My first words after the end of this episode was simply: WOW! There is no other way to describe it. Just imagine an episode which exceeds the sheer brutality of the movie Silence of the Lambs (circa 1991) which is the first analogy I can come up with to give you an idea what this episode was all about. Again, this drama is not for everyone! As a matter of fact, it should come with a warning message before every episodes! Forget drama content ratings! This episode alone was way up there in the hemisphere when it comes to the macabre! (For cast and synopsis information see Episode 1)
The opening scene sends a cold shiver up my spine as we watch a cloaked (or as we find out later), raincoat figure, walk up to a woman who is gagged and hanging from a hook upside down in a basement with her hands tied behind her back. The absolute fear on this woman face as the figure pulls out these cutting shears, fear turns into a muffled scream as we see blood splatter the raincoat….not kidding! The scene was truly out of a horror story! I was riveted to my seat! Okay, enough with the opening. Let’s get this show started!
The episode once again starts off with the conversation that Hinako and Nakajima were having about herself. This conversation continues to be more revealing as you listen to her talk about herself. The weirdness that we all have notice is explained by her as an “inability to show emotion”. I’ve heard of people being like this before so I had to go to “The Google” and look up the official description of this disorder: Alexithymia. After you read the Wikipedia page, you truly see Hinako in the description.
That night, Hinako dreams about the previous case and the frozen corpses, but this time, Kenji is sitting at the table, just as he was the last time she saw him; bloodied lip and all. He is talking to her about her lack of empathy and her response is simply, she’s moved on! Like he is just a memory. It is at that point that she wakes up.
The detectives are called to a home not far from where Hinako lives. The house is an old ruin, that used to be owned by a wealthy family but is now seen as a haunted house. Inside the house, the police first discover one body and when the detective take a closer look, he discovers that the woman, dressed in blue nightclub dress, is missing both her legs. Upon further investigations within the house, they find the remains of 3 other women, some that are more decomposed than the one found in the living room. All of the bodies are missing parts and have been left in precarious positions. All the victim are young women, that the culprit dressed and prepared the women after the murder and it was believed that the body parts were carried away. Atsuta (Watabe Watanabe) suggests that the detectives once again consult Nakajima (Kento Hayashi) about profiling this incident after his success in reviewing the freezer murders and asks Hinako for his contact information.
Hinako and Kurashima (Jun Kaname) visit Kikikomi as part of the investigation to look for witnesses and clues. They encounter a little girl named Yoshida (Moeno Sumita) who mentions that she saw a ghost wearing a raincoat not only at the haunted house but also outside her own home that she lives with her mother, Sawa (Nakajima Arisa) a week ago.
They meet the mother courtesy of a woman that escorts them and Yoshida to the dance studio that Sawa works at. The woman, Sato Toyoru (Nozomi Sasaki), runs a dry cleaning shop in the neighborhood and talks about the fact that Sawa had been involved in a stalker incident once before as she worked as a hostess and it involved one of her customers.
From the investigation, they learn that the clothing had been made personally for the dead women. The clothes were the perfect sizes as if they were made for the victims. Hinako says that the perpetrator must be a clothing designer. When Taeko (Mieko Harada), the medical examiner is consulted, she has determined that the tool used to cut the bodies were also special scissors, such that designers use. The investigation discovers that Sawa’s stalker was Nagayama Soichiro, a self-proclaimed designer and stalker who could be tied to two of the murdered woman. However, there was no conclusive evidence found so no arrest could be made.
Taeko also mentions that she is still curious about the suicide cases. From further investigation, she has noticed something very strange that is present in all of the murderers’ suicide MRI scans: All of them have the presense of a tumor that is in the exact spot for each of them but there is no indication from the skin that the tumors were somehow manmade. Hinako receives a call that Sawa was taken by car by a man. When the detectives reach Sawa and Yoshida’s home, they find her unconscious in the apartment and had been left alone. Toyoru is also there and offers to go to the hospital with Hinako after Shoji insists that she follow the ambulance.
The other detectives received a report about the rental car and determine that it is now parked at the haunted house. When they search the home, they think they’ve found Nagayama Soichiro but what they find is the corpse of Nagayama, in a raincoat, with his throat cut exactly like all the other victims!
