Kurokouchi: Episode 10 (Final)

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It’s the final showdown! Who will come out on top, Kurokouchi or Sawatari? The answer may surprise you.

December 10, 1975

Seven years after the 300 million yen robbery, the statute of limitations expires, allowing Takahashi to return to the country. The first person to greet him is Shiroo, but it’s hardly an emotional reunion as Shiroo has something for him to do. Takahashi asks if he can’t be free now, but Shiroo only tells him to follow him and with heavy feet, Takahashi obliges.

December 3, 2013

Seike calls Kurokouchi to tell him Takahashi escaped right before Sawatari deposits the money in his account. Since he didn’t uphold his end, Sawatari cancels the deal, but he’ll hold onto the laptop in exchange for letting Kurokouchi live.

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Kurokouchi panics and says he’ll reveal everything about Sawatari’s crazy coup to bring the Sakura Fubuki Association out in the open. It’s an empty threat though, since Kurokouchi doesn’t have any evidence.

It looks like Kurokouhi’s out of options, until he brings up Shiroo. If Shiroo was still alive, would he allow Sawatari to do such a stupid thing? Sawatari’s face doesn’t betray a hint of worry though, and their conversation is cut short by the arrival of his guards. Kurokouchi starts to say that they’ll meet again as usual, before leaving, but Sawatari cuts him off, saying they have no reason to meet anymore.

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Takahashi goes to meet a man in a nursing home, apologizing for not keeping in touch. Takahashi asks, just like he did 45 years ago, if he can be free now, confirming that Shiroo is still alive.

Kaga retracts his confession so even if they knew where Takahashi was, they couldn’t arrest him. Seike figures it’s because Kaga found out Takahashi escaped, though she doesn’t see how. Seike wants to tell Kakizaki about the SFA, but Ushii keeps her from talking.

Seike meets with Kurokouchi who tells her about Sawatari’s crazy plan. He figures that Sawatari has the police wrapped around his finger and will leave the country by tomorrow. Kurokouchi makes her think that they’re all out of options, but there’s at least one thing they can do.

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He wants to track down Shiroo and get a confession from him. It’s the only way to get evidence to stop Sawatari. When she asks if Shiroo is still alive, Kurokouchi says he has something else up his sleeve if this doesn’t work, though he doesn’t say what.

Seike once again asks what Kurokouchi hopes to gain from all this, and he finally gives a straight answer. “Revenge.”

Seike visits Madarame to find out more about Shiroo’s death. He passed away in 2005 at the Akane social security facility and she remembers that Akane is one of the companies owned by the Akaba group. Madarame cozies up next to Seike and brings up Hazuki Tomo, stating she’s the source of all of Kurokouchi’s information. It’s possible she was killed by the Sakura Fubuki Association for discovering that Shiroo was alive.

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Seike’s surprised that Madarame knows about the Sakura Fubuki Association, and wants to know what Madarame’s affiliation is. She presses Seike against a wall, saying she’s only a temp before cutting her off with a kiss while the whole forensics office just watches. So ends the weirdest relationship in this drama.

Seike tells Ushii about Shiroo, but he says they’ve been ordered by the top not to touch Shuto Sohgo, so it will be impossible to arrest Sawatari, even with evidence. Seike wonders if the top and the SFA are connected. I wonder if Seike has a brain. Ushii says it’s impossible to tell who’s connected to what and she asks if that means good and evil are the same. He uses himself as an example, saying that if he was a member of the SFA and Seike didn’t know, he would appear to be upright and honest. But it’s just an example and that puts Seike at ease. Sigh, you’re so dumb Seike.

Ushii turns the conversation to Kurokouchi. Even though he did a full body check before arresting Takahashi, he still managed to hide a stun gun. He thinks that Kurokouchi may have aided in Takahashi’s escape.

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Sure enough, Kurokouchi is meeting with Takahashi. Kurokouchi planted the stun gun in the car while Ushii patted down Takahashi. In exchange for helping him out, Takahashi hands over a tape. Kurokouchi asks what he’s going to do now, and he answers that after a lot of thought, he’s finally going to be free. He intends to be arrested for his crimes and confess that he is Boy S. Kurokouchi thinks this will stir up the police just like he wanted to forty-five years ago.

Takahashi wonders why it took him so long to come to this and Kurokouchi says it’s because he’s an idiot. Boy S has been called the genius of the Showa Era crime history, but Kurokouchi says he’s just an idiot. Takahashi agrees, thinking that if hadn’t stole that money, he could’ve prevented the deaths of many people.

He committed a crime believing it was for the right cause, but he was unable to differentiate the difference between right and wrong after that. Kurokouchi says the crime wasn’t a complete loss; after the robbery, photo montages were abolished, articles at the crime scene were more closely investigated, and security cameras were installed everywhere in the city. So there is a silver lining to his situation.

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Kurokouchi changes the subject to Shiroo, asking what he’s called now. Shiroo goes by Takeshita. With all the information he needs, Kurokouchi has no need to see Takahashi anymore, so he bids him farewell.

