Actor Ian Anthony Dale, who plays imprisoned former Yakuza boss, Adam Noshimuri, is easily one of the most popular “Hawaii Five-0” recurring cast members. Perhaps it’s the romantic role he plays as Kono’s (Grace Park) new husband, or maybe it’s because his character seems to always want to do the right thing, even when he is reluctantly on the wrong side of the law.
I think our love for Adam has a lot to do with the fact that Dale plays him with such strong believability — there’s never a moment when we doubt Adam’s love for Kono or his promises to move away from his Yakuza lineage. It’s Dale’s great talent as an actor that he can show us how conflicted Adam is as he tries to live on the straight and narrow with his police officer wife. We know he loves Kono, he respects her ʻohana, and he wants to live without the shadow of his former life hanging over him and his new bride.
Yet, if any character needs a huge dose of amazing good luck, it would be Adam. From the start, Adam has always wanted to be good, but like Five-0 characters, his past never seems to let him go. Adam’s father, Hiro Noshimuri (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa) was the head of the Yakuza in Hawaiʻi, and even though Hiro was killed by Wo Fat (Mark Dacascos), Adam’s family ties to the Yakuza continue to haunt him.
It is because of Adam’s family ties to the Yakuza, that he no longer has his business and is in prison right now. It’s also how he lost his father, and was forced to kill his brother. While Adam shot his brother Michael (Daniel Henney) because he was trying to protect Kono, it was Michael’s new ties to the Yakuza that caused Adam and Kono to go into hiding as the Yakuza searched for him.
While the couple were on the run during season four, their love seems to solidify into something even stronger. I loved watching them have to rely on each other, and Kono’s fishing skills, to survive under the radar. I think Kono knows that she can trust Adam implicitly with her life — he’s saved it more than once — and when he sacrifices himself to the Yakuza to save her again in Hong Kong, I don’t know who loved him more — Kono, or every fan watching their love story unfold on screen.
When I interviewed Dale in the middle of season four, he spoke very fondly about playing Adam. “It’s been one of my most favorite roles that I’ve ever gotten a chance to play, and I hope it continues for the life of the show,” he said during our phone interview. I was particularly interested in how he handled Adam’s reconciliation with Kono — where Adam was hiding out in a coffee shop washing dishes and rocking a cool beard. It was great hearing about how both actors were so emotionally invested in the scene and the reunion of their characters.
“It was a great moment, it was a great connection, and I’m happy it turned out really well.” said Dale.
But it’s not only the connection between Adam and Kono that we love, it’s Adam’s ability to continue to surprise us as he does the right thing — cutting his ties with the Yakuza even if it means losing his livelihood; turning himself into the police for killing the two Yakuza heavies who were actually hired to kill him; going to prison for trying to protect himself; and not taking Gabriel’s “sweet” deal to get into business together — which would have given him the means to give Kono a more comfortable life.
How many men have that kind of integrity? And how many actors can pull off that kind of character without making him seem unrealistically perfect? Dale seems to pull off the contrast beautifully. Adam still has flaws, but those flaws make him more real and consistently believable.
I’ve always loved Adam and Kono — both characters give romance a new face, but I think they are both solid characters on their own. Yet put them together and they are an amazing force of love and strength.
I’m looking forward to seeing what happens to them when Adam gets out of jail and they can finally live a quiet life together. Even if Adam gets a regular job and no one tries to kill him for at least part of a season, that would be fine with me. I’m sure Dale will be able to keep us all rooting for Adam — and his Kono — no matter how “normal” their life becomes.
REDUX SIDE NOTE
It’s official folks, Sunset on the Beach is a go for Friday, Sept. 23, the same night the show will premiere on CBS. The season premiere, “Mākaukau ʻoe e Pāʻani” will be shown on Waikīkī Beach a few hours after it will air on television. While fans may not be the first to see the season seven premiere, they will be treated to a red carpet pre-show, much like the last six Sunset on the Beach events — complete with most of the cast and crew in attendance.
No word as of yet if “Hawaii Five-0” executive producer Peter Lenkov will also show his new television show “MacGyver” at the sunset event. But fans are hoping to see all of their favorite actors, as well as Lenkov’s latest reboot.