Based on the mystery novel “Kagi no Kakatta Heya” by Yusuke Kishi (published by Kadokawa Shoten, July 26, 2012) here is another great example of an Asian mini-series (11 episodes) with an original theme a bit of a surprise ending and knowing when to quit.
Enomoto Kei is a security “otaku” (Japanese slang loosely translated as geek or nerd but more pejorative than in the West) working for a firm who devoted to improving security systems on a daily basis. He is not an easy person to deal with, stoic, unapproachable, a maniac in Physics, Science, Architecture and profound in other basic theoretical sciences. Enomoto is convinced and proud of the fact that there is no key which he cannot unlock.
Enomoto’s abilities are initially put to the test when a young idealistic legal associate, Junko Aoto (Erika Toda), locks her boss, Serizawa Gou, in a bank vault on a Friday afternoon and because of the vaults timer can’t be opened until Monday morning. Within 17 minutes he opens this a seeming impenetrable vault door while explaining to the young associate that there are more than 100,000,000 combinations. That day, Enomoto is asked to help reveal a mystery behind a “locked room” murderer. While he lacks any interest in solving the mystery, he is inevitably intrigued by the term, “Locked Room” and decides to take on the case. Enomoto works side by side with Aoto Junko and Serizawa Gou, who are lawyers working at a major law firm. Because of Enomoto’s abilities to solve the “locked room” crimes, Senzawa is given all of the credit and becomes known as a locked room experts-though the real brains behind the mysteries is Enomoto.
I really enjoyed the series because of its unique premises and surprise ending (the good guy goes bad). It is well cast and the number of episodes is right for a movie binge. I may even read the novel assuming it has been translated into English.
SEJ and EJ of course have their own interesting take:
Both have a lot to say about this series starting with the opening credits which they describe as both “clever” and “weird.” EJ in particular enjoys the suspense filled music and the graphics used to open the show.
SEJ specifically says “this series is overly dramatic and at times even corny but has a clever starting sequence and great music. The characters are mostly likable and pause for too long but overall it is a great film.” As for the ending of the series “. . . HE CAN’T!” But he did.
The clips should give you the flavor of the music and Enomoto’s demeanor sorry about the cut off subtitles they were difficult to hard-code.