At the same time, Nakajima is working on his profile and through his analysis, he determines that the killer has taken what they believe are the “best” parts of the women; the culprit feels that they lack in those areas and even before he says it (I’d already had figure this one out), that the killer must be a…. Nakajima has sent his profile to both Shoji and Hinako who is reading it as Toyoru is driving to the hospital; however, before she can even say the words, she passes out. Well, remember the “tea” she drank at the dry cleaners? I thought that was way too suspicious!
Later, Hinako wakes up and she as well as Sawa who is across the room from her, are both tied up. A hooded raincoat figure is coming down the stairs and then they pull the hood back and it is none other than Sato Toyoru! With a smile on her face, she walks over to this mannequin which now consists of the “best” parts of the dead women! Yes, she admits to killing all the women and she has plans for both Sawa and Hinako. She goes to Sawa to admire her beautiful skin on her back while freakishly caressing that back like a lover!
As she is doing this, Hinako is reaching for her purse which was conveniently left right next to her tied up body. Toyoru thinks she is going for her cell phone; au contraire! We know what she is going for and as she does, Toyoru walks to her and tells Hinako that she also liked the face of the beautiful Hinako; soft and white, and says “give me …… the skin of your face”. As she stands over her with the scissors, we see that Hinako has the knife and says “No, this is exactly what I wanted to happen”. We also see a panicked Nakajima and Shoji racing in the car to find Hinako. Nakajima says in a low voice “I must find her!”
This episode was truly a freak fest! Now, I have seen some pretty, pretty, pretty dark Japanese dramas before, I’ve seen some where the story lines rivaled the best horror stories that I could sit through; however, I am SOOOOOO glad no one gave me a CLUE about this story! Once again I watched in horror as this unfolded! Alexithymia! We have a name for what is strange about Hinako. From the prodding that Nakajima did, she’s been this way since childhood. It seems strange that there wasn’t a particular event that would have been the cause/effect for her condition. But, her query about how does it make her different than a murderer or a psychopath; there is definitely a thin line between her and them! To think that she became a detective to explore more is also interesting (to use Hinako’s phrase). I have a feeling, just like Shoji, there is a true reason; a method to her madness if you will or a stressor as they say to explain why she is the way she is. Some of you might be wondering who Nakajima is really trying to rescue here. I have a feeling it is less Hinako and more Toyoru! With him knowing her secrets and her ‘dark side’, we can imagine his fears on what she might do!
I liked that we finally got a little more “Jun” time! His supporting cast role and scenes are so far and few between. When he tried the Shichimi which I’m not sure if I would when I know it is a spicy curry, the look on his face was comical as he spits out the tea. You big dummy! I also liked his face when he and Hinako were walking in the rain. Yes, he finds her strange. C’mon! What woman would come up with the Frankenstein reference with a straight face? Only our Hinako!
And let’s not forget to compare and contrast Keiichiro and Hinako’s reactions to Taeko’s detailed description of the conditions of the bodies as well as the mentioning of the blood draining! Hinako’s face is a study of being totally absorbed into the story while Keiichiro is minutes (or should we say seconds) from vomiting and running away. Hey! He did run away! It was nice to see more lively scenes with Jun!
But let’s take a moment to fancy a look at Nakajima and his obsession with the handkerchief. I couldn’t remember if we had seen the contents before, I think not. But to see that it contained one of the candy wrappers from the High School girl’s murder scene AND to see the near orgasmic expression on his face when it seemed like he was sniffing it; was I the only one that caught that? Weird City!
The big reveal that the culprit was Sato Toyoru was actually a no brainer at this point. I had my suspicions when Yoshida said “It is not a man” and there was a pregnant pause, if you will before the conversation continues and she said the raincoat person was a ghost. Also, when Yoshida and Hinako were walking down the street, she looks back at Toyoru and says to Hinako “She’s scary also”. Two clear signs of who the murderer is! The clues couldn’t be avoided. The last sign was Toyoru’s insistence that Hinako drink her tea! Wait! A little girl is rushed to the hospital and she pause to drink tea? Yes, something’s up with that! So, it was no surprise that it was drugged; however, the fact that Hinako expected it was a surprise. She was waiting for this moment and now will we see whether she fulfills her curiosity of whether or not she too is a…..
On a side note, remind me once again. The writer, Furuya Kazunao is male, right? I find it highly unusual that the women in this drama can be perceived as much stronger individuals than most of the men when it comes to the brutality within these cases. Taeko (she’s the medical examiner) as well as Hinako (she has a condition) have been unfazed by their surrounding and the cases at hand…Interesting.
