BG: Personal Bodyguard (BG～身辺警護人～ or BG: Shinpen Keigonin) is a 2018 Japanese television drama that previously aired on TV Asahi. Directed by Jota Tsunehiro and Go Shichitaka with the story written by Yumiko Inoue, it stars Takuya Kimura, Yosuke Eguchi, Takumi Saito, Nanao, Shotaro Mamiya, Takaya Kamikawa and Yuriko Ishida. The show ran for two seasons and it's available in and out of Japan by Netflix.
The first season starts in 2012 where Akira Shimazaki, a veteran close protection officer with a private security company is assigned to protect rising soccer star Junya Kono when a mysterious incident in the airport that started with a fallen bolt left Shimazaki disgraced by his colleagues and the public in the private security industry, forcing him to take a low level position at Hinode Security Service as a traffic officer as of January 2018. But after HSS president Shigenobu Imazeki announces the establishment of a close protection division within the company and wants Shimazaki to be in it, it seems that it would be his one-way ticket to redeem himself as the division secures contracts to protect VIPs from various threats that the Security Police Division of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department can't do due to (mostly) department policies on who is able to get protection.note
And one of his first close protection assignments gets Shimazaki involved indirectly with Aiko Tachihara, the current head of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, the very same woman he encountered on a HSS roadblock while doing the night shift...
The second seaon starts in 2019, 7 years after Akira and the others were recruited to work with KICKS GUARD, a new security company established by Chinese-Japanese national Ryu Komei after a botched home invasion killed his fiance in LA. However, Akira saw dirty money being passed by a politician's secretary to a hired gun to attempt an assassination to get his ratings up. He gets disgusted and goes solo to start his own private security company where he's not beholdended by red tape, corruption or favoritism.
The series contains examples of the following tropes:
- All There in the Manual: The episode titles are made available through the Shinano Mainichi newspaper's entertainment page. More info is found at the Japanese wiki page.
- "The face of the back of the judge couple 48 hours of life ... the wall of escape probability 0%!" has the assumption that someone is targeting Judge Tatsuo Yukinaga is because of a case he's presiding over murders committed by a nurse. Turns out that it's because the real estate employee his wife knew personally had a bad past when his pregnant wife committed suicide after being stalked numerous times despite the judge's orders to give a suspended sentence, baesd on precedence.
- "Protect 100 million yen! Rescue from 50 m above ground Nanba Tsuyoshi" has the assumption that Kanon wants the retirement money to be discreetly given to her. Turns out that Kanon was in a plot with Shoichi Nonomura to get the money to pay his debts and retire from the entertainment world. It escalates to a real one later one when Kanon gets blackmailed for real.
- Elites Are More Glamorous: The SP, under the control of the TMPD.
- The Special Assault Team is deployed in "A 45 year old freshman bodyguard! Protect the lives of 20,000 spectators" to ensure the safety of the Sumida Park Stadium due to death threats made against Minister Tachihara.
- Faked Kidnapping: This is what happened throughout "Protect 100 million yen! Rescue from 50 m above ground Nanba Tsuyoshi". Kanon wants to elope with Nonomura, not being aware that he has a backup plan in the form of blackmail.
- Fictional Counterpart: The HSS has some aspects taken from actual Japanese security companies like Alsok for the design of HSS's armored vans and CIT guard uniforms while it also took cues from Japan Security Service or Japan Security Service Co., Ltd. for their patch designs.note
- "A 45 year old freshman bodyguard! Protect the lives of 20,000 spectators" has Shimazaki figuring out security plans on what HSS should do in case of an attack through a bomb going off or by an assassin charging after Tachihara with an assault rifle. The former is used later when the marathon event takes place.
- "Protect 100 million yen! Rescue from 50 m above ground Nanba Tsuyoshi" has Kanon mysteriously go missing. Shimazaki figures out that it's a fake kidnapping since he figured out that Kanon can easily identify the kidnapper through sex. This gives a clue to him since kidnappers blindfold their eyes or cover their victim's head so that they can't be easily identified in case they get arrested.
- Freudian Excuse: Some of the episode's bad guys have bad backstories as part of their reason why they're risking themselves to take out a VIP under the protection of either the SP or HSS.
- How We Got Here: Episodes 2/4 use this before it goes to a flashback to how the HSS security contract starts.
