It’s been a long time since I was so excited for a Japanese drama and among the single parent, puppy summer love and medical dramas, “Hanzawa Naoki” tells the story of a banker who was –forced to- give a loan of 500 million yen to a steel company that goes bankruptcy shortly after receiving the loan. The higher ups try to put the blame of losing the 500 million on Hanzawa Naoki.
Episode 4 of “Hanzawa Naoki” marked an average ratings of 27.6% and at the peak moment, the drama got a 30% ratings to put it simple that’s just wow, seriously! Average rating of the other episodes were episode one 19.4%、episode 2 succeeded a 21.8% and episode 3 ranked a 22.9% ratings. Of course sometimes, ratings may not speak the truth of a drama, but in this case, this drama deserves its ratings.
Masato Sakai plays Hanzawa Naoki a manager of the loan department of Tokyo Central Bank’s Osaka Nishi branch.
One day the greedy manager of Osaka Nishi branch, Asano Tadasu puts the rookie Nakanishi Eiji of the loan department, in charge of a loan project of 500 million for Nishi Osaka Steel. Hanzawa Naoki, tries to talk it out with Asano saying that he shouldn’t give a big scale project to a newcomer like Nakanishi, therefore the banks manager puts Hanzawa as Nakanishi’s supervisor. After working the whole night on the loan papers, Naoki tells the rookie to give him the papers so he could revise them. Unfortunately Naoki doesn’t get the chance to revise the paper work because the higher ups take the papers without letting Hanzawa see them.
Naoki tries to convince Asano to let him revise the papers but strangely Asano doesn’t let Naoki do so, saying that it’s an urgent business and that if something will go wrong, as the bank branch’s manager, Asano promises to take full responsibility over the issue.
Shortly after the loan is made, Nishi Osaka Steel goes into bankruptcy making the bank loose the 500 million yen. To get out clean out of everything, Asano tries to put the blame on Naoki. Later, Hanzawa finds out about Asano trying to put all the blame on him and goes to face the branch’s manager. At first Asano didn’t want to admit his doings. But after a few minutes, although he still didn’t verbally admitted it, Asano asks Naoki to endure (the blame) for the sake of everyone from Osaka Nishi branch. Of course Hanzawa doesn’t find it fair to take the blame when from the beginning he didn’t wanted to approve the loan but eventually did so after the pressure Asano put on him. When Naoki brings back what Asano said about taking full responsibility of the incident if something goes wrong, Asano fires up at Naoki for daring to talk back to his superior after losing 500 million yen.
A few days later, Naoki decides to find Higashida, the president of Nishi Osaka Steel, who was hiding after the company went bankrupt. Hanzawa searches for Takeshita, who was the president of another steel company that went bankrupt after being affected of Nishi Osaka Steel. When Naoki arrives, he sees Takeshita trying to commit suicide. Remembering his father who also committed suicide after his business when bankrupt, Hanzawa rushes to save Takeshita, in the mist of the incident, Naoki hits his head. After waking up from the shock he suffered, Hanzawa tries to convince Takeshita to work with him to find Higashida and take their money back. Being affected by Higashida’s bankruptcy and because not even one bank will help him out, Takeshita doesn’t want to help Hanzawa saying that the situation he currently is in, is mostly because of Higashita but the banks are also the ones that brought him down.
Next day, people from Osaka Regional Taxation Bureau appear at the bank. Naoki finds strange the sudden ‘visit’ and when Ohwada, from Osaka Regional Taxation Bureau, asks for a copier, Hanzawa puts an external hard disk into the copier to save the data that the people from Osaka Regional Taxation Bureau wanted to ‘investigate’. After the investigation team leaves, thanks to the hard disk, Naoki sees that they copied only the files from the loan given to Nishi Osaka Steel.
A couple of days later, Naoki finds out that Higashida was hiding at his girlfriend’s apartment. When he goes there to confront Higashida, the two have a physical fight, but when Hanzawa finally caught the guy, Miki (Higashida’s girlfriend) hits Naoki with her purse, making Higashida escape.
Next day, Hanzawa is asked to go to the main office branch for an investigation. During the investigation, the higher ups were trying to put pressure on Naoki that way he will take all the blame, but fortunately he doesn’t get scared and accepts that only a part of the whole incident was his fault and fires up at his superiors (one was the manager of the Main Office Loan Department) telling them up front that they are also at fault for giving the okay for the 500 million yen loan although the main office took 3 days until they accepted the loan. Those 3 days were enough to see if there were any problems with the papers.
In the end Hanzawa threatens them that he will recover the 500 million yen but it will be better for them if they won’t interfere in his business from there on. After he leaves the investigation room, Naoki receives a phone call from Takeshita saying that he will help him catch Higashida.