Well, let me start from the bottom and work my way up – It’s not entirely Furuya Kazunao’s doing that the women are so strong – The original novel series was written by a woman by the name of Naito Ryo. So… I guess it was a woman who made them strong first!
But I know how you feel about the content of the show; I’m always conflicted about whether I should leave trigger warnings for the people using my subtitles. I mean, people expect murder on a show like this, but things like rape, incest, spousal abuse, etc. could really blindside some people ~_~;; I thought the Sasaki Nozomi (Tsuya-san) did a really good job acting. She was chilling. But then, reading her actress profile, it says she’s infamous for being absolutely horrible to the other girls…. so maybe the directors knew what they were doing when they cast her. lol.
I’m curious as to why you drew the conclusion that Hinako has Alexithymia. Dr. Nakajima clearly writes she has psychopathy – Antisocial disposition, lacks a conscience and empathy, and is cruel and ruthless. Alexithymia seems to say that they cannot identify emotions. I think Hinako can identify emotions because she uses them as a clever mask around people… but she just doesn’t feel them herself. Which is a normal indicator of someone with psychopathy & sociopathy. She states herself, though, that she’s always been this way, which is what leads Dr. Nakajima to go with psychopathy rather than sociopathy. I really know nothing about psychiatry, though, so I was wondering if you picked up something else that I missed ^^
I’d also like to point out that the detectives had already found 3 bodies in the house when the Hiraoka Squad got there. That’s what they were debriefing about outside. Then the one police officer comes running out, freaked out and retching – That’s when he said there was a 4th body and it scared all of them.
I totally agree that the tea part was so awkward! I mean, like you said – a child is in the hospital, so there’s no time to “calm down” with tea. I’m also kind of annoyed that Shoji sent the only girl on the team to deal with the child… I mean, shouldn’t that have been Shimizu’s job, since he’s the youngest and lowest-ranked? But I guess in a way, Shoji is trying to protect Hinako from the violent, dangerous stuff since she’s just a few months younger than his late sister. It was also pretty cute how he was like “Screw police protocol!” and just went charging into the house. Insanely dangerous, but kind of admirable in a way.
I found the last scene with Shoji/Nakajima curious… mostly for how ambiguous Japanese is. He says, “I have to save her,” but we’re not sure if he’s talked about Tsuya-san or Hinako. Is he trying to prevent Hinako from being killed, or prevent her from killing? Mysteries, mysteries.
Kurashima is a funny character. I get the feeling he’s mostly there for comic relief. I mean, what kind of homicide detective loses their lunch over something like that? Sure, Shoji and Atsuta give it disgusted faces, but they’re not dry heaving at autopsy reports.
I found Nakajima’s obsession with the handkerchief interesting, too. Your theory about him being excited by it was interesting. I hadn’t thought about it like that. For me, it was more of a revulsion shiver… or maybe a trigger. Like if he’s under psycho control by the head doctor, too, it keeps him focused in “killer” mode. Maybe the older psychiatrist doesn’t have the skills to push the murderers to commit suicide, but Nakaijma does (they allude to the fact he’s some brilliant shrink). So he needs to be mind controlled as well. And he sees the good in killing murderers, so when his conscience starts bothering him, he takes out his “trophy” and it gets him focused again. I just can’t see him as a bad guy yet… and he really looks like he slips into another world when he’s doing those reports for CID… which is why I feel like he’s being mind-controlled. But who knows – maybe they’re just making him cute, goofy, and clumsy in an attempt to lull me into a false sense of security and them BAM! – he was a villain all along! PLOT TWIST! I hope not, though. I also wanna know what’s up with his watch. He keeps fussing with it all the time… Hmm….
Also, may I ask where you got your subs? As far as I know, Torachan2006 and I are the only ones subbing it, but there could be others! I just ask because there are some discrepancies between the two (names and a few facts), and I want to make sure I’m not missing anything/messing it up!
AWESOME!! I’m so glad you found me and I welcome any corrections! I thought of Alexithymia first though I can see the psychopathy tendencies and after revisiting the scene, I looked closely at what Nakajima was writing. Hinako is like one of those borderline personalities and I wonder if that is what the writer Kanae is going for. When I went and look at her other works, imagine my surprised that she authored Confessions! WOW!! I love this woman! I really love thee dark dramas because it not only gives the actors the opportunity to act “outside of the box” but in most cases it highlights the sheer talent.
