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Viewing profile :: Susan
Avatar All about Susan

Joined:  19 May 2005
Total posts:  107
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Country (Nationality):  Canada
Location:  In the Darkness
Website:  http://myanimelist.net/profile/Susan
Occupation:  Writer
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Susan's drama votes (14)
At Home Dad [アットホーム・ダッド]
CHANGE
Engine [エンジン]
Home Drama [ホームドラマ]
JIN [JIN-仁-]
Arguable the greatest drama of the decade! Romance, action, intrigue, comedy, and all around great storytelling, acting, and directing!
Kekkon Dekinai Otoko [結婚できない男]
Love Shuffle [ラブシャッフル]
Lunch no Joou [ランチの女王]
Mother
Moto Kare [元カレ]
My favorite, and I've watched it again and again! While this series seems slow and boring in the beginning, I couldn't help but become emotionally involved with the great and quirky characters. It's worth sticking with it in the beginning, for sure! It is beautifully acted, and both Domoto Tsuyoshi and Hirosue Ryoko shine in their respective roles. I definitely recommend that everyone check this series out.
Natsuko no sake
Nobuta wo Produce [野ブタ。をプロデュース]
Nodame Cantabile [のだめ カンタビ−レ]
Shinzanmono [新参者]

Susan's artiste votes (12)
Abe Hiroshi [阿部寛]
Ashida Mana [芦田愛菜]
A rising, young star! The most adorable little girl in showbiz today, and hopefully she'll keep on acting for a lifetime.
Hirosue Ryoko [広末涼子]
Kimura Takuya [木村拓哉]
Kubozuka Yosuke [窪塚洋介]
Kudo Kankuro
Miyamoto Nobuko [宮本信子]
Most likely my favorite Japanese actress, and star of my all-time favorite movie, Supermarket Woman!
Morimoto Ryoji [森本亮治]
Nakayama Miho [中山美穂]
Ninomiya Kazunari [二宮和也]
Tsugawa Masahiko [津川雅彦]
Yamazaki Tsutomu [山崎努]

Susan's dramas (297)
1 Pound no Fukuin [1ポンドの福音]
Rating: 8/10
Well, it was very short and had some truly cringe-worth moments. But overall I enjoyed this drama, Kamenashi Kazuya and Okada Yoshinori especially! In fact, they were definitely the highlight of the series. I did not, however, enjoy Kuroki Meisa as Sister Angela one bit. She's very pretty but she does not have much talent as an actress. It's just a bit strange for a Japanese nun to have an English name as well. In the end I wish I could have seen more development of Katsumi (Yamada Ryousuke) and Ueda's (Okada) relationship. Theirs was far more interesting than Hatanaka and ther Sister's!
11 Nin mo Iru! [11人もいる!]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
Kudo Kankuro is one of few screenwriters, Japanese or otherwise, I have become incredibly familiar with. He is a fantastic, comedic writer with some truly brilliant and quirky ideas. This drama had an all-star cast in Hirosue Ryoko and Kamiki Ryunosuke. The young boy playing Saigo was also very talented. I suppose this only drama's failing is also its strength; the reliance on repetitive jokes and extreme acting. I also didn't appreciate the life lessons. They truly broke up the flow of the series, but that seems to happen with all Japanese dramas.
Ai kotoba wa yuki [合い言葉は勇気]
Akihabara@DEEP [アキハバラ@DEEP]
Algernon ni Hanataba o [アルジャーノンに花束を]
Alice no Toge [アリスの棘]
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
Amachan [あまちゃん]

Currently Watching
Anata no Tonari ni Dareka Iru [あなたの隣に誰かいる]
Rating: 10/10 (Watched)
First and foremost Kitamura Kazuki was amazing in this series. He was oh so sexy but terrifying at the same time. Throughout the entire series I was engaged. Kept on the edge of my seat, in fact, wanting to know what's going to happen next. The supernatural bits were well played and ended on a high note, rather than scaring me out of my mind as certain flicks have done. All around the series was well-balanced between horror, romance, and mystery. And it's also important to note that it was the most complete story within a drama series that I've seen.
Ando Lloyd 〜 A.I. knows LOVE? 〜 [安堂ロイド〜A.I. knows LOVE?〜]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
Ando Natsu [あんどーなつ]
Rating: 10/10 (Watched)
I love slice of life films and dramas and this series was no exception. There was immense detail in both the creation of gorgeous wagashi (traditional Japanese confections) and the inhabitants of Tokyo's Asakusa. I really enjoyed each of the individual stories and the overall plot of Natsu striving to become a professional at what turns out to be her calling in life. My only complaint is that the series was too short! The finale felt more like an episode in the middle of the series and I wish I could see the further developments of Natsu and Mangetsudo.
Angel Bank ~ Tenshoku Dairinin [エンゼルバンク]
Rating: 6/10 (Watched)
As far as career dramas go, Angel Bank is alright. I found the characters a bit too over worked however, and the lessons supposedly learned by our heroine to be inscrutable. It's also never a good sign when the lead character gets on your nerves. With a less than stellar supporting cast, this drama is average, watchable. But nothing you should set aside time for. Not unless you're a diehard fan of Hasegawa Kyoko who, as I mentioned, is not at her best.
Answer ~ Keishichou Kenshou Sousakan [Answer 〜警視庁検証捜査官]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Antique [アンティーク〜西洋骨董洋菓子店]
Rating: 10/10 (Watched)
I searched far and wide for this series, and I am glad I was finally able to watch it! Antique is such a "sweet" series: sweet characters, sweet stories, and sweet cakes! I especially enjoyed Abe Hiroshi's performance. He is so funny! ...And yet he can scare your pants off sometimes. The entire cast was simply so superb. I had read many mixed reviews for this series, including those that complained that it moves too slowly. But I believe that is not the case. The story moves at a pace which is appropriate for the series, and it really is quite enjoyable! Also, it picks up and becomes much more amusing in later episodes. So it's a series to watch and stick with right until the end!
Around 40 [アラウンド40]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
This was a great feel-good kind of drama. Fujiki Naohito was so adorable that I wanted to pinch his cheeks every time he did something cute and funny! The series got off to a slow start but I was hooked only a few episodes in. I also really enjoyed the intense lives of the side-characters and I felt that everything ended well. Well, happy endings are characteristic of a feel-good drama, right?
Asakusa Fukumaru Ryokan [浅草ふくまる旅館]
Asuka [あすか]
At Home Dad [アットホーム・ダッド]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
Good, clean family fun! I've enjoyed Abe Hiroshi more in other dramas, but this is definitely one of his best. The relationship between Yamamura (Hiroshi) and Sugio (Miyasako) was the highlight of the series. They're such perfect foils to each other. What drew me in was the concept and how it was put into a great story. From episode one I couldn't help but be interested in Yamamura's trials and tribulations towards becoming an "At-Home Dad." Well worth the watch!
Atami no Sousakan [熱海の捜査官]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
It was incredibly weird, but also incredibly enthralling. What strikes me about Atami no Sousakan is how the first scene, and the entire first episode in fact, threw me off completely, but also drew me right into the series by the end. I had to know why everyone and everything was like "that." I knew I was about to jump into a spectacle, and so it was, but not with the fervent energy I expected. Rather, it was relaxing to watch each episode thanks to the show's cool tone and its mostly low-tension characters, but I was never bored. The opposite in fact. The plot is a tad strange, typical of Miki Satoshi's work, but all in all made some kind of sense by the end. I have to applaud him for creating a few really fascinating characters, and for really surprising me with the conclusion, which is arguably the best of the entire series. Some of the comedic timing was off, but they made up for it with a couple of really strong actors, most notably Fuse Eri, who just blew me away! She was adorable and so funny. Overall VERY watchable, of not a MUST-WATCH for 2010.
ATARU
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Atashinchi no Danshi [アタシんちの男子]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
It was a surprisingly addictive series. Even though it was absolutely ridiculous and annoying in that the focus was on silly games and tricks and it was immensly overacted, I enjoyed it! There were just some aspects of the plot and character development that I just can't accept. My overall impression of the series is that it was much too rushed.
Attention Please [アテンションン プリース]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
I will probably never been an Ueto Aya fan. She's cute, certainly. And not a bad actress, to be sure. But she is just not... likeable. I can't remember why I watched this series, perhaps it was because of all the hype surrrounded by it? In the end, I was glad that I did! It had some fun parts and a good message! Most of all, I really enjoyed Maya Miki in the role of Mikami Tamaki. At times she was serious and graceful, but she also gave a wonderfully cute and girly side to her character. I really enjoyed watching her act! This series is not a "must-watch" of J-Dramas in generally, but definetly a highlight of the dramas of 2006!
Bambino! [バンビーノ!]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
At first I was annoyed and frustrated with this series. The main character was an idiot and it was so obvious! But as Ban Shogo grew as a person, so did my enjoyment of this series! By the end I was rooting for him. I loved watching the food being made. It was truly a highlight, and I've been inspired in my own cooking. This series is definitely worth sitting through the painful first half to get ot the splendid ending.
Bara no nai Hanaya [薔薇のない花屋]
Rating: 10/10 (Watched)
Although this drama started off slow, it somehow managed to draw me in unlike any other drama like it. The story and characters was so unique and complex that you had to keep watching it to figure it all out. Katori Shingo truly shined in the role of the somewhat awkward but tough Eiji, while Takeuchi Yuko was lovely as the wounded and intelligent Mio. This drama had the best ending for a drama that I have ever seen. It just tied up the series so wonderfully, but not in an unrealistically perfect way. There will always be questions left unanswered and hardships still to come in their lives, but I was left with a feeling that they'll overcome it all and find happiness. "Life is Beautiful."
Biblia Koshodou no Jiken Techou [ビブリア古書堂の事件手帖]
Rating: 10/10 (Watched)
Binbo Danshi [貧乏男子 (ボンビーメン)]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Contrary to some [stupid] people's belief, Oguri Shun is actually a great actor and high charisma and energy. In Binbou Danshi he was really able to show off those aspects of himself to their full extent. I thought he was simply awesome as the optimistic Koyama Kazumi. The supporting cast were good as well, although sometimes they were a hit, sometimes a miss. Overall this was an interesting drama series that came to a superb conclusion. Check it out!
Blackjack ni Yoroshiku [ブラックジャックによろしく]
Bloody Monday [ブラッディ・マンデイ]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
And the award for most inconclusive drama ending goes too... Bloody Monday! It seriously needs a movie of some kind to tie up all the loose plot threads still running wild and free. Otherwise, great drama! Very suspenseful and never short of twists. Narimiya Hiroki was downright SEXY, scary, and adorable as J while Sato Takeru lent an air of downright coolness. I am in love with these two boys! XD
Boku dake no Madonna [僕だけのマドンナ]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
At first I thought I wouldn't be interested in this drama, but I think I've been brainwashed by every other drama I've watched, because I really enjoyed this one! I admit, tat I do like Tackey. I don't love him... but I enjoy his performances. He is a fine actor. So it was nice to have him there, detracting away from Surumi's sometimes annoying little self-centered habits. A good drama, overall, though! Definetly one to watch!
Boku no Mahou Tsukai [僕の魔法使い]
BORDER [ボーダー]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
BOSS
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
This was overall a fun series with a great cast. The episodes were fairly suspenseful with a good amount of comedy, though the series lacked firm character development as a whole. Even the great group of actors in this series weren't able to do much with characters that didn't seem "finished." The ending was too melodramatic (and painfully unrealistic at times) for my tastes. As a matter of fact, the entire series had a "cops and robbers" feel to it. The series has definite entertainment value, but it doesn't go much beyond that.
BOSS 2
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
You can't really go wrong with Boss. Comedy, drama, action, great cast, fine writing, and an overall fine example of Japan's great crime dramas. Amami Yuki is superb in every role she takes on, but Osawa Eriko is definitely at the top of the "best of" list. She's strong, funny, smart, and capable while all the while having a charismatic flair and natural beauty. You can't fault any of the rest of the cast, of course. I was disappointed that Toda Erika was only in a few of this year's episodes, but Narumi Riko was a fine addition to the cast. Boss 3? Bring it on.
Brother Beat [ブラザー☆ビート]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
A hilarious series! Kuninaka Ryoko was lovely as Chisato. The three brothers were so different and yet so alike in the end. Sometimes it was a bit corny, but overall a great comedy and romance series. My only regret is that it seemed to end so abruptly. I feel like I would have liked to see how Riku's laundry business fairs, how Tatsuya and Chisato's relationship develops further, and how Junpei and Miyuki finally tie the knot! I know that there's little hope of any future continuation, though.
