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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Thank you for reading. See you next zine.
Drawn by me after watching both season1&2 of 99.9 Criminal Lawyer