Review: Ryuusei no Kizuna

The dramas that have come out since Last Friends ended haven’t really enticed me. Even after watching the 笑ってもいいとも! Autumn special, nothing beckoned, although the セレブと貧乏たろう episode that I caught on TV was kinda interesting, if only to see a certain actor (whose name I don’t know actually) up the sleazeball ante from his character in ハチクロ. I ended up watching Ryuusei no Kizuna (流星の絆) on a whim, and the humour in the first episode kept me watching what turned out to be a pretty interesting series about three siblings who decide to take justice into their own hands as the deadline of the statute of limitations on their parents’ murder approaches, complicated of course, by growing romantic feelings and certain inconsistencies that lead to a dark secret…

Ryuusei no Kizuna

In terms of plot, Ryuusei no Kizuna (流星の絆), adapted from the novel, is quite average. When the sister, Shizuna, is tricked by a con-woman, the siblings’ desire for revenge starts turns them into con-men themselves. Until they find that their biggest target to date is actually the son of the main suspect in the murder. The twists and turn were, for the most part, quite predictable if one bothered to think about the series, even the part about the brothers taking responsibility for their misdeeds in the end. However, there were three main things that held my interest.

Firstly, the acting on the part of the young cast was pretty good at various points. Ninomiya Kazunari might well be the best actor in Arashi – the anger and frustration of Koichi at his sister’s feelings for the murderer’s son contrasted heavily with the 「きもい男」 who used stalker tactics to find the con-woman. His intensity in the final episode when he confronted the murderer was also memorable, although I did wonder if anger could cause a person to shake that much (I’ve never seen it in real life, but I’ve also never seen anyone with that much cause to be angry). Kaname Jun was also very earnest (and cute) as the son, whose honest personality meant that his emotions and thoughts (e.g. the surprising 童貞 admission) were often revealed to those around him. And watching him dance around so happily – I can completely understand why Shizuna fell in love with him.

Humour, which was manifested in a couple of ways for me in this drama, was another draw. The relationship between the three siblings was quite amusing, especially when the younger two ganged up to tease Koichi for his きもい behaviour. I also liked how Taisuke was completely clueless about the hashed rice and enjoyed seeing Nishikido Ryo talk at a mile a minute in such a hyper role. Not to mention the incredibly lame scenerios and costumes they used for their cons – though these did get a bit old in the end. Thankfully, the humour pittered out as the drama approached it’s climax, and returned briefly in the epilogue. Nakashima Mika’s character was a bit random, and it was weird for her to segue into the insert song as a character in the drama, but otherwise, it didn’t bother me all that much.

Finally, the issue of the statute of limitations is something I would never have known about if not for this drama. I was stunned to learn that it is actually true that the limitation on murders was 15 years until 2005, when it was extended to 25. (Unfortunately for those who have been and are still pushing for changes to the law, this only applies for crimes committed after 2005, in line with the Penal Code’s stipulation that “when punishment is changed by law after the commission of a crime, the lesser punishment shall be applied” (source))  At first glance, the law seems stupid because it suggests that criminals get away scot free if they can evade detection and capture for all those years, whilst the victims (and/or the victims’ relatives) suffer far more. However, there is a logical reason for a limitation: cases within the limit remain active, and the government simply cannot afford the funds and human resources needed to solve every single case. The question is: how long should the limit be extended for serious crimes such as murder?

In summary, I’m glad I watched this series and would recommend it to anyone who would like to find out a bit more about Japan’s legal system. Of course, if one likes certain Johnny’s groups, Erika Touda or Kaname Jun, there’s probably no need of a recommendation. 6.5/10

p.s. I do actually like Nomiya in Honey and Clover, but I can’t deny that he is a bit of a sleazeball, at least until he meets and falls for Yamada.
p.p.s. I don’t really like Mizushima Hiro as an actor (especially after Hanakimi all but destroyed Nanba-senpai’s coolness) but after seeing that sushi segment on the Autumn special, much RESPECT! Not to mention that it was absolutely hilarious too…

About karice
MAG fan, amateur translator and political scientist-in-training. I also love musicals, travel and figure skating!

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