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Series / Hanzawa Naoki

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Promotional poster
"I believe in people's good will. But if anyone wronged me, I'll pay them back twofold! That's how I do things."
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Hanzawa Naoki (半沢直樹) is a 2013 Japanese television series, originally aired on TBS and based on the series of novels of the same name by Jun Ikeido (池井戸潤), himself a former banker in the 80s and 90s. It follows the story of Hanzawa Naoki, a banker who works for Tokyo Chuo Bank, as he climbs the career ladder while exposing the wrongdoings of his corrupt superiors and protecting the livelihood of the common people. A good and incorruptible man, he is nevertheless merciless to those who wronged him, vowing to pay them back twofold (or more) and takes great pleasure in making them literally kneel and beg for forgiveness.

It is the most-watched series in Japan with the highest rating in three decades of Japanese television drama, and is also hugely popular in Taiwan and Hong Kong.

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Hanzawa Naoki will return these tropes tenfold:

  • Ambiguous Disorder: Due to incessant bullying from his supervisor, Kondo developed a form of extreme anxiety which greatly hampers his career as a banker.
  • Catchphrase: Hanzawa's "If somebody wronged me, I'll return it twofold!", which became very popular during the drama's run in real life. However, he doesn't go through with reporting Asano to the police for his crime out of consideration of the latter's family, although Asano does get exiled to Manila.
    • Owada deserves more than twofold payback; Hanzawa vows to give him hundredfold payback.
  • Camp Gay: Kurosaki, the FSA tax investigator, is flamboyant, refers to himself in feminine pronouns ("atashi") and punishes his male subordinates by squeezing their genitals. Turns out he's engaged to Kishikawa's daughter and is in league with him to keep an advantage over Owada.
  • Chekhov's Skill:
    • Hanzawa's kendo skill comes in handy when others try to get rough with him.
    • When his anxiety kicks in, Kondo becomes hyper-aware of numbers around him. Including the password for a vault which Hanzawa later needs to open.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: All the Big Bad are.
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  • Friend or Idol Decision: Kondo uncovered evidence that Owada funneled 30 million yen to his wife's business through his current employer's account and has to decide whether to give the evidence to Hanzawa to strengthen his case against Owada or suppress it at Owada's request, in which case Owada will arrange that he returns to the bank in a position of his choosing. He chose the latter, but Hanzawa respects his decision since he uncovered it all by himself and therefore has the right to use it to reach his own goal.
  • Golf Clubbing: Higashida attacks Hanzawa with a golf club. Luckily, Hanzawa is good at kendo.
  • Good Luck Charm: Hana gives Naoki a resin screw similar to his Tragic Keepsake, which she made by herself when she visited her mother-in-law in Kanazawa.
  • Gray Rain of Depression: The incident that motivated Hanzawa to become a banker happened in the rain. He lays down on the street under the rain in frustration after Higashida escaped him. As a Call-Back, he gives his warning to Owada about the latter's impending doom under the rain.
  • Happily Married: Naoki and Hana. Asano, despite being the Big Bad, also loves his family very much.
  • Hot-Blooded: Hanzawa, which is more significant because he's a salaryman, who are stereotypically mild-mannered and obedient.
  • Intimidating Revenue Service: The Financial Services Agency has the authority to barge in and investigate any business at its leisure, and Hanzawa often finds himself in a race against them to obtain evidence.
  • Interservice Rivalry: The Tokyo Chuo bank was the result of a merger between two banks, and the employees are still split into two factions which constantly try to one-up each other.
  • Intrepid Reporter: One of Hanzawa's allies (and a fan of Hanshin Tigers).
  • Keeping the Enemy Close: Chairman Nakanowatari keeps Owada on the board despite his crimes, and now Owada and his followers will never cross him again.
  • MacGuffin: The 500 million yen in the Osaka arc.
  • Meaningful Name: Hana means "flower", and she was a professional flower arranger before she married Hanzawa. She quit her job to become a housewife (despite his encouragement to continue working), but occasionally still does it part-time.
  • Pose of Supplication: Hanzawa has the image of his parents begging and scraping to the merciless loan officer to keep their factory afloat burned permanently into his memory and takes satisfaction in watching his vanquished enemies dogeza in defeat.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Yuasa, the president of the hotel in the Tokyo arc. He is willing to overhaul the hotel's poor management style and even agrees to affiliate his hotel with a foreign hotel chain, whose lawsuit almost brought them to ruin, in order to keep the business going.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Delivered by Hanzawa to Owada at the climax while forcing him to dogeza, in front of the whole board of directors.
    Hanzawa, while shedding Manly Tears: Your pride as a director won't allow you to yield to a subordinate? If that's what you're thinking, then you're making a big mistake. You're not apologizing to me. You're apologizing to all the people and companies whose umbrellas you took on a rainy day, and whom you cut off like a lizard's tail. Now please kneel. ... All those people clung to you, groveling in the dirt, insulted and treated with contempt, yet in order to desperately protect their families and companies, all the things important to them, they kneel before you. Their pain, their anger, their frustration, I'll have you experience that too. Please kneel. ... DO IT NOW! OWADA!!!!
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: If a banker screws up big enough, he'll be loaned to one of the bank's client companies, usually a small business, and end up working there permanently with a much lower salary range than that of a banker. Happens to Kondo, who is assigned to a small electric company, and Asano, who is shipped away to Manila after his corruption is exposed.
    • Averted with Owada, who is only removed from Executive Director position and remains on the board. Kishikawa, his former right-hand man, takes the fall instead.
    • Hanzawa himself is transferred to Tokyo Securities Agency after he exposed Owada's crimes, although he's given an executive position, presumably in order to prevent future conflicts with Owada and his followers.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: As can be expected from bankers.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Hanzawa carries around a screw from his parents' factory as reminder of his father's tragic death.
  • Undying Loyalty: Hana, Hanzawa's wife, and Tomari, his colleague who joined the bank in the same batch.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: Hanzawa's take on the Kansai Regional Dialect is not taken positively by Takeshita, his Osakan newfound ally.
    Hanzawa: I'm counting on you, Director-han!
    Takeshita: On one condition... stop talking in that weird Osaka dialect.
  • You Killed My Father: Hanzawa became a banker at Tokyo Chuo to eventually get to Owada, the current Executive Managing Director who 25 years ago withdrew the loan for his father's factory and drove him to hang himself.
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