Friday, May 29, 2009


It has been a long time since I last watched a Japanese drama series. It is time to have a look again.

'Mr. Brain' bags top rating in Japan for first quarter 2009

Posted: 28 May 2009 1559 hrs

TOKYO: Popular Japanese actor Takuya Kimura's latest television drama 'Mr. Brain' achieved a remarkable 24.8 per cent viewer ship and bagged the accolades for top rating for the first quarter of the year.

The first episode of 'Mr. Brain' even overtook last year's overall highest rated drama, 'Rookies'. This is a boost for the flagging Japanese drama market, where ratings have been dismal and uninspiring of late.

In this light-hearted drama, Kimura plays the role of Ryusuke Tsukumo, a gigolo who suffers a freak brain injury and becomes a crime-solving genius.

Before the series started, critics chided its storyline for being similar to another Japanese show 'Inspector Galileo' and the American hit crime-investigation drama 'CSI'.

But after the first episode, fans not only applauded the casts' performances but also agreed that it is different from the said dramas.

The broadcaster's decision to put a star-studded cast for 'Mr. Brain' has been a masterstroke in attracting the ratings. The regular cast includes Kimura, Mizhushima Hiro and Haruka Ayase.

Another highlight of the drama will be the featuring of a new guest star appearance in every episode. The first episode featured Ryoko Hirosue from the Oscar-winning film 'Departures'. Subsequent episodes will see the likes of popular artistes Sato Takeru and Kazuya Kamenashi.

However, not everyone is smitten with the drama. Netizens are complaining that the storyline is illogical, and may mislead kids. One of them questioned, "How can a person become a genius after injuring his brain? Children should not follow his example."

On a lighter note, the current success of 'Mr. Brain' has led to a series of commercial opportunities.

A bread company has already pushed out a series of "Golden Brain Bread" (Kimura's character is a blonde), and a Chocolate Bread with mayonnaise which includes the brain-enhancing ingredient DHA that is selling at 128 yen (S$1.96) each. - CNA/fa

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