Bloody Monday Episode 1

It started with a dark website. It’s a secret BBS but not so secret to the hooded complainers dwelling behind the computer screens. They would log on, rant and rave for the destruction of whoever crossed their path, spread their resentment whether it be a trivial traffic accident or no reason at all. A morbid voice would answer the calls and give promises for gore.

Overnight, an entire city in Russia is wiped clean of human traces. A mysterious, promiscuous Japanese woman is the propeller behind the massacre, pushing Bloody Monday into full motion.

Then the death of the main investigator looking into the strange deaths in Russia is found poisoned in a Tokyo hotel, and inside his body, a computer chip. The Japanese police department is faced with the challenge of both finding the responsible party and bringing legal action to the culprits. Fortunately, the very presence of the silicon chip lights a bulb, illuminating the detectives a path that sparks promise — Falcon, the hacking genius.

Falcon, the High School son of a detective, (AKA Takagi Fujimaru,) is “invited” to the police department and “asked” to “help out” in the investigation. Fujimaru refused, stating that saving the world is none of his business. As if to spite him, minutes after he walks out of the police department, two missiles marked the canvas that is the sky with perfect white arcs and disappeared deep into the city. Seconds later, a flashing explosion expands into Takagi Fujimaru’s contracting pupils.

BOOM

No matter what a teen does outside of school, (ie hacking into networks for fun, playing counter strike, smashing keyboards, and lying about watching porn,) his occupation is still listed as a student — even if he uses class time to brush up on his hacking skills. And so, knowing where his place is, Takagi Fujimaru remains resolute that fighting against a terrorist organization in order to save the world is too grandiose of a cliché, unless he’s some deranged male protagonist of a comic book. (Like the irony?)

But ruination is on the rise and misfortune won’t leave the high schooler alone. Chance has it that Fujimaru stumbles upon a professor harassing a female student. As a result of the girl’s noncompliance, the teacher exercised a little authority and has the student suspended from school for undisclosed reason. Whether he admits to it or not, Fujimaru has the killer t-cells of heroism patrolling in his blood, ready to invest his talent into attacking the pathogens of corruption of any kind — just not the terrorist group that supposedly nuked an entire city in front of his eyes.

Busy man gets to work.
Busy man gets to work.

He hacked into the professor’s lab computer, explored the collage of the teacher’s past liaisons, took great pleasure in making a prank video that superimposes the horny old man’s face onto the subject of his carnal desire, and sent it to the school official. The video gets the professor fired and the student reinstated into the institution. Overtly, every thing is looking good, he’s put his talent into good use without drawing attention o himself. Covertly, his fellow classmate Kujo Otoya detects an undercurrent of concealed giddiness from Fujimaru for performing the deed and suspects something.

Hacking, when put into proper use can be a good thing, Fujimaru’s little heroic gesture did break the law. Consequentially, Fujimaru wins himself a golden ticket to the police department. He is presented with two options 1) accept that he has committed a crime and take the responsibility for it, or 2) redeem himself by breaking more laws, i.e. help the Japanese police fight the terrorist organization.

Hard choices no? A consensus is reached after Fujimaru talked with his father, who supports the notion of fighting crimes by committing more crimes. Fujimaru accepts the mission in exchange for one thing: his father come home earlier tomorrow to eat a family dinner with him and his sister.

Fujimaru’s first task is simple: hack into the Russian intelligence agency to find out what the dead detective had discovered before his death. (And they couldn’t do that through direct means because..?) In class, surrounded by classmates, Falcon starts hacking. (The whole falcon navigating through in a maze is such a corny representation of the actual hacking process. I would rather watch him sit in front of two or three monitors in a compacted van —  his fingers bouncing from key to key while sweating profusely, trying to breach the security system — than follow a bird through narrow corridors.) He finishes just as the new teacher walks into the room.

Someones
Danger arrives quicker than you think.

Meanwhile, a spy within the police department has penetrated the security firewall in order to procure classified information. To find out the spy, Fujimaru’s father is sent on a private mission to obtain an important memory card from a fellow colleague assigned to the case. He finds himself being followed by a man with a butterfly tattoo. Before he can loose the tail, his colleague is shot and died screaming Bloody Monday and he, framed as the spy and murderer.

He staggers free somehow and calls his son, who had just lost the hi-speed computer the police department gave him for the hacking mission to a fish tank in a planned “accident” by the promiscuous woman — the new biology teacher. The father is now a wanted man, exiled and running for his life. Before hanging up, the father concludes the disjoint conversation with a croak of the phrase “Bloody Monday”.

