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Series Review: Giri/Haji (2020)

Giri/Haji (by Joe Barton, 2020) – A Tokyo detective arrives in London when he is tasked to find his brother, whose alleged crime sends ripples across the two cities.

5/5

Tokyo detective Kenzo Mori (Takehiro Hira) travels to Soho in search of his estranged brother Yuto (Yosuke Kubozuka), whose alleged murder of a Yazuka family member ignites an all-out gang war. The incident sets the Yakuza on a collision course with the Met Police, embroiling others along the way.

In an endless sea of British crime dramas, Giri/Haji stands out by a mile. It is for one, an adventurous cultural exchange. Shuttling between Japan and the UK, the unique series takes its time to understand the minutiae of foreign traditions, respectful and never exploitative.

The contrast in cultures is interesting, though it is ultimately the similarities that fascinate the most. In his story, Joe Barton recognises the experiences that are neither uniquely Japanese nor British, but simply human.

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