Giri/Haji is an Anglo-Japanese thriller created and written by Joe Barton who is best known for Channel 4’s hit series Humans and produced by Sister Pictures who are obviously hoping to duplicate worldwide success of Chernobyl with this latest release. The new eight-part series is also a joint project of BBC and Netflix which plot revolves around an assassination in London causes sets off a war between Yakuza families in Japan. A detective from Tokyo travels to London in search of his missing brother, who’s been involved with the Yakuza and accused of murder. British television series Giri/Haji broadcast on BBC Two in the UK on 17 October 2019 and set to air globally on Netflix on January 10, 2020.
Series primarily concerns a Japanese detective by the name of Kenzo Mori (Takehiro Hira), a seemingly mild-mannered police detective who lives with his wife, troubled daughter and two aging parents. Kenzo travels to London to bring renegade gangster brother Yuto Mori (Yosuke Kubozuka) back to Japan to face Yakuza justice. In an attempt to track down Yuto, Kenzo forms an alliance with detective constable DC Sarah Weitzmann (Kelly Macdonald) and a charismatic half-Japanese, half-British rent boy and drug addict living in London whose name is Rodney Yamaguchi (Will Sharpe).
This unlikely surrogate family is bolstered further when Kenzo’s 16-year-old daughter Taki (Aoi Okuyama) suddenly arrives from Tokyo, much to the dismay of her mother Rei (Yuko Nakamura) – who remains in Japan tasked with looking after Kenzo’s ailing father Hotaka (Togo Igawa). Meanwhile, a dispute between rival Yakuza bosses in Tokyo, in which Yuto is irreparably tied up, threatens to spill over into London, compromising the safety of everyone involved.
The first 25 minutes of bilingual Japanese-English show is entirely in Japanese wherein English dialog comes later. The authenticity of the show is not just in the language; you can feel the Japanese influence in Giri/Haji in other ways, whether that be through the beautifully animated sequences that serve as recaps at the beginning of each episode or the excellent and often wonderfully camp confrontation scenes that frequently punctuate the action.
Other characters in the series are Fukuhara, a Yakuza boss (Masahiro Motoki), Connor Abbot, an organized crime boss based in London (Charlie Creed-Miles), Ellis Vickers, an American who has a business partnership with Abbot, Donna Clark, an assassin associated with Abbot (Sophia Brown), Natsuko, Kenzo and Yuto’s mother (Mitsuko Oka), Steve Angling, a detective inspector and Sarah’s boss (Tony Pitts).
Roy is a detective from the Metropolitan Police who travels to Tokyo as part of an exchange program (Tony Way), Ian Summers is Sarah’s ex-boyfriend and a former Detective Constable in the Metropolitan Police (Jamie Draven), Toshio is Kenzo’s partner in the Tokyo Police Department (Katsuya) and Jiro is a member of the Yakuza (Yoshiki Minato). A wide range of Japanese artists indicates that the show will get a glimpse of Japanese tradition and modernization in culture, which definitely makes it unique.
Netflix has published a trailer on December 22 along with a short description, “Bound by duty and lost in shame. A Tokyo police detective risks his job, family, and honor as he travels to London in search of his long lost brother, unraveling the secret that tore them apart. Family duty sends a lawman to London to look for his mob-assassin brother as a yakuza war threatens to engulf Tokyo. Trust is even tougher to find.” Check out the trailer above.