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Giri/Haji - General Discussion


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Translates as Duty/Shame.

A Toyko cop is sent to London to find his younger brother, who may have ignited a war between the Yakuza in Tokyo by murdering one of the nephews of a Yakuza boss.

Kenzo, the cop, seems like a world-weary father, husband and dutiful son -- his parents, including his very sick father, live with him and his teen daughter in an apartment.

Turns out that Yuto, the younger brother, tried to rob a Yakuza bookmaker, got his friend killed and came crying to Kenzo.  Kenzo covers it up, by killing the surviving bookmaker, make it look like the dead friend shot him.

But Yuto gets recruited by a rival Yakuza boss.  First thing that I learned is that the Yakuza dress up.  So the boss orders some custom made suits, fancy Italian shoes.  Yuto starts sleeping with Eiko, the daughter of Fukuhara, the boss.  He gets her pregnant, tells the boss, who tries to have him killed because he didn't want his daughter to marry a gangster.  So Yuto flees to London where he gets into more trouble.

Kenzo's cover for London is an exchange program for detectives, taught by Sarah Weitzman, a London detective (they didn't say what her rank was) played by Kelly McDonald.  Kenzo befriends Rodney, a half-Japanese "rent-boy" who helps Kenzo track down Yuto, who's part of a London gang now.

 

There are moments when Kenzo has this strong, silent vibe of the heroes in Kurosawa films.  He speaks English well and he seems to have no problems navigating London, either physically or being street-wise enough to find his brother.

Ultimately, the actor playing him may not have the charisma to carry the show.  Eventually Kenzo and Sarah fall for each other.  While there didn't seem to be a lot of passion between Kenzo and Rei, his wife, I don't know that this Kenzo and Sarah pairing is that convincing.  Sarah has been in a rut herself, hooking up for random, joyless sex with random men since she dropped a dime on her live-in boyfriend Ian, whom she saw making some corrupt move in an undercover case.

The plots moves forward well, even with a lot of backstory pauses for 4 or 5 characters.  Big confrontation at the end in the finale, after which there is this set piece of all the characters doing some pas de deux signifying the complicated relationships that each two of them had with each other and with other characters.

Every "good guys" character survive and probably sets up future season or seasons.  They let Yuto go and he goes to Paris, rather than back home to Japan to be with Eiko and his infant son.  He would also be in danger because some Yakuza probably would try to kill him, though they kill the gang on that rooftop.

Yuto doesn't go back home to Japan, at least not right away.  

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Sorry, but the show has been out for a few months.  So I thought the spoiler rules allowed for discussion of the whole season.

Since there wasn't a thread already, I didn't think there was enough interest to have a dedicated forum with individual episode threads, which would have better prevented spoilers.

 

 

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On 12/7/2020 at 11:24 AM, sugarbaker design said:

Why are you spoiling plotlines?  I regret looking at this thread.

Completely agree with the sentiment!  This thread could be a good place for discussion, but once you get here and see the first post it spoils the entire plot.  Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should.

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(edited)
On 12/7/2020 at 1:24 PM, sugarbaker design said:

Why are you spoiling plotlines?  I regret looking at this thread.

Agree. I just found this show, 3 year later, and had to quickly stop reading the first post. Should be spoiler protected, in the age of streaming people find shows years later.

That said, I am on ep 6 and the introduction of

Spoiler

Yuto's baby

and the very odd rescue attempt by the mom and grandma is hugely annoying. Why?

Also, I love Kelly Macdonald in everything she is in. Also, Abbott is also a great character.

ADD: Just finished the series.

Spoiler

That dancing finale was probably better 3 years ago. It was artistic and innovative and, for me, boring. I kept wondering of that was how the show was about to end, and I would be left to guess, through interpretive dance, how all the relationships ended up. But there was in fact a bit more show after that addressed at least a few issues.

Ultimately, what a giant mess they all were caught up in. I liked the show a lot, and felt it ended with a whimper. And man, I wish I could meet women like Mrs. Weitzmann!

So I assume there was never a second series?

 

Edited by Ottis
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