Kabukichou Sherlock – 02 – A Star Isn’t Born

Another day, another case for Detective Row, a loose collective of private dicks like Sherlock who compete for jobs. Sherlock doesn’t let the fractured leg he suffered when Watson hit him with a car slow him down—though he does exploit Watson’s guilt (and need for his services, though the exact nature of his personal case is still not known) by essentially making him his servant.

This time it’s not murder-most-foul, but a case of a florist named Fujiko who fell victim to an apparent scam. She was convinced she was scouted by an idol agency for her distinctive symmetrical beauty marks, but after a week of strenuous training, the agent vanished without a trace on the day of her big audition.

Upon taking the case, Sherlock puts Watson to work cleaning his house, then puts on a disguise (that doesn’t fool any of his fellow detectives) and heads to the florist’s to meet Saori the part-timer who was watching the store while she was practicing for the idol audition.

There is loud music playing when he comes in, which he abruptly cuts off, after which there are strange banging noises. Saori comes out from the back room, her skirt covered in a strange powder. Sherlock later declares he’s found the culprit, but is furious when he learns one of his rivals, Mary Morstan, also knows…thanks to Watson.

Being from the West Side of Shinjuku, Watson is an easy mark, as evidenced when his wallet was stolen last week. But when he chats with the pretty Mary, she puts a bug in his clothes. That’s how she learns what Sherlock learns…and Sherlock tosses Watson out, warning him never to return.

Watson is almost victimized once again by a gang of little kids who know how to turn on the charm (and turn it right back off at the drop of a hat). He’s saved by the same high school-age lad who recovered his wallet, and a frequent visitor of Sherlock’s.

As for Sherlock, he manages to catch Saori and her accomplice, and when they ask how he knew, he has another one of his wonderful impromptu rakugo sessions, explaining how when Fujiko was off practicing for a non-existent audition, Saori hacked away at the wall between the florist…and the vault of pawn shop containing gold bars.

Sherlock didn’t account for a third thief in The Cobra showing up, but he’s bailed out thanks to the high school lad—whose name we later learn is none other than James Moriarty—telling Watson where Sherlock was. The bank rewards Sherlock a cool 20 million, on top of the million he got for uncovering Fujiko’s scammers. I’d say Watson earned a cut of that this week!

Natsuyuki Rendezvous – 01

Hazuki Ryuusuke is in love with the neighborhood florist Shimao Rokka, and when a part-time position at her shop becomes available, he takes the job. One day Rokka invites him to her upstairs flat to plan a party for the employee he’s replacing, and he finds a half-naked man in there with her. Meeting him again later at the party, Hazuki learns he is Rokka’s dead husband, Atsushi, and only he can see him. Unfazed, Hazuki confesses to Rokka on her birthday, which is also her wedding anniversary. Hazuki won’t let Atsushi get in the way of his romance.

Ah, we enjoyed this thoroughly. First of all, the characters are adults! Just when we were about to give up all hope that such series still existed. Oh, and they’re not arms-dealing adults either; quite the opposite. They sell flowers, a commodity purchased either as a matter of course (funerals, valentines, mother’s day) or for pure sentiment. Not for killing! It’s a nice tight cast too; Just the protagonist Hazuki, his manager/would-be girlfriend Rokka, her sister-in-law Miho, aaaand…Rokka’s husband’s frikkin’ GHOST. That last one takes this out of the humdrum slice-of-life romance category and gently, subtly into the supernatural.

As a ghost, Atsushi is ridiculously low-key and matter-of-fact, whether he’s conversing with his living rival (something he notices instantly) or floating around the shop, a sight that’s as creepy as it is hilarious. Hazuki wastes no time and confesses to Rokka right here in the first episode, but that’s obviously just the first step in a long and delicate process, one that must – unfortunately for Hazuki – proceed under the observation of the last guy Rokka loved. Which should be fun to watch!


Rating: 9 (Superior)


Car Cameo:
The first car we see in the alley isn’t readily identifiable, but in another shot we spotted the spacious, practical Honda Stepwgn.