Just for fun.
For context purposes, here’s the character chart for Season 1; it’s basically the same for Season 2 except for two new characters:
Miyama Hiroto is an independent criminal lawyer, notorious for being a “troublemaker” in court. He gets headhunted by one of Japan’s top law firms, Madarame, which is setting up a criminal team. Madarame, the managing partner, was a classmate of Miyama’s father, who was convicted of murder and died without given justice. Miyama grew up with his cousin Bando, who owns an izakaya where a lot of real pro-wrestlers and mangaka hang out. Miyama is then assigned to work under Sada Atsuhiro, a money-faced corporate lawyer who used to be a prosecutor. Despite his flashy and arrogant personality, Sada is actually a softie at home and is often overpowered by his wife and daughter, not to mention his dog and horses. Also in the criminal team is Tachibana Ayano, a pro-wrestler fangirl; for Season 2, she is replaced by Ozaki Maiko, a former judge who dabbles in ventriloquism. There are three paralegals in the team: Akashi, who has been working with Miyama for years; Fujino, father of twin girls; and Togawa (season 1), who later goes off to marry a lawyer in the firm and is replaced by Nakatsuka (season 2), another pro-wrestler fan.
The drama focuses on how the team finds the 0.1% truth in the cases they handle and which could save their clients from conviction. However, Miyama is not really interested in defending their clients as he’s more focused in finding out the truth, even if it would be detrimental to their defense. Of course while doing his tedious investigation and research with the help of Akashi and the team, he makes some puns and oyaji jokes in the process. He also cooks in Bando’s izakaya while going through the details of the cases, while his loyal fan and admirer Kanako often watches him.
Kanako is about the only (one-sided) love line in the drama, unless we consider Sada’s married life or his teenage daughter’s lovelife that often gives him nightmares. But imagine if this were a Korean drama. How would it be like?
Let’s re-imagine 99.9 as a Korean drama:
No day goes by in Madarame’s newly established criminal team without the paralegals cursing Miyama. He’s a workaholic who can spend days investigating a case and ordering them around. And since Sada has absolutely no interest in criminal cases, he lets Miyama do whatever he likes. Togawa is scared that she will die alone with no prospect of ever finding a man to start a family with, while Fujino is on the verge of being divorced by his wife and cursed to death by his twin daughters. The only one who is happy is Akashi since he can earn overtime hours.
The atmosphere is so toxic that they start secretly hoping that something happens to change Miyama and distract him from work. That’s when Tachibana comes along. The paralegals think they have found their goddess and savior but it doesn’t look promising from the get-go since Miyama doesn’t take a female lawyer with ugly bangs seriously and Tachibana is not impressed with him at all.
As dramas go, Miyama starts liking Tachibana while she makes a pro-wrestling move on him (shades of Hana Yori Dango), but the definitive moment is when she steals his condiment and puts it on her pizza and declares it oishi. He touches his ear, just like he usually does whenever he discovers something in the cases he’s investigating, and hearts come out of his eyes as he stares at her while whispering, “Kawaiiiii. I’m in love.” (In the drama, he merely said “interesting.”)
But then, Tachibana goes to study in the US, which leaves Miyama lonely and forlorn. He often looks at the empty table beside him and wishes for Tachibana to come back, promising to go with her to a professional wrestling match. He reads the wrestling magazines she has left behind and starts to go to a wrestling gym.
He eventually gets over her when Ozaki joins the team. He finds her weird at first with the ventriloquism, but one time when she does it to him while discussing about a case, he realizes he has fallen for her deeply. He asks her to be his girlfriend with the help of her obachan doll. She’s impressed by his hidden talent and says yes, but they want to keep their relationship lowkey so they date in secret, exchanging goo-goo eyes while investigating cases.
Meantime, Sada is having an affair with the wife of a company president who was his client before. Madarame is the one who discovers this by accident while watching a horse race and he blackmails Sada into a longer contract as head of the criminal team. Scared that his wife will know about the affair, Sada agrees and starts taking in more criminal cases just to be in Madarame’s good books. He spends more and more time in the office and becomes even more passionate than Miyama in finding out the 0.1% truth.
Sada’s lover is accused of killing her husband. She asks Sada to defend her. He refuses at first but she threatens him that she will expose their affair if he doesn’t. Sada has no choice but to take on the case, keeping Miyama out of it, for fear that he will discover the truth. The woman has an alibi: on the night her husband was murdered, she was with Sada. Dun…dun..dun…dun.
Because Miyama is busy making goo-goo eyes at Ozaki, he botches a high-profile case. He breaks up with Ozaki telling her she’s not good for him and his career. Ozaki, heartbroken, quits the team and joins a rival firm, determined to face off Miyama in court every chance she gets.
But hey, all’s not that tragic. This is a Korean drama after all and there needs to be the spoonfed happy ending. Akashi, after two decades, finally passes the bar and becomes a lawyer. Inspired by Miyama, he decides to go independent and defends poor people. Tachibana returns from the US and at the shotgun wedding of Sada’s daughter (Sada is in the middle of a bitter divorce with his wife), she meets Miyama again. She catches the bridal bouquet and Miyama smirks. “Interesting.”
Okay, stop…my imagination is going overboard and I’m getting a headache just thinking of all the makjang scenarios.
Man, I’m so glad 99.9 is not a Korean drama.
*Images sourced from tumblr.
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