You can get subtitles here.
The cast is a powerhouse, quite an ensemble. Every single one of them is doing great thus far, so performance-wise, I’ve nothing to complain. I really love this cast. If there’s one thing I’m not fully convinced about yet for this show is the plot. I’m enjoying it just fine but the ‘reviewer mode’ in me subconsciously looks for anything that’s lacking. But I’ll talk about that at the end of this post.
The characters are mostly appealing. Besides Masao, I find most of them likeable. Firstly, Kazuaki, instant favorite, a talented surgeon (heart and brain) who doesn’t give a damn about hospital politics when it comes to saving patients. Once he sets his mind about something, he makes sure to get it done, even if it means quitting the hospital (ep3) if he can operate on the patient elsewhere.
He’s like a mellow version of Daimon Michiko. As such, he’s a bit of a loner, nobody wants to get involved with a trouble maker right? Except for one surgical nurse, Shibata who becomes his partner in crime. Another thing is, he’s not preachy. He gets the message across in a few lines but impactful enough to linger. So I like that because goodness, I don’t think I can stand a character preaching about being an ideal doctor for 10 minutes straight just to make a point.
Masao is a complex character, tough nut to crack at the moment. I can’t make up my mind whether he still loves Mifuyu or just wants to snatch her from Kazuaki. He and Mifuyu, despite being husband and wife are sleeping in separate rooms and they don’t seem affectionate as a couple. I don’t see LOVE between them at all! This brings us to question Mifuyu’s feelings too. Has this relationship become stale or the fact that Mifuyu never loved him for real and took him as a replacement for Kazuaki when he left? He’s also having an affair with the lawyer.
We know he wants to be Director, to gain control of everything and everyone. He’s obviously envious of Kazuaki but I still need to know the root for this. I want an episode solely just to show us the backstory between these 3 characters if we were to fully understand what really happened 10 years ago. With a solid backstory, I would be able to relate to them much more because as of now, there’s a void waiting to be filled.
Next, we have a character mainly for comic relief. Igawa is the son of a hospital director so he’s living in a bubble, thinking his position now is all due to his own ability and not an ounce from his father’s influence. He’s still young and has much to learn (ep2 is a good lesson). He has love-hate relationship with Kazuaki. At some point, he admires his talent but also hates how he goes around breaking rules without caring how it affects others. He’s also a very curious man, just watch how he’s sniffing around eavesdropping outside Kazuaki’s office lol. He has feelings for Shibata but girl is too smart for him. I LOL everytime he tries to impress her and then gets shut off almost instantly.
Shibata is curt and doesn’t speak much (at least not to Igawa). Even so, her short lines usually pack a punch. She’s a smart nurse and is the only one who can match Kazuaki’s mind especially in the surgery room. They have great chemistry, at least from work perspective. I like how they’re both professional, respect each other and do not let politics or influence get in the way. They’re focused on saving patients and that’s exactly why they hit it off right away. Kazuaki doesn’t even think twice when she asks him to bring her along if he ever quits.
Kazuaki – Mifuyu
Initially, I’m a bit skeptical about Mifuyu because she seems clueless about the hospital politics and also emotionally fragile especially in first episode. Another thing is when you’re a doctor, wouldn’t you suspect something if symptoms like painful headaches start occurring? Red flags! And yet, she doesn’t seem to be bothered. However, I’m warming up to her in ep3 after she realizes what’s important for her as a doctor now. She shows some character development and now, is she going to realize her dormant feelings for Kazuaki down the line? Kazuaki seems to keep a distance, maybe out of respect since they’re no longer together. But those secret glances they give each other! I think we’re all just waiting for this ship to sail.
Igawa – Shibata
Unrequited love or mutual? All this while, Shibata’s been cold towards him, sometimes to the point of just walking away when Igawa tries to strike a conversation. Poor guy. But that preview in ep4 on the beach, Shibata was smiling so this gives some hope that maybe she’s just being tsundere all the while. Maybe she doesn’t mind hooking up with Igawa, but not this version of him. She already gave him a brief lecture in ep3 to make him come to his senses so what if Igawa changes down the line? Would she warm up to that version of him?
Even with an excellent cast, there’s still something lacking for me. Minor gripe and nothing major that would make me drop the show. But I still feel the need to point this out since this is a review.
Plot-wise, to be perfectly honest, it’s a bit clichéd. What’s bugging me is the hospital politics. They can be quite annoying at times to the point of wondering “Are these people even doctors?” Think Doctor X, but a toned down version of it (with less exaggeration). Well, at least we don’t hear minions saying “Gyoi!” or doctors acting like kids here. Then, throw in romance and you have jealousy, hatred, betrayal, unrequited love and the lot. It’s entertaining but not something you’d go “Wow, impressive!” if you know what I mean. At least, not yet for me so this may change as the story progresses.
So what do you think of the show so far? Feel free to share your opinions below!
On the side note: If you want a medical drama that is heartwarming with excellent acting, loveable characters and educational, BUT WITHOUT all the politics fiasco, you can always try Kounodori. One of those rare Japanese medical dramas that doesn’t dwell with the overused political mess but a show truly focused on the doctors and patients. Comes with a warning though; You’ll need Kleenex. Lots of it.