January 10th brought the start of the much anticipated winter drama – Uso no Sensou!
I’m not sure why others were looking forward to it, but I was ready for Tsuyoshi Kusanagi to be on my screen!
I always have high hopes for dramas. I get super invested and want the best and usually get let down. But after the first episode…. and 2nd… and 3rd… okay, after all the episodes that have aired so far, I’ve not felt let down at all. The drama has been great and has surpassed my expectations on a regular basis. And after some encouragement and help, I’m putting up English subtitles here.
And since English subtitles are now available, I feel like I can rant and rave about the series without having to do a detailed summary!
So SPOILERS for the first episode of Uso no Sensou, starring the typically adorable (but totally not this time) Tsuyoshi Kusanagi!
This reaction series isn’t meant to be a episode summary, but rather ranting and raving about parts of the episode I enjoyed (or didn’t enjoy.)
(Though, since it is the first episode, I’ll touch on the more important characters first.)
Koichi Ichinose – Our Protagonist
Our protagonist, Koichi Ichinose, is a con artist haunted by his past. He can’t forget his family being murdered before his own eyes. If that wasn’t bad enough, once he woke up from a two week coma, he wasn’t able to leave the hospital until he lied and said his own dad had killed his family.
And that really was the lie that started everything. It led him to be the con man he is today and set him on the path to get revenge against those responsible for murdering his family.
They showed the murder of his family many times during the episode, revealing more each time. It was shocking they showed the stabbing of his mom and little brother… But once they finally revealed the flashback to him in the hospital, being forced to lie and say his his dad killed his family…. I almost cried. (I would’ve cried if I hadn’t already put on my makeup for work.)
Haruka Tokura – Partner in Crime
Haruka is Koichi’s partner. We don’t learn too much about her except she’s got attitude and is willing to get her hands dirty. After all, she got Dr. Igarashi to stab Koichi. That’s also got to take a lot of trust on both sides of the partnership to do that.
The Nishina Family – Antagonist, BFF and Love Interest?
The Nishina family is made up of Kozo (father), Akira (oldest son), Takashi (middle child) and Kaede (youngest daughter).
Koichi suspects that Kozo Nishina is the man behind the murder of his family, but he has no proof. Plus, Kozo Nishina is pretty hard to get to. So Koichi works to get closer to him using the family, beginning with both Akira and Kaede.
Akira isn’t the best businessman and runs a Nishina Corporation subsidiary after his own brother demoted him. Koichi is able to Facebook stalk Akira and make friends with him and offer his business consulting to land Akira a new contract all rather quickly. Akira totally takes to Koichi. Who wouldn’t?
Kaede Nishina is an emergency care doctor. She stumbles upon a man getting hit by a bicycle, and offers her help as a doctor. This man is Koichi, of course.
She’s promoted as the love interest, but I’m very glad she kept her guard up and called Koichi on his lie when he said he had no idea who hit him on the bicycle. He played it off as his ex-girlfriend hitting him because they had talked about breaking up.
Takashi Nishina. Our main antagonist. Well, so is Kozo Nishina, but we don’t see much of him this episode.
Takashi is instantly suspicious of Koichi. It kind of makes sense. The man is offering his brother business advice, and since he can’t trust his stupid brother, why’d he trust Koichi? I mean, Koichi is like this superhero consultant with this amazing background… Can’t be too cautious there.
And then for him to find out that Koichi just happens to have been in contact with Kaede too?
Sure, he’s kind of a jerk that is probably too distrustful. But since we know what Koichi is after, he isn’t in the wrong…
Vengeance of the Week – Koichi Ichionose vs Dr. Igarashi
I actually feel the revenge story of the week wasn’t that important. What was revealed was important – Koichi’s past and Kozo Nishina’s and other’s involvement, but Dr. Igarashi wasn’t as important as those things. He did stab Koichi, I guess?
And since Igarashi hired under aged prostitutes in Thailand, I didn’t feel at all bad for him getting destroyed. Farewell!
Since SMAP traditionally does Tsuyoshi’s FujiTV drama songs, I was really worried about what would happen for Uso no Sensou.
I was so surprised and pleased that the powers that be went with an instrumental for both the opening and ending. The opening is POWERFUL and simple and quite elegant.
