I know it’s kind of late in the week to be making a post about Inpei Sousa but after seeing Monday’s episode(Episode 6) I thought it deserved some praise. If you follow my blog regularly(which is only a few people, probably) you’d know that me and Inpei Sousa didn’t get off to such a great start. After watching the first few episodes I thought it was just a Hanzawa Naoki clone. To be fair, there are some small similarities between the two dramas – the person narrating at the start of every episode is the same and both of the main characters aren’t very typical in terms of the Japanese working class. But Inpei Sousa is nowhere near as much of a Hanzawa Naoki clone as I originally thought.
I think the first thing that really sets this drama apart from Hanzawa Naoki is the focus and the attention that Ryuuzaki(Inpei Sousa’s main character) gives to his family. Hanzawa was a great drama, and I’d probably even go so far as to say it was much better than Inpei Sousa, but it seemed like work was first in Hanzawa’s mind. Ryuuzaki obviously still keeps work on his mind but there are times when you can see that he gets conflicted about picking between work and his family. There are even times where he tries to pick his family over work and they push him back into work. I’m not saying that one approach is worse than the other I’m just saying that the focuses and side-plots of the two dramas are different from each other.
Another thing that Inpei Sousa has that Hanzawa Naoki didn’t is a permanent side-kick. If you watched Hanzawa Naoki you’d know that Hanzawa had Tomari and Kondo, two of his best friends from when he first started working at the bank, hanging around him and helping him on the side. They weren’t around all the time though. There were a lot of battles that Hanzawa had to fight alone and Tomari and Kondo only appeared in the drama here and there to give him support. In Inpei Sousa Ryuuzaki has his one of his friends from childhood, Itami, who works as the Head of Investigations for the Tokyo Police. These two are pretty much inseparable and whenever Ryuuzaki runs into trouble(and sometimes when there’s no trouble at all) Itami is around to back him up. I’d probably even go so far as to say that Itami is kind of like a vice-main character. When you watch the opening credits the both of them are standing next to each other before the police hanko gets pressed.
So are there any other big differences between this drama and Hanzawa Naoki? Yeah, there’s actually a big one that I want to talk about to finish off and that’s the main character’s personality itself. Hanzawa was a pretty charismatic character and even though he wasn’t a typical Japanese office worker he wasn’t really thought of as “weird” by his colleagues or family. That’s where Ryuuzaki from Inpei Sousa is different. A lot of the actions he takes, like disagreeing with what his superiors say, are similar to what Hanzawa Naoki would do in the same situation. But when Hanzawa Naoki did it he was portrayed as being heroic and original. Ryuuzaki still does receive a lot of praise for the unexpected things that he does but the people he works with and his family are always calling him strange and treat him like he’s an alien or something.
This wasn’t really a very long post but I think I got out all the points that I wanted to make about Inpei Sousa, and I hope that I’ve undone some of the mess I made with the original comments I wrote about it seeming like a copy in the other post from when it had just started its run. I’m really starting to enjoy watching this drama and it’s gotten to the point where I’ll be waiting for the next episode to come out each week impatiently. I really hope there are other people out there enjoying this one as much as I am.