If you’ve been following the J-ent scene recently, you might have heard of Hanzawa Naoki, this summer’s most talked-about drama (in Japan, at least. The international blogosphere is another matter altogether.) Ratings are at an all-time high, with the last two episodes (i.e. eps 7 and 8) recording numbers in the 30th percentile. Not since the golden days of the KimuTaku era has a J-drama performed this well (even last year’s surprise hit, Kaseifu no Mita, didn’t surpass the 30 percent mark till the last episode.) So widespread is its popularity in the country that even the Wall Street Journal has written about it. When was the last time they wrote about a KimuTaku drama?
Naturally, I had to find out what all the fuss was about, especially given that this is a drama about fraud and corruption, not exactly topics to set most pulses racing. (more…)