Drama Rant: Code Blue (Fuji TV, 2008)

Gray’s Lobotomy

by Ender’s Girl

The Cast:
Yamashita Tomohisa, Aragaki Yui, Toda Erika, Higa Manami, Asari Yosuke, Yanagiba Toshiro

In a Nutshell:
Kids in a chopper! Saving lives! Losing patients! Getting shouted at by their superiors! Feeling discouraged, wanting to quit! Blood and drama, sweat and tears! Hospital tension running high! Can they successfully complete their training before my brain has fully atrophied? Do I look like I care???


Disclaimer: This is NOT a review. All pretense to objectivity has been chucked out the (helicopter) window. This is more like… a rant with a mission!


Brilliant! Absolutely brilliant! You have four children who play doctors, who play children, who play… (you guessed it!) doctors!!! How come nobody thought of this before??? Durrrrr….. Oh man, I’d rather stick a syringe in my eye than watch this drama all over again. Oh, yeahhh, suuure, Code Blue is a medical drama alright — because you get a frikkin’ lobotomy watching the first episode alone. Then you can be as brain-dead as YamaPi & Co. Everybody. Happy.

It doesn’t speak well of a drama if the ONE GOOD highlight from all eleven episodes is that shot of YamaPi in the locker room, 20 seconds into Episode Bloody One. Where YamaPi, M.D. gives us a lesson in… Human Anatomy, yesss? The camera inexorably pans upward to show a ridiculously buff torso channeling… Enter the Dragon! *gonnngggg!!!!* (Oh-ho-ho, YammmaPiiii…. you nearly gave me a myocardial infarction right there, you naughty, naughty boy! Looks like *someone’s* been trying to… overcompensate for all that non-acting they’ve been doing lately, ehhh?) Okay, pop quiz, YamaPi, where are your… rectus abdominis? (There they are!!!) Very good, YamaPi! Now, point to your… pectoralis major!!! Verrrryyyy gooood, YamaPi! Another gold star for you! LAWWWL.

I’m appending a more sanitized… anatomical diagram (for instructional purposes, yes?). Can you point to his deltoids and latissimus dorsi? Heh heh.


But–uh-oh, uh-oh, looks like YamaPi overdid all those bench press workouts! Somebody killed the REAL YamaPi and put this… Rambo dude in his place (with dark, curly hair to match, eeep!)!!! Rambo-YamaPi shows everyone how to do a Particularly Risky Surgical Procedure — on his first day on the job!!! Wow. It’s Rambo with a stethoscope! Rambo in scrubs! Rambo rides the skies in a chopper, swooping down to earth to amputate the limbs and vivisect the bodies of his patients! But Rambo can show No!Emotion! — other than clenching his fists, and clenching his… torso muscles! (Hahahaha) He looks convincing enough as a doctor here — SO CONVINCING I wouldn’t let him stitch me up even if I was bleeding to death…

Apparently, each episode in this drama is subtitled, “Who Will Get to Ride the Doctor Heli Today?” So the senior doctors go around saying stuff like, “You put the poor schmuck’s kidneys back all wrong!” *hospital staff give collective gasp of horror* “Bad doctor! Bad doctor! No more chopper rides for you this week!!!” And so it goes for ten. More. Episodesssss……

Yurghghrrrghh… Someone hit me with the defribrillibrilator…


Artistic & technical merit: C+
Entertainment value: D
Overall: C

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21 Comments on “Drama Rant: Code Blue (Fuji TV, 2008)”

  1. maAkusutipen Says:

    hello I really love your site…
    I again find someone who is interested in Jdramas as well as keep tabs on

    I am actually just shuffling through articles though… But am loving all the KimuTaku doramas…
    I also share the same top three kimutaku doramas you mentioned in a post but I will list Pride as my number one.. hehehe

    I like what you wrote here. I actually stayed far away from this one because I know Yamapi cannot act convincingly as a Doctor. And as the reviews came in, I am happy that I was right. XD

  2. maAkusutipen Says:

    sorry I had a brain fart..

    in my previous post… what I meant to say was

    I again find someone who is interested in Jdramas as well as keep tabs on Korean things as well..

