Code Blue (2008) – Japanese Drama (J-drama) – Review

code blue season 1

Think of Code Blue as a cross between E.R. and Grey’s Anatomy for its medical dramatics and character (doctor & patient) stories. But in this case the character stories and romantics are not overly dramatic (like in Grey’s). Another comparison would be to Trauma (which I think tried to copy Code Blue) for the plot concept of ‘helicopter doctors’ and medical response.

I thought ‘not overly dramatic’ would be a good thing but maybe it wasn’t dramatic enough — kinda dry honestly. Maybe they went too hard with the whole disciplined & learning angle because on-screen its like some random people are wearing scrubs and doing medical stuff.

Code Blue comparisons to Grey’s Anatomy

“… A medical team is dispatched to the patients on a helicopter to provide medical care in the field as soon as possible. One day, four young physicians are assigned to this latest medical system. The doctors experience traumatic medical situations, deal with personal ambitions, witness the fragility of life, and they grow personally and professionally.”  —Fuji TV

code blue season 2

I did enjoy watching the team of young doctors (flight doctors-in-training) trying to perfect their craft and work together in season 1. Code Blue stars popular Yampai and my favourite Toda Erika. The supporting characters made it a well-rounded medical drama: nurses, pilot, flight doctor (mentors) and of course the patients.  I never got around to watching the SP or 2nd season. Many scenes were shot with a real helicopter so the only cheesy part is the ketchup-water blood.

code blue heli

aparoo says 3/5 for action, human & medical drama

Viewer Rant (not review)

Viewer Reviews
Season 1
Season 2

Season 1 & SP: MySoju // Dramacrazy
Season 2: MySoju // Dramacrazy

If Toda Erika wasn’t in this series I wouldn’t have even finished the first season. Toda Erika pics


Tokyo DOGS (2009) – Japanese Drama (J-drama) – Review

tokyo dogs banner

Tokyo DOGS was a decent cop drama. Its like most detective shows where each episode focuses on a case to solve while one big case or mystery (related to a main character) is on-going through the series. In this instance (Oguri Shun) one-half of the crime solving duo has pledged his life and career to finding his father’s killer and is sent from New York to Tokyo on a special investigation. There he teams with another detective (Mizushima Hiro). Together they are mismatched but effective.

Full synopsis

Genre: police, detective, crime, mystery, action

Also starring: Yoshitaka Yuriko (Shiroi Haru)

tokyo dogs

Fuji TV “first true police drama

Viewer Reviews

Explosion scene shot in Brooklyn, NY:

This series has a good balance of action and comedy making it an enjoyable policing-drama. The storyline is suspenseful enough for you to keep watching but not over-the-top to make you lose interest. Plus its got a pretty popular cast.

Ending theme song Futatsu no Kuchibiru by EXILE:

aparoo says 4/5

Stream: MySoju, Dramacrazy

Shiroi Haru [White Spring] (2009) – Japanese Drama (J-drama) – Review

Shiroi Haru [White Spring] is about a former yakuza trying to rebuild an honest life for himself after serving a 9-year sentence. As parts of his past become revealed to him (and the audience) he evidently finds new meaning to his life. Shiroi Haru is still one of my favourite family and human dramas to date for a number of reasons: interesting plot (ex-con looking for both closure and redemption from his past — I know its cliche), interesting characters (their connections and the influences they have on each other) and especially the on-screen portrayals and chemistry between the main character and a baker’s daughter.

Correlation character chart:

Full review (blog)
Reviews by episode (blogger)
Reviews & comments (viewers)

Full synopsis:

“Former yakuza Haruo (Hiroshi Abe) is finally released from prison after completing his sentence. With nine years worth of prison gratuities in hand, he stops at a restaurant to enjoy a good meal, but all of his money ends up being stolen. With nothing left, he spends the night at a net cafe, and he manages to look up his old friend from his yakuza days. When Haruo visits the next day, he learns that his old girlfriend Mariko (Mahiru Konno) was living with another man, but later died of illness. Haruo, who had committed murder 9 years earlier to earn the money for Mariko’s medical treatment, is shocked and angered. He decides to track down that other man (Kenichi Endo), who runs a bakery with his wife (Miho Shiraishi) and daughter Sachi (Nozomi Ohashi). Haruo later runs into Sachi at the park, but he has yet to find out the truth about her.” (Tokyograph)

shiroi haruuu

The series is mostly about the ex-con and baker’s daughter who befriend each other by chance, and how the relationship changes both their lives. Its ultimately a drama about family, relationships and life — and how they all intertwine. It was a popular 2009 drama and one of my favourites from that year; it also won 3 awards at the 61st Television Drama Academy Awards including best actor (Hiroshi Abe) and best scriptwriter (Ozaki Masaya). It goes without saying that Hiroshi is a great actor and is able to pull of a really dynamic role in Shiroi Haru. Plus Yoshitaka Yuriko (Tokyo DOGS) is cute.

aparoo says 5/5 — perfect for any beginner or veteran drama viewer

Stream 1 or 2