The pursuit of justice is complicated in Japanese crime drama Crime Syndrome.

In the first episode, we hear a criminal demanding ransom from a parent whose child has been abducted. The chase is on to find the kidnapper and prevent another child from becoming a victim.

One person who gets involved in the investigation is former detective Takashi Muto (Tetsuji Tamayama). He was a decorated cop who left the job after he almost killed the man who murdered his sister. Takashi just doesn’t want to end up doing something he’ll regret for life.

Meet Keigo Tamaki (Atsuro Watabe), Takashi’s former superior and an influential figure in the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department. He wants Takashi to investigate the kidnapping case and get to the real criminals.

Yes, a kidnapping becomes more than just a story about a child getting abducted when opportunistic corporate figures and seedy politicians are involved as well. But specifically… why must it be Takashi? Because Keigo needs an unforgiving man who can get the job done in cold-blooded style if needed.

Crime Syndrome

These parents can’t believe their child went to watch the new IT movie alone.

“Unleash the beast …” is something Keigo would often say to Takashi to get him to forget about his moral obligations or sense of humanity.

However, Takashi refuses the offer. He just wants to focus on his life as a private investigator. Let’s just say Keigo will use any means necessary just to get Takashi to change his perspective on the way justice should be carried out.

Crime Syndrome unfolds as a serious drama that feels mostly pessimistic in nature. It brutally showcases how others exploit our social need for companionship and acceptance.

For example, Mimura (Sakiko Isomura), a lonely woman meets a stranger online and finds comfort in his caring ways. However, she ends up becoming an accessory in the aforementioned kidnapping case.

There’s also the case of Takashi’s runaway teenage daughter Mariko (Hiyori Sakurada) who falls in love with a rocker who uses her as a drug mule.

We are also reminded of how a low-life criminal and a millionaire tycoon are no different when it comes to how much they value money over the life of another person.

A harrowing event causes Takashi to retire from the police force.

The moral of the story here is to not trust anyone.

Crime Syndrome is engaging in some parts especially when Takashi goes after a suspect. It’s also quite harrowing and nerve-wracking as we have to watch grieving parents wait for that important phone call.

Crime Syndrome is an unpredictable crime drama with twists and turns in every episode. You never know what is going to happen.

Your perception of certain characters will also change with every reveal.

This is also a show that requires some degree of concentration so put away that smartphone and enjoy the ride. Then again, due to the show’s dark and ominous tone, I was hoping for a respite in the form of some humour.

However, there is none to be found. Instead, we get some brief scenes of family bonding and forgiveness but that is as far as any form of happiness go in Crime Syndrome.

So whose side are you on in Crime Syndrome? Takashi tries to be the good guy in every episode. He is the reminder that nothing good comes out of blind fury and one should be patient to let justice takes its course.

Then there is Keigo who believes no bad deed should go unpunished. All it takes is one bad apple to change the way a person feels about humanity.

Crime Syndrome is available on