    • Ender's Girl Says:

      *squirms* Er… I know the J- and K-stuff ought to be balanced, and I know I oughtta step up on my K-drama watching… (and believe me, from 2002-2008 I was ALL about K-dramas and was shouting paeans to Lee Dong-gun/Jung Woo-sung/Jang Hyuk/Kang Ji-hwan to the high heavens and all)… So really, this is ALL Kimura’s fault, tsk. Damn you KimuTaku!!! Damn you and your fried orange hair!!! *shakes fist at hoard of carefully labeled & ziplocked Kimuradorama DVDs*

  3. Kim Says:

    It’s kind of weird for me when people say that the people in Code Blue look too young. My husband’s in med school, and while he’s a bit older (got a master’s fisrt), if I calculate correctly, when many of his classmates start their residencies they’ll be in their mid-late twenties, and then their fellowships will be in their late twenties/early thirties. Judging from the way they look now (predominantly asian class) and the asians that are in their late twenties/early thirties, they really aren’t going to look much older than the fellows in Code Blue.

    My husband is 29 this year, and he still constantly gets carded… so to me it doesn’t seem like much of a stretch.

    • Ender's Girl Says:

      When CB aired in Aug. 2008, YamaPi was 23, Asari Yosuke (the bespectacled dweeb) was 21, Toda Erika was 20, and Aragaki Yui was 15… no, scratch that, she was also 20. (But her “uh–uh—I’m spazzing out every 3 minutes! mommmyyyy!!!” character actually looked and acted… 12). Only YamaPi was the same age as a med student (and a first-year med student at that), but their doctor-heli characters were supposedly residents — like you said, in their mid- to late-twenties. That’s even assuming they didn’t first have to take a 2-year bridge program between med school and emergency medicine residency, like they do in the U.K.

      I’m the same age as your husband, and six of my closest girlfriends (ages 29-30) are either senior residents, or have just graduated and are currently studying for the residency boards. None of them is in E.R. med, but I’m sure they’d find the Code Blue cast way too young for their characters. Maybe old enough to play med students or even interns, but residents? Don’t think so. 🙂

      Anyway, I think the bottom line for me wasn’t so much the actual ages of the cast as their (in)ability to act convincingly. If you can’t get viewers to believe you’re playing someone 4, 5 years older than your actual age, either you’re a bad actor, or a miscast one. Or both! X___x

      • jicks Says:

        ^I second all that you just said. But to break it down, IMO:

        Pi → •Miscast[✓] •Bad Actor[✓]
        Gakky → •Miscast[✓] •Bad Actor[?]
        Erika → •Miscast[?] •Bad Actor[-]
        Asari Yosuke → •Miscast[?] •Bad Actor[?]

        I think Gakky plays certain roles well but here she was really out of her league. Asari-kun overcooked some actions for me. I love Erika-chan but even so, staying objective, I think she was the more convincing one out of the four(then again the competition wasn’t really that strong lol) As for 山P… well, he does have (blink-&-you-miss-it) moments of brilliance but overall… let’s just say the boy is lucky he is ridiculously good-looking.

        My favourite character was actually the flight nurse, Saejima Haruka. She rocked.

        • Ender's Girl Says:

          @ jicks – Lol this checklist is too funny. I’ll just bet you enjoyed ticking those two boxes beside YamaPi’s name, admit it!!! 😉

          I agree re Erika, I actually liked her best among the cast (both her character and her acting). She’s one of the few young J-actresses I’ve seen who don’t annoy the crapola out of me when they do a role. I was surprised by her age because she looks so mature. I liked that in CB she was a tough and competitive biyatch. I suppose you have to be when you work in such an environment… (I mean, my friends are the sweetest people in the world, but turn into hard-nosed harridans when in the hospital, judging from their stories of chewing out subordinates and clashing with colleagues. Yikes.)

          – Rainbows will burst into a million hues of sadness and cease to be.
          – Butterfly pupae will prematurely break out of their cocoons and fall to their deaths.
          – Puppies will eat each other and then turn on the very mothers that whelped them.
          …and the tragedies will have no end!!!!

          YamaPi, lucky…? No, WE’RE the lucky ones!!! For Yamashita Tomohisa’s face, pecs, abs, and biceps are what hold together the very balance of nature!!! Of LIFE itself!!! Save these national treasures!!! Save them now!!!!!!!

