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Series / Inspector Zenigata

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Leave everything to me, Zenigata!

This man is Zenigata Koichi, a famous detective who risks his life to arrest Lupin the 3rd. He's a stubborn, honest man who won't forgive evil. What? You already knew that? But I wonder if you know what he gets up to when he's not chasing Lupin? It seems he charges in and solves cases in his own way. Shall I show you? This is a story of Lupin the 3rd's eternal rival, the lovable Inspector Zenigata.
Opening narration

Inspector Zenigata is a 2017 live-action mini-series based on Inspector Zenigata of Lupin III fame. Framed as a series of side stories detailing what Zenigata does when he's not chasing his Arch-Enemy, the series is remarkably grounded for the franchise, trading aliens and time travel for serial bombers and assassins. Never the less, Zenigata himself remains just as determined as ever, never giving up the fight against evil villains alongside fellow officers Kunikida Shintaro and Natsuki Sakuraba.

Starring Ryôhei Suzuki as the titular detective, the series jumped stations three times over its nine episode run, essentially splitting the series into three: the pilot episode which ran on NTV, the next four episodes (the "Crimson Investigation File") which ran on Hulu, and then the last four (the "Raven Crime File") which ran on WOWOW. Combining the network issues with its low ratings, the series was cancelled after these nine episodes.

Inspector Zenigata contains examples of:

