I was a little bit troubled about what I should write about today. There are a few dramas I’ve seen that started this season that I haven’t wrote about yet so I thought maybe I’d do it in an order of how interesting I found them. A couple of nights ago I watched Episode 1 of a new drama called S – Saigo no Keikan, or “S – The Last Police Officer”. As you can probably already tell from reading the title it’s a crime drama and it’s about special force units within the Japanese police. I think that it’s going to mostly focus on hostage cases – the kind of crimes where special ops and negotiators get called in. This drama is another manga re-make and its airing at the moment on TBS on Sunday nights. The first episode was an hour long special and it was pretty explosive.
The story of this drama follows a 29-year-old patrol police officer named Ichigo Kamikura(Osamu Mukai). He became a police officer pretty late in the game because before joining the force he was pursuing a career as a professional boxer. He was very, very good at boxing but his biggest flaw was that he had issues with hurting his opponent – this is what stopped him from making the jump to being a full-fledged pro. His days as a patrol officer are pretty care free, as they probably are for most patrol officers in Japan. I should probably also mention that Ichigo witnessed a very gruesome incident as a child. He watched his friend Yuzuru’s parents being shot dead by a criminal. The criminal also started aiming his gun at Yuzuru and Ichigo but the police got there just in time to stop him – Ichigo also saw the police shoot the criminal in the head right in front of him and this is what I can only assume lead to his dislike for hurting people.
One day there’s an incident near Ichigo’s beat, a gang of punks get a hold of some really heavy artillery and make a base in a city building. There are police there keeping watch over the building but the guns that the criminals have are ridiculously overpowered which prevents the normal police from being able to storm the building. A special ops group, SAT, is called in to handle the situation. When they are all in position and about to make a raid police headquarters receives a report that the gang actually has a hostage. They order the SAT members to halt their operations and wait for further commands until the hostage situation is ascertained. During all of this Ichigo sneaks his way into the scene(wearing almost absolutely no protective gear like the other officers are) to get a better look. As he gets closer the criminals throw what looks like a hostage from the building – one of the braver officers from group throws his shield aside and runs to catch the hostage only to find out that it’s a dummy. He’s completely unguarded right in front of the criminal gang’s line of fire and gets shot multiple times.
At this point all the other police officers from the large group are too scared to jump in and drag him back to safety despite Ichigo’s urges to do so. When Ichigo realises no one else has the guts to save him and that the wounded police officer will be shot dead completely soon if nobody does anything he grabs one of the heavy duty riot shields from a police transport vehicle and runs over himself and stands in front of the other fallen officer with the shield – using his free hand to hold the wound to try and minimise bleeding. Like I said the guns the criminals have are ridiculously overpowered and the shield Ichigo has is wearing down fast from the bullets they’re shooting. It even gets to a point where one of them pierces the shield, the wounded soldier tells Ichigo to abandon him but Ichigo refuses.
Back over at the police headquarters they narrow down the location of the hostage(the hostage is in a completely separate location) and they decide to deploy a new team called NPS to rescue the hostage. NPS is almost complete but they are still looking for one more member, despite this they agree to the deployment and manage to rescue the hostage without killing any of the gang members at the other location in the process. Once they’ve rescued the hostage the headquarters gives the other team, SAT the signal to make their raid. This happens just as Ichigo’s shield is on it’s last legs. SAT enters and pretty much slaughters the gang members – the sniper on their team, Iori(Go Ayano), takes out most of them before the other members of the team even enter the room. The leader of the gang pulls out a grenade before he’s about to die and throws it off the building. It lands near Ichigo who is passed out and the leader of NPS, Hideki(played by Nao Omori), also happens to be there too. Iori sees this from his position and shoots the grenade with his sniper, it ends up being flung into the air and exploding – saving both Ichigo and the NPS leader.
Ichigo’s act of bravery at the scene makes Hideki interested in him. He ends up wanting to recruit Ichigo as the final member of NPS but Ichigo rejects him multiple times saying that being in a special ops team is way too much responsibility for him and that he doesn’t want to kill anybody. There’s a few more special ops scenes and criminals in the episode but I won’t go into detail because it would take me forever to write(it was a longggggg special). The central issue of this drama is essentially whether or not criminals should be killed. The SAT members and their leaders believe criminals should be killed and that it’s in the best interest of the potential hostages at stake the the criminals be disposed of quickly and effectively. NPS is the other side of the coin, its members use other tactics to ensure that the hostages are safe while still keeping the criminals alive so they can be arrested(and rot in jail I guess).
This drama had some pretty moving scenes in the first episode, the riot shield scene was just one among a few. There isn’t enough room here for me to go into detail about all of them. If reading the synopsis I just gave peaks your interest even a little you should definitely watch it. I don’t think there are subtitles out for it at the moment but even if your Japanese isn’t great you should still be able to gather a lot just by watching because in the end it really is an action-based drama and talking is probably one of the things the characters to less frequently. I’ll write some more about this one as the episodes progress.