Theme Depth: ★★★★
Uniqueness of Plot: ★★★★
Technical Elements: ★★★★
Caught in an accident, Ryusuke wakes to find himself lacking his previous memories and suddenly using a LOT more of his brain than the average person. Confused about what happened to him and worried about the future, Ryusuke is determined to learn and study as much as he can about the brain. In the meantime, he is hired by one of the special branches of the police to help them solve crimes (He is now brilliant). Each time he uses a little bit of his knowledge about the brain and why people act the way they do to solve the difficult mysteries he faces. Episode by Episode moving closer to his own answers.
The main theme running throughout the mysteries is the fact that Mr. Brain wants to know who he was and why he had to suffer from the mental change. You are left with the idea that he is still unsure of those answers. But the reader understands, particularly if you take the introduction with the rest. He was a man that offered very little good to anyone. But because he stopped and spoke to the woman, he was in the right place to have the accident. And thus his brain was changed in such a way that he was finally of good to a lot of people. Perhaps this change, in having him help others, allowed him to help himself. And all because he broke from his norm and cared for a crying girl.
I stumbled across it after watching Satoh Takeru in Bloody Monday, since I loved his acting and wanted to see him in something else. At first I was disappointed that he was only going to play a small part in the film. However, I was hooked on the show itself from the first 15-20 minutes in.
It takes about that long to figure out what the heck is going on (the beginning doesn't seem at all connected to the plotline as given in the show's description), but then it takes off from there and never stops. There is a beauty and gentle quality that is apparent from the very beginning, in the seen between Ryusuke and the mysterious woman. He never sees her again, but you have the feeling that this meeting, which at first seems off-kilter from the rest of the show, is the reason for everything that follows after.
I had seen several of the cast in other shows (besides Takeru), and they have always played some of my favorite roles. The show just has such amazing acting. Bad guys, good guys, side-not-really-all-that-important guys--all of them do an excellent job.
The crimes are all deliciously difficult to solve (or at least to prove), and I love the scientific facts that they keep throwing in. Mr. Brain's impact on everyone around him is so wonderfully done. The writer(s) so excellently show him drawing the people around him into his positive look at life and the possibilities of science. And in drawing in the characters around him, Mr. Brain attracts the interest of the show's viewers at the same time.
This show is a little more dark/bloody in some areas than most crime dramas that I watch (definitely not for little kids), but they are so well designed. No crime is the same (which often happens in crime shows where there is more than one crime to solve) and neither are they the run of the mill crime (man kills mistress or some other cliche mystery). These are interesting and unique stories that drew my interest anew with each episode. I have already re-watched this show, and I really wish a second season had been made.
If I have one complaint, it is that the end seems unfinished. It was obviously designed with a sequel in mind and the end is a little bit of a let-down because of it. If they ever finish it, the show would be almost perfect.