The Chessboard of Humanity

Welcome to my sharing session. – Caiwei Tang

My memory is a bit vague, but I have been influenced by my parents since at least junior high school and like to watch mystery and police procedural TV shows with them on most nights of the week. I clearly remember that since I sneaked into the living room and watched secretly without finishing my homework frequently, these TV series created my ability to open and close doors and walk silently.

我的记忆有点模糊,不过记得至少从初中开始我就受到父母的影响,喜欢在每周的大多数晚间跟着他们一起看推理悬疑的电视剧。我清楚地记得,由于我相当频繁地在没做完作业的情况下溜进客厅偷偷观看,因此这些电视剧造就了我开关门和走路不带声响的本领。

I was particularly impressed by the CSI series and Cold Case series that my parents bought a set of DVD discs back then. Later, we mainly watched Bones and NCIS Los Angeles. Until my university, I would still follow them to watch Criminal Minds when I went back home every holiday. I was very impressed with these TV series. Just like my parents, I enjoyed the process of following the protagonists to explore the truth and get justice. Therefore, when I was at university, I also watched many related works.

我尤其印象深刻的是当年父母买了成套DVD碟片来看的CSI系列和Cold Case系列,再后来些,主要在看Bones识骨寻踪和NCIS Los Angeles。一直到我大学时,每个假期回家我都依然会跟着他们一起看Criminal Minds犯罪心理。我对这些电视剧印象深刻,跟父母一样,我很享受追随主角们摸索真相伸张正义的这个过程,因此在大学时期我也自己观看了很多推理刑侦相关的作品。

Among so many TV series, I like Bones, Criminal Minds, and 99.9 Criminal Lawyer the most. One of the reasons is that these stories are told from a perspective other than the police: from the field of forensic medicine, the field of psychological profiling experts and different teams in the field of lawyers. They are using their unique methods to figure out the cases and respect the good and evil of human nature. And their research method seems to me like a fantasy. It is a reserve of knowledge and logical thinking that I can never match.

不过,在这么多推理剧集中我偏爱的还是Bones识骨寻踪、Criminal Minds犯罪心理和99.9 刑事专门律师,原因之一在于这几部作品是从警方之外的角度切入的:来自法医领域、心理侧写专家领域和律师领域的不同团队,都在用他们独有的方式揣摩案件,并且尊重人性的善恶。而且他们的调研方式对我来说仿佛是天方夜谭,是我永远无法比肩的知识储备和逻辑思维。

I would like to talk about 99.9 Criminal Lawyer first. The first season of this Japanese drama began in April 2016. As the title points out, in Japan, because the prosecutors only prosecute cases that are actually guilty, once a suspect is prosecuted, there is a 99.9% chance of being found guilty. However, many unjust and cold cases arise because of this. There is no chance to be rehabilitated for someone was falsely accused. A unique team of criminal defense lawyers has gone through hardships with the purpose of finding out the truth hidden in the figure of 0.1%. The main theme of this TV series is humorous, and the narrative rhythm is fast. The process of solving the case under the guidance of the protagonist, Miyama Hiroto, is the main point of view. However, I personally like the fact that the things behind this TV series is real and cruel, just like the Cold Case launched in 2003, the protagonists’ mission is to unravel the truth and redress an injustice.

其中我决定先谈谈99.9刑事专门律师。这部日剧在2016年4月开始第一季的放送。如标题所指出的那样,在日本,因为检察机关只会起诉确实有罪的案件,所以一旦嫌疑人被起诉,有99.9%的可能性会被判有罪,但是,很多冤案、冷案因此产生,而没有机会得到平反。一个独具个性的刑事辩护律师团队历经艰辛,目的就是为了找出藏在0.1%这个数字中的真相。这部电视剧的主调是幽默的,叙事节奏很快,在男主角深山大翔为主要视角的引领下侦破案件的过程行云流水,但是我个人很中意的一点在于,这部电视剧背后的映像是真实而残酷的,就像2003年开始推出的Cold Case一样,主角的使命是解开真相,为受诬告者伸冤。

In the 99.9 Criminal Lawyer, there is a most basic but also the most emphasized iron triangle, which is composed of defense lawyers, prosecutors, and judges. At the center of this triangle is the defendant. The three groups pointed to by this triangle are invisibly accustomed to shirk their responsibilities, as mentioned in the TV series: sometimes prosecutors generally determine the guilt after investigating the case, thinking that the judge will inevitably make a fair judgment based on the information; the judge sometimes thinks that the prosecution with the ironclad evidence is so strong that the judgment is mainly based on what the prosecutors submitted; and the lawyer sometimes abandons the study of the facts in order to shorten the trial time and pursue the contractual benefits of the client, and tends to reconcile and reduce the penalty. From the protagonist’s point of view, the coincidence of these three situations has gradually resulted in a 99.9% guilty rate in the Japanese judiciary.