  • Absence of Evidence: When Zenigata's potential location of the Docro Magnons 5 ends up not proving accurate, Sakuraba initially dismisses the efforts as having proven nothing. Zenigata responds that they did learn something: if the gang doesn't operate in that area, then they can rule it out of future searches.
    Zenigata: Remember: no investigation is wasted.
  • Adaptational Badass: While Zenigata was certainly formidable in the main franchise, this version is explicitly trained in Judo, meaning he can defeat almost any opponent that comes his way as long as he can get his hands on them.
  • Adaptational Intelligence: Downplayed; while Zenigata is usually smart enough to keep up with Lupin, his skills are much more pronounced now that he's not going up against such a flawless opponent, making him come off more intelligent than usual.
  • After Action Patch Up: As Zenigata and Sara flee from her potential killer, they briefly stop so Zenigata can tie his tie around his bullet wound and keep going.
  • All-Loving Hero: Zenigata values all human life equally, even criminal lives. He shows as much determination protecting a helpless child as he does arresting the killer of a serial bomber.
  • Alone with the Psycho: Sakuraba ends up trapped in the black skull gang's warehouse, soon becoming their next victim. Zenigata's timely arrival is the only thing that saves her.
  • Ambiguous Situation: After Zenigata solves Kurashina's murder and puts Seto behind bars, he returns to the dojo and sees Kurashina briefly smiling at him before disappearing. Given the grounded nature of the series, this isn't dwelled on at all, but in the context of the larger franchise, a genuine ghost or spirit is not 100% impossible.
  • Asshole Victim: Toshisaburo Fuchigami, the Mad Bomber killed with one of his own bombs. When he's killed, the only one who cares is Zenigata.
  • Attack the Injury: When Zenigata fights the child hunter, the killer wins by ruthlessly taking advantage of Zenigata's existing shoulder injury, attacking it over and over again until Zenigata finally falls down.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Mr. Question manages to deduce that Zenigata is trained in Judo just by looking at his stance.
  • Blatant Lies: To get Hitoshi to cooperate, Abe says that he will defer to his authority, appealing to his pride and convincing him to work together. The next time Abe opens his mouth, he takes natural and complete control of the room and leaves Hitoshi in the dust.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: As always, Zenigata. While he has an incredible amount of personal quirks, no one can deny that the man gets results.
  • Cane Fu: Mr. Question proves that his cane is for more than stylish decoration when he beats down both Kunikida and Zenigata with it, coming out on top with barely a scratch.
  • Cell Phones Are Useless: Justified in the second episode; when Zenigata finds Sara, the first thing he does is try to call for help, but the killer shoots the phone out of his hand before he can talk - just to rub it in, he crushes it with his foot as he walks past, ensuring that the two are on their own.
  • Cowboy Cop: Zenigata has a habit of conducting his own investigations regardless of whether or not he should be interfering; the police only tend to allow this because his investigations almost always prove at least somewhat fruitful, but their frustration becomes quite evident.
    Zenigata: Please let me join the investigation.
    Superintendent Hitoshi: If I tell you not to, you'll do it anyway!
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Kunikida, originally dismissed as the most useless of the police force, figures out two of Mr. Question's riddles on his own and refuses to give up despite being savagely beaten, leading to Ozu's capture.
  • Epic Hail: When Zenigata is stuck in an abandoned wing of a hospital with no way to call for help, he starts a small fire, ensuring that the smoke catches Sakuraba's attention and signals where they are.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Ozu specifically ensures that no one would be present at the first site he explodes - the one that the police would have no chance of finding in time - keeping innocent casualties to a minimum.
    • Downplayed; most of the black skull gang start looking unsure when their latest victim accidentally kills himself while running away, but it takes nothing but their leader slightly admonishing them to move on like nothing happened.
  • Exact Words: When a bomb goes off in the Raincoat Building even though Zenigata disarmed one, Mr. Question eagerly reveals that he never said that there was only one bomb in the building. He then quickly clarifies that the next building really only does have one bomb, only to not reveal that it can't actually be disarmed.
  • Frame-Up: The series begins when Zenigata is called in to a robbery Lupin is accused of, only for him to gradually reveal that it was merely a frame-job. In fact, it was an employee of the museum, pulling Lupin's usual tricks to throw off police.
  • Freudian Excuse: Averted and discussed with Akai Toshiki, the leader of the black skull gang. Even though he grew up in a wealthy home with every possible advantage, he still became a deranged sadist who assaulted and murdered people for literally no reason. Zenigata notes that some people don't need a reason to become violent, they just are.
  • The Ghost: The narrator in the episodes' openings is clearly meant to be Lupin III himself, but aside from that and a few mentions, the famous thief never physically appears.
  • Good is Not Nice: Abe, the head of the Public Security division, is willing to get gray when he needs to, including bugging the police department (and Zenigata himself), blackmailing a suspect by threatening his business, and publicly arresting Zenigata just to get him away from Division 1 and ensure he gets his information first.
  • He Knows Too Much: Part of the reason why Ozu takes out Fuchigami with one of his own bombs is to get rid of the one person whose seen his face.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: The black skull gang's latest victim accidentally kills himself by falling onto a pipe, impaling him with such strength that his corpse is still left standing up.
  • Implausible Deniability: When Ozu attempts to deny that he is Mr. Question, Kunikida plays him a recording in which he confesses to the plan while talking to the bomber he would later betray, ensuring there's no way to talk his way out.
  • Just a Flesh Wound: When Zenigata gets shot protecting Sara, he barely even flinches at the damage and dismisses it as a flesh wound with a smile when she asks if he's okay. It's later Deconstructed because getting shot in the shoulder is damn near lethal, and by the end of the chase the wound is draining blood and he's close to unconscious.
  • Karmic Death: Narrowly averted; Akai Toshiki almost dies in the exact same way his most recent victim died (impaling himself on a pipe while running away) but Zenigata saves him at the last possible second.
  • Kill and Replace: The second episode's antagonist kills a nurse at the hospital he's in and steals her coat to pass off as a doctor. Once Zenigata's made him, he ditches the now unnecessary coat.
  • Leave No Witnesses: The thief in the second episode hunts down the child of the couple he murdered because she saw his face and can therefore identify him.
  • Mad Bomber: In the pilot, Ozu partners with Toshisaburo Fuchigami, a man previously arrested for attempting to bomb a restaurant, so that he can make bombs for Ozu's plans. When the bombs start going off, Fuchigami is seen in his room, laughing hysterically at the media attention they're getting.
  • Minored In Ass Kicking: While Mr. Question's primary skillset is his devious mind, when he's finally cornered, he turns out to be an excellent fighter as well, nearly winning against Zenigata thanks to his cane.
  • Mood Whiplash: Sakuraba trying to coax Sara out of hiding after she's witnessed her parents' deaths is heavily contrasted by Zenigata trying to get through a routine medical checkup.
  • No Honor Among Thieves: Akai Toshiki's ostensible friends abandon him the moment he ends up in Zenigata's grasp, leaving him to fight for himself.
  • No Indoor Voice: Zenigata, as per usual, seems to be physically incapable of being quiet in almost any situation. The few times that he is quiet, it's a sign that the situation has gotten serious.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: We know absolutely nothing about the second episode's antagonist - why he chose the targets he does, why he kills his marks, not even his name - which only makes him even more terrifying.
  • One Dialogue, Two Conversations: When Zenigata confronts Satomi in episode four, the police hear him ask to use the bathroom and get refused. In reality, Zenigata wrote on his hands to ask if the man was being threatened - Satomi repsonds by spelling out "HELP", then showing him the remote detonator that proves he's holding a fake.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: The skull gang treat their horrific torture session as a game, even comparing themselves to a group of guys playing on their phones.
  • Sadist: All of the Docro Magnons 5 take great pleasure in beating helpless strangers to a bloody pulp, even filming it and posting it online. Accidentally getting someone killed does nothing to deter this.
  • Shown Their Work: The man killed by the black skull gang has rigor mortis set in remarkably fast, which actually makes sense when you know that lactic acid buildup, caused by the running he did before his death, causes rigor mortis to set in faster than normal.
  • Spanner in the Works: Zenigata quickly realizes that the security guard in the museum was largely killed on accident and clearly derailed the culprit's plan. It's a crucial factor in his eventual deductions to the thief's identity.
  • Spotting the Thread: Zenigata finds two during the opening museum heist:
    • First, while the thief used several of Lupin's flashy techniques, he quickly points out that the real Lupin would have never resorted to killing the security guard, even in the worst circumstances, tipping him off to the frame job.
    • Second, when he tries recreating the heist, he, Kunikada, and Sakuraba are never able to do it as fast as the thief no matter how hard they try. This makes him realize that the culprit must have left the painting behind - and thus intended to return for it at some point.
  • Three Lines, Some Waiting: The second part of "Sleep Peacefully, My Friend" features Zenigata, Kunikida, and Abe all tracking down Seto through different means: Zenigata tracks down the password for the data he wants, Kunikida analyzes the video sent of Seto holding Kurashina's sister hostage, and Abe backtracks his partner Omori Miki's path through Japan. Abe and Kunikida's information, when combined, is just precise enough to save Zenigata after he discovers the password's location.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Mr. Question didn't want to enrich himself just for the sake of money - his business that went under revolved around genetically engineering corn, which could help solve world hunger. If he gets the funds back, he can recreate the company and continue helping humanity.
  • Would Hurt a Child: The whole point of the second episode is a thief hunting down a child who witnessed him murder her parents.