[Review] Bitter Blood Episode 1

After being disappointed with BORDER, I decided to lower my expectations with other deka dramas. I must be having a deka drama burnout from watching too much. However, good things really come when you least expect it because “Bitter Blood” have me engrossed within few minutes of its first episode.

Bitter Blood premiered with 12.1% in ratings and I’m hoping that ratings will eventually climb.

Here is a quick recap of Bitter Blood : Episode 1

It was year 2002 and Shimao Akimura (Watabe Asuro) is on a stakeout when he receives a call from his partner Maeda Shuichi. Taking from the tone of Maeda’s voice, Shimao deduces that his partner is shot so he went-out to search for him.

Shimao instructs Maeda to run, but  Maeda refuses just as Shimao always tell him to never turn your back from your enemy.

Maeda takes a shot as the door from where he is hiding opens, only to realize that he shot a dummy; and the real killer is already in front of him and BANG!

At present, Sahara Natsuki (Sato Takeru) bolts from his sleep after seeing that it’s already 7:40 AM and he needs to be in the office by 9 AM.

He starts brushing his teeth when he hears some movement from the bathroom. He rolled a magazine and prepares to attack whoever is in the bathroom until he realized that it was only his sister, Sahara Shinobu (Hirose Suzu), who is visiting him and arrives at his apartment without his knowledge. For a police officer, he surely puts his guard down.

As Sahara dresses, the horoscope for Taurus is being featured on TV, saying that they will experience lots of troubles for today and will be reunited with an unexpected person. Sahara looks pissed after hearing this since his morning hasn’t started well. Guys actually believe this stuff?

True enough, Sahara experiences lots of troubles as he pedals his way to work. It all started after he crosses the railway where he helps a kid, then the kid’s mother who happens to be pregnant, and even accompanies the pregnant woman to the hospital. The final straw is when he run after a snatcher who took an older lady’s bag. He has his bicycle with him but I guess he prefers running.

As Sahara runs toward the perpetrator, Maeda Hitomi (Kutsuna Shiori) sees him and helps him apprehends the snatcher. It was when they apprehended the suspect that they both realize that they are both late for their first day of work.

At Ginza Police Department, the rookies are being called one-by-one in an opening ceremony. The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) couldn’t care less with the ceremony as they are busy doing their own thing until the name Sahara Natsuki was called.

Because Shimao is so surprise, he stood-up shouting, surprising the entire hall until the said Sahara Natsuki arrives with Maeda and the snatcher. Proving that the Taurus forecast for the day is true, Sahara was gobsmacked seeing his father on his first day at work.

While father and son are surprise (and obviously peeved) with their unexpected reunion, the rest of CID finds everything amusing. Nothing is more amused that CID’s boss,  Kagiyama Kensuke (Takahashi Katsumi) who decided that nothing could be more perfect than having Shimao aka “Gentle” to be Sahara’s partner.

Despite their reluctance to be partners, Shimao tells Sahara that he has three rules for being his partner. First is the most important thing to every detective- the JACKET. haha. And Sahara’s jacket is not up to Shimao’s standards because they are made of poor quality and no suspect would confess to a detective wearing a cheap jacket. What a logic!

The second rule is that Sahara must always be polite. This is in contrast to what Shimao earlier said that listening to Sahara being polite to him as a senpai is making him sick. XD. Maybe because he’s used to Sahara bad-mouthing him.

The third rule will be for later…

Back at CID, Takano Koji (KEIJI) aka “Taka” gives Maeda a short tour and introduction on the rest of the officers of CID. There’s Koga Hisashi (Tanaka Tetsushi) aka “Bachelor”, the division’s sharpshooter but seems to fail in capturing anyone’s heart as he is still single.


Next is Inaki Toshifumi (Fukikoshi Misturu) aka “Chaser” who is good at tailing people; hence, chaser.

There’s also Togashi Kaoru (Minagawa Sarutoki) aka “skunk”, the divisions formidable interrogator whose bad breath is known to be the foremost reason why suspects easily confess.

Then, there’s Inspector Kagiyama, whose known for being workaholic that he rarely goes home. 

