This drama chronicles the lives of flight doctors, who respond to emergency cases using a helicopter. I read somewhere that the manga, in which the drama was based, was actually inspired by a legislative bill in Japan about helicopter-assisted medical emergency response.
The story is focused on four flight doctors in training–Aizawa Kousaku, Shiraishi Megumi, Hiyama Mihoko, Fujikawa Kazuo, who are all intent on becoming kick ass flight doctors.
Aizawa Kousaku (Yamashita Tomohisa), is the silent but most competent among the four. However, he is criticized for his lack of emotion in dealing with patients and is driven mostly by his ambition to become the best.
Shiraishi Megumi (Aragaki Yui) comes from a wealthy family of doctors. She’s knowledgeable but clams up in times of emergency. Oftentimes, she’s regarded as weak and a goody-goody.
Hiyama Mihoko (Toda Erika), like Aizawa, is ambitious and driven. She’s also competent but is sometimes too emotional for her own good.
Fujikawa Kazuo (Asari Yosuke) is the least dependable among the four interns. He lacks the skill but has a good bedside manner and works hard to be able to ride the helicopter one day. He hides his insecurity through his haughty and sometimes pompous acts.
Having read some not so good reviews about Code Blue, I wasn’t really expecting much from the drama. And because there’s always that tendency to compare something to what’s familiar, the drama actually reminds you of Grey’s Anatomy and ER. However, being the unabashed Yamapi fan that I am, I fired up my transmission and downloaded the torrent anyways.
The charm of this drama lies in its supporting casts. Kurouda Shuji sensei, the stern and skillful doctor in charge of the interns is played by Yanagiba Toshiro. I haven’t seen him in other dramas before but he gives justice to the role of a firm, and often harsh mentor to the interns.
Saejima Haruka, played by Higa Manami is a skilled nurse who comes from a family of doctors. The actress plays the role of an ambitious and troubled person who wants to prove something to her family.
The role of Mitsui Kanna sensei was played very well by actress Ryo. She was able to convey the feelings of remorse and the conflict between emotion and responsibility that doctors often deal with.
In Code Blue, the dramas involving the patients are actually very engaging. Japanese dramas are mostly well written and this drama is not an exception. I find myself crying in some of the scenes because of the dialogue. Here’s an example from episode 7:
“I’m afraid that if I died like this, it will seem like none of this ever happened. I want to leave proof inside of you, Haruka, that I was once alive. I want to leave a permanent scar on you. I really want to…I want to just mess you up. I want you to taste the same pain that I’m tasting. I don’t care if you hate me. I want you to always…always remember me.”
How heartbreaking is that? There’s a lot of this acerbic language in the drama. And all the while I thought that the Japanese were reserved people.
Okay, I just have to say that I really hate Shiraishi. After episode 8, I can probably say that she’s a loser. I’m not going to put any spoilers here so you have to see for yourself what I’m talking about.
I don’t understand why the actress chooses characters you’d love to hate. I hated her in Dragon Zakura but it’s probably because I wanted Yamapi and Nagasawa Masami’s character to be together. I think Aragaki Yui’s voice is too wimpy and I can’t really see the depth in her character in Code Blue.
Fujikawa is another irritating character. I think the role was overacted, especially during the episode when his mother visited him at the hospital. Fujikawa actually reminds me of George O’Malley of Grey’s Anatomy but you can’t really hate George. Wait, except when he hooked up with Izzie.
The Not So Bad
Toda Erika is actually convincing as the ambitious Hiyama. Her strong character makes her my favorite intern. However, I’m still waiting for a prolonged storyline focused on her because the drama hasn’t explored the background of her character yet. I’m hoping it will show up in the last few episodes.
Some criticized Yamapi’s stoic performance in this drama. Unlike his other dramas, I think Yamapi is less likeable in this one, not because of him as an actor but because of the character he’s portraying. However, I think the brooding performance is actually warranted this time. But then I can’t say I’m totally unbiased in my judgment since as I mentioned, I get Yamapi’s charm.
The medical scenes in Code Blue were not as kick ass as in Hollywood medical dramas but I was surprised to see how well it was done because as I said, I didn’t have any grand expectations for this drama.
Overall, it’s still a good watch, with several heart-rending scenes. Look out for Yamapi’s teary performance in episode 6. So far I really enjoyed this drama and I’ll be waiting for Love Song’s subs for the last episodes.