Revenge. Justice. Happiness. Love. Dream. Success. Ambition. Money. Regret.
I still get excited each week when this plays.
This scene speaks for itself. No need for further comments.
First Ichinose/Igarashi Confrontation.
When Koichi just walks up to Igarashi in the parking lot, asking him if he remembered the boy he tried to kill 30 years ago… I was shocked Koichi revealed his true identity that soon. He flat out said who he was and asked Igarashi why his family had been murdered.
Igarashi’s reaction showed him scrambling to just think of how to reply. But once he composed himself… his response, the (fake) disbelief that Yoichi/Koichi is still lying about what actually happened 30 years ago, was cold. Then he went on with a condescending tone… I was so angry for Koichi.
After Koichi somewhat regained his composure, he responded in turn with the same line. Even after 30 years, Igarashi is still lying about what really happened… If I hadn’t already been sold on that scene, I would’ve been with that line.
Koichi vs Takashi at the Party
The attitudes of both these men when going against each other… Entertaining.
(It’s even doubly entertaining to once again see Tsuyoshi going up against men taller than him. 😂)
When Takashi finds out that Koichi also knows Kaede, he flips. I totally wanted to translate the scene where Koichi thanks her for the other day to ‘thank you for the other night’, but I didn’t. (But it totally could’ve been interpreted that way and I still regret not translating it that way.)
The Pool Scene.
Now, I’m not sure how realistic the actual stab reaction is… and I thought the graceful fall backwards into the pool was too pretty…
So it sounds like I hate the scene. But no. I loved it. Here’s why:
- Koichi’s hand trembling as he reaches for the knife that he’s just been stabbed with. I didn’t catch it at first, but when I finally did, I was impressed.
- Haruka walking away after Koichi gets stabbed. The sound of her heels and her expression. The moment you knew for sure it was all planned.
- Koichi’s narration as he’s floating in the pool and bleeding out. The lack of background music. The shot of his blood in the water. The line, ‘Using my own lies, I’ll show you hell’ as he closes his eyes. Perfect.
- Koichi’s unconscious smile after getting stabbed and pulled out of the pool. It got a bit cheesy, but the first moment you caught that smirk it was like daaamn.
What were they thinking?
The Standing Outside in The Rain Waiting Scene
I… don’t really know what to say about this scene. Except, why?
Koichi, you couldn’t have predicted Kaede wouldn’t have been able to meet with you… You just wanted to give her the ring.You could’ve waited inside!
And Kaede, why didn’t you send this guy to get his head checked out? I mean, either this guy is insane for waiting in the rain to give you a ring after having only just met you…. or he’s got some ulterior motive and is trying way too hard to impress. I mean, he could’ve waited outside and at least stood under covering… There was a lot of it around!
Was it supposed to be touching?? More like red flag! Red flag!
Oh yes, and look at Koichi’s dirty fingernails. In commenting on the episode, Tsuyoshi’s biggest complaint was that no one told him his nails were dirty! I really would’ve thought he’d have complained about waiting out in the rain in freezing weather or even having to fall into a pool in January, but I guess he’s a good sport?
- Koichi’s New York office costs $70. Um. It isn’t too hard to research lease rates, so I’m going to pretend they meant $700. It’s still ridiculous, but not as ridiculous as $70.
- Koichi hiding under Dr. Igarashi’s desk. Was it supposed to be a sexy pose? Tsuyoshi can play anything I guess.
- When Akira and Takashi fight, Akira pulls the ‘you didn’t always used to be this way’ kind of card. Takashi reacts badly, asking him who did he think made him that way? Who indeed.
- After Takashi tells Koichi and Akira that he’ll be checking the Harvard graduate list to vierfy that Koichi Ichinose did indeed graduate from there… Akira asks Koichi if he’ll be okay. Like he somewhat suspected that Koichi wasn’t telling the truth??
Final Thoughts & Rating
What exactly is Koichi Ichinose willing to do to get his revenge? He got stabbed on purpose… So what next? What exactly will he do to get revenge against those responsible for the murder of his family?
4.5/5 macaws. For a first episode with a lot of set up, it moved surprisingly fast and didn’t waste too much time. Sure, it didn’t need to be a 2 hour special, but there were a lot of great moments to make up for some of the less impressive scenes and length.