Checking out a few Japanese dramas this season because you know I love variety. Up first is The Mysterious Thief Yamaneko. I first came because I saw Hiroki Narimiya name in the cast list and then the synopsis caught my attention – about a thief who robs the rich for the poor? Sounds like an underdog story right up my alley. But after episode 1, I’m unsure whether I want to proceed. It started out quirky…then went darker and then got a little bit disturbing by the end.
Kaito Yamaneko (The Mysterious Thief Yamaneko) Episode 1 Impression:
The story follows our genius thief who goes by the name of Yamaneko or Wildcat (Kazuya Kamenashi). He’s capricious and light on his feet. He steals from the large corrupt companies and exposes their dirty laundry to the world. Sounds heroic? Yes, but he does let us know that he’s not a noble one. He doesn’t kill when he’s working but if you wrong him one way or another after work hours, he isn’t afraid to pull the trigger….or does he? The biggest question episode 1 left us with. He’s aided by two friends when we first meet him – a lady who runs a bar aka lair for stray cats, Rikako Hosho (Nene Otsuka), and an electronics expert referred to as Fat Hosoda.
I don’t really know Kame that well but one can see that he’s clearly relishing, performing all the theatrical moves and facial expressions with visible joy.
Whether Yamaneko is a righteous thief or a villain intrigues reporter Hideo Katsumura (Hiroki Narimiya) and he’s been tasked by his boss to continue their column of presenting Yamaneko’s adventures to the public. He’s a well-meaning reporter with not much luck because his articles capture the attention of Yamaneko and he likes them. He openly meets Hideo and invites the unassuming reporter to his lair, initiating his invite to the team by cuffing him with a bomb. If he doesn’t do as he’s told, the bomb will blow up. It’s a fake bomb but our dummy reporter does not know this and is forced to work alongside Yamaneko on their first case. He’s not that reluctant.
The first case deals with a very delicate crime committed by a genius hacker, Mao Takasugi (Suzu Hirose). After finding out that her father cheated on her mother, the high schooler punished him by publishing photos of their affair. However, what she did not realize is in doing so, she inadvertently forced her mother to face the ugly truth about her husband. To push the blame away from him, the father sets up a scene to make Mao believe that her mother tried to commit suicide and is now being treated at a fancy hospital for an indefinite length of time.
Submerged in guilt and fear, Mao allows herself to be used by her father. She uses her skills to collect private information from customers, which her father then sells to another party to “raise” money for her mother’s hospital bills. The truth that Yamaneko reveals is not a pretty one. Her mother is dead and her skeleton is hidden in a chamber where daddy keeps his treasures. Mao eventually shows up to help Yamaneko clears the security system and unveils the treasures behind closed doors.
(Side note: Is it only me that but the actress playing Mai is a dead ringer for Lee Min Jung? OMG.)
The scene above didn’t sit well with me because I actually don’t understand why he had to do what he did. A grown ass man pushing and grabbing a teenager’s hair to make a point? The fact that she came to help him already shows that she’s been held back by guilt and it’s understandable for a kid to make mistake. The important thing is she didn’t continue blindingly down that road when the truth slapped her in the face. She was just a little lost in the aftermath and could use some proper and gentle guidance. I felt like he was emotionally abusing her, calling her a criminal and labeling her just like himself. That is going too far considering he’s way ahead of her time.
Then of course, the scene immediately changes tune and Yamaneko merely showing her some tough love. Really show? If you want to show me he is darker than he looks, you could’ve done it without him physically and emotionally hurting a girl who has just lost both of her parents.
Maybe you guys interpret this scene differently, let me know! *_*