Bull Doctor [ブルドクター]
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
A fairly average drama with fairly average performances, writing, and direction. While I'm a fan of Esumi Makiko and Ishihara Satomi, somehow the way this show was developed just didn't sit well with me. It felt more like a drawn-out ad for having your family member autopsied (I know this is an issue in Japan), rather than a drama series. Though I like Ishihara's range as an actress, her performance was too all over the place in this show. I do wish they had focused less on Esumi's character's family as well and did more to come up with absorbing mysteries. In the end what should've been a great series was truly mediocre.
Bus stop [バスストップ]
Busu no Hitomi Koishiteru [ブスの瞳恋してる]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
This was a great drama with a good cast and overall awesome plot line. It had its flaws, however. I was a little disappointed at the rushed ending and Miyuki's jump to comedy. But overall it was a lot of fun! This drama is definitely one of those pick-me-up series that is a must see when you're feeling down.
Carnation [カーネーション]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
This is the first asadora I've ever made it through. Ono Machiko was delightful as teenage to middle age Ohara Itoko. She did well playing such a large portion of the character's life, managing to make me believe she actually aged as the show went on. However, Natsuki Mari's portrayal was a lovely way to cap off the series. I honestly felt inspired to take up sewing after watching this series. It's wonderful to see a series that is skillfully made, where every character is memorable and touches your heart. Is this the magic of the asadora? My only complaints are that at times it was a tiny bit repetitive, and overacted.
CHANGE
Rating: 10/10 (Watched)
THE BEST DRAMA OF 2008!!! Kimura Takuya was absolutely charming in this drama and truly displayed his talent and experience as a dramatic actor. The supporting cast, as well, were all wonderfully charismatic and shared a good level of chemistry with the lead actor. The story itself had the right balance of political intrigue, comedy, and romance to keep me watching on the edge of my seat from episode 1 right until the end. If you haven't yet seen this drama, then please do so!!!
Coffee-ya no Hitobito [珈琲屋の人々]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
Danda Rin ~ Roudou Kijun Kantokukan [ダンダリン 労働基準監督官]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Dareka ga kanojo o aishiteiru [誰かが彼女を愛してる]
Date ~ Koi to wa Donna Mono Kashira [デート ~ 恋とはどんなものかしら]
Dear Sister [ディア・シスター]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
Dekichatta Kekkon [できちゃった結婚]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
A good drama! I've come to truly adore Ryoko Hirosue. She's been so cute in the past, and she's becomes such a lovely actress. I'm not quite sure why I chose this drama to watch. I was mostly just bored and missed watching dramas in general! I liked the progression of Ryunosuke and Chiyo's relationship throughout this series. It was definetly not a conventional start to a relationship that would last a lifetime! Worth watching, for sure, if for nothing else than Abe Hiroshi's hilarious portrayl of Eitaro!
Densha Otoko [電車男]
Rating: 10/10 (Watched)
At first I thought this drama was just TOO ridiculous and cheesy for me to get into, but I just couldn't stop watching it! It was truly hilarious, touching, and an all-around GREAT drama series. Although... I am still not a loyal follower of Itoh Misaki. Sure she;s pretty and sometimes a little bit cute, but she's almost TOO "soft." Ah well... "Kiiiiitaaaaa!!!"
Dinner
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
Don Quixote [ドン★キホーテ]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
This series definitely had its ups and downs. I suppose for me the biggest failure was the completely different ways that Matsuda Shota and Takahashi Katsumi portrayed Shirota. Even from the start, there was little in common between Takahashi's Shirota and Matsuda's Shirota, but I do admit that Matsuda had little time to work on the character. Yet they both did well playing Sabashima! Go figure. I wish the side characters had been a bit more developed in this show. There was one gentleman who seemed to have no role at all so I wonder why he was even given screen time. This show was fun, however, and the final episode really tied it all up nicely. Though a part of me wanted them to be stuck in each other's bodies forever. That's the one part of the series that's incredibly obvious.
Dosokai [同窓会]
Double kitchen [ダブルキッチン]
Rating: 10/10 (Watched)
This drama had some of the best energy I have ever seen! Yamaguchi Tomoko and Nogiwa yoko had fine chemistry together and I loved watching how the battle between the wife and mother-in-law progressed. Takashima Masanobou holds his own as well, beside the two strong female leads. I really enjoyed it from start to finish and it was so funny!
Dr Koto - Shinryoujo 2006 [Dr.コトー診療所2006]
Dr. Koto Shinryojo [Dr.コトー診療所]
Rating: 10/10 (Watched)
Dr. Koto's clinic is definitely one of the best series of all time. It impresses not only in the accuracy and realism of surgical procedures, but also in it's heart-warming stories. From the very beginning it was clear that there would a lot of smiles and a lot of tears. The entire case was amazing and the staff did a fantastic job. I look forward to being able to see the special and second series in the near future.
Dragon Head [ドラゴン ヘッド]
Rating: 10/10 (Watched)
Wow. Just... wow. I was just ASTOUNDED at the realism and acting in this movie. I mean, the scenery alone was so realistic, it made me wonder if they had somehow transported themselves to an alternate reality or a another time where this kind of apocolypse had occured. I originally watched this movie because I enjoy Satoshi Tsumabuki, but this goes beyond a single actor. WOW!
Dragon Zakura [ドラゴン桜]
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
This was a fairly average school drama about a group of delinquent teenagers who are inspired and reformed by an ex-delinquent. However, what is unique to this drama is that it's also a thorough study guide with plenty of tips and tricks that can be applied to any field of study. Abe Hiroshi was pretty good, though his gravelly voice and occasional mumbling got on my nerves.
Egao no Hosoku [笑顔の法則]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
The only thing that bothered me about this series was how overly emotional Yumi (Takeuchi Yuko) could get, although she was portrayed well by the actress. My favorite character in this series was Okami-san, of course. Nogiwa Yoko was simply wonderful in her role in this series. She really is an amazing actress. Overall a fantastic series that, despite it's simplicity and straightforward storytelling, really drew me in from the beginning. I do wonder, though, if "Gekka no Michi" was a real comic book series...
Engine [エンジン]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
This was my first Kimura Takuya drama. Seriously! I knew I'd end up watching one eventually, though. I have to admit, he IS a great actor. Engine was such a great drama, as well. It was so cute seeing Jiro (Kimura) interact with the kids and help them out, when what he really wants to do is ressuerct his racing career. Heh. Koyuki shines, once again in a somewhat "geeky" role. Overall the drama was a nice story with plenty of comedy, excitement, and even a bit of romance. I really enjoyed the series, and its conclusion probably couldn't have been better.
Enka no Joou [演歌の女王 (えんか の じょおう)]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Never before have I had the pleasure of seeing Amami Yuki is this kind of role! Her range is astonishing! In this series alone we see her both as the beauty she is, but also has sill;y, bumbling, tough, and kind-hearted. Not to mention her superb enka singing! This series is one of few that hearkens back to a time when dramas were less about the romance and comedy, and more about the morals and the stories of those around the main character. That's Enka no Joou to a point, but there's so much more to it. It's truly one of those hidden gems that you simply can't stop watching once you start. It's sweet, but not enough to put you off after a time. I admit this is not all around the greatest of series, so I gave it an 8, but it's definitely worth watching if only for Amami Yuki fans.
Erai Tokoro ni Totsuide Shimatta! [エラいところに嫁いでしまった!]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
When I originally watched the first episode of this drama I dropped it out of boredom and disinterest. But a year later I picked it up again and finished it anyways! Overall it wasn't bad. It had it's dull and irritating moments but I enjoyed the cultural tidbits and it was good in a way.
Fake Kyoto Bijutsu Jiken Emaki [フェイク 京都美術事件絵巻]
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
Zaizen Naomi's portrayal of the child-like Urasawa Yu is memorable, but the rest of the cast, especially Minamino Yoko and her ridiculous hair, missed the mark for me. The mysteries are alright, as is the art. It's a watchable drama with a classic, amateur detective format.
Freeter, Ie o Kau. [フリーター、家を買う。]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Ninomiya Kazunari is one of Japan's top actors right now, despite being an idol. The depth of his character here was gratefully felt. On the other hand, I was surprised at the somewhat straight-forward and optimistic look at depression. Maybe Japan handles the condition differently than we do in North America, but as a sufferer of depression and having a mother afflicted with it, I can tell you that finding help is never that easy and it is something one might never come from. Considering the severity of her depression I would've expected the cause to be more complex, or for her to have depression coupled with other personality disorders. Ah, but leave it to Japan to over-simplify things, as usual. All around this had a great cast with solid writing, though it was underwritten, and good direction. I'm glad I got to see this one through to the end!
Friends [フレンズ]
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
If you're wondering what Korean dramas are like, Friends is essentially a Korean drama condensed down into 4 episodes (on average they last for 16-24). This series followed the same back and forth and back and forth romance seen in just about every kdrama I have watched, which is not something I always enjoy. In this case, it was alright but I did not particularly enjoy either Fukada Kyoko or Won Bin. They competed on screen for the "most cute and innocent" and that got on my nerves. Props to Fukada for some passable Korean, though!
Fukigen na Jiin [不機嫌なジーン]
Fukuie Keibuho no Aisatsu [福家警部補の挨拶]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Fuma no Kojiro [風魔の小次郎]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
I was shocked at how bloody this series ended up being! I loved the action and characters but the plot moved forward much too fast and there were just too many characters introduced for me to care for all of them. All in all, great fluff but nothing special.
Gaiji Keisatsu [外事警察]
Galileo [ガリレオ]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
Ganbatte Ikimasshoi [がんばっていきまっしょい]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
I wish that I could have had such a meaningful experience and made good friends in highschool, as Etsune and the rest did. This drama had some seriously cheesy moments, and there were times when I wanted to whack Suzuki Anne upside the head. But I stuck with it and in the end I was in tears. It's a good drama! Definetly not dissapointed.
Ghost Writer [ゴーストライター]
Giragira [ギラギラ]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
It was an alright drama overall, although perhaps I'm not one for formulaic, reform-type dramas. Like Gokusen, Kohei reforms someone in every episode, mostly the other hosts at the bar. Almost the entire time he has that big, dumb smile on his face so it gets a bit annoying, but his role was well-acted by Sasaki Kuranosuke. Nothing to write home about, but if you like pretty boys this is the drama for you!
Goen Hunter [ご縁ハンター]
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
Going My Home [ゴーイング マイ ホーム]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
Gokuaku Ganbo [極悪がんぼ]
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
Gokusen [ごくせん]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
I, like many young women, instantly fell in love with Sawada Shin! However Nakama Yukie became a favorite artiste as well. She was fabulous and funny as Yamaguchi Kumiko. I've never seen the manga or anime that this series was based on, but I just might have to check it out now.
Gokusen 2 [ごくせん2]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Certainly not as good as Gokusen 1, without Matsumoto Jun as Sawada Shin. But still an awesome series! I felt it to be very formulaic, though. I wish that YanKumi's love life could have advanced. The only character I was truly impressed with was Kuma, who carried over from season 1. In fact, the best episode of Gokusen 2, and Gokusen in general, was Kuma's episode in which he nearly loses his shop. That was definetly my favorite episode! Overall a good series, although a bit boring.
Gokusen 3 [ごくせん 3]
Rating: 6/10
Yet another Gokusen is done and over with... but was it really worth it to watch another series? Not really. At least 2 had some decent up and coming actors starring. 3 only had Miura Haruma going for it and in the end his character was flat and pushed to the side. Overall I was a bit disappointed. Even though this series did continue some events from the first series it was just more of the exact same speeches and events. I guess if you really LOVE Gokusen's story and characters it's fine, but I only liked them. If they ever make a Gokusen 4, count me out. ... Unless they bring back Sawada Shin. XD
Gomen ne Seishun! [ごめんね青春!]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
Good Luck !! [グッドラック!!]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Predictable, but good. This series benefits from having a few of the best leads in Japanese dramas (Kimura Takuya and Shibasaki Kou), though they didn't have as much chemistry as I would have liked, and some half-decent writing. Of course, if you've watched a few dramas this one will come as no surprise to you whatsoever. It has a feel-good ending and is nice when you're looking for something light to watch, but it's certainly not a masterpiece.
GTO [麻辣教師]
Rating: 8/10
Now I can understand why GTO is the #1 rated drama on JDorama - even if it might not be MY personal all-time favorite. Sorimachi Takashi is hilarious! He's so smooth and sly in his role. The series, despite boasting a "violent" teacher with a criminal past, it can be rather light-hearted and downright cute. I enjoyed the diverse characters and stories, and how Onizuka managed to heal all wounds with his unique style and attitude. Although, I have to admit that the drama special, and especially the movie, really stretched the limit as to how far you can take an outrageous character like Onizuka. However, if there's ever a GTO 2, I'd watch it.
