need of money decides make her daughter work for Ryoji's father Yosuke ( Mitsuru Hirata ) performing special "work" for him. Ryoji and Yukiho often saw each other in the library. Neither smiled or socialized, but Ryoji began to be attracted to Yukiho. He comments to her "You're studying hard". She replies "My house is poor. The only way out for poverty is education". From that day on they became friends like no other. One night, Ryoji sees Yukiho going into an abandoned building with his father Yosuke. There he sees Yosuke doing unspeakable things to Yukiho. Almost on an impulse, he grabs a scissor and stabs Yosuke to death. Then he crawls through the air duct to escape after barricading the door to the room. Junzo Sasagaki ( Tetsuya Takeda ) is a detective working for homicide division of Osaka city police force. First he suspects, Yukiho's mother Fumiyo of murdering Yosuke, but begins to feel that there's more to this crime than what meets the eye. Soon after Fumiyo commits suicide by gas attempting to kill Yukiho along with her. But was it a suicide ? Sasagaki gets taken off the case, but he never gives up on finding out who the real culprit is for this crime. More he chases, more Ryoji and Yukiho emerges as the suspect.

The drama spans over 10 years beginning with 11 years old Ryoji and Yukiho, until they become young adults. They part ways for a while, but later joins to commit further crime. Their dark days of childhood never left them, and each feels that the other is the only sunshine in their life.

The story meanders like tales of Bonnie and Clyde in that two young people falls deeper and deeper into crime by mutual influence of each other. But the story is somewhat unlikely as the two kids if they've decided to come clean when they've committed the first murder, almost for sure would have received commuted sentence considering their unfortunate back ground, and the obvious abuse Yukiho was receiving. Some difference in the social culture between Japan and other countries shows up as detective Sasagaki mentions "Obviously they're guilty. If they've had enough intelligence to commit the crime, they certainly had the intelligence to know what they were doing. ". This line of logic won't won't be valid in United States for instance where children below certain age are considered unable to form complex intent required for committing the crime. In Ryoji's case it's almost temporary insanity, and that would have also factored heavily into the situation.

Unfortunate circumstance and social culture creates a drama that almost for sure would have ended up as nothing more than juvenile court's guidance case becomes a huge tragic drama. Even in Japan, kids would have certainly ended up with significantly lighter sentence than this story alludes to makes this drama somewhat forced and unlikely.


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