Seike’s mad that Kurokouchi helped Takahashi escaped, but he says it’s better this way. Takahashi’s testimony could be discounted as evidence while Shiroo’s, the founder of the SFA and a well-respected member of Public Security, would not. Seike can’t argue with that, though she’s still angry when she says she knows where Shiroo’s at.

Sawatari visits Shiroo, saying he won’t be able to visit him often, assuring him that he’ll protect the association for the sake of order. Shiroo only stares blankly ahead, not speaking like he did with Takahashi, making me wonder if there’s something wrong with him.

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Kurokouchi and Seike go to Akane and Seike wonders if Shiroo will actually talk with them. They easily find his room, but when Seike tries questioning Shiroo, but he doesn’t even seem to see her. Kurokouchi reveals that Shiroo has dementia, so asking him anything is useless. Well, that would’ve been nice to know twenty minutes ago.

He pulls out the tape Takahashi gave him and asks Shiroo to listen to it. It’s a recording of the conversation Shiroo had with Sawatari. Takahashi kept the tape after the Sakura Fubuki Association killed someone for the first time ten years ago in order to protect himself.

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Shiroo was angry that Sawatari killed Seike’s dad just for finding out about the association, but Sawatari believed he was in the right. In order for the association to assert that evil is evil, it let evil slide and covered it up. He only acted the same as Shiroo did when he covered up the 300 million yen robbery. He brings up getting rid of Hazuki, further incensing Shiroo, but Sawatari is unapologetic, stating that a crime isn’t a crime if it’s not discovered.

It’s a chilling reminder of how far Sawatari is willing to go to achieve his goals, and Kurokouchi asks Shiroo if he can recall anything. Though he entrusted the association to Sawatari, he thinks nothing of people’s lives. They wait breathlessly for him to speak, but he only ekes out, “It’s for the order.”

Though they don’t get anything from Shiroo, Kurokouchi thinks he actually remembers and the SFA is more formidable than he thought. Seike asks if the female journalist on the tape is Hazuki Tomo and he reminds her what he said when they first met; they’re heading in the same direction.

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Kurokouchi decides to confront Sawatari. Even without Shiroo’s testimony, the tape and the fact that Shiroo’s alive is all they need to give to the media. Seike stops him, saying that they can arrest Sawatari just with that tape for her father’s murder. Seike’s more determined than usual as she asks for the tape. She promises she can do it before Kurokouchi hands over the tape.

Seike confronts Kakizaki and Ushii in front of the whole division, asking for an arrest warrant for Sawatari. They dismiss her story and her evidence since they can’t touch Sawatari because of the orders from the top. It looks hopeless for Seike until Kurokouchi busts in.

He’s tired of keeping quiet, so he plans to expose everything today, despite Ushii’s attempts to silence him. He reveals how Shiroo covered up the robbery, how Takahashi is Boy S, the founding of the Sakura Fubuki Association, and Sawatari’s crazy plan.

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There’s an awkward silence before Kakizaki starts laughing. Seeing that no one believes him, Kurokouchi stands on top of the table and says that in exchange for telling him Shiroo was alive, he helped Takahashi escape.

He lies that they even got a confession from Shiroo and signals for Seike to agree. Kurokouchi knows that as police officers, they make connections with all types of people, so he’s sure that at some point, everyone’s heard of the Sakura Fubuki Association. They’re only pretending not to know because they don’t want to get involved.

Sawatari is doing all this because he thought that the police should always be righteous. “If I may say so, doesn’t it mean they’re cleaning up after your mess?” An officer asks what Kurokouchi is trying to say. “I’m saying don’t act like you don’t know!” he roars. It scares everyone to see the usual candid Kurokouchi so angry, but at least he’s got their attention.

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“Both Shiroo and Sawatari started out as your comrades. If your comrade’s doing something wrong, isn’t it our duty as comrades to stop him? If we ignore this now, you’re all equally guilty.” He asks what they plan to do.

Surprisingly, the first person to speak is Ushii and he asks Kakizaki to get Sawatari’s arrest warrant. Kakizaki hedges that it will be difficult, but Kurokouchi says he can take care of it. Seike’s ready with the evidence, so they just need Kakizaki to give the go ahead. He asks to listen to the tape.

Takahashi goes to the police station and remembers the day he returned to Japan. Shiroo told him that he would start working at the National Police Agency under the Sakura Fubuki Association. He remembers how Shiroo said it was for the sake of the country and he starts to walk inside.

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Seike and the rest of First Division go to see Sawatari, but he’s already left. She calls Kurokouchi, but he was prepared for that. Cut to Sawatari driving away, the laptop in the seat next to him. In the middle of the road stands Kurokouchi, arms spread out, with a wild grin on his face.

For a moment, it looks like Sawatari’s going to hit him, but he gets out to talk. Sawatari’s surprised at Kurokouchi’s stubbornness, but he says he’s not as bad as Sawatari who thinks the ends justifies the means.

