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Mr. Brain

This year’s necesary Takuya drama

23 November, 2009 by

Just as Sorimachi Takashi will forever be known as Great Teacher Onizuka, Over Time Takuya Kimura has evolved into his very own character archtype. He may adopt a new name in each show, but we know better. Takuya Kimura plays Takuya Kimura. And of course, viewers expect no less. Mr. Brain is this year’s necessary Takuya Kimura drama.

Takuya’s acting career has spanned for more than a decade, and even if only playing himself, his acting has improved greatly since his Long Vacation days. Call me a fan, but I would go so far as to say that I actually look forward to his dramas each year, having especially enjoyed both Pride and last year’s Change. I’m especially fond of supporting actress Ayase Haruka as well. She possesses a kind of tradditional Japanese beauty rarely seen on tv these days. A talented actress with close to a decade of experience herself, Ayase won an award for her lead role in the Josei Manga drama, Hotaru no Hikari. She also acted alongside Takuya in the 2006 Hero Special.

In Mr. Brain, Takuya Kimura plays a charismatic host at a host club who by a freak accident, becomes a quirky super genius. Curious of the changes in his brain, he decides to go to university to study brain science. Takuya, now a scientist begins the show with his first day at the National Research Institute of Police Science in Japan.

CSI: Japan.

Takuya is to start developing the brain science research lab at the institute. At least in reality, the intitute is in charge of research of forensic science and the analysis of evidence collected by police. Somehow, Takuya ends up meeting rookie a police detective, Mizushima Hiro. When asked for his opinion on a case, Takuya instead takes it upon himself to solve the case.

From there Mr. Brain then turns into an exact replica of Hero, just without any of the quirky comedy antics provided by Abe Hiroshi. Together with his dim-witted assistant, Ayase Haruka, Takuya pokes his nose around each crime scene in an attempt to solve the episode’s crime. He then seeks the help of the army of other scientists at the government facility, who despite being his senior, willingly help him do stuff without even asking exatly what it is theyre doing. The case is then solved by the work of the others and Takuya then reveals to them that he expected it all along, the crime was committed by one of the shows various guest actors/actresses.

It's tough saying no to Takuya Kimura.

The CSI series has been doing well in Japan and like various other dramas of late, Mr. Brain has been inspired by the popular American show. But while the investigation genre has gave us gems like Voice, Galileo and even Kurosagi the past 2 years, Mr. Brain falls short of the mark. Save for the annual NHK Taiga Drama, the annual Takuya Kimura’s drama is always the most watched series each year. Mr. Brain even goes so far as to enlist a guest cast rivalling the Taiga Drama in size. So when Mr. Brain’s ratings drop to a 16%, something is clearly wrong.

Kinoshita Yukina as a Janitor.

It is almost as if Mr. Brain is trying to test the limits of Takuya Kimura’s popularity. Despite being a copy of the Hero series, the show manages to mess up the already tried and proven formula. Just like in the CSI series, the producers forgo all wit in the story. To call each story arc predictable would be generous, as the show features childishly simple revalatons. Instead (again just like in CSI), the show takes all its viewers as idiots, explaining in great detail, elementary science facts. These little tidbits of information fail to impress or distract audiences from the awful plot. What’s worst, many of the scenarios and actions taken by characters in the show are down right ridiculous.

Ehh...doesn't this role seem familiar.

During the introduction, Takuya walks past some renovation works after charming cameo actress Hirosue Ryoko. The pipes and metal sheets come falling on him for no reason and he gets hit by a small portion, causing him some frontal brain damage. Recovering from this, the doctor tells him that his IQ has just skyrocketed. Not a very believable premise, because it’s Takuya we let it pass. But the plot holes just keep getting worse, with criminals later in the show willingly giving evidence (and in one case the murder weapon) to Takuya.

It's ok if this show blows. There's always tomorrow.

In the end, the only saving grace for Mr. Brain is its plentiful lineup of stars and cameos. But even this combined talent and marketing power did little to save the show from its poor direction and plot. Mr. Brain was promptly wrapped up after only 8 episodes.



Chad

Supermerlion's Webmaster and Editor-in-Chief. Singaporean Nikkeijin with over 12 years of experience in the media industry. Producer at a Japanese entertainment company. Former Web Developer, Graphic Designer, Multimedia Programmer, Manager and Consultant. Shoots with a Canon 5Dmk2 and Sony RX100-2.
  • linhlyn

    I watched that drama last year and still think that it's such da bomb 🙂 The rating of avg 20% is really something because these years are the dooming days for Japanese dramas. Actually, Japanese dramas is not exception in this case. Can I blame the economic recession? For me, describing the details simply and providing really basic information like that is really helpful to me lol. The simple, basic neuroscience knowledge 🙂 For me, some detective dramas are too way to complicated to be real 😀 Mr.Brain really got me excited last year:) I like Hero too but in different way <3