Monday, April 18, 2016

Things I love about 99.9

I have just finished watching the first episode of MatsuJun's new Sunday drama 99.9 Keiji Senmon Bengoshi, in which he plays Miyama Hiroto, a young lawyer who specializes in criminal law and believes in getting to the bottom of the truth even in the face of cases where the defendant has a 99.9% chance of being declared guilty.

In the first episode, we're introduced to Miyama as an eccentric lawyer with a paralegal sidekick Akashi (who has apparently failed the bar several times and is thus stuck working with him). He stands in stark contrast to the polished, trimly dressed lawyers in the Madarame Law Firm (represented by the corporate lawyer Sada Atsuhiro (Kagawa Teruyuki) and Eikura Nana's Tachibana). Miyama is playful, carries an old leather backpack, likes to suck on hard candies, and doesn't wear his attorney's badge on his lapel like most lawyers do. He is also poorer than most lawyers, as criminal law tends to be a lot less lucrative than the corporate wangles that bigshot firms like Madarame specialize in. 

Warning: Spoilers Below (well, sort of)

This far into the story, I'm already fascinated. I love the way Miyama has a quirk to him, like how he's kind of dorky looking with his schoolboy hair and worn leather backpack and that habit of tugging at both ears when he's interested/concentrating/what have you. One would expect him to be all naive and klutzy a la Sho's Tamura from Tokujo Kabachi back in 2010, or maybe devilishly maverick like his Tokita Shuntaro from Lucky Seven, but in actuality, Miyama Hiroto is neither; he's surprisingly competent and reliable, an ace in the court room, well-versed in his cases, confidently dispatching various paralegals to do grunt work in the office, unfazed by attempts to intimidate or scold him; he even manages to use a few cleverly underhanded tactics to get the better of Sada-sensei when he needs a favor at some point int he episode. Jun is presented to us as being younger, poorer, and in a less prestigious branch of law (just look at Tachibana and Sada's faces of disgust when they were told about their transfer from corporate to criminal law!), but personality-wise, he is anything but an underdog in this drama. If anything, he is the leader and expert here, dancing down a path of his own eccentric brilliance while the others follow tentatively in his wake.

Now for the basic premise: Madarame, a big corporate law firm, wants to look a little more "diversified" so the president decides to establish a criminal law department in the firm. Of course, he also pulls two of his best corporate lawyers (the not-entirely-scrupulous Sada-sensei and the efficient pro-wrestling-loving Tachibana-sensei) to staff this department. Sada is the head, and Miyama is also recruited for his successful record as a criminal defense attorney. They take on their first case, which is to defend a man accused to murdering the president of some company that had bad business with him recently. The man has all the evidence stacked against him, but somehow, of course, Miyama & co manage to find the 0.1% that proves the guy's innocence.

Needless to say, there are bundles of opportunity for clashes and giggles as the strange but brilliant Miyama enters the stuffy world of Madarame Law Firm. Jun's chemistry with Eikura Nana is something I've been convinced of ever since seeing them together in Boku wa Imouto ni Koi wo Suru, and I'm awfully happy that I get to see her trade lines with Jun once again, though this time in a much bolder fashion. Her character here reminds me of her character Anna from Debikuro-kun (which she starred in with Aiba), and her no-nonsense attitude goes so well with Jun's random impertinences. I loved the part where he thought she was a paralegal. And the part where he hitches a free ride off of her money and then proceeds to make fun of her phone cover. She gets apt revenge though, when she elicits a huff of pain from him with a Sling Blade at the end (relax, guys, it's a type of handshake). What I find most adorable though, is that despite her disapproval of some of Miyama's ways, she still allows herself to take part in his "experiments" and "re-enactments." It's like she can't resist his odd charm.

MatsuJun's chemistry with Kagawa-san is funny in an entirely different way, since Kagawa is in the role of an older superior. Jun does bring out the sly fox in Kagawa though. You'll see when you watch the scene where he slips his car keys into Jun's hands and swings himself onto a public bus while his slack-jawed subordinate is left to the hot pursuit of a bunch of corporate thugs. There's just so much humor in this legal drama, so much of these little details in life (such as Kagawa getting the miffy cold shoulder from his wife for forgetting their anniversary) that make it so much more than a mere legal drama. I'm looking forward to seeing Kagawa get won over, and vice versa with Jun too.

So here's a big congratulations on the spectacular first episode, 99.9! Keep up the good work, and see you on Sunday ^.^!


  1. Where did you watch it? I was hoping for english sub thanks looks interesting

    1. I won't name the specific sources I use in public here, but I know of LJ comms that provide English subs. I personally watch Jdramas with Chinese subs, so I can't comment on how reliable or fast the Engsubs are. If you want more details, leave me your email.