Haikei, Chichiue-sama [拝啓、父上様]
Rating: 10/10 (Watched)
Haikei, Chichiue-sama's complex story and interesting characters really drew me in. I was impressed with the level of intelligence written into the series. It wasn't the usual romantic comedy/drama that I had come to expect from Japan. It was actually focused on real-life problems and what made it fun to watch were the characters. Although they weren't written to be clowns, it was their everyday reactions and interactions with each other that made them so amusing. The entire cast did a superb job. My only disappointment was the inconclusive ending, but I can see the reasoning behind it and I would be happy if it was left there or if a special was produced to tie up loose threads.
Haitatsu Saretai Watashitachi [配達されたい私たち]
Rating: 6/10 (Watched)
Hana no Zubora Meshi [花のズボラ飯]
Hana Yori Dango [花より男子]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
Another J-Drama bites the dust! I have to say, I was skeptical about Hana Yori Dango, but in the end it was one of the most enjoyable J-Dramas I have ever seen! Matsumoto Jun was very fun and outrageous, and Inoue Mao was very cute. I especially enjoyed Oguri Shun. As he gets older, his acting and roles just get better and better! Everyone in this series definetly has a bright future in entertainment! This series only gets a 9 out of 10, however, for being just a bit obvious and irritating at times.
Hana Yori Dango 2 [花より男子]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
My first drama watched for 2007! The cast, as always, were superb in their roles. I enjoyed the slightly more serious tone of the series this time. But I felt like the love story between Makino and Doumyouji was far too drawn out. This became especially true in episode 10 when they began a new, although short-lived, love triangle! I felt like that story was put in just as filler. Still, the series was enjoyable! At last, almost a conclusion. I have a sneaking suspicion, however, that there will be series 3, or a special episode, in which even more hurdles crop up...
Hanawake no Yon Shimai [華和家の四姉妹]
Rating: 6/10 (Watched)
I wanted to enjoy this series, being a long-time fan of Mizuki Alisa and other members of the cast, but sop much hating on the one sister had me grow apart from this series. The performances were mediocre, the writing was a bit obvious, and can I say this? Someone needs to show Endo Kenichi what a person who has just had a stroke actually looks and acts like. This series loses points for its mixed up plot, lack of realism (I know I know, it's a jdrama) and blockheaded characters who never really come full circle. Too many sisters? Yeah.
Hanazakari no Kimitachi e [花ざかりの君たちへ]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
HanaKimi was hilarious! It was crazy and silly and I enjoyed almost every minute of it! Sure, the premise was ridiculous. Yeah, it was kind of lame how they kept finding excuses to put the boys in women's clothing. But you just have to love it! Oguri Shun has come so far as an actor. He's really great. But I especially enjoyed Ikuta Toma as the zany, totally-not-gay Nakatsu! Horitaka Maki deserves praise because, by the end of the series, I was starting to wonder myself if she was really a boy. But, in the end, my favorite was Yamamoto Yusuke as Kayashima Taiki! He was adorable! I hope to see him in more dramas in the near future. Now all we need is a Hanazakari no Kimitachi e ~Ikimen in California Paridise~ special!
Hero
Rating: 5/10 (Watched)
While Hero did have some sweet undertones, curious characters, and somewhat involving stories, I found that the episodes were very formulaic. After watching half of the series, I began to feel myself losing interest. I did enjoy the series, and it was indeed very quirky with enough suspense to keep me watching it. It wasn't a total loss. But I feel like it could have been so much better.
Hirugao ~ Heijitsu Gogo 3-ji no Koibito-Tachi ~ [昼顔 ~ 平日午後3時の恋人たち ~]
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
Hitonatsu no Papa e [ひと夏のパパへ]
Home Drama [ホームドラマ]
Rating: 10/10 (Watched)
Despite having the saddest beginning I have ever seen in a drama series, this one became one of the happiest and most upbeat series I have watched to date. I loved the characters and the feeling of family in the series. I sometimes wish my family could be that loving and supportive of each other, but unfortunately we're related. I'll miss seeing each of the characters grow and change over time. This is one of the few series where I feel like I could keep watching it forever.
Honjitsu mo Hare. Ijo Nashi [本日も晴れ。異状なし]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
There are only a few dramas that leave me wanting more and this was one of them. I was completely enthralled in this series and was honestly surprised when I came to the end of the last episode. The unfortunate thing is that we never know how long he lasts on the island, or if he continues to raise the kids himself, or if he marries his sweetheart. But what we got were fabulous performances, by Sakaguchi Kenji especially, and a great drama overall. With its colourful characters and beautiful scenery, Narumi is the kind of place that can only exist in fiction, though its problems are based on those of a real place.
Hotaru no Hikari [ホタルノヒカリ]
Rating: 10/10 (Watched)
A fun and light-hearted drama. I kept watching because Hotaru was so contradictory to herself. I wish I could be that relaxed and hard-working at the same time. In the end, I was sad that Hotaru adn Makoto couldn't make it work. I was a bit let down by the ending in general. There was no resolution to any relationship. Sometimes I'm satisfied with that in other dramas, but not in this case. Overall good, interesting, and fun to watch!
Hotaru no Hikari 2 [ホタルノヒカリ]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
While I was a hug fan of the first series, something about the sequel left a bad taste in my mouth. Was it the repetitiveness? I don't fault the screenwriters for finding a formula that works and sticking to it, but at times the episodes felt forced. Hotaru's development, or lack thereof, was at times unreasonable. Did season 1 even happen? Though I liked the characters of the love rivals, they're presence was negligible. There was never any doubt in my mind that Hotaru and Buchou would end up together, and any romantic tension outside of that was obviously going to peter out by the end. this series was good, but not great, and not the masterpiece that was the original!
Hotman [ホットマン]
Hungry! [ハングリー!]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Hungry was a surprisingly enjoyable drama from the start of 2012. What a great way to start the new year! I admit I'm not at all a fan of Mukai Osamu (and I'm still not) but he was more than bearable here. It was the push and pull between his thick-headed Eisuke and the rest of the characters that made this drama so much fun to watch. Though I think it could have done without the creepy, stalker-like character played by Inagaki Goro, who once again proves he's only capable of dragging a drama down a few notches. What saved this series was the combination of French food and the light-handed approach to the love triangle (square by the end). Well, without spoiling anything, the ending actually really impressed me; the main character managed to grow as a person and the romance never once become the point of the drama.
HUNTER ~Sono Onnatachi, Shoukin Kasegi~ [HUNTER〜その女たち、賞金稼ぎ〜]
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
I had high hopes for this drama. They weren't met, but at least they weren't completely dashed. Rather than a group of tough and independent women deal out justice, the series relied heavily on female stereotypes. A pair of flight attendants, a housewife, and a woman on the run from her abusive husband are certainly an unlikely bunch of bounty hunters, but the reliance on these seems backward to my western sensibilities. I didn't feel the least bit comfortable seeing these women use their feminine wiles to get at the criminal, and essentially blunder in. In fact, the only character that seemed to have any practical skills was Machiko-san. Of course, as soon as she overcomes the problem with her husband she becomes less of a geeky badass and more of a stylish, older woman with an odd hobby. That's not to say this series wasn't enjoyable. It was funny and featured decent performances all around. The mysteries weren't too bad, though they did leave something to be desired, and I think the overall plot of the series was well-handled within the individual episodes.
Ikebukuro West Gate Park [池袋ウエストゲートパーク]
Rating: 10/10 (Watched)
Despite the fact that I am not a fan of Nagase Tomoya, I checked out this drama... and it was GOOD! Hilarious, but also with an awesome ongoing plot and really intelligent, interesting mysteries in each episode. I especially enjoyed Kubozuka Yosuke as "King." He was crazy! The role really suited him. From the very beginning In was totally engaged and the ending couldn't have been better. IWGP... SAIKOU!
Iki mo Dekinai Natsu [息もできない夏]
Rating: 6/10 (Watched)
Ima Ai ni Yukimasu [いま会いにゆきます]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
I adore Narimiya Hiroki, and so when I heard that he was doing a new drama, of course I had to check it out eventually. I have to admit, that I did not expect him to play this sort of role. It really goes to show how he has grown as an actor. While waiting for english subtitles for the drama, I decided to watch the film version of this heart wrenching story. To compare the drama and movie, the movie definetly has a sweeter, softer tone to it, with a higher level of acting and scenery. But the drama, I tink, is a fine interpretation as well! Everyone did well in their roles, and I was glad to watch it!
Jikou Keisatsu [時効警察]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
JIN [JIN-仁-]
Rating: 10/10 (Watched)
This drama came out of nowhere for me. I never planned on watching it and I had low expectations when I started it. But from episode 1 I was hooked! Mostly it was due to Osawa Takao as Minakata Jin. He has this ability to make you feel like he's your best friend, and so I really cared about what was going to happen to Jin and the people around him. Uchino Masaaki as Sakamoto Ryoma, however, came out from behind as my favorite character overall. He was funny, energetic, silly, and tough, all rolled into one very expressive package. Of course, Ayase Haruka lives up to her reputation as one of Japan's most popular actresses right now. She was adorable and passionate and I truly rooted for her. Nakatani Miki was elegant throughout the entire series, even as the bright, cheery Tomonaga Miki in the future. There have been some great dramas this year, and I definitely have to rate JIN in my top 3.
JIN 2
Rating: 10/10 (Watched)
JIN had to have been one of the greatest drama series of the past decade. It touched my heart in a way that no other drama has come even close, with its admirable characters and absorbing stories. Its sequel was no exception. Despite some faltering in the initial half, where it tried just a bit too hard to do the same amazing things that the first series did, JIN just as much touched my heart and brought a tear to my eye at the end. Though Osawa Takao was the star, Ayase Haruka, Nakatani Miki and Uchino Masaaki shone even more brightly in season 2, as they became some of the most interesting and well-played characters I have ever seen. I don't know what else to say about this series! It was so wonderful to watch! The fusion of fantasy and history was spot on and the conclusion brought a broad smile to my face as well as tears. I couldn't have asked for more!
Jodan Janai! [冗談じゃない!]
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
Fairly average family drama. Decent performances all around, but much too melodramatic for my tastes. At least it wasn't downright bad and even after considering dropping it, I finished the last few episodes anyways. It has its amusing moments and is certainly watchable.
Joker Yurusarezaru Sosakan [ジョーカー 許されざる捜査官]
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
At first glance, Joker is yet another cop drama among a sea of cop dramas. What made it different? Vigilantism, of course! The characters could have been slightly more rounded, but overall I was on the edge of my seat, wondering if Daito would ever be caught, and to whom he would next deal out his unique form of justice. I guess I was disappointed by the very open-ended finale and the series' episodic nature, but that means there might be a sequel, right? RIGHT?
Juui Dolittle [獣医ドリトル]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
After drab, predictable performances as the eternal teenager, Oguri Shun stepped out of his usual shoes and into that of Tottori, veterinarian extraordinaire. Though the character was meant to seem cold-hearted and cruel, Oguri played the subtleties of the character well, making this his most watchable drama to date and definitely a must-watch. Inoue Mao was delightful as always, though nothing to particularly watch out for. I also found myself coming up short for feelings about Narimiya Hiroki, whose aloof and awkward style left me wanting more. Warning, you will cry during this show. One of the genius points is how the animals are elevated to actual characters, just as important and vital as any of the humans on the show. Though no actual animals were harmed, I still felt each loss. And cheered each victory! Not a perfect series, but still really fun to watch.
Jyoou no Kyoushitsu [女王の教室]
Kaette Kita Jikou Keisatsu 2 [帰ってきた時効警察 2]
Rating: 10/10 (Watched)
Kagi no Kakatta Heya [鍵のかかった部屋]
Rating: 10/10 (Watched)
Kaibutsu-kun [怪物くん]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
There's not much to say about this drama. It was simple fun for the whole family. Though I couldn't help but be completely reeled in by Ohno's energetic performance, and the energy of the series overall. It was at full throttle from start to finish! I can't wait to watch the special.
Kaiki Daikazoku [怪奇大家族]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
This series might not have a spectacular cast or the greatest effects. Often it looked so incredibly cheap that I just wanted to look away. But it makes up for it with a superb comedic timing, a unique sense of self, and a great dynamic between the characters. Sure it's not the greatest, but it does incredibly well for a half hour, supernatural/sci fi/fantasy fusion sitcom. Best part? The incredible ending. Well, maybe not the BEST part, but I recall it fondly...