Kurokouchi doesn’t understand how he can run around with stolen money, and still pretend to be righteous while spouting phrases like “for the country” and “order.” Sawatari says Kurokouchi’s misunderstanding something; he doesn’t believe that the ends justify the means, but for a just cause, all means become good.

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Kurokouchi says that the robbery was the beginning of evil, but Sawatari believes it was a just cause. However, it led to the suffering of many people, but Sawatari points out it forced the police to reevaluate their system.  So then, what’s the just cause behind his coup?

Sawatari references several times the government has been overthrown by those that were upset with the people at the top. “The world keeps turning as if someone is constantly manipulating it, and that’s how everything keeps flowing smoothly. For the noble cause called national interest.”

Kurokouchi scoffs at national interest and says that because they try to hide it behind such a phrase, bad things happen afterwards. Sawatari says bad things only happen when someone tries to expose it. Of course he should expose it, he’s a police officer, but Sawatari says the job of an officer is to protect the order and safety of their country. Kurokouchi coldly says he didn’t learn it was okay to kill people in order to do that.

Realizing he can’t reason with him, Kurokouchi walks up to Sawatari, only to have a gun pointed at his torso. Can’t count on your wallet to save you this time.

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Eight years ago, Kurokouchi asked Hazuki why she was trying to expose the robbery. Sawatari asks what her reasoning was and Kurokouchi is surprised that he didn’t ask her back then. He says she thought that what Sawatari stole should be returned to the original owner. “She was saying an obvious thing like that.” He begs for Sawatari to give the money back, but he says that if this is exposed, too many other things will come to light. Sawatari vows he won’t let it end, and Kurokouchi says he’ll put an end to him. And that’s when he pulls out the arrest warrant. If looks could kill, I’m sure Kurokouchi would be six feet under by now.

Kurokouchi apologizes for arresting him for a different crime after all this, but Sawatari plasters his smile back on and says they’ll part here, cocking his gun. Police sirens are heard and Sawatari’s shocked to see the cars pulling up. Kurokouchi was only stalling for time and Sawatari drops the gun defeated. With no place to hide, Sawatari tells Kurokouchi until next time, before walking towards the police.

Kurokouchi: “Drop dead, monster.”

So Sawatari’s back in jail, Shiroo dies to meet the death quota for the episode, and Kurokouchi feels like he finally avenged Hazuki. Or at least he does until he goes to visit Sawatari and is refused. “Anyway, I bet I won’t find him here anymore. Or anywhere else.” We see Sawatari’s jail cell, empty.

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Seike has been looking for Kurokouchi and finally finds him. She asks why Takahashi wasn’t arrested and he says that he supposedly turned himself in, but in the end, everyone just disappeared. Seike can’t believe that they lost Sawatari as well, but it was something Kurokouchi expected in the beginning. The police once again decided to make it look like nothing happened.

He points at the police headquarters and says they determined what was evil and good once again and made a decision. To make the police look good, they let evil slide and covered it up once again.

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In frustration, Kurokouchi shouts that the police are hiding too much.

Back in forensics, Madarame assures someone that she’ll delete the voice analysis file of the tape recording. The person on the other line is seen with the tape recording, the laptop, and the 500 yen Sawatari gave to Kurokouchi, stowing it safely away in a cabinet with the other 500 yen bills.

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It’s none other than Ushii and as he locks everything way, he turns to the other man in the room. It’s Kakizaki and he says they’ve retrieved them all before they leave the room.

Kurokouchi says that there’s some things in the world that are best left unknown to the world. Seike says she’d rather not think so, but Kurokouchi asks her who it was that covered up the 300 million yen robbery. She answers that it was the police and he gives his signature “Corrrrect.”

Thoughts: If Kurokouchi ever tried to be a show about good triumphing evil, then I would’ve hated this ending. But it’s not; Kurokouchi demonstrates how good and evil aren’t set in stone. They’re determined by others and the fact that the SFA is allowed to keep operating in the shadows is proof of that. Still, I expected more from the finale (Shiroo turning out to be alive, only to have dementia, was the lamest twist ever) and I can’t help but think, “What was the point?” Sawatari is stopped, but is he actually punished? He just disappears which could mean he was killed or shipped into exile. Seeing how crafty he is, he could have escaped. It’s very vague so it feels like Kurokouchi and Seike didn’t get their revenge. There was no payoff with everything going back to square one, so I was left cold by the end.

I would’ve liked some more backstory on Hazuki and her relationship with Kurokouchi. He did all of this for her, but all we know is that she was just a reporter he knew that dug around too much. Did Kurokouchi encourage her or was he trying to stop her? Was he responsible for her death? What kind of person was he before she died? I just wanted something so Hazuki wasn’t just a poorly written plot device for Kurokouchi’s actions.

All my grumbling aside, for what it was, Kurokouchi was fun. While I enjoyed how the cases managed to be smart without trying to manipulate your feelings, I do wish it didn’t overplot so much (you didn’t need a twist every episode) and tried to flesh out it’s characters a bit more (though I loved Nagase Tomoya’s faces).

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7.5/10

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