[From April Issue 2012]
Partners – The Movie –
Desperate Situation! Tokyo Big City Marathon 42.195km (Directed by IZUMI Seiji)
“Aibo” (partners), an extremely popular police drama was originally made and broadcast as a one-off show for TV in 2000, then subsequently made into a series in 2002 and released as a movie in 2008. In 2010, a second movie was made while the TV series went into its 10th season.
“Aibo” refers to the duo of Police Inspector SUGISHITA and his subordinate, Police Sergeant KAMEYAMA. The Special Mission Task Force, which they belong to, is a section designed to make officers, who are not suited for working in organizations, quit the police. Sugishita is quite smart but has a slightly unusual character. As a result of restructuring, Kameyama is transferred to the section.
The movie begins with an attempt on the life of Katayama, a member of the House of Representatives, and daughter of a high-profile politician who formerly served as foreign minister. Sugishita and Kameyama, who had been ordered to guard Katayama, save her but find a mysterious sign “d4” at the scene. Sugishita finds out that similar signs such as “f6” and “e4” had been left at the crime scenes of a serial killing case.
Later, Sugishita realizes that those signs are a record of a game of chess. Also, it is discovered that Katayama, who was almost killed, and the victims of the serial killings were all included on an execution list that appeared on a malicious website. While they investigate, Sugishita and Kameyama meet KISAHARA and his daughter. Wataru, the son of Kisahara, had been working as a volunteer in South America a few years prior to these events.
During that time, Wataru was kidnapped and killed by guerillas. But since the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had advised citizens to leave the country, many people in Japan decided that what happened to Wataru was his own fault. Sugishita suspects that SHIOTANI, who had worked with Wataru as a volunteer, is seeking revenge on the politicians and Japanese people for having left Wataru to his fate. He comes to the conclusion that Shiotani is the administrator of the malicious Internet site.
Sugishita finds the e-mail address of the site administrator and begins a game of chess online with the culprit. Sugishita checkmates his opponent. He realizes that the arrangement of the pieces resembles the course of the Tokyo Big City Marathon. From this he guesses where bombs have been placed by the culprit.
Although it is a police drama, there are not many flashy car chases or shoot-out scenes. One of the distinctive features is how difficult cases are solved by Sugishita, a man who takes care to speak politely and is always properly attired in a suit. Sugishita’s catchphrase, “Don’t you understand yet?” which he uses when he arrests the culprit, has become well-known and was even printed on an anti-drink driving poster made by the Metropolitan Police Department.