Takakura So witnessed his father, who is a detective, being murdered in front of him by a crime lord (Jinno). Vowing to take revenge, So grew up to become a detective in New York. At one failed ambush, a woman (Yuki Matsunaga) who seemed to be related to Jinno survived in amnesic state. Restoring her memory may be a key to reveal more information about Jinno. So was transferred to Tokyo and was partnered with Maruo Kudo to restore Yuki's memory and to follow the lead that Japanese police has on Jinno.
Action drama is not a genre that usually I am interested in. I give this a try due to good reviews but since my interest on this genre is so so, I watched this only in 2016. There is a good mix of comedy here which makes this more bearable to watch although it still took me a few months to complete this because my soft sub for episode 5 was faulty. I waited until end December to get the correct soft sub and then finish the show. Thus it is interesting enough to make me watch episodes back to back but it is not good enough to make me chiong for the faulty soft sub earlier.
The first few episodes which focus on restoring Yuki's memory are rather boring. The excitement starts to build up halfway as more information about Jinno and the conflict with him begins to show a clearer picture. I think the build up towards the climax is pretty good although the investigations and the shoot outs are pretty tame and lame for an action drama.
I enjoy comedy but I think having too much comedy in the middle of the supposedly action-packed investigation or shoot out with criminal scenes make the action scenes lame. The type of comedy here may not be everyone's cup of tea. I personally only like the funny scenes when So act or say things in a 'too serious' manner. For example, when Yuki hugged him from behind, So flip throws her because his fighting reflex. This is repeated at the final episode which I find damn hilarious as Yuki repeats the same comments that she got thrown even though she is a woman. Or when So sleeps next to Maruo on a single bed because ít is common for soldiers at war to share the same bunk bed. Lol. Sadly, funny attempts from Maruo, So's family, and the members of Japanese police department more often fall on the corny side. They are funny initially they tend to repeat the same jokes and slowly become repetitive and no longer funny.
Being used to teenagers/school-themed genre, it is quite interesting to see character development in a more mature or adult genre. These adult characters do not simply 'çhange' as the story progresses and that is something quite realistic. Despite personality mismatch between So and Maruo, So does not lighten up because of Maruo's influence and Maruo's does not become more serious like So. I am also quite surprised that Jinno, despite being a crime lord, actually loves Yuki. It is not a cliche that the antagonist is an arse who just makes use of the main female character bla bla bla. There is a love triangle between Maruo, Yuki, and So but nothing really romantic happens which I think fits into the theme of the drama and the characters.
One disappointment for me is that there are so many characters which are underused. I am referring to the Japanese police departments. In fact, I think there are 2 guys who usually appear during briefing but throughout the whole series, they do not even say anything or even interact with the other characters in the team. Similarly with So's family. These characters seem to be present just for comic relief. I feel that the police departments should have gotten bigger role in the investigation and action aspects of the drama.
It is official, I AM OLD! Dang!! Haha.. I have been looking for a more grown-up drama about working adults bla bla bla. I find Tokyo DOGS pretty okay. I know my younger self would think that the characters are one-dimensional because they remain the same personalities right through the end of the series, I would be disappointed with no romance and how the relationship between the characters are very 'professional' rather than 'personal'. But my current self thinks that the drama is reasonable and realistic enough to show the adult life. We no longer change our personalities overnight and relationships with colleagues, no matter how close we are, always remain business-like rather than personal.