Bloody Monday: Season 2

So how did this one do, considering it was a sequel? My POV? It didn’t disappoint at all. It was really consistent with the characterization and still managed to keep us entertained with its pace like most Japanese sequels.

The story picked up two years later and how J appeared again but got captured. Kirishima Goro had to go escort him back to Japan while a nuclear bomb was in plan to destroy Tokyo–once again. This group of terrorists was different from part 1, of course. However, it gave J a chance to escape and cause some mishaps before he died–if that was possible. The bomb was found on the plane–as some might suspected and had to be detonated right away. They had to recruit Falcon again to hack into the system to find the password to detonate the bomb. On Otoya’s side, his grandfather got shot and he was equally busy with preventing himself from getting killed. Before that, a woman appeared at where Falcon worked and demanded to see him, claiming herself to be Orihara Maya. But the real version was Orihara Maya set up a meeting with Otoya and wanted Otoya to give his grandfather something. She was eventually shot as well. So with an 8 P.M. deadline, Falcon had to detonate the bomb and save the day, sounds simple? Far from it! Aoi got captured in Haruka’s place since she was at Falcon’s house waiting for Haruka. (Though I must say that was a bit more refreshing that Haruka didn’t get captured this time–even if that was still nerve-racking with the wait.) On top of that, the government wanted to sacrifice Flight 421 to save the rest of the country. Nice?

They were definitely cutting it close since it was 5 minutes ’til the bomb was set to explode that they finally made it so that the Ikuma and Kaoru’s teams found Haruka, Otoya, and Aoi. And to top it off with the already nerve-racking situation, one of the flight attendants was actually with the terrorists and not that creepy, suspicious guy? OKAY! And I thought 5 minutes was cutting it close. Two minutes was!

And the most obvious thing was that whole incident was just the beginning. They had a long battle in front of them because those terrorists weren’t going to give up that easily after one failed attempt.

What were the things that were retained to continue the formula?

  • The humor and the bickering and/or bonding among Falcon, Otoya, and Aoi. I really liked the ongoing friendship despite the fact that it had been two years now. It was really funny how Aoi was saying how she would be embarrassed if Falcon didn’t show up when they were going to celebrate Otoya’s birthday later. Then there was the whole thing with Falcon claiming that he cried when he had to get rid of his computers since he needed to be a responsible individual and taking care of his sister and all. YET we found out that he was the one at the control center trying to sabotage all those secret sites that were promoting ‘terrorist’ activities, etc.
  • The sibling relationship between Falcon and his sister, Haruka. I found it a great consistency and it continued with their bond. He was shown as the protective older brother and she was still the cute sister. What was different was his role in being her guardian this time. It was really funny how he was disapproving her get together with some soccer player, LOL!
  • J’s witty comments. I know it was crazy to side with him. But sometimes I just loved to watch him versus the rest of the characters. I’m so serious. He was so cunning yet so right regarding some people’s responses, etc. It was quite humorous seeing them attempt to crack him but can’t or would always fail.

What was a bit on the side of frustration?

  • Aoi’s death. Seriously? I meant I kept seeing Haruka being saved again and again in part 1. I thought Aoi would make it through. Even if I had a gut feeling it was impossible to save Aoi that fast. And I was right, Kaoru lied so Falcon could concentrate on the hacking again to detonate the bomb in time. I guess that was why there was a change this time around with Haruka not being captured at the beginning but Aoi.
  • Falcon’s always a step behind Hornet. I know it was an effect to show the intensity and how Falcon always managed to maneuver around in the end, but it was getting quite annoying with the routine. Maybe they were trying to show how Falcon’s not invincible like he and the others thought but still repetitive at times. Then we realized that Hornet wasn’t that powerful since he copied Falcon’s method so the truth powerful hacker was someone else. Still disturbing though…
  • Hibiki kept nagging Falcon. Honestly, I know she had a duty to carry but it was super annoying that she kept wanting information when he was trying to restore the system for the nuclear power center. That was totally distracting him and getting his concentration away AND not to mention wasting time.
  • Yagi got shot by one of the police officers. That was pathetic. Yagi was not really my favorite character though I did sympathize with him for being bullied for so long–and caving into suicide and even acquiring a gun later. BUT that was so pathetic that he was shot just because he was trying to save the police officers from the attack of those crazy kids. What was is the world coming to really? YES, the police officers went through a traumatizing moment and they couldn’t distinguish who was good or bad anymore because they were misled. Not to mention how Yagi was carrying a gun, but since they got it under control already, would it even kill to listen to him? And waited a little more to hear him out?
  • Falcon fell for Spider’s trick. What? Come on now! I thought he had gotten better in those mind games. BUT I guess it only qualified for those computer mind games and not real-life ones.