Fujimaru returns home at night to find a few police officers waiting for him to delivery the bad news regarding his father. Having dealt with the men, he enters the house to a distraught little sister, only to find more hearing and video devices hiding in the most unthinkable places in his house. In the midst of dismantling the devices, the ringing door bell send Fujimaru’s heart racing. Much to his relief, it turns out to be the delivery of a computer desk that he had pre-ordered earlier.

At midnight however, the pre-ordered package opens by itself and out walks a female police agent, Hosho Sayuri. She expresses her take on Fujimaru’s father’s “crime” and wills herself to protect Fujimaru and his sister. In return, Fujimaru lets her in on his hacking work and spends the entire night penetrating the Russian intelligence agency database. He does and is surprised to find out that someone else had devoted time for the same task. Only, that hack was fruitless. However, the first hacker has left many holes in the system that facilitates Falcon’s success. Looking through the data, Sayuri discovers a strange file and asks Fujimaru whether it’s possible to download it into the local drive. Fujimaru explains that the system performs a secure check for hackers every 30 seconds and they only have approxmiately 10 seconds to download the file without getting caught. What posits problem is that the machine he is on right now isn’t as fast as the notebook his new biology managed to break. (AND the fact that they need to time-lock the exact onset of the security check to avoid downloading during the check, which they completely neglected to consider.)

In any case, Falcon obtains the file milliseconds before the security scan. The file is now sitting on Fujimaru’s desktop, except it’s locked. So he only needs to decipher a way to unlock the file. But, it’s time to go to school.

So he unlocks it at school. In his new biology teacher, Orihaya Maya’s office. With the seductive professor bending over him, revealing as much of her cleavage and leg as she possibly can. And the file turns out to be a video clip of the massacre on Christmas Eve in Russia where the entire city was wiped out by a single virus. (Oh doesn’t it sound familiar? *cough L Change the World cough*) But because of this eye opening super decoding skill, the biology teacher’s boss, a man affiliated with the terrioist organization, decides to recruit Fujimaru into the corporation. Their bargaining chip will be the only meaningful person to Fujimaru — his sister.

Later the same day, Fujimaru’s sister gets kidnapped by the man with the butterfly tattoo on the back of his hand. He calls Fujimaru and threatens Falcon with his sister’s life to hack into the system of a power house, retrieve the password and send it to him. If Fujimaru were to disclose the information or call the police, there would be no promises on his sister’s well being. Just as Fujimaru is distraught over his dear sister’s safety, his fellow classmate, the quiet and observant Otoya taps him on the shoulder to remind him it’s time for class. Feigning a smile, Fujimaru runs away to find his little sis. Otoya looks on with a meaningful expression. (This guy is bound to come out from the shadow and make himself useful.)

The cop catches on with Fujimaru, expresses her apology for not being able to save Haruka, Fujimaru’s sister and takes him to track Haruka’s current position with a GPS. Unfortunately the sneaky culprit has detected the presence of the GPS and threw the device containing backpack in the middle of a crowded street. Then a stranger hands Fujimaru a phone. From the other side of the receiver, comes the voice of the dangerous hit man. (What is this now? Eagle Eye?) He looks all around him, almost everybody is talking on a cell phone and there is no way to identify the caller. (Who said the caller has to be near by? He could be on the nth floor of a building overlooking the street for all I care.) He is given 10 minutes to crack the system. Time is ticking.

He hacks into the system, obtains the password and sends it to the caller (God knows how he comes to know the name of the host.) Once the secure key is sent, the caller gives him a buzz and directs him to the location where his sister is being held. (Which does turn out to be in a building. hah.) He rushes to the site and finds a man — the teacher that was fired, thanks to Fujimaru — holding a syringe. (On a side note, the police woman is still running and searching rather aimlessly.) The perverted teacher staggers like a drunkard and laughs bitterly at Fujimaru, the password he just sent is going to put a million people’s lives in jeopardy.

In the meantime, something appears on the website aforementioned.

Tokyo is going to cease to exist.
The screen reads: Tokyo will cease to exist.

