The Millionaire Detective - Balance: UNLIMITED
Episode 9

by Rebecca Silverman,

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The Millionaire Detective - Balance: UNLIMITED ?

It's probably not the oldest dad joke in the world, but it sometimes feels like it: that to assume is to make an ass of u and me. It's certainly something that Haru's old partner should have paid more attention to if we pretend there's a Japanese-language equivalent, because it turns out that his assumptions about why and how Haru left the elite squad have not only been coloring his views of his former colleague, but also tainting this particular case. In all fairness, this looks like it's far more convoluted than anything any group of police would have to deal with on a regular basis – it's a disaster nineteen years in the making starring a man everyone foolishly assumed was dead, a family torn asunder, and a whole lot of political cronyism. If there ever was a recipe for disaster, this would be it.

But as always with mysteries, it's what you don't know that runs the show. In the case of the tension between Haru and his old unit, Takei hid the fact that Haru had tried to resign from the force entirely; the only reason he ended up at Modern Crimes was because Takei refused to accept his letter of resignation and instead transferred him. Everyone was operating under the belief that Haru had “run away” from his job and thus treated him like a loser rather than a man trying to come to terms with his actions. Takei was giving Haru time to heal, and if that didn't involve mandatory sessions with a therapist, well, let's remember that the source novel dates to the 1970s. But more relevant to this episode is the fact that for the entirety of the show, Haru's been treated like less than dirt because of his reassignment – and if that's the case with the show's protagonist, what does that suggest about the rest of the Modern Crimes team?

It is a trope that the apparently bungling losers are actually awesome at their jobs, just in an unorthodox way, and The Millionaire Detective has been waiting for this moment to truly lean into that with Haru's colleagues at Modern Crimes. They're still annoying (especially the pink-haired woman's voice – I don't know why, but it's like nails on a chalkboard to me), but they're also trained police officers, and they really do know what they're doing. Modern Crimes, therefore, isn't necessarily the place where lame cops go, it's where the people who can't operate within the box end up – still good at their jobs, but in a way that most people can't understand. And by that measure, Daisuke, despite his apparent resignation in the first five minutes, is right where he belongs.

By this point it's obvious that he only joined the police in order to lay his mother's case to rest, and the past two episodes have shown him both getting closer to that point but also becoming increasingly less careful. It makes sense – he's just found out for certain what's been going on, and his grandmother's quiet admission that she knew Shigemaru was still alive for the past nineteen years truly is the straw that broke the camel's back. Gran was apparently trying to protect both son and grandson, naively hoping that things would work out, but I'm forced to believe at this point that Shigemaru is up to some truly nefarious business and always has been – his mother, being his mother, just couldn't bring herself to see it. That her blindness is now visibly causing her grandson harm doesn't appear to be something she's ready to deal with.

It's clearly setting up to be a parallel between Haru's trauma and Daisuke's, although I'm not sure how comparable they are. But with the two of them, Shigemaru, and his henchmen on a container boat that's headed out to sea, they're going to have to figure out how to overcome their issues while they see if the rest of the police can reach them – and since the prime minister's office said not to touch the Kambe family, that's by no means a given…and what they don't know may kill them.

Or at least that's what the show wants us to assume.


The Millionaire Detective - Balance: UNLIMITED is currently streaming on Funimation.

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