Powerful scenes:

  • The confrontation between Ikuma and Kaoru after Aoi’s death. I really liked that scene and I was so looking forward to it. What Ikuma said was true. Though the circumstances were crucial, hectic, and had left no other choice, it had proved more than anything that the government did not care for them, even using deceit if necessary. For what it’s worth, even if Falcon found out about Aoi’s death, I think he would still go ahead with hacking because he had to stop those people who had hurt his friend, not letting everyone die with him and letting those terrorists succeed. But it was still Hagiwara’s word whether she was dead before or after he hacked again, NOT really the truth. And then I kept thinking about the irony of what Kaoru was doing versus what she was scolding at Goro for doing in part 1 for: fulfilling their duties. YUP, I could feel the irony now.
  • Ikuma attempting to beat up Hawigara. Exactly my point with his words. Yeah, Hawigara wouldn’t stoop so low as to using someone like Orihara Maya BUT he would stoop low to trick Falcon into hacking by lying about Aoi’s safety. SO who in the world was he to say that he did it correctly or was on a higher level than Ikuma?
  • The confrontation between Falcon and Hornet. YES! Another sign Falcon was learning the mind games. NOT that I want him to get all deceptive like some of the despicable ones in here, but he needed to defend himself and not get into those naive thoughts by using the gentle methods. Some people, especially those like Hornet, needed a major lesson for what he’d done. The trick with uploading Hornet’s information was effective all right.

What?!

  • Orihara Maya’s dead. Oh no, she’s not. I can’t believe I fell for it by thinking that Orihara Maya died so early in episode 1. She was part of the big picture and the complication the creators tossed in to throw us off. So it was weird to see her off like that though not really. But yeah…
  • Ikuma’s secret meeting with Orihara Maya. OKAY, I thought we could trust him but it got quite suspicious so I was back to making assumptions again at the end of episode 2. It was revealed later that Orihara and Ikuma were following instructions from Otoya’s grandfather aka the Prime Minister so it made sense with the suspicious acts. YET it got me going for a while.
  • Anzai was still alive. OKAY…that was sort of impossible but I guess they could make it possible, considering how she was shot, etc.
  • The tech lady was the mole? WHAT?! Okay, she was super loud and bossy so it was obvious BUT really? I guess it was another terrorist group so she would want to cooperate in the past with the team to bring J and his group down. It wasn’t their time yet to reign so they were just lying low. AND then I was thrown off again but I guess it made sense because she’d been there for ages. Her child would explain the reason why she had to do it.
  • Dr. Kurano is Spider. WHAT?! Okay, not impossible since she could be masking her vulnerable state for all of those times. But really? I guess they were really right in front of her without knowing it. She did request the transfer for J. AND no wonder J was protecting her, etc. The fake stories and all those interactions and all the ‘doctor mantras’ were to throw THIRD-i off of any suspicion there was of her. But that was even stranger to include her as Professor Shikimura’s daughter. I guess it would allow for it since there were only gaps and pieces of his identity in the first one so there was more room for development. That was crazy though. What right did she have for revenge? Her father caused others’ death too. Who would avenge their deaths then? Pathetic. If they wanted to avenge the government, aim it at them, NOT take the rest of the country with them. So by punishing the government with making them feel guilty, it was justified with taking all those lives? AGAIN, pathetic. It got even more pathetic–IF that was possible–with how she was ranting about her father only wanting to save others with medicine. HEY, if he wanted that, he would do just that, NOT take other lives and try to show the government what was going on. He just wanted fame, NOT treating others with medicine. Seriously, I couldn’t even sympathize an ounce with her. It was too pathetic with her crying out with injustice. It was always about fame with her and her father, nothing else.

Dislikes:

  • Hagiwara Taro. I know he had to follow procedures, etc. BUT I hated his way of operating. A typical manipulative boss. He didn’t care about the details but just wanted to get it done–regardless of consequences and how many people were hurt. Maybe like the rest of the population, I’m unsettled with thinking of the ‘overall’ benefit.

What was even better?

