Ask me what my favorite Matsumoto Jun drama is and my answer may be in the minority: Lucky Seven. Smile is a close second. And then there’s Bambino.
Though I was Jun-baited through Hana Yori Dango, like many other Arashi fangirls, I’ve never really been into HYD. Imo, Jun shines in roles that do not focus on the love angle, just like in those dramas that I mentioned above.
Shuntaro. Bito. Ban.
And now, here comes Miyama in 99.9: Keiji Senmon Bengoshi.
This TBS drama marks J’s return to the small screen after two years. I have to admit that I dropped ChocoJun (Shitsuren Chocolatier) even before it reached half-time. Hidamari no Kanojo, his 2013 movie with Juri-chan, was a fantasy romance so I was hoping that his return to drama would not be another romance.
And boy, I was 99.9% stoked to learn that he will play a criminal lawyer. It’s something new for him.
On the other hand, I was 1% worried that it might turn out to be a boring drama. Legal dramas are really not so fun and who would want to watch a serious show on Sunday evenings?
But I’m glad I was wrong.
It was love at first watch.
TBS did an awesome 15-minute opener for episode 1 and I’ve been hooked since, always looking forward to Sunday evenings when I’d get to see Miyama and his colleagues again. And no, this is not a drama review nor a first impressions post because I’m never good in those anyway.
This is just an appreciation post for 99.9 and why drama viewers should give it a try. The high ratings should be an indication on its 99.9% likability. NHK’s taiga aside, it’s this season’s top rater so far and props to the cast and production crew because they really have come up with an entertaining show.
The drama is about Miyama Hiroto, a poor criminal lawyer, who was scouted by one of the biggest law firms. How he manages working for a company and with a team with his quirks and individualistic style, and how he goes to look for the 1% truth sometimes even at the expense of his clients, is the common theme of the drama.
So why is 99.9% worth a watch?
- Miyama and his puns
- Miyama and his food
- Miyama and his candies
- Miyama and his three-piece navy blue suit and brown leather backpack
- Miyama and his obsession with the 1% truth
- Miyama and his mysterious past
- Miyama and his colleagues
- Miyama and his friends
But it’s not all Miyama. His colleagues and friends deserve a separate explanation because they are all characters in their own right.
- Miyama’s superior, Sada, and his wife, random-English-speaking daughter and their schnauzer
- Tachibana, the pro-wrestling fangirl and her many quirks
- paralegal Akashi, Miyama’s trusted right hand, who is taking the law exam for the nth time
- Madarame, the law firm’s head, who likes taking walks, eavesdropping on people and scratching his eyebrow
- restaurant owner Bando and his afro friends
This is an ensemble drama with no less than Kagawa Teruyuki (Sada), Eikura Nana (Tachibana), Katagiri Jin (Akashi), Kishibe Ittoku (Madarame), among others, joining Matsumoto. The production gives each character their moment to shine, not to mention their individual quirks to make them more memorable for the audience.
When the drama was first announced, there was not only skepticism from the Japanese viewers, but also a lot of negativity particularly on Jun’s casting alongside Kagawa-san, one of Japan’s respected and famous character actors. Many felt the material is the legal version of the popular banking drama Hanazawa Naoki (also a TBS drama that co-starred Kagawa-san) and that the seasoned actor will eat Jun alive onscreen.
This is Jun’s first time to work with Kagawa-san and I’m glad to see that he holds his own against Kagawa-san. Miyama-Sada is also my new favorite bromance in town. Meanwhile, it’s the third teamup for Jun and Nana-chan and I’m glad that she is not merely a vase in this drama (episode 3 was focused on her).
That’s why I’m very happy for Jun and the entire cast and production that they are getting not only high ratings but good word-of-mouth. This drama has also been some sort of the underdog when people compare the number of followers on Twitter and the tweets that were made for its first episode compared to other dramas (maybe a lot of 99.9’s viewers are not on Twitter or are lazy to hashtag), but no matter, it’s an enjoyable show that’s perfect for Sunday night when you’re preparing for the week ahead.
As Jun said, it’s a happy set and the production crew works so hard with the little details (even producing the candies Miyama likes; if this were a Kdrama, that would have been a chance for a PPL) so they deserve all the success they have been getting, and I hope they are able to sustain it till the end.
An added bonus is Arashi singing the theme, Daylight, (a Double A-side release with I seek, the theme for Riida’s NTV drama, Sekamuzu). The rap was especially written by Sho on J’s request and the song has been growing on me the more I listen to it.
Zero to goal, zero to goal
Ganbarimasu, Miyama sensei!
© Orange Jasmine Purple Yam (blogging since 2001). Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the contents in this site without permission from the author/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Orange Jasmine Purple Yam with appropriate link to the original content.