Kao [顔]
Kaseifu no Mita [家政婦のミタ]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Matsushima Nanako is arguably one of Japan's treasures. In this series she displays her range as an actress, which may sound strange considering she plays a very robotic character. But the moments of sadness, happiness, and even malevolence were so well portrayed so well. However, the rest of the cast left much to be desired. They're over-acting was tiresome, and I couldn't accept the family's ridiculous behaviour. Though the series started out great, it took a dive around the middle. But the ending was wonderful and I was glad to see Mita-san's story come full circle.
Kaze no Garden [風のガーデン]
Rating: 10/10
This beautiful drama was a masterpiece and a wonderful final project for the late Ogata Ken, who was one of the finest actors the world has ever seen. This drama showed true human emotion and the struggle every person has with both life and death. It was graceful, calm, yet heart-breaking. Every moment was tinged with emotion and the characters were so well-played. My favorite scene was the final encounter between Gaku and his father, or rather the Archangel Gabriel, his one true friend. It was a stunning and tragic scene very well-played by the actors and I cried. I knew from the beginning how this series would end, but a part of me still hoped for a miracle.
Keibuho Yabe Kenzo [警部補 矢部謙三]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
You can't really say much about Yabe Kenzo. Without the rest of the Trick gang, he's enjoyable and Namase Katuhisa has his character down to a fine art. But when does he NOT? I'm a fan of the Trick series and movies and this was a welcome addition.
Keiji no Genba [刑事の現場]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
Great Moriyama Mirai drama! It was short but very satisfying, though I would enjoy a sequel of another 4 episodes or so. Overall a nice little drama to watch in between seasons with a great cast and some good detective drama.
Keizoku [ケイゾク]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
Nakatani Miki is one of the best actresses in Japan today and yesterday. At the time I was watching this, I was studying crime/mystery writing, and this series taught me that one of the most important things for a lead character is distinctiveness, something that describes Shibata Jun in more ways than one. Nakatani did a great job conveying the eccentric qualities of Jun. Though it saddens me that the series' overall plot was a bit of a muddle by the end. Was it all a dream? Reality? I'm not sure even the writers knew what was going on, or why anything had happened the way it did. Regardless, the show was a lot of fun!
Kekkon Dekinai Otoko [結婚できない男]
Rating: 10/10 (Watched)
This is the first "new" drama I've watched in awhile. It was so funny and clever right up until the very end! I have no complaints whatsover... although I secretly cheered on the pairing of Michiru-chan and Kuwano-san! This series really was perfectly acted and scripted. There was never too much comedy or too much drama, and everything had this certain awkwardness to it that it so much fun to watch. I hope they make a special! I'd love to see more of these characters. YAY!
Kekkon Shinai [結婚しない]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Kimi wa Petto [きみはペット]
Rating: 10/10 (Watched)
Matsumoto Jun was superb in this light-hearted series. As the hyperactive, funny, and cute "Momo," he played a perfect compliment to Koyuki's serious, beautiful, but wounded Sumire. Koyuki, to me, is such an elegant and natural actress, and I hope to see her in more leading roles where this side of her is exploited. I admit that I don't think much of Matsumoto as a singer, but I think that he has the potential to be a really superb actor. I look forward to all of his future projects. Kimi wa Petto is my favorite J-Dorama, and will likely remain my favorite for some time!
Kindaichi Shonen no Jikembo 3 [金田一少年の事件簿 3]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
I originally grabbed this to watch more of Matsumoto Jun, but I was really suprised at how absorbing the mysteries are! I love quirky, msyerterious series like this and I devoured each and every episode! I hope I can find the first two series to watch - even though no MatsuJun - because I'm really interested in seeing more of Kindaichi!
Kisarazu Cat's Eye [木更津キャッツアイ]
Rating: 10/10 (Watched)
I admit to having an interest in seeing Kisarazu Cat's Eye for quite some time, and I was NOT dissapointed! It was hilarious. The acting and characters were all around superb, the misadventures were engaging, and the writing was endlessly clever! I cannot find a single fault with the series. Even the ending did not dissapoint. Who would have thought...?!? Although it isn't quite one of my favorites, this drama will always have a place in my heart! "NYA!"
Kodoku no Gurume [孤独のグルメ]
Rating: 10/10 (Watched)
Though this series has no central plot, Matsushige's performance is not to be missed. His expressions as Goro are an absolute delight! I've never seen anyone portray a love of food as well as this. More importantly, the food porn! Oh my gosh! A word of warning: never watch this series while hungry.
Kodoku no Gurume 2 [孤独のグルメ 2]
Rating: 10/10 (Watched)
Kodoku no Gurume 3 [孤独のグルメ 3]
Rating: 10/10 (Watched)
Kodoku no Gurume 4 [孤独のグルメ 4]
Rating: 10/10 (Watched)
Kogure Shashinkan [小暮写眞館]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Koibito yo [恋人よ]
Koishite Shinitai [恋して死にたい]
Kokosei Restaurant [高校生レストラン]
Rating: 6/10 (Watched)
As a food drama, Koukousei Restaurant was okay. To be honest, I would've liked more emphasis on the students' skills and thoughts about cooking. The drama was your average school drama, about a a class of slightly delinquent students who are a turned around by a tough teacher. Acting was nothing to write home about, nor was the writing. I finished it, but in retrospect it wasn't what I was looking for.
Konkatsu! [婚カツ!]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
I never planned on watching this drama, but found myself hooked after episode 1. It was a predictable romantic comedy with a bit of "save the neighborhood" drama mixed in, but with a fantastic cast and the right mood it turned out pretty well. It's a fine example of some good old pick-me-up fluff that shouldn't be taken too seriously, but is more than watchable.
Konna koi no hanashi [こんな恋のはなし]
Kuitan [喰いタン]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
A pretty good series of episodic mysteries and a decent cast. I found myself pretty engrossed by the end but it's not something I would watch again, probably.
Kumo no Kaidan [雲の階段]
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
Kurosagi [クロサギ]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
Certainly a cheesy drama, but well worth the watch! I definetly enjoy Yamashita Tomohisa's crazy performances! From drama to drama, he always wears a different face. And in Kurosagi, he wore more than I could count. But what good is a drama without a GREAT ending? I have never laughed out so loudly in my life! Katsuragi, as portrayed by Yamazaki Tsutomu, will always be one of my favorite characters from a drama series! He was disgusting, old, smelly, and downright evil. But hilarious! MA-I-DO-A-RI!
Kyowa Kaisha Yasumimasu [きょうは会社休みます]
Last Friends [ラスト・フレンズ]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
This is the best dramatic drama I have seen yet. The cast was amazing, especially Eita and Ueno Juri who have such chemistry together and made their characters stand out even when they were not the focus. The biggest drawback to this drama was the focus on Michiru (Nagasawa Masami) and her indecisiveness. I would have preferred more background on the other characters, especially Takeru and Sousuke. I would have also liked it if the producers did not shy away so much from the more controversial topics of homosexuality and pedophilia!
Legal High [リーガル・ハイ]
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
Liar Game [ライアーゲーム]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Yes, I could kill Kanzaki Nao (Toda Erika) and the "message" of this drama. But as far as thrillers go, this was an enjoyable one! Matsuda Shota sucked me right in with his superb acting! The side characters weren't worth watching, but I enjoyed myself for the most part.
LIAR GAME 2 [ライアーゲーム 2]
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
Same old Liar Game... Now with more hype and less mystery! Certainly the sequel to Liar Game is watchable, and at times somewhat enjoyable. But it lacks some of the fun and thrills of the first series. I'm also disturbed by the fact that it's popular enough to conclude with a feature length film.
Long Goodbye [ロング・グッドバイ]
Rating: 6/10 (Watched)
Long Love Letter [ロング・ラブレター〜漂流教室]
Rating: 7/10
This was... an od drama. I started watching it because Kubozuka Yosuke stars as Asami Akio. I kept watching because I was curious what would happen in the end. I was disappointed. It was a very inconclusive ending. Not until after the credits do you see the desert turn to a garden. But was that because of their letter, and what happened to Tokyo? Throughout the series, although I enjoyed everyone's performances at the beginning, I became very depressed. The ending did little to alleviate that. Usually I don't mind the shortness of Japanese drama.s In this case, I'm annoyed that we find out no more.
Long vacation [ロングバケーション]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
It's been awhile since I watch an older drama. Despite the fact that this drama is more than decade old now it shows its age very little, except in the fashions, hairstyles, etc. Kimura Takuya has aged very well, for one, and he could play the role of Sena now just as he did then! I enjoyed him the most in this drama for sure. I would have skipped this drama if I had not been watching it with a group of friends. I'm glad I did! I enjoyed the more mature themes and views of love and marriage. It was very refreshing to see adults acting like adults!
Love generation [ラブジェネレーション]
Love Shuffle [ラブシャッフル]
Rating: 10/10 (Watched)
Yay, Panda! This was the best drama of the winter 2009 season for sure. Nothing else matched it in the blend of comedy, intense romance, story and characters. I loved the cast and the couples, (though I think one couple in particular was forced together at the end) and rooted for them all. I especially enjoyed Tamaki Hiroshi and Karina, who pulled off a vibe that said "we're very comfortable as friends, but we're destined to be intensely intimate." Love... SHUFFLE! =D
Love Story
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Miho, my Miho. As usual she was simply delightful. This character, in particular, suited her acting style and simple beauty. I think that I was disappointed, however, by how this series dragged it's feet at times. Still, I think this was one of the best of its kind.
Lucky Seven [ラッキーセブン]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Lunch no Joou [ランチの女王]
Rating: 10/10 (Watched)
If I took anything away from this drama, than it was most definetly a newfound interest in western-inspired food from Japan! Omurice is something that I MUST try! This drama was just so hilairous and interesting. I have to say that dramas centered around a character's love for food usually turn out to be the most interesting. Natsumi really was the Lunch Queen, and the queen of the four brother's hearts! I reccomended this drama to a good friend of mine and she loved it. I reccomend it to everyone! IT's worth watching, no doubt about it!
Magerarenai Onna [曲げられない女]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Once again this is a series I initially passed on. 2010 has been a year where I watched a lot that I never thought I'd watch, and I am far from disappointed. Magerarenai Onna is arguable one of the best series of 2010. The characters are all fantastic and the storyline is somewhat unique. But what really caught my attention was the complexities and quirks of Kanna Miho's character. She was hilarious, adorable, and oh so awesome.
Mahoro Ekimae Bangaichi [まほろ駅前番外地]
Rating: 10/10 (Watched)
Majo no jouken [魔女の条件]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
I'm not quite sure why I started watching this series, but I kept on watching it, right until the end. All of the actors did a good job, and the story was superb. I think it had a satisfying ending. it wasn't perfectly happy, but I don't think that's what was called for. It ended gracefully and it was executed beautifully.
Majo Saiban [魔女裁判]
Manhattan Love Story [マンハッタン ラブストーリー]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
This series was a laugh-riot throughout and well worth watching for Matsuoko Masahiro's portrayal of Tenchou alone. His inner-thought voice overs were funny as hell and completely adorable! Tsukamoto Takashi also shines as Shinobu, the mysterious part-timer working at Manhattan who turns out to have a crazier and funnier background then ever expected! I think the only downside to this series are the uninteresting and unenthusiastic side-characters and the less-than satisfying ending. Still, this is a classic Kudo Kankuro drama and I enjoyed this one as much as any of his other dramas and movies!
Maou [魔王]
Rating: 10/10 (Watched)
I loved this series! I knew the ending before I started the series, but it was still awesome to watch! Ohno Satoshi was just amazing. He did a fair bit of stage work before this and I feel like that's really colored his acting style and ability. Ikuta Tomo overacted quite a bit, to the point where I came to hate his character, while Ohno really stole the screen. This was one of the best dramas of the year!
Marumo no Okite [マルモのおきて]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
What more could you ask for in a family drama? Cute kids: check. Comedy: check. Life lessons: check. Talking dog: Check... Wait, what? Ashida Mana is hot stuff in Japan right now, and at her age she was a long and fruitful career ahead of her. I watched this drama because I loved her in Mother and I look forward to her other future projects as well. Abe Sadao always brings in the laughs. It's strange how reserved he is in interviews and at press conferences, but he's capable of such big acting and zaniness as he does here. But the real star of this show was Mook. What a cute dog! I look forward to the special.
Massugu na Otoko [まっすぐな男]
Rating: 6/10 (Watched)
I expected a bit more from this series after such a fine start, but Fukuda Kyoko disappointed me with a fairly bland performance, and somehow the writer's dropped the ball. Was it unwatchable? No. But predictable and a bit unsettling in a way I just can't describe. It had its moments, but it's not something I would watch again, or even recommend.
