Mr Brain (ミスター・ブレイン)
Synopsis: Tsukumo Ryusuke is a quirky, yet brilliant neuroscientist working for the National Research Institute of Police Science. Wielding a unique perspective and psychology, Tsukumo tackles the nation’s most baffling crimes and scandals, going head-to-head with the most brilliant and twisted criminal minds. But his eccentricities and poor social timing can also aggravate people and circumstances, further complicating matters.
Episodes: 8 episodes
Genre: Detective, Mystery, Comedy
Duration: 50 min
Casting: Kimura Takuya, Ayase Haruka, Mizushima Hiro, Kagawa Teruyuki etc…
Wow, what a crazy race! Mr Brain is a Japanese drama that everyone should watch. I was at first a bit sceptical -”ola what’s with the hairy dude and the Doctor Who’s poster? Mmh intriguing…and a bit scary if you ask me.” Pressing the play button was one of the best decision I’d ever made. Just look at its opening credits! This drama could only be epic honestly!
We are immersed in a world of investigation and crime. But not through any prism. Here we followed the cases, not through detective’s eyes, but through a team of the IPS (Institute of Police Science). This choice could have been boring for those who are not particularly receptive to science (like me *cough*) but this drama remained simple. Sure we don’t get out of a few scientific gobbledygook but they are clearly explained to us with very cute cartoons in return.
Science becomes quickly a fascinating theme. How is our brain working? We witness to “brain fights” between the police/ the IPS team and criminals. We witness to numerous manipulation from Tsukumo, who in the end always managed to trap the culprit- and myself…*cough* (well, at least during my adaptation period. Afterwards it was more difficult to trick me since I started to think like him). Nothing was randomly made. For example, the little experiments Tsukumo made at the beginning of each episode, weren’t just funny experiment to make us laugh. Most of the time they contained the key that solved the investigations. Investigations that quickly went crescendo. It exceeded all my expectations and I was amazed by the scriptwriter’s work. Every time an investigation ended I thought “this is it, they reached perfection. That’s going to be tough for the following episodes “. Having wonderful character is one thing. Having both a wonderful plot and well-written characters is another. A few months ago I had begun Legal High. Everyone seemed so enthusiast about that drama that I thought it would be a safe bet. I was quickly disillusioned. I kind of liked the characters and the humour of the drama. But the case were sooooo boring. I couldn’t bear it and just gave it up at the end. I wasn’t satisfied by the reasoning. That was the complete opposite of Mr Brain which embodied genius and excitement.
Some might have been disappointed by the ending- which seemed rather unfinished (I’m pretty sure it was designed with a sequel in mind) but that wasn’t my case. I was quite relieved to see such opened ending. It lacked some explanations (notably in the case of Kohei Takei’s character) but I preferred that, to a far-fetched and crappy outcome that could have ruined the drama.
Mr Brain has set the bar high. It’s a drama that makes you think, that makes you want to check everything that has been said in the drama (one thing is obsessing me since then: when we lie, are we really looking upwards and to the right? If this is true it’s awesome!). I think it’s going to be hard to appreciate others Japanese dramas from now on.
Tsukumo Ryusuke (“written with the kanjis nine, ten, nine”=> 九十九 -what a pretty name!) was the kind of character I would love to often meet in dramaland. He literally rocked and he wasn’t without reminding me for a bit, a character we all know very well: the Doctor in Doctor Who. The same charisma, originality (the guys always carries a mouse in his pocket!), fashion taste, weirdness, energy and cleverness. I could only like him. He was like a sun. Everyone eventually ended up revolving around him, even the more sceptical and hostile. It was the first time I was encountering Kimura Takuya and I don’t think it’ll be the last. He easily, entered my top 10 in term of acting.
The character of Yuri Kazune wasn’t as important as I had thought. [No romance my friends, no romance! -though the ending remained quite open on that matter. Anyway don’t get your hopes up]. She is present in all the episodes but tended to be a bit outshone by Tsukumo Ryusuke (just like most of characters in fact). She was necessary to the plot because she completed Tsukumo Ryusuke’s character. I’m not sure this latter would have been as attractive if he had not had his naive, funny, clumsy
guinea pig assistant. Her character evolved quite a bit. She became more mature along the episodes and more passionate by her work. Just like all the laboratory. Tsukomo’s arrival in the IPS radically changed the atmosphere, affecting everyone.
Tanbara Tomomi and Hayashida Torano were just like Tsukumo Ryusuke and Yuri Kazune team. The ying and the yang that could hardly be separated. They were fun together and not otherwise. I really like Hayashida’s naivety. He was the little bambi of the team. I loved to see his scared head and protruding eyes when Tanbara Tomomi -his boss- came upon him when he was secretly asking Tsukumo for help.
To resume Mr Brain is a must see drama! Investigations deliciously hard to solve, wonderful acting, amazing character, a good balance between humour and darkness (some investigations were not pretty pretty, I admit), and an awesome list of guest role (Sato Takeru and Kamenashi Kazuya to name only my favourite. Always great to see familiar faces in a drama you love). It would be foolish to miss such show!
Note de Whoovy: 9.5/10
Note de Dushbadou: 9.5/10
Note finale: 9.5/10