03 February 2013

ストロベリーナイト インビジブルレイン Strawberry Night: Invisible Rain

  • ストロベリーナイト Sutoroberī Naito (Strawberry Night)
  • ストロベリーナイト インビジブルレイン Sutoroberī Naito Inbijiburu Rein (Strawberry Night Invisible Rain)
English Title:
  • Strawberry Night
  • Strawberry Night: Invisible Rain
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Year: 2013
  • 竹内結子 Takeuchi Yūko
  • 西島秀俊 Nishijima Hidetoshi
  • 大沢たかお Osawa Takao
  • 三浦友和 Miura Tomokazu
  • 宇梶剛士 Ukaji Takashi
  • 小出恵介 Koide Keisuke
  • 生瀬勝久 Namase Katsuhisa
  • 遠藤憲一 Endo Kenichi

Himekawa Reiko is a capable police detective at the Metropolitan Police Department. She is considered a non-elite as she doesn't have any connections and she did not graduate from the top universities but she has risen fast through the ranks due to her hard work.

Reiko's team handles a homicide case where a gang member was killed and the police suspect that the killing was brought about by gang disputes. An anonymous tip identifies the suspect but Reiko's superiors order her team to stop their investigation. Reiko becomes suspicious and conducts a stealth investigation against her superiors' orders.

Strawberry Night: Invisible Rain is about several murder cases where the victims are all part of the same gang. Most police detectives are quick to focus on internal power struggle as the cause, but there seems to be more to the cases than meets the eye.

The movie is about how some detectives fail to do their jobs properly for one reason or another, and then how they engage in elaborate cover ups to save their jobs as well as to uphold the reputation of the police department as a whole.

I have always hoped that romance will develop between Himekawa Reiko and Kikuta Kazuo, mainly because they look good together and they work well together. I think Kazuo is in love with Reiko and he is aware that he is in love with her, but he just couldn't find the right moment to confess his feelings. I thought Reiko is indifferent not because she doesn't like him but more because she hasn't given the matter a serious consideration.

However, Strawberry Night: Invisible Rain has thrown all my hopes for Reiko and Kazuo to get together out the window. Apparently, Reiko somehow knows that Kazuo has a crush on her and she doesn't reciprocate his feelings. I don't really like this development, and I wish the film didn't clearly show that it's impossible for a personal relationship to happen between Reiko and Kazuo so that I can live in hope.

What's really great about Strawberry Night: Invisible Rain is Reiko's team because everyone respects her and is willing to follow her as their leader even though she is a woman, which seems to be viewed as a disadvantage in the field. It's also great that they are always supporting each other and looking out for each other. Their camaraderie makes them look like they treat their team members as not just work colleagues but as close friends, or even as a pseudo-family.

I don't really know why the movie is still called Strawberry Night when the cases discussed are not anymore related with the Strawberry Night case that was tackled in the first drama ストロベリーナイト Strawberry Night but it's probably for continuity purposes.

ストロベリーナイト Strawberry Night (2010)
ストロベリーナイト Strawberry Night (2012)
ストロベリーナイト Strawberry Night (2013)

ストロベリーナイト Strawberry Night