One of the most waited Japanese drama of the year has been a disappointing rating wise, yet the production and the acting never disappointed.
Seeing the ratings barely getting 13 was kind of sad especially since in every episode it was obvious the detailed work that the staff did to make this drama.
However, there were a lot of complains about this drama – I’m speaking here about the international viewers since Japanese viewers had pretty good review on it – things like it’s a disappointment because every episode was dragged and they never actually gave any new information, but one thing people forgot, from the very beginning it was announced that MOZU will be a 2 seasons drama, it was clearly that the first season will be mostly like an introduction rather than a full story. It was never intended by the production staff to give information within this season, as it was said from the very beginning.
Reading reviews it seemed like most of them were waiting for the information to be given to them on the plate right away….then why would a second season be made?
MOZU Season 1 focuses on Kuraki, a detective from the PSB whose wife, also an agent dies in an explosion. Eager to find why his wife had to die in that explosion, Kuraki decides to do his own investigation regarding the case. However as the story progresses, Kuraki finds out that his wife was used as a pawn in the games of others. Later on, asked by Tsuki, Kuraki forms a team with Miki and Osugi.
For me MOZU is the best Japanese drama of the year (at least for now), mostly thanks to the nicely polished job everyone who worked on it did. I liked that they took care of every detail in every episode, and I never felt like they did a half assed work. And most importantly they delivered a thrilling show that made me stick around to the end.
Even though the fighting/chasing scenes were recorded during the night or in obscure rooms, it was actually a good choice because it could give the feeling of a real acting scene, thing which made me believe that the actions scenes of MOZU are probably the best I’ve seen by far until now in a Japanese drama. The music was spot on and contributed to the thrilling feeling of the scenes.
I have no complains about the acting, one thing did annoy me sometimes, and that is Nishijima Hidetoshi (plays Kuraki) when he was doing a down/husky voice to make the scene or give “Kuraki” o more serious feeling, other than that I enjoyed the acting of the cast.
Thanks to MOZU I’ve discovered Kagawa Teruyuki and Ikematsu Sosuke. I did watched some of their other works, but this time I enjoyed their acting more compared to the others actors. Thus Osugi become my favorite character thanks to Kagawa, and Shingai (Hiromi) my second favorite.
I don’t think it was planned for Osugi to become such an important character as he did by the end of the season. He didn’t do much for the actual story however he always gave moments of relief when things got tensed up. I love his slapsick witch never were longer than probably 7 seconds and although it always happened in the background, it was visible to the viewer.
What changed Osugi and my view on him was the last episode, when everything was on his solders, since Kuraki was being held by Muroi’s people and Miki was unconscious after being hit in the head by Muroi. Osugi was the star of the last episode, he pretty much did everything.
There is also Tsuki who I never thought he can become more than the guy who “cleans” the stuff from the police department so it won’t surface to the citizens to see. But he turned to be another key character. Tsuki is a smart man, he knows how to use people and for what purpose each person fits better, that’s the reason he selected Miki, Kuraki and Osugi into his team. His knowledge of how to use people also explains his confidence from the last episode when he was asked how will he stop the terrorists’ attack when he is being held and he replayed confident that he won’t do anything else than wait.
As for the other characters, in Kuraki’s case everything was cleared in this season, but we will have to see what happens with the other Shingai and Miki. On top of that there are also new characters so a lot of new things are waiting in the second season. Hopefully they will give some spotlight to Higashi was well; his parts were too short in this season.
If I were to choose my favorite scene, then it has to be in the last episode when Hiromi went to kill Muroi afterwards he fell and Kuraki held him and Hiromi who thought Kuraki was his older brother Kazuhiko he said: “Kazuhiko, thank you.”
Overall, I enjoyed MOZU season 1, and I’m sure I will enjoy the second season as well, after all, the production staff and the cast are the same. But I don’t know if I should recommend MOZU, different people have different taste so even though I enjoyed it to the point of thinking that it was the best drama of the year others may have other opinions; all I can say is watch it and judge for yourself.