I’ve not seen much of Sasaki Nozomi except in First Class. What a contrast in roles when you compare her Sato and Mina. But onto the last scene: Just who is Nakajima afraid for? Me? I don’t think he wants Hinako to cross that thin line and he knows she has the ability to do so. Haru is just doing an EXCELLENT job as her! I’m trying to divorce my image of her from Asa Ga Kita to this one!! Or even Sekai Ichi as Misaki! I love when actors can play such diverse characters from episode to another. Subs? I’ve been getting them from Torachan. I think she came up on the list first as I always check what she is subbing!! Can’t wait for ep 4 as we continue the Sato/Hinako saga!! Will she or won’t she? Hinako that is!
Oh, right! Yeah, I hear Torachan is really good with subbing ^^ I can’t believe they’re taking on two shows in one season! I would be so crazy stressed out, so mad props to them! I was just wondering because a lot of the names you used aren’t the correct readings for people’s names… that happens sometimes when people auto-translate Chinese subtitles in English. Like Atsuta’s real name is Atsuro Watabe. The little girl’s name is Yoshida, but that’s her last name. Her first is Haruaka. It’s confusing because usually Japanese people call each other by their last names, but these two ladies use their first. So it’s Tsuya Sato (the designer) & then Sawa Yoshida & Haruka Yoshida.
But yeah… little Haruka was very observant. I guess that’s pretty common in a child who doesn’t have many friends. Sad she couldn’t let the detectives in on her secret beforehand, though. I don’t know why she didn’t tell Hinako before when she was on the swings… unless she really did think it was just a ghost!
I really have no idea what’s going on with Hinako. The first episode I thought she was a sociopath because she fit every description I’d ever read. But then it was revealed she’d been that way since birth, so… that’d be a psychopath. But this thing you mentioned could be possible, too. I mean, Nakajima wrote in her file, but he’s acting all sneaky and whatnot, so can we trust what he says even? Who knows.
I wonder if Nakajima is developing a little professional crush on Hinako. I mean, it’s not every day that psychiatrists get to meet people with disorders they’ve only read about in books! Plus, the more he pushes her, the further he gets to explore into her psyche… and we know he likes watching research subjects since he told us about his Bare Bulb Babies thing.
As for Hinako, I don’t think she’ll kill Tsuya. I mean, we’re not even halfway through the series. If Hinako kills someone, I don’t think she’d be allowed to work in the CID anymore and then the whole series would crumble down. I wonder how many episodes they’re planning. There seems to be quite a few books in the series, so maybe if we’re lucky, we’ll see these guys back again! They’re all doing a great job!
I’m glad I found this blog, too; it’s aways fun to swap theories about plots, especially mysteries! I love hearing ones that are different from mine because it makes me think more ^^
Ooh ok question: Is it Watabe or Watanabe? I totes thought it was Watabe but I basically only read their names in Chinese so I never know…
And your comment about Nakajima’s “professional crush” is SO on-point. I feel like that describes his attitude towards her so well. It’s like he wants to help all these criminals with psychological conditions get better but at the same time, he’s fascinated by how twisted they are. I think deep in his heart of hearts he doesn’t want them to get better, because they are the darkness that he’s irresistibly drawn to. But that’s just my super cynical impression of Nakajima.
Also, the two watches. WUT UP wit dat?
I’m sure it is Watabe. I must correct my typos! Yes, what IS up with the watches??!!!
Oh I was replying to SpaceCadet1017. Also HAVE YOU WATCHED EP 4?
Not yet!!! I have to savor it on the big screen when I return home!!
I’m pretty sure his name is Watabe. It’s written 渡部 and the name Watanabe is usually written 渡辺. *checks his official website* Yep! *phew* I got scared that I was messing up a main character’s name there for a moment! LOL.
Interesting theory! I think perhaps Nakajima is a very tortured soul. On the one hand, like you said, he’s very drawn to the darkness, but I think he also has a light in his soul that really, really wants to help people. So he want to help them and knows that he should… but then secretly doesn’t want them to get better. So he has this huge internal conflict that ends up with him hating both sides of himself!
