Babylon First Impressions (1): Investigations intensify

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The police raid a company

It’s hard to know what to make of this series based on the first episode, but it certainly was a slow burn to a big finish. I’ll probably try to pace out the episodes to avoid the situation I faced with Vinland Saga, so I might have to keep myself in the dark a bit. But bookkeeping aside, I think this series shows promise. I wasn’t sure what to make of a political thriller, but the investigation in this episode seemed like a good start.

Fumio doesn't like reading

I’m not sure if this series is meant to be one evolving mystery or a series of smaller ones. The story, as initially presented, follows Zen Seizaki, a prosecutor in the fictional city of Shiniki, who is investigating a pharmaceutical company. After having recently busted the company for falsely advertising their new drug, Agras, he discovers a mysterious suicide of a doctor named Shin Inaba. He links the suicide to a powerful political candidate named Ryuichirou Nomaru, but soon finds himself involved in something much bigger than he expected.

The music swells

Maybe it was the flood of named characters, but I found myself having some trouble following the flow of events. It might also have something to do with the fact that the episode gets right into the drug bust only to immediately shift gears. In its defense, it puts itself on a more interesting path, but the connection could have been smoother. I do hope that the two stories end up tying together as well.

The investigators search for the mysterious couple

I do appreciate how the events in this episode lead into one another. I got the sense that the story was naturally progressing forward. On the more specific side, these initial investigations make me think that the woman that they can’t identify is much more important than the old man they end up following. The end of the episode only makes that seem more likely.

The city is introduced

As a brief note, I think that this scene in the episode where Shiniki is introduced is probably the weakest part of the episode. The other scenes in the episode seem to logically follow, which makes this random bit of exposition stand out. I feel like there must have been a better way to go about it.

Fumio figures out the political plot

As for the political plot itself, I thought it was decently straightforward. It didn’t feel like it was trying too hard to be relevant to the times, which made it easier to accept. Fumio’s death at the end definitely came out of nowhere, though, and I look forward to seeing where it goes.

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