Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Currently watching: Hanzawa Naoki

Well, after a summer of nice weather and things to do, I’ve had little time to sit down and watch any TV, and when I do it’s usually Amachan. I only watch about two episodes a week. At this rate, it should last until Christmas!

But then I noticed that one J-drama was getting very high ratings, almost a 30% share. It didn’t seem to have anyone very famous in it, so I started to wonder why it had done so well. I took a look at the first episode, and although I wasn’t hooked, it was an enjoyable slice of drama.

The story is about a banker, Hanzawa, who suddenly finds himself blamed for a loan made to a company just before they went bankrupt. And at 500 million yen, this is the kind of loan that could end a man’s career. It’s up to him to clear his name and get the money back.

It’s nicely made, with some very dramatic music pushing the action along. There’s a lot of meaningful looks and jostling for power in the bank. It’s all very macho, in a way. In fact, there are almost no female characters at all, and perhaps this makes Aya Ueto the surprise highlight of the show, being very good in her role of Hanzawa’s wife.

I shall keep an eye on it. I'll be honest, I'm not sure why it's been such a ratings hit. Maybe because it doesn't have much competition?


  1. The first ep was really nice. Ep 2 was not that exciting, but still ok. But I understand from the reviews that they can't keep the high level up.
    Amachan is getting better all the time now. Am up to ep 50 and loving it : )

  2. Same here. Made it to episode 2 and it felt "meh" xD - Teruyuki Kagawa's role became a Japan Meme though. xD

  3. I'm up to episode five now. I watch it when I have some spare time. It's not bad, but I didn't see why the ratings were so high. I asked a Japanese friend why she thought it was so popular, and she said because everyone in Japan wants to tell their boss to go stuff themselves (putting it politely).