  • Falcon shutting the door in the others’ faces and only allow Ikuma to help him. The decision that made me really liked him in here. (Not that I didn’t before.) Though Kaoru was supposedly good, she had too much attached to her, especially how she had to listen to Hagiwara’s commands so she could betray Falcon anytime–whether she wanted to or not. It was a great call for him to not involve her or the others. Ikuma had a stronger sense of loyalty and didn’t care if he got demoted or not.
  • Falcon became smarter. Okay, he was a genius hacker but like I mentioned in part 1’s review, he was not that bright with the whole mind games, which was understandable. I liked it that he had developed a mechanism to protect himself better and how he seemed to catch onto things faster as well.
  • Falcon and Goro’s trap. Okay, I didn’t see it coming. Maybe because I kept getting disappointed with all the failed attempts to stop the terrorists so I wasn’t expecting too much BUT that was awesome! They were starting to fight back now so that was cool. It was sort of funny how J was sore that they were using him as bait to lure out the spy.
  • Haruka stopped getting captured. Aside from the part where she and Otoya got captured and had to be helped by Falcon and later Orihara, the rest of the time, she wasn’t really captured. Okay, she was taken by Yagi but she was able to take care of the situation on her own. She actually wasn’t the focus for the other terrorists to keep capturing like in part 1. She was actually on a journey of her own to learn and grow. Then, in the end, she understood her father and her brother’s feelings like she claimed.

Brainless:

  • Falcon’s co-worker had an alternative motive for hanging around Falcon at the beginning. Come on now! It was too good to be true that she was obsessed with him, etc. YES, he was cute and a genius. But she was just too into the whole thing. And then she wasn’t the least scared. Though the initial scene showing her freaked out with the attack at the shop, but she just had subtle questions of what he was doing. But she didn’t ask other things. Then there was the whole expression she was carrying on that made me suspect her.
  • J was the one manipulating everything without much of active participation (or so we thought). Come on now, it was hard not to suspect him. He was always so cunning and all. But even if he was the one pulling strings, Kurano had to be very dumb to get tricked and used by him like that.

Interesting things:

  • Orihara and Ikuma? Another one of those I wouldn’t even dream of yet it was believable enough when he finally came and tried to assist her. Yet it was too late. It was interesting that they were hinting at a relationship for them. It was really, really sad watching that scene that was actually worth crying for. She wanted to end the life of a hired gun but could not make it to the end. Another confrontation between Ikuma and Kaoru yet this time he did not have to say much. The picture was too sad and devastating already.
  • The bond among Falcon, Otoya, and Orihara. The taunting and games played–mostly by her–were like driving them insane in the first part. It was interesting to see them on the same side in this part. Though Falcon and Otoya still did not trust her because of her cunning nature at times, it was somewhat touching when she told them to “follow Teacher’s last request” since she was covering for them so they could run. Then when they heard the gunshots, Otoya urged Falcon to continue on and listen to Teacher.

Priceless moment:

  • When the monitor read: “Starting Shutdown”… Honestly, it was driving me insane with Falcon’s failed attempt to talk that psycho out of it. Then NO ONE was able to do anything. Though we all knew Ikuma and Goro tried their hardest. AND when that occurred, that psycho stopped talking and went hysterical instead SO that was like a major celebration for me. It really thwarted her plans major time. SO no wonder Falcon was so relaxed and didn’t seem to be all that into getting the answer out of her. I was going insane inside because I thought he was that crazy because of past failed attempts. Were the writers making it like that on purpose so they could trick us with this last twist?

Overall thoughts? Clever for the most part but mixed feelings throughout. I think the sorest point for me was killing Aoi. Maybe that was the drive for Falcon and Otoya to not give up, wanting to seek out the truth, etc. But that was so messed up with killing her like that. Then Orihara. But Orihara’s death made more sense than just some reason they needed for the battle to begin. Maybe it was like that psycho said about wanting to hurt Falcon’s most precious person. BUT still…

Recommended or not? If you watched the first one, I guess you have to continue on. Or give up. It was still worth watching though.

Bloody Monday: Season 1

Finally got a chance to watch it appropriately since I only managed to catch some of the episodes on the local channel. That was one good drama–though not flawless. Like most Japanese dramas of its genre, it delivered a series of intense, suspenseful scenes to pave the plot.

Likes:

