What would life be like if you lived a solitary existence where the line dividing you from the rest of society is as simple as lying?
Lies shouldn’t be a simple thing, but the truth is, the world runs on small white lies and significant untruths. As much as people value honesty, they also value privacy. Lies are often ways we build walls around ourselves, barriers that keep other people from getting too close. But what would happen if you could tell the difference between the truth and a lie simply from the distortion of someone’s voice?
Would you consider it a blessing or a curse?
In the Japanese drama Junkyouju Takatsuki Akira no Suisatsu, this is precisely what happens to Fukamachi Naoya. A first-year college student, Naoya gained his ability to discern truth from lies as a child after eating candy at a festival for the dead. The ability pushes him into a world of unbearable solitude, as no one wants to be around someone who can tell when they are lying. Even his parents want nothing to do with him. People fear those who can see past the mask of white lies they wear.
This lonely existence is what makes the moment Naoya first lays eyes on the eccentric folklore professor Takatsuki Akira so special. As soon as their eyes meet, a unique connection forms that blooms into a brilliant bromance, one that carries this drama from its interesting beginning to an equally exciting climax.
Starring Hey! Say! JUMP’s Inoo Kei as Akira and King & Prince’s Jinguji Yuta as Naoya, Junkyouju Takatsuki Akira No SuiSatsu is a supernatural mystery that reminds me a little of what the X-Files would have been like if Mulder was a college professor and Scully was a male student with a supernatural ability. And their chemistry is just as electric and potent as Mulder and Scully’s was. For those who haven’t seen the 90’s series referenced above, trust me when I say this is one of the biggest compliments I can offer Junkyouju Takatsuki Akira No SuiSatsu.
Quirky and full of fun oddities, each episode looks at various Japanese legends and folklores while also deepening the mystery around the professor and the relationship growing between him and Naoya. This drama does a brilliant job using emotion and small gestures to build upon chemistry that is already hot to begin with. And in the midst of it all is the quirky professor with a photographic memory who still manages to have an awful sense of direction. Something unusual about Akira draws people to him, especially those who have had supernatural experiences. Although he’s affectionate, honest, and full of vibrant energy, Akira’s also intensely haunted. From his glowing blue eyes to the eerie wing marks etched into the skin of his back, Akira is a mysterious pulsing beacon of both hope and sadness.
Because each episode feels like its own drama due to the stories they cover, I won’t spend a lot of time breaking them down. Instead, I recommend viewers experience each folkloric mystery for themselves while also enjoying the intimate bond that connects Akira, Naoya, and the friends that come into their lives.
Naoya is a lonely soul when Junkyouju Takatsuki Akira No SuiSatsu opens. By the end, he has a coffee mug sitting on a shelf in Akira’s office, the ceramic cup a symbolic token of affection. The mug is a clear sign that Naoya always has a spot in Akira’s life. Although this may sound odd, the coffee mug made me fall in love with this series. It signifies the belonging Naoya and Akira both seek while promising that Akira will always be by Naoya’s side. The coffee mug is a love story in itself. For me, creating deep connections through something as simple as a coffee mug on a shelf says a lot about how a story is told and about the characters that story introduces.
There isn’t a single moment I was bored during Junkyouju Takatsuki Akira No SuiSatsu, and I am ecstatic that it is now getting ready to drop its second season. The first season focuses mainly on Naoya and his ability to separate truth from lies, but it also reveals enough about Akira to build anticipation for a second season focused on the professor and his past.
If you are looking for a romantic supernatural show that manages to feel both light and deep while also exploring the human inclination to lie, Junkyouju Takatsuki Akira No SuiSatsu is undoubtedly for you. While technically a bromance, this drama feels more profound than that. There are apparent feelings between the leads I hope we see deeply explored in season two. Will Akira be what Naoya needs to fill the loneliness in his heart? Will Naoya be what Akira needs to fill the void in his?
Dive into the first season for a drama full of endearing characters, exciting folklore, and lots of repressed attraction. You won’t be disappointed.
Rating- 4 out of 5
☆ Fan- subbed links for the entire series-
☆ Krishna’s Sidenote- The sequel for this hugely popular drama is set to premiere on 10th October, 2021.