GenreCrime thriller
Created byJoe Barton
Written byJoe Barton
Directed by
ComposerAdrian Johnston
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languages
  • English
  • Japanese
No. of series1
No. of episodes8 (list of episodes)
Executive producers
ProducerSusie Liggat
Production locations
  • United Kingdom
  • Japan
  • David Odd
  • Piers McGrail
  • Elen Pierce Lewis
  • Matthew Tabern
  • Dominic Strevens
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time56–60 minutes
Production companySister Pictures
Original network
Picture format4K UHD 2160p
Audio formatStereo
Original release17 October (2019-10-17) –
5 December 2019 (2019-12-05)
External links

Giri/Haji (Japanese: 義理/恥, "Duty/Shame") is a British television series which premiered on BBC Two in the United Kingdom on 17 October 2019, and was released internationally on Netflix on 10 January 2020. The series was created and written by Joe Barton, and features an ensemble cast including Takehiro Hira, Kelly Macdonald, Yōsuke Kubozuka, Will Sharpe, Masahiro Motoki, Justin Long, Anna Sawai, and Charlie Creed-Miles.[1] The series is set in London and Tokyo, with dialogue in English and Japanese.[1] In September 2020, it was cancelled by BBC Two and Netflix.[2]


Kenzo Mori (Takehiro Hira), a Tokyo detective, travels to London in search of his brother, Yuto (Yōsuke Kubozuka), who was previously assumed to be dead. Yuto has been accused of murdering the nephew of a Yakuza member, which threatens to start a gang war in Tokyo. As Kenzo attempts to navigate the unfamiliar territory of London to uncover whether his brother is alive and guilty, he becomes acquainted with DC Sarah Weitzmann (Kelly Macdonald) of the Metropolitan Police and Rodney Yamaguchi (Will Sharpe), a young half-Japanese, half-British sex worker. While searching for Yuto in London, Kenzo must also support his family back home in Tokyo. Kenzo's investigation brings him into contact with dangerous elements of London's criminal underworld.[3]

Cast and characters



Giri/Haji was announced in May 2017 as one of several new commissions by the BBC's Controller of Drama, Piers Wenger, alongside Informer, The War of the Worlds, Black Narcissus, A Suitable Boy, Little Women, A Very English Scandal, Come Home and Mrs Wilson for BBC One.[5] In August 2018, it was confirmed that Giri/Haji would air on BBC Two.[1] Wenger described the series as "unlike anything we've ever seen before on British TV".[6]


Filming began in London around August 2018,[1][7] and continued in Hastings in March 2019.[8] Filming also took place in Tokyo.[4]

Series lead Takehiro Hira commented on the challenging nature of shooting the bilingual script: "We did have some hard times with the translation... Little nuances on the text didn’t match, or didn’t translate well. So we went back and forth with Joe and the director. It was a challenge, but one we enjoyed."[9]

List of episodes

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
1Episode 1Julian FarinoJoe Barton17 October 2019 (2019-10-17)
2Episode 2Julian FarinoJoe Barton24 October 2019 (2019-10-24)
3Episode 3Julian FarinoJoe Barton31 October 2019 (2019-10-31)
4Episode 4Julian FarinoJoe Barton7 November 2019 (2019-11-07)
5Episode 5Ben ChessellJoe Barton14 November 2019 (2019-11-14)
6Episode 6Ben ChessellJoe Barton21 November 2019 (2019-11-21)
7Episode 7Ben ChessellJoe Barton28 November 2019 (2019-11-28)
8Episode 8Julian FarinoJoe Barton5 December 2019 (2019-12-05)

Critical reception

Giri/Haji received critical acclaim. 100% of 22 critic reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes are positive for the series, earning an average rating of 9.06/10. The consensus on the website reads, "Smart, suspenseful, and superbly shot, Giri/Haji is a near-perfect crime thriller with a surprisingly sharp sense of humor."[10]

Writing for the Radio Times, Patrick Cremona described Giri/Haji as a "breath of fresh air" and a "masterful and sprawling thriller", awarding the series five stars out of five.[11] The Times critic Carol Migley awarded the opening episode four stars out of five,[12] while The Daily Telegraph reviewer Michael Hogan gave it five stars out of five, describing it as "impressionistic, playful and unashamedly arty", as well as "bold, bewitching and slightly bonkers".[13] The New Yorker included the series in an article about the best programmes available on streaming services, with reviewer Doreen St. Félix writing: "violently stylish, and also plain violent, Giri/Haji is a filial drama crossed with a sprawling, sexy police thriller".[14] The Guardian's Lucy Mangan was more critical, awarding the series three out of five stars based on a partial viewing. Mangan complimented the "unfetishised" portrayal of Japan, but described the series as "a bore" and criticised the more familiar genre tropes.[15] David Cirone of J-Generation criticized the series as going "heavy on theme, light on story", and NPR's Fresh Air critic John Powers noted that the show's "excesses can get a bit silly".[16][17]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Casting announced as filming begins on new drama thriller Giri/Haji – Media Centre". BBC. Retrieved 23 December 2018.
  2. ^ Moore, Kasey (11 September 2020). "'Giri/Haji' Season 2 Canceled at Netflix & BBC After 1 Season". WhatsOnNetflix. Retrieved 11 September 2020.
  3. ^ "BBC Two announces new crime thriller Giri/Haji". Royal Television Society. 4 October 2019.
  4. ^ a b Tartaglione, Nancy (23 July 2018). "Kelly Macdonald To Star In 'Giri/Haji'; BBC One/Netflix Thriller From Sister Pictures". Deadline. Retrieved 23 December 2018.
  5. ^ "Controller of BBC Drama Piers Wenger announces raft of new commissions – Media Centre". Retrieved 23 December 2018.
  6. ^ Mitchell, Robert (21 August 2018), "BBC, Netflix Announce International Cast for 'Giri/Haji' (Exclusive)", Variety, retrieved 23 December 2018
  7. ^ "Filming underway on Giri/Haji". The Knowledge. Retrieved 23 December 2018.
  8. ^ Gladstone, Richard (11 March 2019). "Here's why film crews are in Hastings and St Leonards". Hastings & St Leonards Observer. Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  9. ^ "BBC - Interview with Takehiro Hira - Media Centre". Retrieved 11 June 2020.
  10. ^ "Giri/Haji: Season 1". Retrieved 1 August 2020 – via
  11. ^ "BBC Two crime thriller Giri/Haji has been a breath of fresh air - and one of the best shows of the year". Radio Times.
  12. ^ Midgley, Carol. "Giri/Haji review — promises to be much more than just another crime thriller" – via
  13. ^ Hogan, Michael (17 October 2019). "Giri/Haji, episode 1 review: Arty, ambitious and a bit bonkers" – via
  14. ^ Patterson, Troy. "The Best Television Shows to Stream Now". The New Yorker.
  15. ^ "Giri/Haji review – Kelly Macdonald crime show is all killer and no thriller". the Guardian. 17 October 2019.
  16. ^ "Giri/Haji goes heavy on theme, light on story (Series Review)". J-Generation. 24 February 2020. Retrieved 11 June 2020.
  17. ^ "'Giri/Haji' Is A Story Of Cultural Cross Pollination Unlike Anything Else On TV". Retrieved 11 June 2020.