Mayonaka no Ame [真夜中の雨]
Mayonaka no Panya-san [真夜中のパン屋さん]
Rating: 6/10 (Watched)
Mei-chan no Shitsuji [メイちゃんの執事]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Stupid and ridiculous. Gorgeous butlers and Kamen Riders... I really have mixed feelings about this drama. First of all, it has a pair of my favorite actors and Kamen Riders: Mizushima Hiro and Sato Takeru. Those boys were simply adorable and great as a pair of brothers. Eikura Nana wasn't the disaster at acting that I thought she'd be, based on the previews. I didn't quite "get" this drama but I enjoyed it nonetheless. You couldn't help but root for Rihito-sama, MeganeUdon and Mameshiba! I hope to see a more conclusive special or second season in the future as the ending leaves MUCH to be desired.
Meitantei no Okite [名探偵の掟]
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
Maybe not one of the smartest or most interesting dramas, but Meitantei was pretty enjoyable. I liked the twist this had on a detective drama and it certainly put a smile on my face. Matsuda Shota is also great eye candy! But where this series failed was that it didn't quite hold up right until the end and lost some its comedic fervor.
Minamikun no koibito [南くんの恋人]
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
This series was cute and sort of funny for the most part, but near the ending the cloying sweetness of it got to be too much. I mean, the ending alone is enough to leave me groaning. Terrible! I liked watching the series, but the writer tried way too hard with this one. At least I got to see Nino acting like a total pervert every episode.
Mirai Koshi Meguru [未来講師めぐる]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
ME-GU-RUUUUU!!! I admit I'm not a fan of Fukada Kyoko, but I am a diehard fan of Kudo Kankuro! He has a unique sense of comedy and an ability to intersect the strange and fantastic with the everyday and I've yet to see that done better by anyone else. This was not his best drama, but it was definitely enjoyable. I think I would've given this 10/10 if it had had a better cast.
Mondai no Aru Restaurant [問題のあるレストラン]
Rating: 10/10 (Watched)
Monster Parent [モンスターペアレント]
Mother
Rating: 10/10 (Watched)
A truly impeccable series, and certainly one of the best I watched in 2010. Matsuyuki Yasuko was lovely and soft-spoken, but timed her outbursts well. The little girl playing her daughter was utterly adorable. Actually, I was surprised by the series. However, pleasantly so. I expected it to follow the somewhat crazed relationship between a kidnapper and her kidnapping victim, with them experiencing some kind of mutual stockholm syndrome (which, in truth, they did), but it ended up being about the relationship between a mother and her child on so many different levels. In fact, there were a multitude of mothers portrayed in the series, and I loved the generational aspect and how each of their mother-daughter relationships complimented and contrasted each other. In the end I was moved to tears. No matter how unbelievable it might seem, they truly became mother and daughter.
Mother and Lover [マザー&ラヴァー]
Moto Kare [元カレ]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
This was my first Dohmoto Tsuyoshi drama. He has had such rave reviews, and Moto Kare seemed interesting enough, so I checked it out. To be honest, after the first couple of episodes, I found it a bit dull. But it picked up a bit in later episodes, and I found myself rooting, "Ganbatte!" for Touji (Dohmoto) near the end! I am glad I decided to watch this drama all the way through. I have really good memories of watching it, and I will definetly watch it again. And now I have to admit that I am a bit of a Domoto Tsuyoshi fan, due to this series, and the variety shows he hosts, "Domoto Kyoudai" and "Domoto Tsuyoshi no Shoujiki Shindoi." Tsuyoshi-kun is so funny, and not a half bad actor and singer either!
Mou Ichido Kimi ni, Propose [もう一度君に、プロポーズ]
Mou Yuukai Nante Shinai [もう誘拐なんてしない]
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
Good, but not particularly memorable. Popular actors come together for this special, but come off a bit mismatched. Overall the acting was good, but looking back I find myself wondering... what was this about again?
Moyashimon [もやしもん]
Rating: 4/10 (Watched)
Anything with Nakamura Shunsuke as its lead is really not worth watching, but I took a look at this series anyway due to it being Moyahsimon. I enjoyed the anime version, but this series is sort of all over the place in terms of plot and fairly terrible when it comes to acting. Oh well.
MOZU ~ Mozu no Sakebu Yoru ~ [MOZU ~ 百舌の叫ぶ夜 ~]
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
MR. BRAIN
Rating: 10/10 (Watched)
Best drama of 2009? Looks like it to me! Kimura Takuya once again knocks a series out of the park and into the realm of masterpiece! This series featured interesting (though undeveloped) characters, engrossing stories, an amazing main cast with equally amazing guest stars (Gackt, Sato Takeru, Nakame Yukie...), and some of the funniest moments ever! The only drawbacks to this series are its length (8 episodes, though longer than usual, was not enough) and the unfinished overreaching plot. I NEED MORE MR. BRAIN! I hope for a sequel of some kind, and soon!
Mukashi no otoko [昔の男]
Mukodono! [ムコ殿/女婿大人]
Rating: 5/10 (Watched)
As far as ridiculous dramas go, this one takes first prize! From this point on I will never be able to take Nagase Tomoyo seriously. But at the same time, he should be praised for his undeniable mastery of portraying completely unbelievable and stupid characters. At times I found this series mildly amusing, and it's not completely unwatchable, but sometimes it just went way too over the top! I'll pass on Mukodono 2003.
My Little Chef
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
With Yada Akiko and Abe Hiroshi at the helm of this lovely series, how could it dissapoint? I found myself drawn into the problems of the restaurant's patrons each and every episode, but what truly made this series was the gorgeous food. While I am disapointed that there wasn't much drama in this drama, I enjoyed the slice-of-life feel and the truly happy ending.
N no Tameni [Nのために]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
Nakuna, Hara-chan [泣くな、はらちゃん]
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
Namae o Nakushita Megami [名前をなくした女神]
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
Namonaki Doku [名もなき毒]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
Nankyoku Tairiku ~Kami no Ryouiki ni Idomunda Otoko to Inu no Monogatari~ [南極大陸〜神の領域に挑んだ男と犬の物語〜]
Rating: 6/10 (Watched)
I wanted to like this series. I really did! Kimura Takuya, dogs, and adventure! What more could I have asked for? The dogs were amazing. Not just their "acting" but how they were portrayed in shots and editing came off very well. Unfortunately, the human actors left much to be desired. Each and every actor, except for a choice moment with Kimura Takuya, decided to play a cardboard-cutout rather than try to create a real character. This was due in part to the script, I'm sure, and it's also a common affliction in Japanese dramas. Here I expected more, given the already high production values! They truly dumbed-down the characters and events to a level that I felt was insulting the memory of the real people of the first Japanese Antarctic expedition. Still, a tear-jerker ending. Even though the foreshadowing was far too heavy-handed.
Naruyouni Narusa [なるようになるさ。]
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
Naruyouni Narusa 2 [なるようになるさ。2]
Natsuko no sake
Rating: 10/10 (Watched)
Wakui Emi was one of Japan's treasures in the 90's, and she still is even now. She embodied an innocence and fresh-faced beauty that is hard to find today among the crush of idols. Natsuko no Sake is one of those dramas that should be required watching for all those new to Asian drama addiction; it's heartwarming, rich with Japanese culture, features the strong familial bonds present in most Japanese dramas, and centres around a strong yet feminine young woman. No one should call herself a drama addict without watching this! While there's no slapstick comedy or juicy love triangles, no violent murder mysteries or shocking plot twists, Natsuko no Sake is one of the most engrossing dramas I have ever come across. The topic of sake brewing itself is interesting, as is the process of growing rice, and the politics of farming (the closest it gets to plot twists). But what makes this drama stand out is the grace with which the story is told, and the endearing qualities of every character in the story, most notably Wakui's Natsuko. Beautiful scenery, timeless characters, and a respect for the material on which this series was based make this a worthwhile drama for all time.
Nemureru mori [眠れる森]
Rating: 10/10 (Watched)
If half scores were available, I would give his 9 1/2. I loved Sleeping Forest. Nakayama Miho is absolutely enchanting. From episode 1 I was drawn into the mystery and I kept watching to discover the answers to so many questions. The series always had a quirky feel to it. Eccentric. I liked that. Kimura Takuya was wonderful, as always. My only regret is the confusing ending, which is why I would dock half a point from the rating. In the end, was it all for nothing?
News no onna [ニュースの女]
Nisennen no koi [二千年の恋]
Nobuta wo Produce [野ブタ。をプロデュース]
Rating: 10/10 (Watched)
When I first heard of this drama, I didn't think that I'd like it very much. At last I watched it... and discovered it to be one of the best dramas I have seen! Nobuta Power... ENTER! The relationship of Shuji and Akira was very cool. It wasn't until the end that I understood that this was more a drama about their friendship, and not just about Nobuta. At first Akira was a bit annoying, but he definetly grew to be my favorite character after Shuji! The only dissapointments I had in this series were how Shuji and Nobuta never hooked up, and how Nobuta was left behind in the end. It was an almost-sad, but satisfyingly happy ending.
Nodame Cantabile [のだめ カンタビ−レ]
Rating: 10/10 (Watched)
FANTASTIC! Best drama of 2006 that I have seen so far. Tamaki Hiroshi really surprised me! He completely threw himself into the role of Chiaki. Ueno Juri as Nodame as well! Although some elements of the story had to be left out due to time (Awwh, why can't dramas be longer sometimes), I felt like the adaptation was expertly achieved. Everyone involved dud an amazing job reproducing what makes Nodame Cantabile really shine in anime and manga. I'm excited for the future! I hope that, following the Paris Special, they continue in some form!
Odoru Daisousasen [踊る大捜査線]
Ohitorisama [おひとりさま]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
Cute and funny, I enjoyed this drama from start to finish. It certainly has its flaws (a somewhat underdeveloped relationship, underdeveloped side-characters) and it ended far too soon, in my opinion, but overall a nice break from all seriousness! The finale had me squealing at its cuteness at times, and rolling my eyes at its ridiculousness (and the ignorance of the main characters) other times. Which kind of sums up my thoughts about the series in general.
Ohsama no resutoran [王樣のレストラン]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
Mitani Kouki is one of Japan's finest screenwriters. He penned this drama in the 1990's, and writing is drama is not something he has done often. He is a great comedic writer and this drama was no exception to that. He's also a master at handling large groups, and the large cast of characters in this is a testament to that. The drama itself doesn't ever move outside the restaurant, which worked well for it, as the "what happens in life also happens on the plate" is proven to be true; all we need to know about the characters is evident by what they do and how they act within the restaurant. And their micro-community flourishes. This is certainly worth watching for fans of Mitani Kouki's films, and drama lovers in general!
Oishii Gohan [おいしいごはん]
Oishii Kankei [おいしい關係]
Rating: 10/10 (Watched)
A very delicious drama! Nakayama Miho is lovely. She is definetly one of the best Japanese actresses out there. There were times in this series that she reminded me of Nakama Yukie, whom I also love. I wish that Miho was still acting in new dramas! I'll definetly be checking out more of her past projects.
Oishii puropozu [おいしいプロポーズ]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Not a half bad drama, although I had a hard time believing the character of Katsuragi Haruki. Well acted, and definitely funny, but a bit too formulaic. The ending was also not satisfying. Some of the side-characters, as well, were confusing or annoying. But still I enjoyed the story. Hasegawa Kyoko is a top rate actress.
Orange Days [オレンジデイズ]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
Okay, so I found the plot a bit obivous, and the characters seem to take forever to realize important facts and feelings. BUT, Orange Days was just so cute and funny that I found myself devouring each episode as I got them! I laughed and cried for all of the victories and dissapointments of each of the characters, and I couldn't help but root for their loves to be realized! The ending was perfect and lovely. Narimiya Hiroki, especially, was so fantastic in yet ANOTHER drama. I am looking forward to his future projects! He's so wonderful.
Orthros no Inu [オルトロスの犬]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
This was a fantastic dramatic series with a great supernatural twist, though it suffered from quite a few random and underdeveloped side characters who detracted from the stars and the main plot, rather than furthered the story. Takizawa Hideaki is the one to watch in this series. He goes from delightfully evil, to quite and contemplative, to wounded angel by the end of the series. He gave a truly stand out performance that far surpassed anyone else on screen! this drama has it's flaws, but it kept me on the edge of my seat and was great!
Osen [おせん]
Rating: 10/10 (Watched)
Osen was a fantastic series that highlighted some of the increasingly obscure, but still important aspects of Japanese cooking and culture! Although it was sometimes inaccurate (the process of making miso was trimmed down in its explanation) and the characters could at times be annoying (I dislike Uchi Hiroki), I was enthralled by the parade of delicious-looking food and drink! I have a new found appreciation for Japanese cuisine and, although I won't be attempting to make much at home right now, I do hope to be able to afford to enjoy the cuisine at a restaurant such as Isshouan one day! My only real complaint about this drama is the somewhat shaky ending. I do wish they had developed a relationship between Osen and Yocchan a bit more.