          • jicks Says:

            lol yes it was most satisfying (ticking those 2 boxes)

            I must say though, I did like the scene when they’re in Aizawa was in the convenience w/ his dementia-ridden Grandmother & he broke down into tears (whilst everyone in the hospital was there spying on him) I actually thought Yamashita-kun did rather well there.

            Am I right to say he is your favourite Johnny’s boy??

          • Ender's Girl Says:

            ^ Well it sure as hell ain’t Takkeeee hahahahahaahha

            Judging from the size of Pi’s name in my tag cloud, yeah I can see why people would think he’s my fave Dyahnni. And I’m very fond of the boy, yes I am… but he’s not my Guilty Pleasure the way, uh… K_m___shi is. I mean, I don’t collect NEWS cons and PVs just because Pi is in them. I don’t waste hours surfing Youtube for clips of his TV shows. I don’t endure brain-damaging Johnny’s Countdown Specials so I can watch him sing a few bars from carbon-copy pop ditties. (Whereas I do all that sh*t for K_m___shi. Blerg.)

            E.G. to YamaPi – “oh my dear little munchkiiiiin, what have you gone and done this time? show E.G. your six-pack so she can write about it, yesss?”
            E.G. to Kame – “you’re disgusssting. die Kame die!!!” *watches KAT-TUN con* “eeewww grosss! why can’t you just be NORMAL???” *watches another KAT-TUN con* —-you get the picture Y__________Y

  4. Ethlenn Says:

    I like your style of writing. And judging from your rant and opinions, I will pass this drama. Maybe because of YT, whose face can express 2 feelings. Sorry if I hurt somebody’s feelings. But really, I like your writing^^

    • Ender's Girl Says:

      Thank you! 🙂 But, um… people have such diverse tastes, so I’m not sure that you’ll hate Code Blue as much as I did — should you ever give this drama a chance. You could still try watching the first episode and then decide for yourself. A lot of people I know from various forums love this drama, and I never thought less of them for it. It’s all good, baby. 😉 But then you don’t seem to be a big YamaPi fan, so I doubt that watching (or not watching) CB will make any impact on your world, anyway. =D

      YamaPi’s face expressing two feelings? Well, that’s a tough one! Wild guess: boredom!…. and…. indifference? lol >D

  5. v Says:

    yeah, i dropped it at ep 3… sometimes, i would tune in for a few minutes to check if there was any sign of romance between yamapi and yui… can’t believe they are doing season 2 and with decent ratings! yamapi power huh… and i did watch (read fast forward) the sp and it was so bland.. again, thanks for the review

    • Ender's Girl Says:

      well, you know pi, mr. winter 2010 himself. 😀 (i think CB 2 was the highest-rater of its season, barring ryomaden…) but since i’m a pi completist, i’ll probably have to slog through this one, too. rats!

      • v Says:

        haha… i’m a pi completist too! actually, i’m pretty much a JE completist. and a quasi all-j-drama completist as a matter of a fact. lol. so yeah, i would check it out.. but i’m not in a hurry. what’s up with us and those boys huh?

        • Ender's Girl Says:

          Hmmm… I wonder what came out of Jin’s L.A. invasion tour. Last I heard he was gearing up for a series of gigs, but I don’t know if they were well-received by the fans and the local media…

          “quasi all-j-drama completist” – LOL I like this!!! 😀

          • v Says:

            um, as far as i know… he’s not on tour yet until june. why am i not in LA?! not that i want to hear him live. but at least i want to see him live. lol. actually, he IS a good singer depending on moments. like those crazy high notes he hits are just o_O.

          • Ender's Girl Says:

            I always thought that Jin-Jin was the best singer in KT (well it obviously isn’t Kame, lol), although yeah, he sounds better when his voice is in lower registers. 😀 Which still isn’t saying much because KT was never really about the vocals, ne? X___O

  6. karened Says:

    Yes, it was so bad that after the senior doctor got his arm amputated, I refused to go near the dvd set again. And I heard there’s a sequel for this piece of thing?!

    • Ender's Girl Says:

      Have not seen the 2010 sequel. I mean I have the DVD somewhere in my stash, but I only plan to give this a watch when I put together my YamaPi dorama roundup. 🙂

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