Under a silently distorted judicial scale, many people go to jail for injustices. They and their relatives spend their entire lives because of political clinging or concealment of the truth. Such a profound truth is contained in every episode, and every seemingly easy process of solving a case actually corresponds to an unjust case that has appeared in reality.

在99.9剧中,存在一个最基本但是也最为强调的铁三角,那是由辩护律师,检察官,法官构成的,在这个三角的中心交点就是被告人。这个三角指向的三个群体在无形之中习惯了推卸责任,正如剧中提到的:检察官有时在调查案件之后大致确定了罪名,认为法官必然会根据资料作出公正的判断;法官有时认为检察官所提交的铁证如山,因此主要根据这些罪证下达判决;而律师有时为了缩短审判的时间和追求委托人的合同利益,放弃对事实的钻研而倾向于和解减罚。在主角看来,这三种情况的重合在无形中导致了日本司法界99.9的有罪率,在个无声歪曲的司法天秤下,很多人含冤入狱,他们以及他们亲人们的一生都因为利益、政治的攀附而被当做筹码。这样深刻的道理蕴含在每一集剧集里,每一场看似轻松的破案过程,其实都对应着现实中曾出现过的冤案。

This drama made me re-examine the real society we live in. In reality, I am not familiar with China’s judicial field, but my preconceived views make me feel pessimistic, because even if I’m not in the judicial field, I have hardly been exposed to someone like the protagonist’s: with talents and intelligence and is protected by the seniors; or someone like the prosecutor who quietly helped the protagonist because he couldn’t violate his own righteous heart, even if he was directly transferred to a remote area after being found; and also someone who is like the old lawyer who survive in the upper ranks of the judicial circle but still maintain a pure and humble personality. In general, I do agree that the reason why this TV series seems so beautiful is that each character is full of humanity that people desire. The redressed cases have brought together people’s long-cherished wishes for decades. With the role of lawyers, we have the weapons to fight in a modern civilized society. We use law, wisdom, logic and perseverance to defeat the enemy hiding among us, while protecting the innocence among us. For such themes and carefully compiled drama series, even I am with a pessimistic heart, I still become more enthusiastic and hopeful.

这部剧令我再次审视我们所生活的现实社会。现实中我并不熟悉中国的司法领域,但我的先入为主观点使我抱以悲观的心态,因为即使不是在司法界,我几乎没有在生活中接触过像主角那样天资聪慧身世含冤而受到司法界前辈庇护的人,或者是像因为不能违背自己的正义之心而悄悄帮助主角的检察官一样的人,即使他被发现后直接被调任到偏远地带不得翻身也依然凛然地活着,我更没有接触过像生存在司法界高层中但依然保持纯粹和虚心个性的老律师一样的人,大体上,我也同意这部电视剧之所以美好,是因为每个角色都充满了对人性的向往,每个得以平反的案件都汇聚了人们几十年来的夙愿。借由律师这样的角色,我们拥有了在现代文明社会战斗的武器,用法律、智慧、逻辑和恒心来战胜世俗,同时保护世俗中的无辜,对于这样的题材和精心编制的剧集,我即使心怀悲观,也的确看得热血沸腾。

99.9 Criminal Lawyer is a classic example of similar themes, and this short article is only a brief introduction to the core content of this series. I think watching TV series is indeed a kind of after-dinner entertainment, but many TV series meticulously planned and shot by film and television art practitioners become part of my research data, because they really condense the values and aesthetic tendencies of the production team. It contains the intangible things that they want the world to see that are consistent with various social realities.

99.9是同类题材中的一个典例,本次的分享也只是浅谈了这部剧的核心内容。我认为观看电视剧确实是一种茶余饭后的娱乐活动,不过许多由影视艺术从事者精心策划拍摄的电视剧也可以成为我研究资料的一部分,因为它们的的确确浓缩了制作团队的价值观和审美倾向,更饱含了与各种社会现状吻合的、他们希望世人看见的无形之物。

Thank you for reading. See you next zine.

感谢阅览,下期再见。 -Marina

Drawn by me after watching both season1&2 of 99.9 Criminal Lawyer

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