Otomen [オトメン(乙男)]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
This series was cute and crazy and everything an highschool-romance shoujo manga adaption should be! I loved the main characters and even though I`ve never read the manga, I feel they were really well casted. This is also a very rewatchable series as I found myself rewatching episodes while I waited for the conclusion to be subbed. Sooo adorable!
Oyaji~ [オヤジぃ]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Certainly not the best drama I've watched, but I did enjoy the conflict between the family members and each of their own experiences as they grew first apart and then back together again. Hirosue Ryoko was especially awesome in this series.
Pan to Soup to Nekobiyori [パンとスープとネコ日和]
Rating: 10/10 (Watched)
Peter no Soretsu [ペテロの葬列]
Rating: 10/10 (Watched)
Platonic [プラトニック]
Rating: 6/10 (Watched)
PRICELESS ~Aru Wake Nedaro,n namon!~ [PRICELESS ~あるわけねぇだろ,んなもん!~]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Pride [プライド]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
Sports dramas are not usually my thing but I got into this one and finished it quite quickly. Great characters and dialogue, Kimura Takuya and sports seems to be a winning combination because it also worked in his later drama, Engine. However, there were some points in the plot where I was quite annoyed. Nothing bad could ever happen to Halu unless he did it to himself. Meanwhile, the people around him suffer from all kinds of things they have no control over. Guess that's what you call leading a "charmed life"? Good drama and worth watching.
Puzzle [パズル]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
I really enjoyed this drama and its cast. Yamamoto Yusuke was brilliant and cute as always, but Ishihara Satomi really surprised me. She pulled off the role of greedy, two-faced Ayukawa really well. I kept expecting some kind of big arc to begin and take place over the course of the series, but every episode was a one-shot. I really enjoyed that but because of the episodic nature of the show there was absolutely no character development! That and the sometimes too simplistic mysteries were the only disappointing aspects of the series. Otherwise it was really funny and interesting! I hope they make a sequel of some kind!
Real Clothes [リアル・クローズ]
Reinoryokusha Odagiri Kyoko no Uso [霊能力者 小田霧響子の嘘]
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
Though cheesy and always predictable, I enjoyed Ishihara Satomi and Tanihara Shousuke in this light-hearted series. Acting was great, scenes were absorbing, and at the very least the episodes stuck true to their formula. It was silly, but it worked!
Remote [リモート]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Okay, so you can't really overlook the overwheliming cheesiness of the series, the simple-mindedness of Fukada Kyoko's character is truly unbeleiveable, and Domoto Koichi is no Domoto Tsuyoshi, that's for sure. BUT. It was great! I really laughed alot during this series, and the ending was perfect!
RHPlus [RHプラス]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
As a fan of Boys Love/BL/Yaoi and vampires, this series was not to be missed! Although it was certainly cheesy at times and features some horrible acting it did have a decent cast and was lots of fun to watch. I was especially excited to see Tochihara Rakuto in a new role since Kamen Rider Hibiki. He was adorable as Ageha!
Rich Man, Poor Woman [リッチマン、プアウーマン]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Rikon Bengoshi [離婚弁護士]
Rikon Bengoshi 2 [離婚弁護士II〜ハンサム ウーマン〜]
River's Edge Ookawabata Tanteisha [リバースエッジ 大川端探偵社]
Rating: 10/10 (Watched)
ROOKIES [ルーキーズ]
Rating: 4/10 (Watched)
I dropped this series but in the end decided to finish it. Is it just me, or did the actors all look so much older than teenagers? I'm not a fan of sports series and originally picked this up because I love Satou Takeru and Satou Ryuta. But the series itself was so irritating and boring. I didn't feel like rooting for the team at all and it was just exciting.
ROOM OF KING
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
I'm not sure if my rating or review will be an accurate one. This was the best of Mizushima Hiro's dramas, and definitely worth the years it took for it to be subtitled. Though at times the gags were a little too in-your-face, and its silliness was overwhelming, I enjoyed the self-awareness the series had. There was also a great message about friendship and about pursuing your dreams, or at least trying your hardest to figure out what those dreams are. In fact, I feel almost guilty watching it instead of working on my career!
Ruri no shima [瑠璃の島]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
This was a wonderful drama! Although Narumi Riko is young and her acting was definitely rough around the edges, she has a lot of talent and did a wonderful job. Takenouchi Yutaka was also superb. I really enjoyed the story of Ruri and her island. The people she met, the family and friends she made and the lives she touched. It was lovely. The ending was especially satisfying. This series has really enriched my life. I hope to be able to watch the drama special in the near future!
Ryusei no Kizuna [流星の絆]
Rating: 10/10 (Watched)
Great drama! All-star cast, SUPER acting (especially by NINO!) and a great story. I thoroughly enjoyed this drama for its entire run. I can't believe it's already over! This drama deserved 1 or 2 more episodes than it was given. There was some disappointment that a couple of the side-characters were not as fleshed out as they could have been. Otherwise I was very satisfied, even with a twist ending that came out of nowhere!
Saigo Kara Nibanme no Koi [最後から二番目の恋]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
What can I really say about this series? I love a fast-talking show and the chemistry between the cast is unparalleled by anything else I've seen in the past five years, maybe longer. Nakai Kiichi is a fantastic actor and he and Koizumi Kyoko played off each other well. I suppose my only regret with this series is that the two of them were so good together that it was disappointing not to see their romance begin until the very end. It just wasn't a satisfying conclusion to the series, but I have to give the show credit for showing that small degree of realism and sticking to the promise of its title; her next love will always be her "second-to-last love."
Saigo no Yakusoku [最後の約束]
Rating: 6/10 (Watched)
It was nice to see all of the Arashi boys together in a drama. This was an alright thriller, but there were certainly no surprises at the end.
Saikou no Jinsei no Owarikata ~Ending Planner~ [最高の人生の終り方~エンディングプランナー~]
Rating: 6/10 (Watched)
This drama is an example of why writers should try to limit their plot lines and the obstacles the main characters have to overcome. I was surprised to see the combination of the story of second son of a funeral parlous returning to take over the family business with all the trappings of an amateur detective novel, but it was done well in the series. Eikura Nana and Yamapi worked well together, though normally neither is a favourite of mine. But the addition of the family's very unrealistic mountain of problems, topped off by the eldest son (a half brother no less) and his incurable brain tumour, overshadowed much of the good of this show by the time it reached its conclusion. I would have liked more emphasis on the supernatural element, such as an earlier explanation of that, and more emphasis on the detective work and business of the funeral parlour. Despite the hiccups in the plot, overall the cast was superb. I may not have liked his character's addition, but Sorimachi Takashi is a decent actor and he put on a fine performance in this. The guest stars each episode were superb and memorable as well. Though my personal favourite character was definitely Yamazaki Tsutomu's Iwata, who was by far the most interesting out of anyone. His performance brought out the best in Yamapi as well and their scenes together were my favourites. Overall a watchable drama, but maybe not quite worth it unless you're a diehard Yamapi and/or Eikura Nana fan.
Saikou no Rikon [最高の離婚]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Sailor Fuku to Kikanju [セーラー服と機関銃]
Rating: 6/10 (Watched)
Well, at least it was short. I did not enjoy Nagasawa Masami very much in this drama (or any other so far). Her character was superbly annoying. I liked Tsutsumi Shinichi but I was sad how his character ended. This drama was, overall, very depressing and also boring at times. It's watchable if you have nothing better to do, though.
Saito-san [斉藤さん]
Rating: 10/10 (Watched)
I have to say that Saito-san was a surprisingly enjoyable series for me. Though I initially passed on it, recently I decided to check it out and finished it off in just a few days. I was really impressed by the cast, especially Mimura. She pulled off her role so convincingly and I fell in love with all of Mano's little quirks. Her nervous stutter, her hilarious made-up songs, her skipping, and her colorful facial expressions! Mimura stole the screen every time she was on it and out shined even Mizuki Alisa, who was also so superb. One of the other aspects of the series that really defied my expectations was its episodic nature, or actually lack thereof. At first I expected every episode to have some incident where Saito-san saves the day, solves someone's problems, and makes a new friend. But I was pleasantly surprised that that is not the case. In fact, the plot of the series and relationships between the characters turned out to be pretty complex and I appreciated the writer's attention to detail and truly awesome characterization. Mikami (Takahsima Reiko) was probably the most well-made character besides Mano, and perhaps even more so. In episode one she came off as a shallow, high-class woman, but as the series went on layer after layer of her character was stripped away to reveal a truly well-character and individual. Perhaps Saito-san won't impress everyone, but this is most definitely a drama worth at least checking out!
Sapuri [サプリ]
Rating: 6/10 (Watched)
Though I found myself interested in the beginning thanks to the delightful cast, by the end I'd had more than enough. It was a very predictable, absolutely generic coming-of-age romance, with predictable characters and absolutely no plot twists or messiness. It was so tidy from start to finish, to the point where it became boring. Credit to this series for being the first one where I didn't want to strangle Ito Misaki straight away, though. But her flat acting and even flatter character wore on me in the latter half.
Satorare [サトラレ]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
This drama was adorable, cute and cuddly stuff! Sure it was silly and not quite romantic enough, but I really enjoyed Odagiri Joe in his role and I enjoyed the series quite a bit! Great cast, fascinating plot, comedy, romance, and a satisfying ending. What more could a girl ask for?
SCHOOL!! [スクール!!]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Eguchi Yosuke always puts on an enthusiastic performance which I classify as uniquely "Eguchi-style." In this drama he was no different. I liked the kids as well; they were written slightly over the top but portrayed by an enjoyable gang of young actors. Story-wise it was a predictable series, but episodic, school-reform series like this are common. This one was definitely a cut above others I've tried, but not as memorable as others such as Gokusen. Good, but could've been better.
Sh15uya [シブヤフィフティーン]
Shiawase ni Narou yo
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
A naive but very predictable drama. Although I think Katori Shingo, Kuroki Meisa, Fujiki Naohito, and Naka Riisa are all fine actors and the show should have been a lot greater than it was, I was just really annoyed by the end. Naka Riisa's character never stood a chance and though I like the way she played her, I didn't like the character. I think that's true for just about everyone in this drama. Actually, I think the most enjoyable parts were the meetings between Harada Mieko and Kobayashi Kaoru. Cute, soft, vaguely romantic. It's sad nothing much came of that. I was honestly rooting for the ugly guy to nag the pretty girl and it was frustrating to see the pretty boy advisor swoop in and steal her away so I guess I resented their relationship instead of rooted for it. In this kind of drama I want the couple I'm rooting for to be successful. Sure the ugly guy found a pretty girl by the end, but it wasn't THE pretty girl, you know? I found this drama somewhat enjoyable however, if only for K$uroki Meisa's beautiful clothes on occasion.
Shibatora [シバトラ]
Shijuukunichi no Recipe [四十九日のレシピ]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
I can find little, if anything, to fault with this drama series. Well, besides that it was so short, and that it baffles me that any woman could overcome such a heinous love affair and reconcile with her husband. I enjoyed the relationships of all the characters and learning about the life of Okka through her daughter and husband. All of the recipes were adorable as well. Well-acted, well-directed, high production values and a great story are what it takes to make a superb drama, and this had all of the above.
Shika Otoko Aoniyoshi [鹿男あをによし]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
This was a very enjoyable and interesting series! Tamaki Hiroshi did a pretty good portraying the main character of Ogawa, although I feel like his performances all run into one another. By the end of the series I was disappointed that so much of the initial characterization was forgotten. Wasn't he very unlucky? It would have been more satisfying if someone had said,. "It seems like your luck has finally turned around!" or something. But maybe someone did and I missed it. My favorite character was Deer-san, who was the funniest and most interesting character of the series. I wonder how he lost his antlers, though? I guess I'll never know!
Shinya Shokudo 2 [深夜食堂]
Rating: 10/10 (Watched)
Shinya Shokudou, with its steady and quiet episodes and its cast of talented actors, is one of the finest dramas I have ever seen. Though the proprietor is mysterious, even his name is unknown, that's not to say he is without a distinction as a character and over the course of both series he has been shown to be more than a character but a person. This is due to Kobayashi Kaoru's masterful portrayal, but also the writing itself. The episodic nature may annoy some people, but as I watched this series I enjoyed both the new stories and seeing the continuing threads that were woven throughout. Odagiri Joe was a standout presence in the series. Alongside Kobayashi's Master, the Poet was mysterious yet a wonderfully complete character. I was happy but also sad to at least learn of his origins in the final episode. I hope we'll see a third series, should the source material allow for it!
