WOWOW kicks off summer with an adaptation of Aiba Hideo’s novel on the theme of food mislabelling and the threat this issue poses to the Japanese diet. The drama Furueru Ushi reunites actor Mikami Hiroshi with the production crew of Shitamatchi Rocket.
Furueru Ushi revolves around police detective Tagawa Shinichi and news website journalist Tsuruta Masumi. Tagawa who belongs to the Unsolved Cases Unit is reinvestigating a robbery-murder case which happened five years ago at a pub that left a vet as well as a man with links to an organised crime group dead. The two men were not acquainted. However, Tagawa comes to the conclusion that the murders were premeditated and starts to probe if they had had any contact. His investigation leads him to Meat Box, a meat processing factory, and an unexpected reunion with Masumi. Masumi has been investigating allegations of food mislabelling by Meat Box, which is influential but of ill repute, based on information obtained from a reader. As Tagawa and Masumi pursue their leads, they soon find themselves in a battle against a big organisation attempting a coverup.
Aiba says he thought it would be downright impossible to dramatise a novel that deals with such dicey subject matter since the dark and secret sides of various industries are brought into sharp relief, and credits WOWOW for have the determination and boldness to do so.
The five-part drama starts airing every Sunday night from 16 June.
I fervently hope that Furueru Ushi will be the thrilling suspense that WOWOW touts it to be because Shitamachi Rocket suffered from its source material and the deliberate intention of the director and producer to use the story of one man’s lonely fight against a big corporation as a source of inspiration for a nation still battling the aftermath of the Tohoku earthquake. It turned out to be a hackneyed story with a nauseating overemphasis on pride, passion, humble effort and staying true to one’s dreams.