15 October 2019


You’ve burned through all the crime series on Netflix, and have a crimey series shaped hole in your life following the end of Peaky Blinders and The Capture on BBC1. You need another fix and quick. The Dublin Murders, based on the books of Tana French, has started, so that’s good, but you’re looking for something more. The enigmatically titled Giri/Haji may fit the bill.

Giri/Haji is a soulful thriller that explores the butterfly effect of one murder upon two very different cities, sees celebrated Japanese stars Takehiro Hira and Yosuke Kubozuka leading the Japanese cast.

Kenzo is a Tokyo detective and family man who is abruptly dispatched to London by his superiors in the police department to search for his missing younger brother Yuto, the honour of his family at stake. Arriving, he becomes drawn into the shadowy world of Abbott and Vickers (Long), a once lucrative business partnership now under threat, as the former now looks to the East to expand his empire.

Distant from everything familiar to him, Kenzo unexpectedly finds hope in a remarkable makeshift family of Londoners, each in turn confronting the tumultuous, spiralling effects of fateful past decisions. Among them is charismatic rent boy Rodney and Sarah, a Met detective investigating the London murder, who begins to present a delicate threat to Kenzo’s marriage.

The action moves between Tokyo and London, as Kenzo attempts to stem the violence engulfing both cities and to confront his own part in it.

Writer/Creator Joe Barton said the genesis of the idea came from a conversation he had with a former girlfriend.

‘She’d just started studying for a Masters in Forensic Crime Science at UCL and was telling me about her first day. Her fellow students were mostly recent graduates like her, except for one – a middle aged Japanese man, sat at the back of the lecture theatre on his own, diligently taking notes and looking out of place amongst his other, younger, classmates.

It turned out he was Tokyo detective, sent over to learn about forensic procedures used by the Met Police. Something about the image of that man sat by himself in a strange room in a strange country, many miles from home, stuck with me.’

Eight episodes long, Giri/Haji – which means Duty/Shame, by the way – starts on BBC2 on Thursday, October 17.