If you’re a long time fan of Doctor X, then the Special shouldn’t disappoint much. It has all the things we expect from the show – cool and carefree Daimon pisses every other doctor off in her typical fashion, the ‘I never fail’ motto, some humor along the way (mostly involving doctors acting like clowns), a few dramatic scenes and there’s always a big boss to fight her.
In other words, it’s a typical fanfare. Every other episode or season feel like they’re a rehash of one another and people in Japan will never get tired of it. It’s probably because of Ryoko Yonekura’s starpower or viewers are hopelessly enthralled by strong iconic female protagonists. While I think the show is repetitive at its core, I do admit I’m quite curious of this new season. With the Special garnering 22% and pilot of Season 4 at 20.4%, this show is already the front runner, a no brainer. There’s a reason why this show survives as long as it does, whether you like it or not, it would take a miracle for this show to flop.
In the Special, Daimon travels again with her manager, Akira and saves someone on the street. She then performs a surgery and as usual, Akira comes with a melon and demands exorbitant fee for Daimon’s skills.
If there’s anything I feel slightly different this time, it’s the villain director played by Takeshi Kitano. Kurosu is somewhat nonchalant as compared to the old archenemy who would instantly rage. Kurosu remains composed throughout the show as he observes Daimon’s skills and beneath his coolness, there’s something up his sleeves. Call him evil or a trashy doctor, he’s still better than the previous enemies who act like spoiled brats. At the very least, Kurosu is not off-putting and that makes this bearable.
Daimon is supposed to operate on a famous figure skater but halted when she is attacked by someone and suffered a fractured wrist (Kurosu’s order). Later, she retreats to the mountains with a brief encounter with a mountain man, Akagi (Munetaka Aoki) and his son. This features a low point for Daimon and I can’t recall whether there has been any other episode where she said ‘I failed’ before but if no, then this is the first. It’s a pity Akagi is just a minor character who’s there to boost Daimon’s morale and tossed when he no longer serves a purpose. Would have loved for more.
Other than that, everything else feels generic. After her wrist heals, she comes back and saves everyone’s asses, like the other million times before.
Some familiar faces from previous seasons make a comeback, mainly just for laughs.
Perhaps one of the highlights in this Special is how Kurosu actually gives an advice to Daimon during the operation. While the previous villains mostly stay one-dimensional, there is depth in Kurosu’s character. This is also evident in the final scene they shared together as Daimon points out the reason he chooses not to operate, it’s because he can’t, rather than by choice. It’s also rare to have Daimon actually thanking another doctor. So there’s some respect underneath all that pride for Kurosu.
Overall, there’s nothing exceptionally fresh but still watchable just for the sake of Daimon. At least, this is better than that Hanasaki Mai show.