Ishiko And Haneo: You’re Suing Me? was never supposed to be as long as it was. It is a decent story with sufficiently eccentric characters, but to justify a narrative of ten episodes, there needed to be a connecting thread or mystery, and that wasn’t strong enough in the series. It would have fared much better with being only six or seven episodes long and having a tad bit more confrontation regarding their issues. Essentially, each episode dealt with a different case that showed off the lawyer and his paralegal’s smarts, but the best part was seeing Eiji Akaso. No matter how many roles he plays, he will always be Kiyoshi Adachi for us, from the unforgettable Cherry Magic. On that note, it would have been nice to see him play someone who wasn’t so gullible and wide-eyed. As much as the actor is good at this, it would be wrong to typecast him. Meanwhile, let us take a look at the recap and ending of the series.
How does the legal firm form?
Ishida, who is nicknamed Ishiko for her stubbornness, is a paralegal at her father’s firm, and she has been living with him since her mother passed away. Even though Ishiko is extremely capable at her job, she has failed the bar exam four times because of a trauma in her past. Therefore, she works as a paralegal right now and is waiting for Haneo to come to court as a stand-in for her father. Ishiko doesn’t like Haneo to begin with. She is unsure of his unorthodox methods and finds him too posey for the legal profession. Haneo has a tendency to be dramatic, and he makes notes about it, which Ishiko always ends up finding.
The matter with Haneo is that he is a complicated man, and there is no sarcasm in the statement. He has an eidetic memory, which is how he passed the bar exam on the first try. Everything has always been easy for him, except his family. His sister and father are extremely accomplished in the legal profession, and maybe Haneo always felt the pressure of matching up with them. With his high level of intelligence, that shouldn’t have been so difficult, except that Haneo lacks the ability to think on his feet. If any situation is even the slightest bit different from what he had anticipated, that makes Haneo lose control of his entire thought process. Haneo knows that quick thinking is essential to being a good lawyer, and considering that he idealizes the unorthodox, genius lawyers in real life and television (which is where he borrows those theatrics from), Haneo is conflicted about his own abilities. He knows he is intelligent, but he doubts his capability. Yet, there is nothing he wants to do more than practice law, but there is the question of matching up with his family.
Meanwhile, Ishiko is a stingy manager who takes time to warm up to Haneo and figure out his methods while getting attuned to him. They get another addition to their firm right away, and it is Ao Oba. He was Ishiko’s junior in school and is currently in trouble because a cafe owner is suing him for using the charging port too much. But Ishiko and Haneo discover that the case runs much deeper and that Oba is actually trying to expose his former boss for abuse of power in the workplace. Once that case is successful, Oba joins the firm part-time while he looks for a different job.
Together, these three solve the civil suits that keep coming their way and often find that these seemingly simple issues are connected to some very deep humane problems of their clients. Throughout this time, Oba likes Ishiko, but he is bothered by the camaraderie between her and Haneo. One day, he finally gains enough courage and admits that he likes her, which was a surprise since it looked like Haneo and Ishiko might be the ones to end up together. But again, this isn’t a love story.
What is the housing scam case?
It all started when Oba was working for a company before his car dealership job. The boss wanted to use Oba’s name as president of the new company since he said that he would be promoted anyway. Oba left the job soon after, but his name was still being used without his knowledge. That company had scammed people out of their money, and one particular victim had set himself on fire in front of Tako (Oba’s brother, whom he thought was Oba) as a way of getting his wife some insurance money to live her life. The case initially looked as if Tako was the one to commit arson, and since Oba wanted to protect his brother, he took the blame for it. The suicide note of the deceased man is not enough evidence to prove Oba’s innocence; therefore, Tako finally takes the courage and goes to the station to tell the truth. But Tako also tells them that there was another man there that night, and he was the one to set the fire. Oba is released, and the investigation begins into who the other man could be.
Do Ishiko and Haneo get justice?
It proves to be a tough battle since the man they are after, Mikogami, is way more well-connected, and he is also very powerful. He is able to weaken their case by threatening all of their clients, and most evidence against him is inadmissible. The fact is that instead of the housing scam, if Haneo is even able to prove something in relation to the arson, it would lead to an investigation into the whole business, but they are unable to find any loose thread. That is when Tako comes through once again. Oba figures out that his brother saw something green at the crime scene, and that leads to the deduction that it was the lighter. Oba knows who that lighter belongs to, and when he is called into the prosecutor’s office, the man accidentally ends up confessing his crime. That leads him to make the entire confession, including the involvement of Mikogami. He is finally arrested but released almost immediately because of his influence in powerful circles. All hope seems lost when, at the end of Ishiko And Haneo: You’re Suing Me?, Haneo comes up with another idea. The three people followed Mikogami around for a month and gathered plenty of evidence of him littering on the streets. That gets him to jail, but this time, he is given a lot of media attention, in such a way that it ends up costing him important positions in business. With his influence lost, the investigation of the scam is easier, and he is eventually made to pay for it.
On the other hand, Haneo’s father also decides to let his son follow his own path after he sees him in court. Maybe the father thought that he was looking out for his son, but after seeing his capabilities, he was assured of his independence. Even Ishiko is encouraged by her father to not give up on the bar exam and to take the leap so that she doesn’t have any regrets in the future. During the final moments of the show, Haneo acknowledges how much he relies on Ishiko and asks to always continue their partnership.
Once again, Ishiko And Haneo: You’re Suing Me? needed to be a little sharper. Not every case needed to be so layered, and the personal lives of the protagonists could have had more time. It is a decent story that may have been better with a weekly release instead.