MR. BRAIN


Reviewed by: koolkat

July 31, 2010

Rating: four

Kimura Takuya as Tsukumo Ryusuke
Ayase Haruka as Yuri Kazune
Mizushima Hiro as Hayashida Toranosuke
Hiraizumi Sei as Funaki Junpei
Shitara Osamu as Kanda Junichi
Yamazaki Shigenori as Ochi Koichi
Shiho as Mariko
Kinoshita Yukina as the cleaning lady
Isaka Shunya as Namikoshi Katsumi
Hayashi Yasufumi as Iwabuchi Kiyoshi
Kobayashi Katsuya as Seta Ippei
Tanaka Yuji as Natsume Mitsuo
Tortoise Matsumoto as Nanba Jotaro
Daichi Mao as Sasa Miharu

Tsukumo Ryusuke is a nightclub host who is hit by a freak accident one night. As he walks away from talking to a pretty woman, the side of a building falls on him. Part of his brain is destroyed and the other parts have to work harder to compensate for the damage. His personality undergoes a change, his intelligence increases and he becomes a neuroscientist who decides to join the Institute of Police Science, a research department that aims to come up with scientific methods to help the police solve crime. Instead of merely focusing on research, he gets drawn into the actual detective work, much to the chagrin of some of his colleagues, who want to solely focus on research. But they all get dragged into his endeavours.

There is no doubt that the producers pulled out all the stops for this. Not only is Kimura Takuya a big star, all the episodes are littered with well-known guests, including Hirosue Ryoko in the first episode. It also features a lot of technological gizmos and lots of CSI-speak on DNA, brain imaging and fun facts including how to tell when a person is lying.

This serial takes some getting used to in the beginning. Kimura Takuya overplays Tsukumo's wackiness and is a bit annoying. The frequent injection of cartoon characters to explain his brain facts was also jarring. I also found his treatment of his research assistant demeaning. But there is no doubt that his larger-than-life persona sustains the show. Everyone else is merely a supporting actor/actress. And as I got used to his behaviour, his method out of the madness started to emerge. You either get used to it or the show will turn you off completely.

What sustained me were the cases Tsukumo was called upon to investigate. A couple of them were thought-provoking and intriguing. Although he threw out a lot of scientific facts, a lot of the time he merely used old-fashioned trickery to con the culprits into making a confession. My personal favourite was the episode in which a pianist who has amnesia is accused of murder. The pianist has no memory of his day-to-day activities after an accident damaged his brain (that seems to be a favourite theme) and has to write notes about his experiences everyday. It was touching because although he has no memory of his physical activities everyday, feelings are not so easily forgotten, including the good times he shared with his sister, and that was an important clue that helped to solve the mystery. Some cases however were a bit farfetched especially the one which focused on multiple personality disorder.

I also enjoyed watching the interaction between Tsukumo and the lead investigator Tanbara. Initially antagonistic because he doesn't want Tsukumo interfering in the actual investigative work, they come to an understanding and Tanbara eventually appreciates Tsukumo's insights.

At the end of it, I was really wishing it wasn't so short. If you enjoy watching shows such as Galileo, or CSI and Bones, this is definitely a must-watch.


Add your own review and become a featured critic on spcnet.tv!

Advertise on SPCNET.TV


Buy DVDs
MR. BRAIN

Shop Asian Fashion at YesStyle