Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Un-reviewable Dramas 2: Mr. Brain and Maou

What’s this?? Rosie doesn’t love me anymore!?

After last month’s introduction to my unreviewable dramas (aka, the dramas I just don’t care to write much about, but don’t want to forget about entirely), this time I half discuss two J-dramas that… just didn’t do the trick for me: crime scene investigation drama with the brainy KimuTaku and creepy murder revenge supernatural(?) detective story with Ikuta Toma. 

That’s right, Mr. Brain (2009) and Maou (2008) are the next to join my list of totally meh dramas. 

Mr. Brain

Kimura Takura is a brain specialist Tsukumo Ryusuke (spelled with the Kanji characters for Nine-Ten-Nine) who joins the National Research Institute of Police Science. He is partnered up with Yuri Kazune (Tatta Hitotsu no Koi’s Ayase Haruka), who at best can be described as a bumbling yet capable and likable assistant. Together they catch criminals using intricate brain science and patterns and at the end of the day, always get their man.

It’s not that I really believe Mr. Brain was a totally horrible drama. KimuTaku happens to be just a bit too quirky for my taste, without being interesting. And Ayase Haruka is more like a doormat who occasionally does something brilliant, rather than a character I could care for throughout. Add this to the episodic formula of the drama’s 11 episodes, and it’s mostly a snoozer. However, there is one thing I did like that actually surprises me. In most episodic investigation shows, I tend to get bogged down on each episode’s ‘introduce the villain/victim sob stories’ but in Mr. Brain the guest actors for almost every episode were a nice surprise, being both well-written and well-acted. I looked forward to seeing who would be in the next episode, thought of course it helps that they used (for me) familiar names of big time drama actors: Sato Takero (Bloody Monday), Kato Koyuki (Kimi wa Petto), Nakama Yukie (Gokusen), and Kamenashi Kazuya (Nobuta wo Produce) among many other more than capable guest stars.

Dropped at ep. 3

Here we have the story of an “Angel Lawyer” Narose Ryo played by Jpop idol Ohno Satoshi. By day he is a brilliant and beloved lawyer, and by sinister night (or day) is really up to revenge against the people who killed his younger brother. His victim is Ikuta Toma’s Serizawa Naoto, a high strung detective with an incriminating background.

How does it end? I don’t know – I was too bored by the end of episode 3 that Maou ended up on my dropped list. I can’t even legitimately rate it, except to say that as much as I loved Ikuta Toma in Hana Kimi, his consistently rush-before-thinking angsty self was downright annoying, and I wish the character could’ve showed a few more emotions than was portrayed. I was looking forward to seeing Ohno Satoshi for the first time, but as much as I hear about his character getting to show some hints of mostly unseen depth later on, for the first 3 episodes he is stone faced and predictable. As for the plot – maybe most people find it interesting: red notes being delivered before victims mysteriously die, leaving behind incriminating scenes for their supposed ‘murderers’ and a girl who can somehow foresee and envision the scenes? I guess it’s intriguing, but not enough to keep me going. If someone can give me ample reason to continue Maou, someday I might attempt to finish.


  1. i saw maou a couple of years ago... i dont remember, you lasted episode 3. i dropped it at episode one. but my friend told me to "power-through" it, and it gets better. and well, it did! it gets interesting when the plot unravels. but yeah, ikuta toma is a dum-dum detective as ever. but i liked how the story went. :) it's tragic btw.

  2. Quite liked Mr Brain, quirky enjoyable. Watched all of Maou only because I have to finish anything I start unless it is completely awful, IMHO, don't bother. A good idea but needed to be ruthlessly followed through on but wasn't. Both sides become apologetic players. Annoying. 3/10

    1. Mr. Brain just wasn't my cup of tea, I think, but I'm glad i"m not the only one who didn't find Maou very good. It really did seem intriguing, but even at 3 episodes I realized it just wasn't being carried out that way. I used to not be able to drop dramas either, but thankfully I got over that haha! Saves time :P