If you’re actively watching dramas from this season you probably know that Masato Sakai is playing Hanzawa Naoki in Hanzawa Naoki and I’m sure almost nobody would disagree with me in saying that his acting in it is nothing short of excellent. But Hanzawa Naoki definitely isn’t the only drama Masato Sakai has really shined in. Maybe you don’t know about a drama called “Legal High”, it aired in around the middle of last year. Masato Sakai took on the role of a money-grubbing, rule-bending Japanese attorney called…
Kensuke Komikado who welcomes an almost fresh-off the bar exam newbie Lawyer into his office, Machiko Mayazumi(played by Yui Aragaki). Legal High follows the cases that both of them handle together at Komikado’s legal office and portrays a figurative battle between personal gain(Komikado) and the pursuit of justice(Mayazumi). As you can imagine, they clash heads on this issue multiple times every episode. Each episode slowly brings the two closer to their climax battle with a rival legal office, Miki Law Office, where both Komikado and Mayazumi worked at one point in their careers. This is essentially the purpose that ties the two polar-opposite characters together.
Komikado-Sensei was Miki Law Office’s best lawyer but he had a falling out with the offices Dai-Sensei(read big boss), Miki-Sensei. Mayazumi-Sensei entered the company awhile after Komikado left, she takes an almost impossible case and is told to withdraw her support from it after she loses an appeal(it’s a murder case by the way). Miki’s Secretary then suggests for her to get in contact with Komikado-Sensei. Her and Komikado-Sensei team up(after Komikado receives a ridiculous sum of money from her) to acquit the client of murder and during this first case Mayazumi-Sensei starts to question her reasons for being a lawyer. Because of this, she quits Miki Law Office and starts working for Komikado-Sensei.
The drama is a mix of comedy and serious legal battles which is a combination that I don’t think I had ever seen in Japanese Drama before I watched it. Sure, there quite a few Japanese Legal Dramas, and trust me I’ve watched my fair share of them, but most of them are stuck on that one theme – being a lawyer. They’re also always about lawyers who are doing their job for the good of people. This drama shows another typical lawyer character – the one who is just out to make money and will do whatever he can to make sure he wins his case to get his pay out.
If you’re watching Hanzawa Naoki this season and you are having trouble containing yourself waiting for the newest episode to come out every week(I know the feeling), why not give Legal High a try? The whole season has aired(plus a special), so it shouldn’t be too hard to find somewhere to watch it. In case you couldn’t tell from the above paragraphs, the stories are totally different but if you enjoy Sakai’s acting in one of them you really should try watching the other. They are probably the best two things he has done in the last year, and he got engaged in the last 6 months so that’s really saying something.