A Part

「正義の暴走」 (Seigi no Bōsō)
“Rampage of Justice”

B Part

「筋肉バカ」 (Kinniku Baka)

If anything it seems this season I’ve taken things a little bit too much to heart, as is the same with Hakozume. My original intention in writing coverage for this show was simply to talk in stride about topics that are usually ignored. Since Hakozume was originally written by a woman who spent ten years in the force, the show comes with its own set of morals that are pushed down your throat. It has its own agenda that is to say. Simply to show the truth; how hard and sometimes uncomfortable it is to be a woman in the force. From my perspective, exemplified by how Seiko had to take the moral high ground and blatantly dish it out to Shikine.

Because of its military structure, policemen are called unprofessional when they show emotions and are thought to push them down. Furthermore, the work environment doesn’t really allow for niceties, even though some still try to inject them. It’s all about being tough and grinning your teeth when bad things happen. It’s about late nights and a work environment where you’re expected to suck it up. Because that’s what men do. They don’t cry or complain. At least not in a way that deems it as an acceptable part of masculinity or the male ego.

Such is the case with Fukushocho and the reason the B part of the episode is titled Musclehead. An ex-soldier, turned military, now promoted (or demoted) however you wish to see it, to a desk job. He has a partner, who he rarely sees. But the woman who screamed bloody murder accusing the policemen of sexual assault interrupted his date and time off. Kawai managed to calm her down a little bit and Fukushocho restrained her, as the woman still had a knife in hand.

Fukushocho is the yang to Shikine’s ying, Who was prominent in this week’s episode. Fukushocho sees things how they are meant to be, through a lens covered in reality. Meanwhile, Shikine wants to shine like in a Hollywood movie, more exactly a detective movie in the vein of Kingsman, 007, or as this episode referred to, Bayside Shakedown. Fukushocho’s confidence comes from years of hard military training and toughening up as soldiers do. Because, of course, the only way to build stamina is through muscle, sweat, blood, iron, and tons of overflowing testosterone. That’s what Fukushocho represents, in a superficial way we were given that information. Hakozume also makes sure we see him as intelligent. Of course, as always this assumption was made through much overlaying on my part and self-thought psychology-induced interpretation.

Shikine instead shows a more naive version of masculinity, one where it’s okay to sit quietly in negligence and think it’s okay to say stuff like we men must protect women. Of course, I’m sure it comes from a place of gentlemanship. But in my mind, he’s the type of guy who scores brownie points by being nice, and when the time comes to bark like a madman and pretend to be an ape at the zoo, or in this case a hippo, as Kawai mentions, he’s unable too because he’s table side manners do not allow him to do so. He’s scared at the prospect of being angry. On the other hand, Fukushocho has already internalized that anger and it’s the fuel that gives him the courage to continue onward.

Society says only guys like Fukushocho are acceptable because he portrays a more, let’s call it, streamlined version of masculinity. Meanwhile, Shikine serves tea and overcompensates on the little things. Like yelling an at old man for reversing while not wearing his seatbelt, a guy on his bike without the lights on, a little kid who shyly walks by and he takes a spiteful look. He takes those things seriously because it’s the only thing that he can do. It’s his Rampage of Justice.

But when the big bad Yakuza show no anxiety or tremble in the presence of a blue collared uniform and the power it represents, he backs off and calls for backup immediately. It’s Takeshi and Seiji the ones who arrive on the scene and bark like mad dogs.

Then another very true fact that was presented in this episode, women are great at de-escalating things, as such is Seiko the one who walks into the fight with the Yakuza and kindly ask them to evacuate the premise, and it’s Kawai the one who brings the women down from her drunkenly (frankly embarrassing) display.

Any kind of sexual assault is never okay in any type of situation, and when a woman says no it should mean no. And such sometimes it makes women fear for their safety. Because not taking the hint is a choice. However, screaming bloody murder by playing a victim card is also not okay. So in a way, Hakozume does acknowledge this double standard society has placed on itself. And also makes us confront it as viewers. It’s uncomfortable, especially from a coverage standpoint, yet still, it works superbly!

Shikine doesn’t necessarily represent one of the nice guys but his general fantastic view of things and also allowing himself to perform the jobs that he deems worthy for himself, without any challenge or malice outside his comfort zone. Through that process, he inflates them and takes them to an extreme hardcore level. If he sees the opportunity he jumps at it. But it’s the little things that he goes for because deep down he knows he doesn’t have the courage to fight the demons of the night.

It’s unchecked ego that drives his motive. He’s praying on the weak while masking it through the lens of justice. Of course, this is only a measly reviewer’s interpretation. It stuck with me how his character was portrayed, and that’s why this episode’s coverage mainly focuses on breaking down his character, and the version of masculinity that Shikine represents. Once again allowing us to see the different versions of virility, through colored tinted glasses. It’s not black and white, but that’s the way society deems it so. It’s up to us to accept that fact and come to terms with it.

P.S. Takeshi looks really good with a snapback! Did they also make him more buff?

Full-length images: 39.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *