Giri/Haji – The DVDfever Review – BBC drama

Giri/Haji Giri/Haji translates as Duty/Shame, and it’s one of those titles for a piece of entertainment which is anoying from a SEO point of view, because search engine optimisation really hates symbols in a keyword.

Anyhoo, this thriller takes place in both Tokyo and London, as two estranged brothers – Kenzo (Takehiro Hira) and Yuto (Yosuke Kubozuka) – live on opposite sides of the world, driven there by what the billing for the drama states is down to the spiralling consequences of one violent split-second decision.

A murder happens in the opening of the drama which leads to the cops having to question Yakuza bosses to get to the bottom of it, as Fukuhara has gone to ground.

Kenzo is a dutiful man who juggles work with a hectic family life, and the powers that be think Yuto is involved on the London hit, hence Kenzo is sent to look into the case, but it must all be done off the books… so, two warring brothers, and everything done all hush-hush, this is all feeling a bit familiar.

Ths issue with Yuto is that when he went to London, he ended up dead… or is he? Well, when that theory was first mooted, I figured it’d be a short series if he was still brown bread.

Once in Blighty, he’s partnered up with UK cop Sarah (Kelly Macdonald), who’s single and ready to mingle, and overall, this is a fairly easy watch, unless you detest subtitles, as there’s a lot of Japanese dialogue. However, it also does get a bit arty-farty.

The main problem is that it doesn’t really sell itself brilliantly in the first hour. I know it’s an 8-part series, so there should be plenty more to come, but even still, it hasn’t drawn me in. Japan is always a country I’ve wanted to visit, so I’ll give this a second episode, but it’s going to have to improve.

UPDATE Episode 2: Well, new characters were brought in, and there we got an introduction to brother Yuto, but as soon as he’d appeared, he disappeared. I was expecting more from him, and things just quickly diverted back to Kenzo and Rodney, and then I got bored again… I don’t think I’ll be back.

Giri/Haji continues next Thursday at 9pm on BBC2, and is not yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD.
but the entire series is now on the After broadcast, each episode will be on the BBC iPlayer.

Giri/Haji – Series Trailer – BBC One

Episode 1 Score: 4/10
Episode 2 Score: 4/10

Director: Julian Farino
Producer: Susie Liggat
Writer: Joe Barton
Music: Adrian Johnston

Kenzo: Takehiro Hira
Sarah: Kelly Macdonald
Yuto: Yosuke Kubozuka
Rodney: Will Sharpe
Taki: Aoi Okuyama
Fukuhara: Masahiro Motoki
Rei: Yuko Nakamura
Natsuko: Mitsuko Oka
Donna: Sophia Brown
Toshio: Katsuya
Angling: Tony Pitts
Roy: Tony Way
Saburo: Masaya Mimura
Goro Eda: Yoshi Sakou
Hotaka: Togo Igawa
Shin Endo: Katsuya Kobayashi
Jiro: Yoshiki Minato
Chief Inspector Hayashi: Kazuyuki Tsumura
Tiff: John Mccrea
Eiji: Ken Yamamura
Newsreader: Yasuna Mizobata
Uniformed Cop: Daikan Morishima
Shin Endo Heavy: Kazuto Shimamoto
Takashi: Jozef Aoki
Gangster: Takahiro Kameoka
Bill: Andrew Joshi
Beth: Hannah Isherwood
Alex: Alex Gok
Dan: Joseph Kennedy
Suzume: Haruka Abe
Japanese Bartender: Yojiro Ichikawa
Hisateru: Eiji Mihara
Sora: Burger Hasegawa


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