Heaven and Hell is a rollercoaster of emotions. It makes you laugh, feel pity, disgusted, and emotional at the same time. The authenticity of the lines is what I love about this series.
The pilot follows an ambitious young detective as she tries to find a way to get back in her boss’ good books. She works in the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department in an office dominated by men. From a feminist perspective, I loved how she was living in a male-dominated world without a second thought for the conventional ideas of society.
Ayako Mochizuki (played by Haruka Ayase) is absolutely determined to make a name for herself as one of the entire unit’s best detectives. She had previously pointed out the wrong suspect and the detective company was being sued for her actions. So she sets out to do all she can to make things right.
Driven by a strong sense of justice and the skills of a potentially great detective, Ayako works hard to prove herself to her superiors. When all the other detectives are out on the call, there is a case to be solved. With no choice, the director is forced to choose Ayako. She sets out to solve the case that might just set her life on track.
She’s given the chance of her life by being asked to bring in the murder suspect all by herself and get the credit she’s been looking for since day one. Ayako is stunned and thrilled by this opportunity to make it big. She sets out to prove herself and looks for clues in the smallest place possible. The biggest suspect is a man she met the morning of the day she got assigned the case.
Haruto Hidaka (played by Issei Takahashi) is the lead suspect in the serial killer case that Ayako has been tasked to investigate. The brilliant young man is the CEO of his own company and heads a team of chemists. They make an odorless detergent that seems to have been used to clean the floor of the crime scene. Haruto, the entrepreneur, has made a name for himself as the head of a successful start-up turned business.
However, as the 10-episode series progresses, we soon discover that Haruto is sick and twisted. He seems to be obsessed with murder and is a psychopathic serial killer. Ayako confronts Haruto about his behavior and plans to bring him in. However, just when she is cuffing him, their souls seem to make a switch and suddenly everything is different.
Now that Haruto and Ayako are trapped in each other’s bodies, the psychopathic serial killer and stick-in-the-ass detective have to find a way to make themselves work together. They wish to undo this strange twist that fate seems to have brought upon them. As they do so, these sworn enemies happen to stumble upon a shocking yet dangerous truth. The question that stood was - would this truth be the key to reversing their absurd soul exchange?
The 2021 Japanese comedy series is filled with mystery to the brim. It has supernatural twists and dramatic turns in every scene. Directed by Takahiro Aoyama, Yuichiro Hirakawa, and Aya Matsuki, Heaven and Hell: Soul Exchange was the perfect way to start and end the wonderful series. It wasn’t pretentious nor did it try to be something it wasn’t. It stayed on track and I loved that about the series.
This is a must-watch series for lovers of Lucifer and Brooklyn 99. It was a captivating series that merged mystery and humor in the perfect amounts and didn’t overdo either of them.
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