Voice is a Japanese drama about a group of forensic medicine students. In the drama, forensic medicine was the least popular of the courses available at the university. At the start of each semester, the teaching staff would place bets on how many students would remain at the end of the course. For one particular semester, only five students enrolled in the course. The five of them had different backgrounds and personalities. Although the characters felt be a little stereotypical at times, they were quite likeable. In each episode, the students would do their own investigation and tried their best to convey the voice of the deceased to their living relatives. The leader of the group was the brilliant but eccentric Kaji Daiki (played by Eita) who made me thought of Sherlock Holmes. My favorite character though, was his friend Ishimatsu Ryosuke (played by Ikuta Toma) and whom I privately nicknamed “Watson”.
Each episode focused on a case that was handled by the forensic medicine faculty. Unlike the CSI series, the cases were not murder cases (except for the last one), but rather they were ordinary people who died in unusual circumstances like the man who died of electrocution in the middle of the road on a clear day or the tabloid reporter who was found dead near a chicken coop. Solving the cause of death was not the main focus of the show and the bulk of the story dealt with the students retracing the victim’s footsteps and discovering the thoughts and emotions that the person was experiencing before his death. There was usually some strange points about each case that arouse Daiki’s interest. Questions like why was the body was found with a carton of eggs when the man did not know how to cook?
I rented this series thinking that it was something like CSI so I was a bit disappointed when it turned out not to be so. There was not much forensic investigation involved. Most of it consisted of the students interviewing people rather than analyzing the evidence. There were no detailed autopsy scenes found in most detective shows nowadays. The most you would see was the body lying on the autopsy table, a few close-ups of the faces and maybe a hand or two holding the instruments. There was no blood at all so it should suit people who do not like bloody scenes. After I got over my disappointment and treated it more like a detective story than a forensic one, I started to enjoy the show. While there were some parts that felt unbelievable and rather far-fetched (I mean, who commits suicide by eating seafood pizza?), the stories were usually touching and engaging enough that I can suspend disbelief for that one hour.