After sending his sister to the proper care of a doctor and confirming she’s well being, Falcon takes flight in the black terminal of the computer world again. He’s set a trap on the system of the power house which he hacked into earlier, in order to chain down the other hacker behind the operation. Then he calls the police department to inform them of the situation. Through reasoning and deduction, the investigators infer that the culprit wants to cut the power of Tokyo in order to create chaos in a compacted space. Then spread the virus in this small enclosure to efficiently induce genocide. The challenge is to figure out which subway station, hospital, or airport — any place where a large number of people is likely to be present at the same time — is the actual target of the operation. A tedious, highly stressful, and long process of elimination finally pin points the detectives to …

here. The grand opening of a mega size shopping mall.
here. The grand opening of a mega size shopping mall.

The hack working with the terrorist group finds himself trapped. But shutting down power isn’t the only plan the terrorist company had for the operation. When plan A fails, there is always plan B. That is, physically go into the power house and turn off the power by brute force. Once the power is cut off, the mall sinks into a blackness.

When the power turns back on, a bundle of balloons detaches itself from the box that’s securing it down on the ground and floats up gradually, dragging a ticking square-shaped bomb with it.

Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick. Beep. A gush of white gas expels from the device, showering the crowd of bystanders with presumed, airborne virus. Bloody Monday is under way.

The mall is immediately quarantined and sealed off. The innocent people inside are left to die. If anyone were to escape, the person is to be shot to death.

And if anyone is experiencing despair, that’s Fujimaru. Because he’s directly involved in this mess before hand.

But there is no point to hold the wrenching pain close to heart, the important thing now is help find the culprit, punish him, and hopefully, contribute to the prevention of future instances of the same nature. So Fujimaru recollects his thoughts and hacks into the mall’s security system to get a closer look at the clown who set off the virus containing balloons.

Meanwhile, the scared crowd decides to break out of the mall despite the warning of being shot at exit.

While wandering around looking for the clown, Fujimaru finds the lunatic. The man attacks Fujimaru and attempts to kill him. After failing to do so, he disappears into the crowd. This is when Fujimaru realizes that Bloody Monday is not the virus, but a clever trap using the illusion of a deadly virus to fool the authorities into shooting their own people in fear of spreading a disease that doesn’t exist, yet. In other words, Bloody Monday is fear itself, guised under the flowery name of an abstraction.

To supply a first episode of Bloody Monday with a happy ending, the sudden realization prevented a bloody massacre from occurring just in time.

Meanwhile, Maya finds officer Takagi; the first victim of the actual virus is infected; Fujimaru’s sister’s life is hanging on a different thread, just as easily breakable.

Oh la la, this recap took me three days of intermittent writing. If I were to continue recapping this drama … (which I have yet to decide and any reader who feels compelled to help me make the decision is welcome to leave a comment.) … if I were to continue recapping this drama, the recaps would be posted relatively late in the week.

Onto drama related rambling:

Personally, I think Miura Haruma looks so much better without the bleached bird nest that was his most defining features in Koizora, the movie. Without the distracting hair, his facial features stand out more and gosh, his eyes are pretty when he has that lost look on his face. lol.

The scene where the father and son are having a serious man-to-man talk drives me crazy. The frames keep going up and down, I want to slap the camera man for not keeping his hand steady. If it’s a cinematic style, then I’m definitely not appreciating it.

Plot wise, I think the twist at the end has merit, but the negligence to account for the sudden bursts of bleeding some people inside the mall are exhibiting really down tunes the quality of the twist. Things like that are always a bummer for me and hence, makes the drama less appealing. (Come on! Surprise me, charm me, intrigue me!)

Another thing about Doramas like this is that there always seems to be an endless supply of people to be killed off as a contribution to the gore that’s the hallmark of Japanese action/horror series; as opposed to the colorful explosions Hollywood is acquaintance with.

Finally, I have trouble with the concept of completely purging the world with Homo sapien. There seems not to have a purpose other than artificially upregulate testosterone in excited viewers. Hopefully the purpose of Bloody Monday will be made explicit at some point in the drama.

I’m so tired. Brain refuses to function. Off to bed. Zzz…

PS: This drama is SO sponsored by HP.

7 thoughts on “Bloody Monday Episode 1”

  1. HAHA I didn’t even noticed it was Miura Haruma!
    Without the blonde hair, he does look better.

    Is this dorama basically just like
    hacking and action-packed stuff..
    if you would call it that? haha

    It sounds very interesting though.

  2. he does doesn’t he? lol
    yeah it’s basically another teen genius saving the world with his super hacking skills. man, i need his brain so programming wouldn’t be so frustrating!

  3. kkeke. i see you have taken this up. i was about to watch it for it seems intriguing from the synopsis. as usual you never fail. your recaps are always good. will be awaiting more of your recaps however late….

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