Fugou Keiji Balance: Unlimited 1×8 Review: Money Burns A Hole In The Pocket
Is everyone in Fugou Keiji fandom okay after ‘Money Burns A Hole In The Pocket?’ Anyone need a hug? I know I certainly do. How traumatic!
‘Money Burns A Hole In The Pocket’ was a mystery solving episode, and a major emotional kick in the teeth. Letting us get emotionally attached to these characters in the first four episodes before throwing the major plot at us was a really good idea, because this episode hit way harder than it otherwise would have. I’m invested in these characters and now I’m emotionally compromised from all this as a result.
Let’s start off with Cho-san. I feel personally responsible for his death here because I’ve been hoping for the past several weeks that we’d get a mentor relationship between Cho-san and Haru. Basically, I cursed him. This is my fault, ha. Lesson learned? Never hope for something more between two characters because one of them will die!
I’m kidding… mostly. But either way, this death got me because of how much I wanted from him as a character.
As far as Takei’s death goes, I’m not as broken up about it as I am for Cho-san. While I admit he’s not exactly evil, he certainly had questionable morals and chose to allow a cover-up to happen instead of seeking justice. Still, it was a murder and, at the end of the day, a tragedy for those that cared about him, so it was still a bit of an emotional kick. Murder is murder. A character death is a character death.
The biggest shock, however, is knowing the details of what Daisuke went through as a child and just how much that changed him as a person. ‘Money Burns A Hole In The Pocket’ definitely pushed the general plot forward and uncovered a lot of information about the Kambe family’s dynamics and history.
The flashbacks we get of little Daisuke show that he had a happy childhood before his mother’s death. It’s clear that his mother loved him very much and their relationship was pretty solid based on the few joyful moments that we get. They are brief, but meaningful, and gave us enough of a peak into this period of his life to feel the full weight of Sayuri’s death and the toll it had on him.
The relationship with his (presumed) father, however, is a bit more complicated. As I noted in my review last week, there’s a strange avoidance in directly calling Shigemaru his ‘father.’ We got that title this week, but it came with a strange caveat. When showing family photo, Daisuke is listed as their ‘presumed’ son. There’s definitely something strange afoot here, but I’m just not quite sure what.
This is almost as strange as the fact we don’t really know Suzue’s real relationship with Daisuke. At first we thought maybe they were a couple (based on just the first episode, which didn’t give us much). Then we assumed she was his sister since they shared a surname and home. But then she’s introduced as a ‘relative’ and doesn’t appear in any of the family photos, so she’s likely a bit more removed. A cousin, maybe? It’s hard to say.
The Kambe family tree is a bit confusing, basically, and it’s clear we have information being held from us. Whether that concealed information is important to the plot or merely sloppy writing, I can’t be entirely sure. But I’ve enjoyed the writing a great deal so far so I have to assume there’s a meaning to it. The writing has been phenomenal so far, so I trust that a set up is happening at this point.
Regardless of the actual blood ties, this is still a family unit. And little Daisuke witnessed his (presumed) father murder his (presumed) mother. That’s enough to cause lasting damage to a person. But most surprisingly, little Daisuke had enough foresight at such a young age to hide after witnessing the murder and keep that information to himself for nearly two decades.
I certainly would not have been nearly as calm and collected at eight years old. I would have lost it right then and there. But somehow Daisuke made a snap decision, stuck to his guns for nearly two decades, and is now using his years of gained wisdom and maturity to pursue justice for his mother.
Damn, Daisuke. That’s some commitment. And, again, I reiterate: SOMEONE HUG DAISUKE. Haru, maybe? Anybody. Please. That is A LOT of trauma.
To compound on this already heavy emotional trauma, it’s revealed that Shigemaru Kambe is actually alive and well. And still filled with murderous intent as he covers up whatever this chemical is that the Kambe Group is tied to.
Honestly, I feel like the actual conspiracy is getting buried a bit behind the family drama, but that’s okay. It’s more of a vehicle for the drama than the crux of it itself. We’re more concerned with getting justice for Sayuri Kambe than we are figuring out what this chemical does.
When Daisuke learns that his (presumed) father is still alive, it trips him up for a brief moment, but he continues on with his mission – ever the determined and committed individual. This is a trait that he’s clearly had his entire life and its going to be what leads to eventual justice for Sayuri. Still, underneath that determined exterior you know that the news caused some emotional trauma for him. He assumed he was an orphan for the better part of two decades, but suddenly his homicidal father who killed his mother is alive and killing once again.
This whole ordeal seems to have pushed another wedge between Daisuke and Haru, who have been through so many ups and downs during their short partnership. At the end of the day, they do trust each other. They have conflict over how they solve cases, but they each know that the other is ultimately on the side of good.
But now Daisuke’s way of doing things led to the death of Cho-san and Takei. He knew that Shigemaru was in the mansion and advancing towards them, but he stuck to his plan and left them to fend for themselves. And now they’re dead.
Oh, the angst. My shipper heart is shattered.
‘Money Burns A Hole In The Pocket’ was an emotionally heavy episode that’s going to stick with me a for a while. On the one hand I want next week’s episode to get here super fast so I can figure out how this case will get solved. But on the other hand, I’m enjoying these characters so much that I don’t want to get closer to the end quite yet. This has been an incredible story and I’m sad that the end of the season is advancing so quickly.
Author: Angel Wilson
Angel is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. She earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. She’s contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. She’s written for Friends of Comic Con and is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. She identifies as queer.
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