A Part

「大麻と似顔絵」 (Taima to Nigaoe)
“Cannabis and Likeness”

B Part

「似顔絵狂騒録」 (Nigaoe Kyōsō Roku)
“Sketch Artist Rhapsody”

This spell was kinda special, mainly because we got to see an episode where the A part bleed into the B part, something Hakozume has not been doing up to this exact episode. The experience starts with Kawai changing into her normal clothes after a long day of work with no sleep or anything of the like. She really can’t handle how sleepy she is, so she decides to take a little cat-nap in the women’s snooze room. To her bewilderment, Seiko and Miwa are already sharing a bed, but because the bunk bed is not working, Kawai is forced to jump into bed with both of them. Following seniority rules, Kawai ends up in the middle, which ends up being pretty hilarious. Miwa has been dealing with a cannabis-related case, Kawai mentions to Miwa that she smells like that devil lettuce. Which happens throughout the rest of the episode with different people.

Much to my dismay with you the readers – I do have to mention that I found this strange because cannabis doesn’t really smell unless you burn it. So unless Miwa is rolling some fat joints from the evidence bins, it doesn’t make sense for people to call her out on having a noticeable cannabis smell. The smell the flower makes when it’s in its normal state, is far less potent than when burned. What you smell is the afterburn of the flower. But I guess you don’t get that knowledge unless you smoke it regularly.

However, if they’re burning the flower to get rid of it, then that might be why she smells so potently, however, none of that was mentioned so it’s really hard to guess what was going on with that. It’s just supposed to be funny, and Miwa gets embarrassed by the notion of other people telling her she smells, it’s not an easy smell to get rid of either. And the show is riffing off on the notion that the normal viewer doesn’t know much about cannabis, it is highly illegal in Japan still. And it’s the stigma that’s still permeating throughout Japanese culture.

Later they bring in a boy who is the key witness to an assault case, Miwa and Kawai are assigned to the case and Sgt. Seiji wants both Kawai and Miwa to do sketches of the perpetrator. The boy does his best to describe what he saw even though it was kinda dark. After a couple of hours, they can come up with a sketch that closely resembles the perpetrator.

Mostly, this episode tried to infuse that comedy side that has been present during the last couple of episodes, however, it’s not really to my liking. What made Hakozume interesting to me was that it was willing to touch on hard topics that are not seen normally, and now instead of doing that, it wants us to be invested in the characters and be with them in their day to day activities.

However interesting that might be, it deters from the original intent of Hakozume, the hard-hitting cases like in this episode, the girl who walks in and exposes the violence infringed upon her to the police; Is played down, dumbed down even, for the sake of comedy and letting the day to day activities of the police box shine. While I usually have no qualms with shows about CGDCT. It was never the original intent of Hakozume. So – It’s kinda sad that during the final episodes of the series it decided to stop caring about its original premise and intent, and instead deliver half-baked comedy that doesn’t really work.

Is that a hot take? Well – maybe. But it’s the truth, at least my truth. As a whole, the show has stopped working, and as an adaptation well, I don’t know about that. There are still moments here and there where the show does shine and get back on its derailed tracks. But it quickly crashes into something and losses focus with no signs of ever getting it back.

It’s no wonder that I’ve been feeling the writing and pacing kinda sluggish and honestly quite boring at times. There was never any follow-up or leads that made the show be able to stand on its own two feet. There was never any buildup of this character, to becoming full-fledged 3D, and now instead, they just are.

The first couple of episodes were very clear about the cases these policemen and women have to deal with. And the misogyny and cultural backlash women receive in the police force. Now the cases have taken a backseat for the sake of comedy. It’s honestly quite sad because it has pushed down the characters into a flat 2D state.

It was interesting to know about the characters through the cases, like how Seiji rampaged his way into a crime scene, or how Seiko and Kawai develop their partnership and Kawai grows professionally. But it’s the cases that kept the premise interesting and the character development on the backseat. All of that has been thrown out the window in favor of making jokes where there doesn’t need to be. Let’s see if it can stay back on track for its final two episodes.

Of course, it goes without saying that this is just my gut feeling, you’re free to disagree with me. 🙂

Full-length images: 39.

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