Anyway, as father and son goes around to question some neighbors about two suspects in a murder case, Sahara notices how Shimao scared one lady when he was questioning her. Shimao reasons-out that as a police officer, you can’t be kind, and Sahara said that he doesn’t want to hurt anyone because he spent years seeing his mother cry. Bringing-up the past, eh?

The two receives a call that one of the suspects of the murder case committed suicide and Sahara and Shimao heads to the suspect’s house. Sahara is indeed a softie that not only it took him some time to offer prayers for the dead, he also starts crying as the suspect’s daughter starts telling him how she feels about her father. XD

The CID goes-out drinking afterward and everyone was laughing how Sahara cried during his interview of the suspect’s daughter. Sahara is obviously pissed that his father told everyone about it and when  other officers starts telling him how is so like his dad, they decided his nickname would be “Junior”. I love Shimao’s expression after hearing this.

As the CID goes home, they passed by a host club where a man was stripped naked and being humiliated outside by two waiters because he doesn’t have enough money to pay his bill.

The rest of CID officers tells Sahara to hold it in since the said club is already under investigation by the department’s Community Safety Division. The said division is just waiting to get their hands on the “blackmail list” of the said club before they make their move.

However, Sahara is the type of person who can’t stand seeing anyone gets hurt and he decided to interfere on his own. Soon enough, he gets beating by the waiters as his senpais look-on.

When Sahara’s senpais had enough, they decided to interfere as well. When one of those waiters recognized them as the police, he goes inside the club. By the time Shimao reaches the club’s office, the blackmail list is already burned.

Father and son apologizes to the Community Safety Division chief and afterward Shimao lectures Sahara on his responsibilities and gives him a book; book on how to write a resignation letter that he must give by tomorrow.

Maeda sees the exchange between father and son and decided to talk to Shimao afterwards. Maeda says that Shimao is being too harsh to his son then introduces herself as Maeda Shuichi’s daughter. Shimao said that he knows and Maeda says that her father had always talked about Shimao. Even she admires Shimao. Then the conversation went to her father’s death and how the perpetrator was never caught. She also vows to catch the killer no matter what.

Shimao nd Inspector Kagiyama also had a conversation in a sauna. Is this the departments’ own sauna? Kagiyama tells Shimao that he must not carry the responsibility alone (for his son), the whole CID is a family and that they would protect each other. Aww, can I transfer here? I can be the gofer or anything. Kagiyama also added that Shimao is only pushing Sahara away because he doesn’t want him to be in danger.

The next day, Sahara wrote a letter of remorse and not a resignation. He wants to stay longer and Shimao gives him a calling card of a posh clothing company; you know, Shimao’s first rule to being his partner.

Sahara heads to the shop where he subtlety looks at the skyrocket tag price. The coat/jacket costs 86,000 Yen when he has only around 31,000 Yen in his bank account.

After checking his bank account, the old lady whose bag was snatch earlier, was at the same bank and sees Sahara. That old lady must be a magnet for disaster that as Sahara goes to the toilet to contemplate his lack of funds, three masked and armed men entered the bank and declared robbery.

The CID is at scene within minutes and as they plan their attack, Kagiyama instructed Shimao to call his son. Shimao annoyingly calls Sahara, and was surprised to learn that he is inside the bank.

Shimao instructed Sahara to report everything and don’t do anything unnecessary. However, there was a certain incident when one of the masked man decided to threaten to kill a kid. Sahara tells his father that nothing goes right when he listens to him, just like in the past. Uhm, this isn’t the right time to dug-up past grudges, don’t you think? So, Sahara decides interfere and surrenders himself to be one of the hostages.

Sahara was able to put his flip-phone in his pocket before his hands get tied-up on his back. As Sahara was placed with the rest of the hostages, he assures them that everything will be alright.

As minutes passed by , one of the robbers gets more irritated and again threaten to kill the kid. Sahara is able to stop it by saying how the CCTV in front of them sees everything.

True enough, the CID are watching every robbers moved until the clown-masked man shoots the CCTV.

Sahara decides to make his move and tackles one of the robbers and shouts for Shimao to attack. The leader of the gang, the one wearing the clown mask, points a gun at Shimao and BANG!

However, the robber made a miscalculation, he had already fired six times and he now has no bullets. As he tries to hit Sahara with the base of his gun, he gets shot on the shoulder by none other than Shimao.

