06 June 2014

ボーダー Border

Title: ボーダー Bōdā (Border)
English Title: Border
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Year: 2014
Episode: 09
  • 小栗旬 Oguri Shun
  • 青木崇高 Aoki Munetaka
  • 遠藤憲一 Endo Kinichi
  • 波瑠 Haru
  • 古田新太 Furuta Arata
  • 滝藤賢一 Takito Kenichi
  • 野間口徹 Nomaguchi Toru
  • 浜野謙太 Hamano Kenta

Man With A Mission (MWAM) - evils fall
Ishikawa Ango used to be a patrol officer and he was promoted to a detective when he apprehended a criminal. Before going to a crime scene, he tends to go around the perimeter and check the area.

While he is in one of his patrols, Ango runs into a suspect who shoots at him point blank. He survives the shooting but the bullet remains lodged in his brain, and removing it requires a very risky surgery that he's not willing to take.

Although he has recovered enough from the ordeal to return to work, he regularly experiences headaches. It's curious that after a severe headache, he ends up seeing and hearing people that are not visible to anyone else.

Border is about a police officer who knows the real culprits behind unsolved crimes because he has the strange ability to see the spirits of the victims or the dead killers, in some cases. Because there is no solid proof that ties the criminals to the crimes, the detective uses his special knowledge to creatively come up with some semblance of evidence so that the suspect is unquestionably tied to the case, and maybe even voluntarily confesses to the crime.

The drama poses a very interesting conflict. If you have access to the truth but you have to make some questionable choices to pin a suspect to his crime, is it acceptable for you to do so because you’re doing it for the sake of the victims, and the society, and justice?

I think it’s a very gray area, and although I want the suspects to be punished for the crimes they committed and for justice to be served, it doesn't seem right to do illegal things in order to bring those about. Although I want to say that stretching the truth may be acceptable, ultimately it still feels wrong on some level. I mean, how do I classify which actions are acceptable or not? And why do I get to decide what that fine line between acceptable and unacceptable should be?

I suppose it doesn't help that I don’t like Ishikawa Ango as a character. Although I understand that he’s a workaholic to the bone, it still doesn't seem right to wish for a crime to take place just so he can work. Actually, he didn't just wish for a crime to happen but even worse, he specifically wanted someone to be killed so that he will be called on duty. It’s just so wrong on so many levels, I don’t really know where to start.

Border is a curious title for a drama about a detective who can see dead people. There are many interpretations but I wonder what the real meaning is, as intended by the writer.

For one, border could refer to that area between life and death. Ango could be both at the fringes of the real world as well as the fringes of the underworld after the shooting incident, and that's the reason why he can communicate with the dead.

For another, and which is the more fitting explanation, Ango is in that fine line that separates good or justice, and evil. Although Ango is obviously working hard to solve cases and bring justice to crime victims, he is sometimes doing so through suspicious means. While he is in that precarious position, his choices and his actions will determine whether he'll eventually end up in one side or the other.

ボーダー Border