27 March 2013

ラストホープ Last Hope

Title: ラストホープ Rasuto Hōpu (Last Hope)
English Title: Last Hope (The Last Hope)
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Year: 2013
Episode: 11
  • 相葉雅紀 Aiba Masaki
  • 多部未華子 Tabe Mikako
  • 田辺誠一 Tanaba Seīchi
  • 小池栄子 Koike Eiko
  • 北村有起哉 Kitamura Yukiya
  • 小日向文世 Kohinata Fumiyo
  • 桜庭ななみ Sakuraba Nanami
  • 平田満 Hirata Mitsuru
  • 高嶋政宏 Takashima Masahiro
  • 神尾佑 Kamio Yu
  • 霧島れいか Kirishima Reika
  • 高橋一生 Takahashi Issei
  • 菅原大吉 Sugawara Daikichi
  • 江口のりこ Eguchi Noriko

嵐 Arashi - Calling
The Institute of Biomedical Research and Innovation (IBRI) Hospital employs highly skilled doctors from different fields of expertise. The esteemed medical center is considered the 'last hope' of terminally ill patients.

Doctor Hatano Takumi is a general practitioner who conducts medical interviews by asking strange and seemingly nonsensical questions. He is sometimes called Private Doctor or Country Doctor and he has an uncanny ability to correctly diagnose a patient's illness in a short period of time. Takumi has a strange habit of eating something sweet at exactly 3pm daily.

Doctor Tachibana Ayumi is a neurosurgeon who used to work as a critical care doctor. She is nicknamed Machine because her only interest is to save patients, even if the patient only has a one percent chance for recovery. Ayumi lacks basic social skills and she refuses to use honorifics when addressing people, even her colleagues who are much older and has more experience.

Doctor Takagi Junji is a cardiac and gastrointestinal surgeon who had trained in the US. He is  extremely overconfident of his appeal to women and he believes that there's no woman who can say 'no' to him. Junji is weak against pretty women.

Doctor Ogiwara Yuriko is a hematologist who refuses to work long hours. She is an attractive woman who has interests and hobbies mostly associated with old men such as fishing and gambling. She is divorced, and her ex-husband has custody of their son.

Doctor Soejima Masaomi is an ophthalmologist who excels at regenerative medicine. He is always curious about how far medical advancement and technology can go.

Doctor Komaki Toshiaki is a medical researcher and laboratory instructor who is a contender for an international research award. He is a very meticulous person who always asks people to explain the meaning of their words.

Nurse Tokita Maki assists the doctors, but she works mostly with Takumi. She is sometimes tasked with mundane tasks but she's always impressed with Takumi's skill and expertise.

The Last Hope is very interesting as it tackles complicated and unprecedented medical cases. It's quite depressing to talk about the seemingly hopeless cases but since the drama is about a medical center that serves as the 'last hope' of terminally ill patients, there is that reassurance that the doctors will eventually find an appropriate treatment.

What I especially like about the drama is that it is about a group of highly skilled doctors from different fields of expertise that collaborate together. More often than not, dramas about specific professions have one genius character surrounded by colleagues who either have average skills or are alarmingly inept.

It is fascinating that the doctors represent varied perspectives, from pragmatists who often rely on the widely accepted medical prognosis to risk-takers who are willing to use advancement in medical research and technology to save patients. In particular, Hatano Takumi and Tachibana Ayumi are called the 'Cannot-Say-No Duo' by their colleagues because they always accept difficult cases and they always encourage the other doctors to help them find a workable solution.

Takagi Junji: It is the doctor's responsibility to tell the patient of the limitations of medicine.
Tachibana Ayumi, also known as Aitani Kiko: So you think it would be better if a doctor tells the patient he is going to die?
Soekima Masaomi: What happens if you're giving them false hope? "Hope is the worst of evils, for it prolongs the torment of man." (by Friedrich Nietzsche)
-- E01

ラストホープ Last Hope