Shinya Shokudo 3 [深夜食堂 3]
Rating: 10/10 (Watched)
Shinzanmono [新参者]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
Shinzanmono was one of the rare dramas that turned me off at the very start but managed to pull me in completely not long after. Though it was frustrating at times to follow the seemingly disconnected mysteries of the townsfolk and the repetitiously heartwarming conclusions, in the end I appreciated the detailed tapestry that was woven about the victim's life and the character of the town itself. Abe Hiroshi's performance was nothing to write home about, but his subdued, comical air suited the role. In the end this is not the suspenseful mystery drama I expected, but spoke to the slice-of-life fan in me and was satisfying.
Shiroi Haru [白い春]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
This was a really good drama that took me a couple episodes to get into. I really enjoyed the double-father dynamic with Abe Hiroshi and Endo Kenichi, and those scenes were some of the best of the entire series. But overall this drama has left me with a bad taste in my mouth. How could it end like that? I never would have imagined that would happen and it seemed both random and tacked on at the end. This drama could have used another episode.
Shitsuren Chocolatier [失恋ショコラティエ]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Shokuzai [贖罪]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
No one can argue that Koizumi Kyoko is a fine actress. It was interesting to watch this alongside her other Winter 2012 drama, Saigo kara Nibanme no Koi, and see the contrast in her characters so clearly. I was initially fascinated by Aoi Yuu's episode, which was beautifully strange. Yet it seems the tone changed from episode to episode and the grace and mystery gradually faded, to be replaced by a feeling of overwhelming discomfort and confusion. Though I suppose that was the point. It was a fine drama but I think perhaps I wasn't ready for something as unique as this. Overall the cast was great and the episodes in themselves were interesting. There were also moments in the series, such as when Koike Eiko's character confronts the man in the pool, that were so emotionally charged that I could not look away. But as a whole I felt the plot just didn't come together. I was left thinking, "so what?"
Shomuni [ショムニ]
(Watched)
Shuden Gohan [終電ごはん]
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
Slow Dance [スローダンス]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
I decided to watch this series because of Tsumabaki Satoshi and Hirosue Ryoko. They both gave splendid performances! I really enjoyed it, although... yeah. It was indeed a "slow dance." And despite how happy and graceful the ending it was, it felt sort of... half-hearted? I was a bit dissapointed somehow. I really enjoyed the series up to the last episode, but then it was just... over. Maybe the 1 year gap just didn't sit right with me. Ah well. I still loved it!
Sore wa, Totsuzen, Arashi no you ni... [それは、突然、嵐のように…]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Not a half bad drama. I was captivated Esumi Makiko's gorgeous figure and long, full hair. She was serious but she had this softness just around the edges that made her very likable. Overall I was happy with the way it ended. Who knows what would've been in the future for those people? Yet what made me give this series and 8 instead of a 9 was that same uncertainty and that final scene between Kozue and Hideo. It made me think that they would end up back together after all, and I think they're just not right for each other after all.
Soredemo, Ikite Yuku [それでも、生きてゆく]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
I began this series because of its cast and premise. It was the kind of drama that is at times uplifting, at others so saddening that you want to curl up at the bottom of a deep, dark hole and never surface again. It was a beautiful drama, with the countryside and pond having been so lovingly film, but I can't say the entire cast had the same passion for the show. Otake Shinobu gave a stand out performance however. I've never seen a woman appear so fragile and yet so powerful at the same time. Mitsushima Hikari surprised me. She has an odd style of acting, but it's honest. Eita, however, surprised me in how hesitant his performance was. It was as if he were avoiding the emotions of the character and throughout the entire series I only saw Eita, and not who he was portraying. For this, I must dock points. He was the main character! But still. This was a wonderful series and well worth the watch.
Soup Curry [スープカレー]
Rating: 6/10 (Watched)
Stand UP!!
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
Stand up! This is not a series to be missed! Ninomiya Kazunari and Suzuki Anne are delightful in this heart warming story! Narimiya Hiroki is also NOT to be missed! I laughed so much, I almost cried. And then I did! This is the kind of series that's like a friendly hug. It can be firm and it can sometimes mean goodbye, but more often than not its warm, sweet, and absolutely fun!
Starman ~ Kono Hoshi no Koi [スターマン ・ この星の恋]
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
Strawberry Night [ストロベリーナイト]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Takeuchi Yuko has often played more innocent and cute characters, so it was hard to imagine her as a tough and talented police detective. Though at times she overdoes it, she was very good in this. The strength of this drama might have been the interrelationships between teams, but I felt that was downplayed for dramatic purposes. Yet the individual plots themselves were not all that exciting. In fact, I found myself solving murders long before the were solved in the show. Thus I was not kept on the edge of my seat. Overall the drama could've been stronger in character and plot. But It was certainly alright, and the actors had good chemistry with each other.
Strawberry on the shortcake [ストロベリー・オンザ・ショートケーキ]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
To start off, I honestly thought I knew what would happen by the end of this series, but I was very wrong! The story was very complex with many unexpected twists and pitfalls. I admit that there were times when I couldn't stand this series, but overall it was wonderfully acted and came to a lovely conclusion! It's sad that Kubozuke Yosuke has become such an underrated actor in Japan due to the incident in 2004. I hope that he cane further revivie his career in the future!
Style! [スタイル!]
Subete ga F ni Naru [すべてがFになる]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
Suekko chounan ane san nin [末っ子長男姉三人]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
Fantastic light, comedic drama. I was engrossed in the story of Haru-chan and her new family. Although I could never relate to her situation, as a foreigner. I would never let my in-laws treat me with that kind of disprespect! Fukatsu Eri was lovely and really did an amazing job. She seemed so much younger! I was truly convinced by her. I wasn't particularly impressed with Okada Junichi, but he wasn't horrtible either. Out of the 3 sisters, I enjoyed Koyuki's performance the most. She was so funny and I think her "story" turned out the best. Suzuki Sawa, as Miki, was definitely my favorite side-character. She is very beautiful. Overall a good drama, perhaps even rewatchable.
Summer Nude [サマーヌード]
Summer snow
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Dohmoto Tsuyoshi has stolen my heart. It's true that this series will have you crying by the end. It's so bitter-sweet. However, I truly enjoyed it. It was also very funny and cute! I just wish I hadn't stumbled upon a spoiler here at J-Dorama regarding the outcome of the series, because when I made it to the final episode I knew almost immedietly exactly what was going to happen. As such, I cried through the entire episode! Even if it's cheesy sometimes, and even if it might make you feel a bit depressed... DEFINETLY check out Summer Snow!
Sunao ni Narenakute [素直になれなくて]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
This is a drama that resembled another so closely, that I had hard time getting into it out of fear, and because that made it somewhat predictable. Of course, the drama SunaNare resembles is Last Friends. Go figure, what with the completely different production staff. Could it have just been Ueno Juri and Eita? Nah. It goes deeper than that. A love triangle, a group of friends struggling with personal problems, and a suicide? Sounds EXACTLY like Last Friends. But the upside of SunaNare is that it didn't involve so much INDECISIVENESS! Just to break it down. SunaNare had very likable characters, fantastic plotting, even more fantastic side-stories and characters (their parents' romance was so engrossing), and really great tunes. Not to mention that it looked great, whether it was sets, styling, or direction. Some folks might be turned off by the ending, but it suited the drama and was really well-handled. Overall a great drama! No masterpiece, but damn good!
Taberu Dake [たべるダケ]
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
Taisetsu na Koto wa Subete Kimi ga Oshiete Kureta [大切なことはすべて君が教えてくれた]
Rating: 6/10
Near the end I found myself asking "why am I still watching this"? Miura Haruma impressed me with his performance this time around, though I've never been too impressed with him in the past, but Toda Erika might as well have phoned in her performance. I was very disappointed by the plot and how the relationships between the characters developed, though I suppose I should've known what to expect. I really think the screenwriter dropped the ball on this one. It felt so unnatural. Props to Takei Emi though. Hers was the most interesting and likeable character, and she had fantastic chemistry with Miura. Overall I just didn't like any of the characters enough to care about their problems and complexes.
Taiyo no Kisetsu [太陽の季節]
Tatta Hitotsu no Koi [たったひとつの恋]
TEIOH [帝王]
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
Despite being a late-night drama with obviously lower production values and an overly-sweetened plot, I enjoyed this series and Tsukamoto Takashi's performance. It's not often he gets a lead role, and I liked seeing him as the main character for once. Beyond that the plot is average and predictable, and it lacked the real dramatic energy to make it a masterpiece.
Tenchu ~Yami no Shioki Nin~ [天誅 〜闇の仕置人〜]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Tenshi no Wakemae [天使のわけまえ]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
This was a short but very sweet drama. Though I had my doubts when I first saw her in a drama a few years ago, I think I've been thoroughly swayed by Mizuki Alisa. She's a wonderful actress, but combine her with food porn? Wrap me up and take me home, Alisa-chan! I enjoyed the simple story and characters in this series, especially Kurumi's grandfather who was a laugh-riot every time he came on screen. It was far from perfect and I wish it had been longer, but I think this is a satisfying series for anyone who likes dramas involving food and family.
Tentai Kanzoku [天体観測]
The Quiz Show [ザ・クイズショウ]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
Katagiri Jin was both hilarious and scarily dramatic in this, the first version of The Quiz Show. I really enjoyed every episode and looked forward to seeing how it would end.
Tiger & Dragon [タイガー&ドラゴン]
Rating: 10/10 (Watched)
Ehhh? It's Rakugo! I have to admit that I had no idea what this series was about when I grabbed the first episode. But I quickly caught on. This drama was simply HILARIOUS! I laughed every episode. It had a wonderful ending and it was well worth the long wait for subtitles. I am not really a Nagase Tomoya fan, but he is VERY funny in this series. He's not someone I can take seriously as an actor, because of his ability to play truly outlandish and eccentric roles, but in this series he did well! Okada Junichi was also very fun to watch. Should I ever go to Japan I would love to see a Rakugo performance!
Tobo Bengoshi [逃亡弁護士]
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
Though the episodic junk made me mutter "Grrrr" every once and awhile, somehow the Narita's fight for survival and the mystery behind his framing kept me interested all the way through the series. It's not often I started something just because it's there, and actually stick with it through the end of the series. It was my first time seeing Ishihara Satomi playing such a vulnerable character. I can't say I enjoyed it, but she did a passable job. Overall this is one to watch, but not to marathon.
Tokkan Tokubetsu Kokuzei Choushukan [トッカン 特別国税徴収官]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
Tokkyu Tanaka 3 Go [特急田中3号]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
Tanaka Koki was surprisingly fun in this, his first lead role! His acting style reminds me a lot of Nagase Tomoya, and I wouldn't be surprised if Tanaka happened to admire his sempai. Truthfully, I began watching this drama for Tsukamoto Takashi, whom I have really come to enjoy. But the entire cast did a great job. All of the tetsudou fanaticism was a lot of fun. Although I didn't understand most of it, I loved seeing all of the trains and the enthusiasm of the characters really made me want to travel to Japan and take a train tour one day. Overall, a great drama for 2007!
Tokyo Bandwagon [東京バンドワゴン]
Tokyo DOGS ~ Saiaku de Saiko no Partner [東京DOGS]
Rating: 5/10
Poor writing ran this drama into the ground, despite its strong cast (with one exception)! Good comedy, but unfortunately the same handful of cliche jokes were over-used and thus I just grew irritated by it. Oguri Shun and Mizushima Hiro had good chemistry together, but unfortunately their relationship as friends and partners was left underdeveloped. Last, but not least, Yoshitaka Yuriko STANK in this drama. Her acting, her role... This drama would have been better off without her. Overall this drama was extremely overrated. Lots of melodrama, cheap jokes, and cliches, but absolutely no substance whatsoever!
Tokyo Wankei [東京湾景]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
It truly was my destiny to watch this series, and I'm glad that it came into my life! At times I was lifted up to great heights of joy, and at others I was plunged into trepidation and sorrow. But the ending made the series well worth my patience. Sometimes it was obvious and cheesy, but when you look at the whole picture, it was brilliant. Nakama Yukie was simply beautiful, although I'm used to seeing her in comedic roles. For her fans, and fans of J-Drama in general, this is a series to watch!
Top Caster [トップキャスタ]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Top Sales [トップセールス]
Toshi Densetsu no Onna [都市伝説の女]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
Triangle [トライアングル]
Rating: 6/10 (Watched)
This drama started out on a high point with a great cast and intriguing mystery. But in the end it went nowhere and the "twists" seemed more like hiccups. What was the point of all this? I was extremely disappointed in the story and characters.
