Puzzle (2008)

  • Title: パズル
  • Title (English): Puzzle
  • Format: Renzoku
  • Genre: Mystery, comedy
  • Episodes: 10
  • Viewership rating: 10.2 (Kanto)
  • Broadcast network: TV Asahi
  • Broadcast period: 2008-Apr-18 to 2008-Jun-20
  • Air time: Friday 21:00
  • Theme song: Moon Crying by Koda Kumi


Misako Ayukawa, a woman in her 30s, is an English teacher with ironically poor English skills. She values herself over her students and money over love. She displays arrogance in front of her students, but acts pleasantly around everyone else. However, Ayukawa possesses a brilliant mind for solving puzzles. Motivated by the possibility of rewards and treasure, she ends up tackling various cases on the weekends along with 3 of her top students.


Ishihara Satomi as Ayukawa Misako :: Ishihara Satomi takes on the unique character of Ayukawa Misako, a high school english teacher with the ability to solve puzzles quite easily. Despite being an english teacher, her english is very weak and uses puns to teach her lessons. Character-wise, she’s sweet to adults and ruthless to her students; especially to the 3 top students in her class. I love her! She has a fascination for money and treasure which is why she’s constantly solving these puzzles. This role is kind of (not really) similar to other roles she has played, but her ruthless attitude towards her students is just so funny; it’s awesome! It’s amusing to see Satomi act brute one moment and cute/shy the next.

Yamamoto Yusuke as Imamura Shinichi :: Before Atashinchi no Danshi, Yamamoto Yusuke played Imamura Shinichi, one of Misako’s students that she likes to push around. So Imamura is the main nerd here, along with Kanzaki Akira (Kimura Ryo) and Tsukamoto Yoshio (Nagayama Kento) are the smartest students in their class. Unfortunately, they strike out with the ladies. I guess you can call this the pillar of his character in Atashinchi no Danshi. Here, he’s wimpy and a bit timid.

Kimura Ryo as Kanzaki Akira :: From the gay guy in Hanazakari no Kimitachi e to intelligent school boy, this guy is a great actor! Honestly though, all 3 guys in this drama feel the same to me. Shy, timid, and lack game. Kanzaki Akira excels in history though! It’s fun to watch Akira and the other two try to figure out all the puzzles, when we all know they can’t. Kimura Ryo’s acting is good in this, although this character doesn’t really have anything extraordinarily appealing.

Nagayama Kento as Tsukamoto Yoshio :: I wish Kento can get more bigger roles! Eita’s cutie of a brother is the third nerd in this drama. While the other two have their own quirks, he’s the one that actually listens to Ayukawa Misako the most ^.^ Yay for good-boys! Nagayama Kento is still relatively a new actor, but I think this is a good start for him; not to mention his minor role in Atashinchi no Danshi too.

Storyline & Relationships

This drama is comedic with slight hints of suspense and mystery. Let’s face it, we all know that there isn’t going to be any romance what-so-ever in this series. Besides a sensei’s love for her students that gets shown in the most ruthless ways possible. Ahh, gotta love tough love. To see a horrible english teacher excel at solving puzzles rather than what she’s supposed to be good in is just hilarious! Especially when the students know more english than the one teaching it to them. And her teaching methods .. the most ridiculous ways I have ever seen, but still hilarious. Actually the best scenes aren’t when she solves those puzzles (even though it is a plus), it’s when her 3 students try to avoid her from coming with them on their trips of mysterious cases. Why? Because it just so happens that they get invited to these places by 3 girls who use their charm (not like they have any) to make them do their stupid biddings. Yes, they are suckers who can’t get girlfriends! Don’t know why they like these girls though -_-  Their sensei is so much more entertaining.  Each place they go to, there are riddles and puzzles that need to be solved in order to find a treasure or a reward. And guess who’s right on it when it comes to money! That’s right Ayukawa-sensei~! She’s so into money, she’ll do just about anything to obtain it.

And when there’s puzzles to be solved, there just has to be murder. With her keen eye for detail, she solves each murder; often in the most funny ways. Another great part of this drama is at the end of each episode, she blames her students for dragging her into these predicaments. Watch as they get it from the detective & another teacher (who has fallen for her).  The ending of this is rather cute. I loved how she tried to protect her precious students from the killer, she really does care! x]  Overall – entertaining drama.

Rating: 8 out of 10

This has been a Haejin review.

info &* synopsis credits to wiki.d-addicts


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