21 June 2013

潜入探偵トカゲ Sennyu Tantei Tokage

Title: 潜入探偵トカゲ Sennyu Tantei Tokage
English Title:
  • Undercover Agent Lizard
  • Undercover Agent Tokage
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Year: 2013
Episode: 10
  • 松田翔太 Matsuda Shota
  • 蓮佛美沙子 Renbutsu Misako
  • 松岡昌宏 Matsuoka Masahiro
  • 遠藤憲一 Endo Kenichi
  • 伊東四朗 Ito Shiro
  • 吹越満 Fukikoshi Mitsuru
  • ミムラ Mimura
  • 光石研 Mitsuishi Ken
  • 山本涼介 Yamamoto Ryosuke
  • 君嶋麻耶 Kimijima Asaya

The Metropolitan Police Department is  hiring private detectives as part of the undercover teams in order to deal with increasing crimes.

Formerly a police detective, Oribe Toru is now a private detective hired by the police for its covert operations. Toru is also known as Tokage, which literally means Lizard, because he blends into the background.

Mochizuki Kaori is a newly hired police detective assigned to work with Tokage on some cases. She used to work in a bank and according to her, her expertise lies with numbers and computers.

Sennyu Tantei Tokage revolves around private detective Oribe Toru as he goes on dangerous undercover missions for the police department. Toru has superhuman abilities, such as an eidetic memory or more commonly known as photographic memory, which helps him in his investigations.

Toru is also known as Tokage, which literally means Lizard. His manager Yanagida Masahiko said the nickname came about because Toru can blend into his surroundings like a lizard, but he also said that there are other interpretations. Toru's former colleague Terashima Shuji said a lizard tears off its own tail to escape when it is trapped and like a lizard, Toru will abandon his colleagues when necessary.

It is fascinating to watch Tokage work because he is determined to do whatever it takes to accomplish his missions, even if it means he has to do some illegal things. It raises the issue of whether the end justifies the means, so to speak.

It is also quite interesting how Tokage is left on his own, without the protection of the police department, if and when things go wrong. Although Tokage is actually working for the police, he is a private detective working on undercover missions so there are no paper trails linking him to the police department.

I suppose Tokage is the drama version of James Bond, with his technologically advanced gadgets and amazing fighting skills. I actually prefer this kind of lead character or hero; an ordinary person with some extraordinary abilities or a few advantages, such as unlimited financial resources.

Toru has a lot of back stories; from his guilt that his former partner died during their last mission together, to his police detective father who trained him as a child to practice his observation skills and to develop his memory.

I'm actually more interested with Tokage's relationship with his father, and I am curious why his father conducted such training. Is it because Toru has expressed a desire to be a police detective like his father, or is it because his father wanted Toru to be like him, or perhaps a little of both?

Anyway, the cases tackled in Sennyu Tantei Tokage seem gripping at first, but somehow there's always that one thing that makes the cases less compelling. For instance, a character was made to look too suspicious but he's actually the informant, and another character seemed upright but he's actually the suspect. For another, the resolution of a case is so simplistic that it somehow made the whole thing pointless in retrospect.

But the drama is still very entertaining, especially if you do not pay too much attention to the details.

潜入探偵トカゲ Sennyu Tantei Tokage