CID arrives and as the clown-masked robber gets carted-off, he pulls a gun from his pocket, aiming to fire at Shimao. Sahara sees this and shouts “Dad!” before tackling the robber. He called him dad! Thanks to Sahara, the bullet missed Shimao.

Shimao gives Sahara a can of his favorite coffee, the “Gentle” coffee. I think that’s how he got his nickname. A huge contradiction since there’s nothing gentle about the coffee; it’s black and sugarless, which makes it really bitter, and Sahara hates bitter things.

Shimao  then tells him the third rule: “Never turn your back from the enemy”. Uhm dad, you just broke that rule by choosing to check-out the golf clubs that you almost got shot.

Ofcourse, Shimao also chooses to tease Sahara by asking, “uhm, did you just call me dad?” Something that Sahara strongly denied. XD

Unknown to them, a black shadow is watching them. Well, not really a shadow, it’s just the same guy who shot Shimao’s partner, Maeda. Knowing that Sahara is Shimao’s son, his interest is instantly piqued.

At home, Sahara arrives and surprise to see his father happily cooking with Shinobu. Shinobu tells him that their father have bought Sahara a really cool jacket, which Sahara didn’t want to accept. Most especially after Sahara sees a really tacky print inside the jacket.

The two stops their banter when they received a call from the headquarters that an explosion happened in the interrogation room. Oh, Skunk! Father and son exits the place as they fashionably wear their jackets.

Elsewhere, somebody’s plan is going well as he pinned the newest picture on his “Shimao Akimura” wall, its the Sahara’s picture, “like father, like son”.


Bitter Blood first episode is a blast! I wasn’t expecting that I would love it and I wasn’t expecting that it would be that funny and engaging. The first episode is almost 60 minutes long and it didn’t feel like it because it was really good.

Sato (Sahara) and Watabe (Shimao) are perfect for each other! It might sound gay and incest since they are supposed to be “father-and-son” but they have this chemistry that you could find in most perennial love teams. XD. They bicker like couples and their true feelings show when one is in danger, which is like the cutest.

I’m guessing that Shimao left his family not just because he has a girlfriend (as rumored) but because he needs to protect his family. It seems like the drama’s main villain is targeting anyone close to Shimao since after killing Maeda, Shimao’s partner back in 2002, the villain hasn’t made his moves until Sahara entered the picture. I mean, it has been years, decade even, and that Shimao is still alive means he wants something else.

Ginza Police Dept. Criminal Investigation Division is such whacky bunch that together with their cute nicknames, any rookie would immediately feel at home. It makes you feel that being a detective is this fun and laidback where everyone supports each other instead of trying to outdo one another. I’m glad that there isn’t too much police politics in Bitter Blood as compared with other deka dramas. Obviously, this drama will be more about on “revenge route”.

This drama is also well-casted with the actor and actress being well-suited with their role. Even Kutsuna’s (Maeda Hitomi) acting is okay though she looks really young for a police officer. There was one scene when she captured one of the bank robbers and I swear that she smiled for a moment.

The relationship between senpai and kouhai is very lax. You can see that the oldies are more tolerable to injustices as compared to the two rookies who’d rather play hero and are still very idealistic.

The case in the first episode may not be as complicated that you need to think it over but it was a good case to showcase the father and son team-up and a perfect opener for the next episodes. As what the villain have said, “this is just the start of the real police case”.

Oh, Bitter Blood has a cute opening credits! It’s now rare for Jdoramas to actually spend some time to have an opening credit so I’m totally loving the one in Bitter Blood.

For the first episode, Bitter Blood is so good that I can’t wait to watch the next episodes. I’m hoping for more fun and action in the CID team and more amusing banter between father and son.


Usual disclaimer applies.


14 thoughts on “[Review] Bitter Blood Episode 1

    1. Totally agree with you. Sato Takeru caught my mind right from Masked Rider Den-O and then Rurouni Kenshin live action movie. His acting is brilliant!

      He just has this awesome chemistry with his dad in the Bitter Blood drama 🙂


    1. Hmmm…I love both dramas but I guess they are different in a way that Bitter Blood is more comedy and highlights teamwork while Border is not only supernatural but also on more serious side of justice and evil.


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