JDrama Review: Crisis – Kouan Kidou Sousatai Tokusou-han

13 Feb

Crisis: Kouan Kidou Sousatai Tokusou-han

Show Length

Drama (10 Episodes)

My Ratings

Theme Depth: ★★★★★
Uniqueness of Plot: ★★★★★
Acting: ★★★★
Technical Elements: ★★★




Five people disillusioned with their lives and the state of their government are brought together to form a Special Task Force assigned to help defend and protect that very government.  Told that their job is the defense of the nation and its civilians, they all quickly realize how easily the concept of “national security” can be misused.  Each struggles to overcome their flawed pasts while finding hope for the future when the fate of their country seems so uncertain. Tasked with a job that none of them particularly like or even believe in, the five team members band together to fight terrorists and criminals who threaten various corrupt political figures. 

My Thoughts

This drama was amazing, largely because of the times we are living in.  It’s the same theme shown over and over in dramas today (from Pied Piper to Stranger to Pride and Prejudice) . . . . what do people do when the very laws and government they are assigned to protect and uphold lead to more injustice and corruption?  When your job as a government official is to support a system that only helps the political figures at the cost of the people. “Crisis” is a fascinating look at the state of world politics today (though it’s set in Japan, the events should ring familiar to all viewers) and the horrible corruption and greed displayed in many governments. 

When the very system at its core is broken. 

When the political leaders wield both the law and the police / military for their own private protection and gain.

When the government officials seek to accumulate money and status for themselves and their children at the cost of the people they swore to protect.

When there is no hope under the law and no justice to be found in the courts. 

What are the people to do?

The drama points to the issue of vigilante justice. The instinct is to argue that vigilante justice in those situations is wrong (you can see this in the comments for the drama on MyDramaList) . . . but that raises a new question — what then should they do?  Should they surrender to the system?  Most would argue that rather you should go through the legal procedure and justice will eventually prevail. But that seems rather naive.

The legal system in the drama is flawed. It has crumpled under the weight of powerful men and women who obey it only when it conveniences them and then break it in the name of “national defense” whenever  the law threatens them. These people are corrupt. Their children are corrupt. And they keep passing their positions from one corrupt individual to the corrupt people below them who bribed their way into that role. 

And the citizens, and their children, and the grandchildren they will someday have are all suffering under the burden of this government.  As parents and future adults, what is the responsibility of the citizens? If it is not revolution or vigilante justice, what is the answer? How can they change a system they have no control over?  What do the people do?  In the past, people have ignored it, until events just piled up one after another. Now the next generation is fed up. Done. They are reaping the ill benefits of the past neutrals. And they are breeding a growing unrest.  

It’s about the dangers that are growing.  The anger and hatred this kind of situation breeds. About how people who are backed into a corner, betrayed by their government and abandoned by their fellow men can be easily led into a bad situation.  

This drama is not a happy one, and there is no happy ending.  In my opinion, this drama is not meant to be entertaining.  Instead, it’s more like “Animal Farm” or “1984” — a work intended to make you think.  And it should make you think.  I like that it asks the questions people are raising in the political forum today.  It’s the same problem we see century after century, from the days of an insane Nero and his cronies to France gone wrong before the French Revolution.  The drama does not encourage  vigilante justice . . . . but it does ask viewers to consider what alternatives are left and what kind of political system would result in a rise of vigilante justice.   Can a system survive, is it truly a good system worth protecting and defending, if victims and civilians feel their only recourse is to take matters into their own hands?  And if you do think it is too corrupt, can you really just turn a blind eye and walk away?  Knowing that your children and grandchildren will suffer because you did nothing?  

​The drama offers no solutions, but it does at least ask important questions.  


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