If you have been watching other JP dramas. You know they are good at crime dramas. But how many way you can setup that? Or you can see similar (but not the same style) with US shows like CSI, law and order and the likes.
Atami is strange like Twin Peaks. Almost nothing happens in each 45min show - a little clue is given. More character is introduced then necessary. But some big questions are asked, like with the Gaugain painting.
The story goes 4 school girls disappeared so 2 wide area investigator comes in to investigate.
One uses a strange red/green light device to 'survey' each situation. One of the local copy plays a joke on this investigator in each episode. They explore school girl that works part time in an 'questionable' pottery shop. A waitress in a diner has considerable camera time. There's a Matrix like Oracle. A reclusive scientist. A mayor with something to hide. A sideshow 'bob' that may hold the key to the disappear. On and on and on.
But this is refreshingly unconventional in that it does not just go from plot point to plot point. It gives time to the characters. The situations ask deep questions. It meanders, it waits, it ponders, and yet it does not want to conclude.
I like this a lot.
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