  • Miura Haruma as Takagi Fujimaru aka Falcon. How cool was that? A genius hacker getting caught in a mess after he was recruited by the government? He was a kid after all so I didn’t really blame him for getting tricked at times. (After all the other dude was cunning.) He had his super intelligent moments too (like that one time with the text message), BUT I didn’t think he could handle some people yet with their cautious planning. It was all right since it was not like he dealt with those people every day.
  • Sato Takeru as Kujo Otoya. He was the quiet, cautious type. I think he was the brain in here. (Sorry, Falcon.) But he was more careful than the others, considering how he managed to decipher some things first or faster than others.
  • Falcon and Otoya as a team. I think they were a perfect team actually since one was really awesome with his computer skills and the other one was really intelligent with his fast thinking abilities. Seriously, Falcon WAS a genius hacker but I think he had his head in the cyber-world for too long so he needed Otoya to keep him earthbound. (JUST KIDDING, but yeah.)
  • Fujii Mina as Asada Aoi. The honest and sometimes too sarcastic girl. OR at least I had that impression of her at first at school. But she was really smart in her own right and had the right to make some comments regarding matters. (Especially regarding that hokey professor.)
  • Falcon and Aoi as a couple. Okay, since romance was almost non-existence in here, I shouldn’t put this in BUT couldn’t help myself. Come on now. There were hints. Still funny to see them bicker at the beginning and then later teaming up.
  • Yoshizawa Hisashi as Kirishima Goro. A little too distant and cold at times BUT he cared about others more than anyone realized.
  • Harada Kana as Nakagawa Saori. A brave young woman. She was willing to sacrifice herself for others just like that. It was really shocking that they let her die BUT it was inevitable, considering how the storyline was aiming to make it known with how scary the virus was. Yet there was always a tint in my heart that they would save her in time.
  • Goro and Saori as a couple. Was that sad OR what? I think they were the only romance story that was obvious in this one. She wasn’t nagging OR demanding when he wasn’t able to go see her, etc. She was really supportive and encouraged him on. He honestly wanted to be there with her and comfort her YET he had this strong sense of responsibility to stop the terrorists from doing any more damage and to find the cure. It was really tragic to see her die AND also his reaction afterward. His silent mourning in the conference room, reminiscing back to the time he called her in for the proposal. He remembered his promise to protect her BUT was devastated and felt beyond guilty that he was not able to fulfill his promise.
  • Matsushige Yutaka as Kano Ikuma. For some reason, I was really suspicious of him at first when they were searching for the one who leaked information out. But I guess he looked suspicious with his aggressive behaviors at times so it was easy for the terrorists to cast all suspicion on him. As the plot unfolded, he was a very cool dude and a very interesting character overall.
  • Goro and Ikuma as a team. They fought or had some disagreements at first but then they became a team later on. It was interesting to see that although Ikuma didn’t really come eye to eye with Goro at times YET he understood that Goro was suffering from Saori’s death more than anyone and even went out of his way to stop Kaoru from pestering Goro.
  • Narimiya Hiroki as J (Kanzaki Jun). I was not supposed to like him since he was that crazy dude who was responsible for a lot of lives. BUT he made the thing several notches more interesting since his manipulative skill was like WAY up there or something. He even deceived his own sister into thinking that he was out for a walk to get things taken care of YET he was just trying to use the situation to his best advantage.

Dislikes:

  • Kawashima Umika as Takagi Haruka. No, I wasn’t disliking this cute little girl. BUT I swear her sole purpose in here was to be a hostage so that her brother or others could go save her. It wasn’t her fault since those other people were good at the deception game. But I always had a feeling IF not for that purpose, we wouldn’t get to see as much of her. Also, I was a bit disturbed that she would open the door for just anyone. Didn’t she know anything about opening the door for strangers? Okay, so she didn’t know when it was those people from THIRD-i BUT she even opened the door for J.
  • Hotaru Yukijiro as Detective Funaki. I honestly hated this guy to the hardcore. Even though he was on the police side BUT he was such a jerk. He went and bullied a little girl? That was so despicable. If he was so good, why didn’t he go and solve the mystery himself? OR maybe that was why he did it. He only had the gut to go bully a little girl BUT did not have the gut to go after the terrorists.

Interestingly shocking (not really but they were good at suspense):

  • Anzai Mako was actually the other mastermind. Come on now! That was creepy all right. I knew that J was lying when he said that Otoya was the other mastermind. BUT never realize that it was her. Okay, I guess I was getting deceived with her innocent and weakling image. Should definitely remember this one.
  • Takagi Ryonosuke was actually an undercover agent. Okay, I always had the feeling like something was missing and that it was just a weak reason with him following those guys to save his daughter BUT then he turned around doing other things that said otherwise. Then it made sense that he was just pretending to follow those guys. There was also the whole thing with how he told Falcon to believe him, etc that one time when he called before leaving THIRD-i for good. Still somewhat surprising because they left everything at the end instead of just letting it unfold along the way like some of the details.
  • The doctor was actually the person unleashing Bloody X into the world. Okay, I didn’t see that one coming since maybe I was busy focusing on seeing how they could deal with the terrorists. Didn’t realize that he was responsible. Though I was as pissed as him with his work going down the drain just because some people thought that it was a waste of time and money YET they were wasting his efforts too. However, I thought it was WAY too messed up to take it out on the rest of the world.

There were other details I had forgotten since I watched it a while back BUT was a tad lazy to do the review right away. But I thought it was really good and enjoyable. Enough suspense and actions. There was the whole deception and other mind games being played. Season 2 will probably be equally interesting but that’s another story and I’ll probably do a review after I get around to watching it.