- Jurisdiction Friction: The show's theme is the friction between the SP and the HSS, especially when the latter runs close protection contracts that happens to bump into the SP's workload. Ochiai himself strongly disapproves of security contractors doing close protection duties since it's suppose to be in the jurisdiction of the SP. The problem with that (in and out of universe) is that the head of the PSB designates who is suppose to get close protection 24/7, which means that clients are sometimes forced to get the private sector involved.
- This escalates in "The female minister is forbidden in the daytime for 3 hours mission!" when Minister Tachihara secretly ditches her SP close protection team and seeks help from the HSS to bring her to a hotel to meet a VIP after using a hospital appointment for a MRI scan as cover.
- Painting the Medium: The show portray's Shimazaki's thinking when conducting security plans for HSS to use in protecting their clients.
- Product Displacement: The logos of various vehicles are mostly covered up. The most blatant example of this consist of the Toyota Crowns and Alphards with the @ emblem used to cover the Toyota emblem. The only exception to this are vehicles officially used by the TMPD, since the NPA emblem is used to cover their logos.
- Retool: Season 1 is the story of how Hinode Security Services stands up a personal security division and how the bodyguard team becomes Fire-Forged Friends. Season 2 sees Shimazaki and Takanashi leave KICKS GUARD, which bought up HSS, to focus on providing bodyguard services to smaller clients too insignificant for KICKS GUARD to bother with.
- Running Gag: Shimazaki survives a contract on the job with injuries that requires him to rest up. He usually heads home by walking with a slight limp.
- Shown Their Work: Being a show about the world of bodyguards in the Japanese private security sector, characters point out how they're different from the SPs since they're not mandated to carry pistols and submachine guns.
- The main cast doing close protection work is accurately done since most of the cast had been given training by a private security company.
- In "A 45 year old freshman bodyguard! Protect the lives of 20,000 spectators", Mayu is shown to apprehend a shoplifter while in plainclothes. This is a security procedure done by security companies when they're hired to conduct undercover ops to make sure that a shop doesn't have any shoplifters.
- In the same episode, Shimazaki explains to Ochiai of the origin of the word "Youjinbou" in the Japanese vocabulary.
- Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
- Sure the HSS would be able to save the day, protect their clients and apprehend the bad guys. But sometimes, their actions would result in being interviewed by the police for possible failure to report a case to them if and when it has links to a criminal/terrorist event.
- The HSS, as mentioned in Shown Their Work, can't carry small arms as private security companies are not allowed to do while operating in Japanese soil. Kimura points this out while being interviewed by variety show hosts in the course of promoting the drama.
- Take a Third Option: How most clients decide to request security contracts from the HSS. Most of it is because they can't let the public know what their activities are and/or they can't go to the police due to something risky/the SP wouldn't allow their officers to provide close protection services. This also extends to clients Shimazaki and Takanashi after they go on their own. In one instance, KICKS GUARD decided to outsource a problematic client to them as her willingness to put herself in harm's way was making their work very difficult.
- Tempting Fate: Many characters would sometimes point out that nothing's going to happen when HSS picks up a security contract. Needless to say, this gets played up when the bad guys (or sometimes the police) gets in their way.
- Title Drop: The show's title gets mentioned as the newest division of HSS.
- Two Lines, No Waiting: Some of the episodes have HSS conduct security contracts for clients while the SP gets involved since their jobs links with theirs. The first two episodes, for example, take place because HSS was protecting clients related by links to the VIPs being protected by the SP.
- Wham Episode:
- "A 45 year old freshman bodyguard! Protect the lives of 20,000 spectators": Takanashi knows of Shimazaki's botched job when he was protecting Kono back in 2012 through research.
- "The face of the back of the judge couple 48 hours of life ... the wall of escape probability 0%!": Minister Tachihara approaches Shimazaki without her SP bodyguards and request for his presence as her close protection officer for an unstated job, but she needs to meet someone without getting any public attention, reeling from the bombing attack on the stadium.
- "Protect 100 million yen! Rescue from 50 m above ground Nanba Tsuyoshi": Imazaki secretly receives a request from Tachihara to contract HSS for a close protection contract. Also, the supposed kidnapping of Kanon is faked so that she can elope, but it later escalates when she gets blackmailed due to a semi-nude photo of hers sleeping with someone she knows back in junior high.