@NewKDramaAddict Omgg I can’t wait. I’m literally bouncing off my seats for you to watch it so we can finally talk about it 😛
@SpaceCadet1017 Yeahh after watching ep 4, I feel like I should revise my opinion of Nakajima somehow… Man. I was honestly so surprised at the way they presented him. I was so sure that I was right loll.
Oh yeah question, where can people find your subs? I’m trying to get my coworker to watch it and she needs dem English subs 😛
Ok can I just say that I went and read the wiki entry on alexithymia and it’s… very interesting. Does that mean that people who have this condition/personality trait actually have emotions but just don’t understand it? That would be fascinating if that’s how Todo is. I totes thought she was psychopathic though (assuming that she had the condition since birth).
Also the gruesome and gothic-horror aspect of these crimes TOTALLY reminds me of the Kindaichi Case Files. No, I’m not talking about those TV specials and movies that feature whatever hot young male actor of the moment as the eponymous Kindaichi. I’m talking about the manga. Holy fudges that ish gave me nightmares. Highly recommend btw 😛
Yeah Nakajima is fucked up. Like I’m 80% sure of it. When I say that I think it’s in the same way that all the killers in these cases seem to be. Meaning he may not be… Evil per se? But he’s got something twisted in that noggin of his. Also I feel like when he says they gotta save her he means he wants to save Todo from herself. Like save her from crossing into killer category (a road of no return, one that he is perhaps familiar with?)
Kindaichi? Will have to look that one up too! Yes, Nakajima and the saving comment definitely wasn’t him saving Todo from harm. I agree!
Hmm… perhaps if Hinako doesn’t understand her own emotions, that’d make a lot of sense. In the Ep05 preview, she seems to be showing feelings she’s unaware of. Plus…… I would assume most psychopaths wouldn’t care about others’ opinions. However, she seems to judge people as either good or bad and legitimately keep them around because she likes them. That’s not “normal” behavior for a psychopath. They don’t form bonds. (Sociopaths do, but they’re made, not born… and she’s said several times she was born that way.) And Hinako (at the very least) seems very attached to her mother. Perhaps Nakajima was off in his assessment!
I can’t figure out if Nakajima’s good or bad yet. I’m convinced Dr. Hayasaka is evil, though. At the moment, I’m so mad it’s still only Monday. I *need* to see Episode 5!!!
I think it’s interesting, though, that only Shoji seems to be picking up how messed up Todo and Nakajima are. Like HELLO, CID team…… are you blind?! (Well, Kurashima is blinded by love, I guess. And I think they only threw in that ridiculous storyline for a few laughs so the entire drama isn’t *too* heavy.)
Yeah I’m starting to lean more and more towards NewKDramaAddict’s interpretation. Also is it just me or is the pacing WAY fast for this drama. I feel like we’re heading for the end already. I mean it’s awesome and fun but like, idk what else there is to the overarching plot once they resolve it in ep 5…
I’d suspected Hinako of having something on the Autism spectrum. Turns out that Alexithymia and Autism tend to overlap, so I wasn’t too far off.
Awesome! Thanks for the comment! I really need to make time for Ep 4!
Yes pls do. I just finished watching episode 5 and legit my heart broke. I have not recovered. This show is killing me with its humanity, compassion, and quiet tragedies. I didn’t ask for this. All I wanted was a cool, powerful female protagonist and ridiculously gruesome murders. Instead I got feels. Too many feels.
Me again. Six episodes in now, and I’m more convinced that Hinako has something along the lines of Asperger’s Syndrome, which is on the Autism Spectrum. She has all the signs – lack of emotional awareness, ability to focus and memorize, non-verbal note-taking, etc. There’s a throwaway gag at the beginning of Episode 6, with the detective who has a crush on her, that’s classic Asperger’s. Nakajima may call it psychopathic, but that doesn’t mean he’s right.
Sorry. Just recapped ep 4 finally!! Yes! I’m leaning towards Asperger’s also. The scene in 4 with the watches made me immediately think of that also. Can’t wait to watch 5, let alone 6!! Okay, I’m slowly catching up!!!
Yes! The watches! I knew I was forgetting something. Those were definitely a sign of Asperger’s, too.
Yeah the more I watch it the more I think that you’re right, Robert. It’s pretty interesting how sensitively they’re portraying her considering the lurid nature of the premise and crimes.