Friday, July 8th at 4:00pm...Osaka grinds to a halt
It started four days before, on the Monday. Two men and a woman head to Osaka from Tokyo. They are government auditors on a constant mission to check on the correct use of federal money. Their jurisdiction is almost limitless, running the gamut from government ministries down to any local organization in receipt of government grants. This time they are on the hunt for financial irregularities among the local institutions in the proud city of Osaka.
Mr. Gen Matsudaira (Shinichi Tsutsumi) is an elite bureaucrat who aced his civil service entrance exams. His hatred of wasting tax-payers' money and the thoroughness of his inspections has led him to be dubbed "The Demon" Matsudaira and ensures he is widely feared. Haruka Ayase plays one of his assistants, a somewhat ditzy young woman who is nonetheless prone to bouts of instinctive genius and thus nicknamed Ms. "Miracle" Torii. The other is Masaki Okada as the cool, calm and collected Asahi Gainsbourg, an elite prodigy from the government ministry.
Their audits of a local government and a public middle school go without a hitch but things start to get interesting when they arrive at a certain shopping district.
The Karahori district is nicknamed, "The Town on the Hill" and its main shopping street, surrounded by nagaya dwellings, is typical of historical heart of Osaka. In this town, we encounter a couple of special kids. Daisuke's father, Koichi Sanada (Kiichi Nakai) is a silent, regular guy, who runs an okonomiyaki restaurant. He exhorts his son to be a solid and worthy guy but Daisuke (Yuki Morinaga) is finding this difficult because more than anything in the world, he wants to be a girl. His best friend, the tomboyish Chako Hashiba (Ruka Sawaki) who has been raised by her aunt since losing her parents in an accident when she was young, protects him from bullying at school.
The trio of auditors pay a visit to the H.R.H. Foundation, an institution committed to the preservation of Osaka castle's historical heritage. The audit finds nothing and the case is closed. However, when Ms. Torii's legendary gluttony dictates that they grab lunch in Sanada's nearby okonomiyaki restaurant, the plot thickens. No sooner have they sat down when Matsudaira realizes he has forgotten his phone. He heads back to the HRH Foundation on his own. When no-one answer the intercom, he takes a peek inside. What was previously a bustling office is now totally deserted, the ordered ranks of desks sitting silent and unmanned. He dials the foundation's number on his cellphone but the phones on the desks around him don't respond. Checking further, he sees they're not even connected and the drawers of the desks themselves lie empty. When they return the next day in search of some kind of explanation, the HRH Foundation's head of accounts, Mr. Chosakabe just gives them the runaround. Now, with his suspicions building, Matsudaira decides to launch a thorough investigation into the shadowy organization.
Despite these efforts however, they find themselves no closer to solving the mystery. Then, Ms. Torii's throwaway remark gives Matsudaira the break he needs.
"If they are lying to us, the entire city
of Osaka must be in cahoots with themc"
"That's it! The entire city of Osaka is in cahoots!"
Back at the HRH Foundation's office, Matsudaira finds an unmarked door which he requests to be opened. When Chosakabe resolutely turns down his request, a gentle voice interjectsc"Allow me to show you around." It is Mr. Sanada, the silent keeper of the okonomiyaki restaurant.
Mr. Sanada has the door opened up and takes Matsudaira on a tour down a long, long tunnel. They arrive in an underground space bearing an exact similarity to the interior of the parliament building in Tokyo. As Matsudaira stares around in astonishmentc
This is the parliament of the Osaka National Government.
Mr. Sanada replies to the astonished inquiry with the wordsc
And I am its Prime Minister, Koichi Sanada.
What on earth could be next?
The curtain is about to go up on a piece of historical speculation that produces wonderfully entertaining results!