[Jdrama] ‘MOZU’ Season 1 ep 1 ~ first impression/opinion ~

Yes yes yes yes yes!! This is the type of drama I was waiting for.

“MOZU” – first episode had an average of 13.3% ratings and “BORDER”s first episode had a 9.7% rating points.

For those who watched “Double face” the names of Nishijima Hidetoshi and Kagawa Teruyuki may made them look forward in excitement for this drama, and of course I am one of those people. However, given the past high hopes I used to have for different dramas, I tried not to have over the top expectations out of it. Luckily, “Mozu” surpassed every expectation I had.

It’s a little hard to understand the whole story and concept behind the drama just from an episode, even if it was a 90 minutes one. Of course, there are a lot of hunches regarding a lot of things, but for now I’ll try to let it go and think about the story and motives after watching more episodes.

But now, why were my expectations surpassed? Well, that’s easy to answer. Although it may sound unsuitable to say this just after one episode, I’ll take my chance and say that “Mozu” is a well polished show, which has everything you could ask from a drama that will keep the views on the edge of their chairs.

The flavor of “MOZU” are definitely the well portrayed characters, be it sides or main ones. Even if there are Kuraki (played by Nishijima Hidetoshi), Osugi (played by Kagawa Teruyuki) or Miki (Maki Yoko) as main, were the story –for now- spins around them, those characters are highlighted with the help of the side characters.

For sure this drama will be compared with “Hanzawa Naoki” for the time being; even before airing those two dramas were in a “battle”. The question now is if “MOZU” will be able to beat “Hanzawa Naoki” in terms of ratings, because as already known Hanzawa had great rating points (surpassed the 40 mark) and those numbers aren’t something easy to beat. However, it has been anticipated (in the media) that “MOZU” may break the 40-50% rating points. Honestly speaking, this drama may indeed hit that mark. I mean, it has everything – great acting, directing and script.

If I were to compare it to Hanzawa, but from my own point of view, “MOZU” is better (and I mean way better) in terms of acting, because it is made in a more natural way, where the acting in Hanzawa was a bit more stiff/forceful and made in a rather clenched teeth kind of way. There is tension in both dramas, but in “MOZU”, the tension is more laid back, making way for the hints of the story.

As for the characters, for now I’m confused. There was a lot of information about every character of this drama, however, although it may seem like a lot of things said about them, at the same time I feel like there weren’t enough to actually get a hold of the whole situation.

In regards of the plot, in episode one, a bomb incident occurs that will become the “alter ego” behind the drama. In the bomb incident, Kuraki loses his wife….wife about who there seems to be a lot of questions, but as a whole there are a lot of questions about Kuraki’s family, like for example the wife who killed their daughter, the daughter’s blood type and so on.

We get introduced to Shingai Kazuhiko a young man who may be the one who planted the bomb but loses his memory along the episode. Throughout the 90 minutes of the first episode, he tries to find out who he is, if he has a sister (the dudes who try to get a hold of him keep mentioning his little sister) and if he is indeed the one behind the bomb incident.

There are a lot of questions but also a lot of connections between the characters, however for now I want to enjoy the whole show as it is – enjoying the thrilling story, the awesome directing sprinkled with great acting while catching the hints given in every episode.

Pictures credit: TBS | Screencaps made by Soori @ shikidrama | Please DON’T hotlink the screencaps.

– Another review of this episode can be found on psycho-drama written by jedmed.

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11 comments

  1. I absolutely love this drama. First started watching because of Nishijma, but the directing of this drama got me hooked up. As expected from Eiichiro Hasumi. I really love his directing style.

    When I’m watching this drama, I feels like I’m watching TBS’s sunday drama instead of TBS’s thursday drama. The high-budgeted, top name actors, solid scripts. 13.3% for the 1st epsd is really good.(compared to previous thursday dramas) XD

    I hope ratings will go up and steadily climbing. 🙂

    and now I wonder how TBS’s sunday drama Roosevelt Game will fare.
    It came from the same novelist for Hanzawa Naoki, the same directors, screenwriter and some actors who previously in Hanzawa Naoki.

    1. Indeed the directing is great. Although there is a lot of intensity, he gives the scenes a calm feeling but has a depth effect on the viewer.

      To be honest I was expecting a bigger number at the ratings, however seeing how it still got much more rating points that the other drama, it may touch the anticipated it was made before the airing. On top of that they have the budget for promotion and such, plus a great cast that attracts.

      I’m also wanting to try Roosevelt Game, but not much for the story, more like I want to watch it for the production staff. ^o^

      Thank you for the comment! ^ ^

  2. Where are you watching it? This does look good! Thanks.

    1. I watched it on [ 7tv7dorama(.)blog.fc2.com/blog-entry-6089.html ]

      The first episode was a special of 90 minutes – on that site you’ll find dailymotion links ( two parts)

  3. I only watched Black president for the new spring drama, may catch this up once it’s done. I prefer to marathon dramas that have intriguing plots or intensity like Hanzawa Naoki. Seems interesting and I like the lead actor, I always have a hard time spelling and remembering Japanese names because they’re so complicated, LOL. But I do recognize faces since I watch quite a number of j-dramas.

    1. I normally do that as well, when it’s a drama with a thrilling plot, however after watching the previews, read articles and so on, I got so into the whole thing that I had to live-watch it.

      I saw some stuff about Black President as well, but didn’t had the chance to watch the whole episode, but I may try it soon.

  4. Great, insightful review! I’ve been a lurker for quite a time already, but loving the blog posts here, especially anything that has to do with Japanese doramas. I just watched Mozu a few hours ago, while searching for Ep 1 of Border, and it had be at the edge of my seat literally.

    You are correct on the intensity of the episode and love the fact that Sosuke Ikematsu is given the spotlight.

    1. I’m loving that as well, he indeed is doing a great job with the character, and I’m curious how he will develop throughout the drama, since he is a key character for the whole story. Also curious about how he will regain his memories and how he will deal with everything afterwords, considering that he is in disbelief regarding everything.

      Thank you for the comment and for reading~

      PS: I’ve been a reader of your blog for quite some time ^o^b thanks again ~

      1. Thanks to you as well! 🙂

        I really look forward to the second episode, it seems more and more will be revealed. The quality of the show is very evident – even the way the camera shot the angles, they made it even more interesting. The 3 leads are such outstanding performers!

        I assume Ikematsu is the narrator at the beginning of the drama, while describing the bird and the lizard? 🙂

      2. Definitely a drama that makes one crave for more~
        By the way, I saw a little bit of preview from second season, and it shows Kuraki running in the forest, I suppose it may be the same forest from this episode.

        Yes, its him in the beginning; if you notice the person who closes the “book” after the narration has the biting marks on the right hand – and afterwards when he was kidnapped (if I remember correctly the scene) he starts biting his hand.

  5. Yes, the hands… and the voice. thanks for confirming my guess. I have followed Ikematsu’s career and really look forward to watch him more in this drama.

    Excited to know about what’s coming up next!

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