Anime / Drama

J-drama: Hanzawa Naoki

14 May 2015

More than a year after airing, I finally got around to watching Hanzawa Naoki a couple of weeks ago!

Hanzawa Naoki is a hugely successful J-drama that broke the ratings for the first time in 35 years, reaching 42.2% in the final episode! Even Fu’s colleagues were all talking about the show when it was airing.

So why did I take so long to watch it?

Because a drama about bank loans is hardly exciting…

But at the urging of a reader and fellow J-drama lover, I decided to watch it (thanks Karen!) and I agree… it’s pretty darn good!

The premise may seem a little dry – a guy who joined the bank who drove his father to suicide and wanting to change the bank by climbing his way up to the top – but the script is well-written and Hanzawa is a character that you just can’t help but want to watch. Everyone loves a good guy who goes against the bad guys, no matter how treacherous the path, right?

Only one thing really irked me… the extreme overacting.

Hanzawa often has very exaggerated expressions. For example, he tries too hard on the intense/fierce/I-see-through-you eyes:

WHO DOES THAT?! It’s just so unnatural!

And while Hanzawa is mostly a calm and rational character, but every so often, he will launch an outburst and bellow so loudly that he startles the person he’s talking to (and probably the audience as well).

In my mind, I see him as an RPG character who had his tolerance bar filled and reaches his limit break:

Well, overacting aside, the plot, characters and flow of this drama are all good. Definitely recommended!

The ending left me extremely unsettled though, and I had to know whether there was a second season. Turns out there will be, BUT Sakai Masato is unable to participate due to prior engagements :( Hanzawa will not be Hanazawa without him!

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