My routine after watching a drama I love usually includes a google search of reviews and recaps, tumblr-ing for gifs of favourite moments and abusing the replay button of good fanvids on youtube. However, much to my disappointment, the search result for N no Tame Ni came out sparse. I find this odd, especially considering the fact that this drama won numerous awards for the 83rd Televisions Drama Academy Award. Even without the recognition, the storyline and the mystery the drama presented should have generated a lot of discussions. That’s why I decided to crawl out of my lazy place and write this post. For ‘N no Tame Ni’.
N no Tame Ni (literal trans: For N) follows the investigation on the murder of a married couple on 24th December 2004 by a former police officer, Takano Shigeru. The case was immediately concluded when Nishizaki Masato, who had an affair with the deceased wife, confessed to the crime. Ten years had passed, Nishizaki is released from prison, however Takano still thinks that there is more than meets the eye. There were three other suspects who were ‘coincidently’ present at the crime scene: Ando Nozomi, a subordinate of the dead husband and former high school friends, Sugishita Nozomi and Naruse Shinji, both of whom Takano suspects of being involved in an unsolved arson case years ago.
Confused with all the names? No worries, here’s a video to help you with the characters.
Out of all the characters I mentioned above, the protagonist of this show is Sugishita Nozomi as we get to witness the events and the relationships she made during her life dating from 1999 to 2004 and followed by a time skip to 2014, although not necessarily depicted in chronological order, thus creating two separate timelines; events leading up to the murder and its aftermath. The mystery is handled well as the show provides just the right clues in bite-size which is just enough for viewers to speculate and at the end of each episode, we get to see more of what happened on murder day. This should not come at a surprise because its source material is a novel of the same name by Minato Kanae, whose many works have been adapted to TV dramas and films. (Sadly, the novel has yet to be published in the english language. I would really love to see how the mystery is handled on paper.)
Another thing the show excels in is the depth of characters by providing enough backstories and showing their struggles, painting them more as humans rather only suspects to a murder mystery. You know, the usual suspicious evil-looking guy who turns to be the red herring as opposed the nice guy who is secretly a psycho? That’s kids level mystery and just plain lazy writing. I really love the characters to the point that I actually dreaded D-day, even though I really, really wanted to know what happened. You can imagine the dilemma I felt being a mystery lover. This is also due to the wonderful casts who brought these characters alive. I had seen bits of acting from Eikura Nana but she never wowed me, that is until now. She became Sugishita and you can’t help but root for her even if she makes some questionable decisions. Naruse instantly converted me into Masataka Kubota’s fan. I was shocked to know that he was the actor who played Shuya on The Liar and His Lover, who I loathed. He also nabbed Best Supporting Actor award for his portrayal of Naruse.
The OST for the drama is amazing as well. I have been singing along to Ieiri Leo’s Silly for nearly a month and I am still not sick of it… although I can’t say the same for my family. Hahaha. Oh, well, they’ll just have to endure it. Other standouts include for.N ~aNother versioN~ chorus and also back iN the day. I can’t say more without giving too much spoilers because this post is only meant to encourage new viewers to watch it. I still have a lot to say regarding the love triangle (yes, there is a little bit of romance) in the drama and my reaction on the ending so expect another post on that. Anyways, my final words for you guys: WATCH N NO TAME NI!!!