Trick [トリック]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
I thoroughly enjoyed Trick! It was so strange and funny... I think I like sort of "odd" dramas the best of all. Trick is often as odd as it gets. The mystery behind each of the spiritualists was suprising and engrossing, and the constant "flirtation" between the two main characters was well played out. Nakama Yukie, especially, is so delightful in ANY role she takes on (Even Pocky commercials!). I first began to like her in Gokusen, but her role in Trick has truly cemented my fandom. She's so cute! Abe Hiroshi as well, gave a superb and quirky performance. He can be so scary yet so funny at the same time. I look forward to seeing more of his work! I can't wait to watch Trick 2 and 3.
Trick 2 [トリック2]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Ah yes! More Trick! I felt like this time around, that the "tricks" weren't quite as interesting... There was just something about the two main characters that felt... off. Perhaps like they were trying too hard? I don't know. Yamada Naoko seemed to be acting a bit too... normally. And the way Ueda Jiro kepot stepping on her toes and taking credit. Still, Trick doesn't fail in delivering the laughs! I look forward to seeing the movie and Trick 3, as well as the NEW yet-to-be aired drama special!
Trick 3 [トリック3]
Rating: 10/10 (Watched)
By far, the funniest of the Trick series! Although, at this point I was bit bored by the formula, I found the jokes and the chemistry between Yamada and Ueda to be at their peak. Trick 2 lulled in that aspect. Some of the engrish-y jokes and the Japanese play on words were a bit hard to follow, but enjoyable nonetheless! I laughed so much during Trick 3, and it had a superb ending.
Tsubasa No Oreta Tenshitachi 1 [翼の折れた天使たち]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
Each episode of this drama was a well-written self-contained story. Each of the lead actresses did a wonderful job in her role! I especially enjoyed Ueno Juri, who was wonderful as the surrogate mother who learns how to want to love another. Horikita Maki was also very good! I recommend this drama!
Tsubasa no Oreta Tenshitachi 2 [翼の折れた天使たち]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
I didn't feel as good about these episodes as I did with the first series, but overall it was very nice to watch. Episode 1 was by far my favorite. the story was lovely and tragic. Sato Ryuta did a superb job in his role. I hope they make a 3rd series next year!
Tsuhan-Man
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
It's been a long time since I watched a somewhat older drama series in the style of Tsuhan Man. It was cheesy and episodic, sure, but overall so much fun to watch! These days it seems jdrama get so caught up in melodrama and it's hard to forget reality when you're watching them. Tsuhan Man is not the case! Sure it's a soap opera and its characters are shallow and silly, however I couldn't help but be swept away by Nakamura Yuuichi's performance and the absurdity of the series. Great watch!
Unfair [アンフェア]
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
For the most part this is an awesome series. Shinohara Ryoko put on one of her best performances and the plot was very compelling. Every time a twist came in I was genuinely shocked and I found myself anticipating the episodes more and more, rather than having my interest drop off as with other series.. However, from early on it was obvious that a certain character would turn out to be involved in the crimes, if not responsible for them, and why. Thus the ending came as no surprise to me whatsoever... Except when that character's lousy speech came on, which surprised me with its stupidity. The one thing that was not handled well was the relationships between the characters, and their lack of change in motivation. It was so unbelievable and in the end very cheesy. Way to ruin a great series. Sheesh!
Untouchable [アンタッチャブル]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
This drama managed to strike a good balance between slapstick comedy, episodic mysteries, and well-conceived of overall plot. The twist at the end was very well done (though I did suspect) and actually made perfect sense. All of the cast were great, though Sato Tomohito stood out the most to me (not just because he was a Kamen Rider a few years ago) because he's grown a lot as an actor. I really enjoy watching him on the screen.
Unubore Deka [うぬぼれ刑事]
Rating: 10/10 (Watched)
Unubore, Unbore, Unubore... DEKA dadadannnn! Is there ever a Kudo Kankura drama not worth watching these days? The man has his style and comedic dramas down pat, but somehow he manages to do something new with each and every series I'd seen. He is probably the only screenwriter in the world for whose work I purposefully seek out. Nagase Tomoya, of course, has fine tuned his character acting over the years, most notably in other Kudo Kankuro dramas, and delivers a flawless performance. Of course, most of the cast are the usual suspects and I enjoyed each and every one of them! Definitely an awesome drama!
Ushi ni Negai wo: Love & Farm [牛に願いを - Love & Farm]
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
The successes of this drama barely make up for its failures, but the fact is they do. I kept in mind that this drama was meant to be a slice-of-life series centered around the troubles of farming and family dynamics, and I think I was able to appreciate it more because of that. However, this drama did tease the viewers with little romances that are never resolved by the end, and I find myself unsatisfied with its conclusion. It was also somewhat boring and the "touching" scenes were over the top. "Is that it?" I asked. The true saving grace of this drama was Tamayama Tetsuji, who outshines every other performer in this series, practically carries the drama on his own. Overall, it's watchable if you know what you're getting into and you have an interest in cows.
Uta no Onii-san [歌のおにいさん]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
If you're looking for a heart-warming pick-me-up type of drama, then look no further! With the ever adorable Ohno Satoshi as its lead, this drama featured kids, fun songs, dancing, comedy, romance and dreams fulfilled. Although a bit too short with a cramped final episode, this one of the best dramas of the Winter 2009 season and well worth the watch!
Utahime [歌姫]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
This was a surprisingly well-acted drama! In the past I have winced at performances from Aibu Saki and Nagase Tomoya, but they did well this time around. The dialect they spoke for the most part felt very natural. This drama's story was engaging right from the start, although they made the ending just a bit too obvious from the very first episode. But maybe that was the intention of the series? It's not the ending that matters (the one true ending is "everyone dies" after all), but the shape and story of lives. So truly, this was an amazing and funny drama!
Virgin Road [バージンロード]
Voice [ヴォイス]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
This was a fun and interesting drama, but almost entirely due to the cast and characters. The episodic style and somewhat obvious mysteries took a back seat to the character development and it felt like they could have been anywhere, doing anything. Art students, for example. Or business students. Eita was, of course, the shining star of the series but I also loved Sato Tomohito and Ishihara Satomi (who has grown a lot as an actress since Kimi wa Petto). Not one of my top 3 for the winter 2009 drama season, but still pretty good.
W no Higeki [Wの悲劇]
Wagaya no Rekishi [わが家の歴史]
Wakamonotachi 2014 [若者たち2014]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Water Boys [ウォーターボーイズ]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
This series was a fine follow up to the film of the same name. Although it's plot was rather obvious and formulaic, it was well acted and had some great comedic moments! But what impressed me the MOST, was the SUPERB synchronized swimming performance!!! If you watch this series for no other reason than to see the performance in the final episode, then you will NOT be dissapointed. It is BEYOND WORDS, the quality and strength of that performance. They took what the movie did and improved upon it 10 times over! And it lasts for 20 MINTUES!!! For that reason alone, I give this series a 10!
Wedding Planner [ウエディングプランナー]
Rating: 6/10 (Watched)
Initially I wrote off this drama but upon a second look it has a notable cast made up almost entirely of actors I've enjoyed over the years. This is an older drama and I've noticed how significantly the style of dramas has changed in the past ten years or so. This series was much more episodic than I was used to seeing as well. The dynamic between the characters was very compartmentalized, and I was a bit disappointed at the inaccuracy of Sweet Bridal's day-to-day business. The ending of the series, though sweet, still felt rushed through. The last few episodes of the series felt far too plot heavy and it would've been better to gradually work through things. Oh well. It was a great distraction!
Woman
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
Yamada Taro Monogatari [山田太郎ものがたり]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
Probably the best drama of 2007! Ninomiya Kazunari was adorable as Yamada Tarou, in the this delightful story of the bonds of family and friendship. Every episode was engaging and fun! I really enjoyed all of the inside jokes for Arashi fans (Air Guitar!), as well as all the great kids! Everyone did a great job. My only disappointment was that the series left out some very funny stories I heard were in the manga. Oh well! The drama does need to define itself. I wonder if this series will become an anime next? I'd like to see that!
Yasashii Jikan [優しい時間]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
This is a lovely series. I cried a fair bit in just the first few episodes. Such a sad beginning, but what a lovely, graceful ending. Really a must see, with wonderful acting all around and beautiful scenery.
Yasuko to Kenji [ヤスコとケンジ]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
Hilarious! Loved Hirosue Ryoko, especially. The acting was so exaggerated but it worked! My biggest pet peeve in this series was the combination of Tabe Mikako and Okura Tadayoshi. They both have a loooong way to go as actors and their performances were distracting throughout the series.
Yoiko no Mikata [よい子の味方]
Yokai Ningen Bem [妖怪人間べム]
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
At the very least one might enjoy this series as a fan of Kamenashi Kazuya, Anne, and/or Kitamura Kazuki. These three actors alone consistently display a range that you don't often seen in Japanese drama actors. Kitamura Kazuki has played every kind of role imaginable and yet he makes me forget his previous characters instantly. Though this time around he does play a bit of an idiot. I have to admit, however, what initially intrigued was the supernatural element of this series. Its one truly shining point was the superb special effects. The combination of makeup and CG produced such well-crafted monsters that, if I didn't know any better, they could be real youkai! Well, I was a bit irritated by the blatant femininity of Bera's youkai form. The story was a bit bland and the ending came a bit abruptly, but overall I enjoyed it. I rate this more a 6.5, but the special effects bump it up to a 7.
Yube no Curry, Ashita no Pan [昨夜のカレー、明日のパン]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Zenkai Girl [全開ガール]
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
What started out as a fun, light-hearted drama with a great main character, adorable children, and a plethora of interesting side-characters turned into out to be a big, underwritten mess by the end. Aragaki Yui was amazing in this! As a female lead she's right up there with the likes of Takeuchi Yuko, Ayase Haruka, Ueto Aya, and Fukada Kyoko. Her talent shows in how she brought Ayukawa Wakaba to life in such a spirited manner. Yet Nishikido Tyo left something to be desired. Was it his wishy-washy character and the poor development of his relationship with Wakaba? I was disappointed by the final episode seeing Shindo simply give up as well. As far as love triangles go, the other side really does need to be emotionally invested for it to make for interesting, dramatic action and this was just not the case. Call off the wedding? Apologize on her behalf? Wish her well? Ah, if only they'd taken the time to actually give Wakaba and Sota some romance in the last few episodes. It would've made for a much more satisfying series.

Susan's drama reviews (34)
Antique [アンティーク〜西洋骨董洋菓子店]
UMAI! [Rating: 10/10]
I searched far and wide for this series, and I am glad I was finally able to watch it! Antique is such a "sweet" series: sweet characters, sweet stories, and sweet cakes! I especially enjoyed Abe Hiroshi's performance. He is so funny! ...And yet he can scare your pants off sometimes. The entire cast was simply so superb. I had read many mixed reviews for this series, including those that complained that it moves too slowly. But I believe that is not the case. The story moves at a pace which is appropriate for the series, and it really is quite enjoyable! Also, it picks up and becomes much more amusing in later episodes. So it's a series to watch and stick with right until the end!
Attention Please [アテンションン プリース]
Hmmmm... [Rating: 8/10]
I will probably never been an Ueto Aya fan. She's cute, certainly. And not a bad actress, to be sure. But she is just not... likeable. I can't remember why I watched this series, perhaps it was because of all the hype surrrounded by it? In the end, I was glad that I did! It had some fun parts and a good message! Most of all, I really enjoyed Maya Miki in the role of Mikami Tamaki. At times she was serious and graceful, but she also gave a wonderfully cute and girly side to her character. I really enjoyed watching her act! This series is not a "must-watch" of J-Dramas in generally, but definetly a highlight of the dramas of 2006!
Boku dake no Madonna [僕だけのマドンナ]
One to watch! [Rating: 9/10]
At first I thought I wouldn't be interested in this drama, but I think I've been brainwashed by every other drama I've watched, because I really enjoyed this one! I admit, that I do like Tackey. I don't love him... but I enjoy his performances. He is a fine actor. So it was nice to have him there, detracting away from Surumi's sometimes annoying little self-centered habits. A good drama, overall, though! Definetly one to watch!
CHANGE
THE BEST DRAMA OF 2008!!! [Rating: 10/10]
Kimura Takuya was absolutely charming in this drama and truly displayed his talent and experience as a dramatic actor. The supporting cast, as well, were all wonderfully charismatic and shared a good level of chemistry with the lead actor. The story itself had the right balance of political intrigue, comedy, and romance to keep me watching on the edge of my seat from episode 1 right until the end. If you haven't yet seen this drama, then please do so!!!
Densha Otoko [電車男]
Kiiiiitaaaaa!!! [Rating: 10/10]
At first I thought this drama was just TOO ridiculous and cheesy for me to get into, but I just couldn't stop watching it! It was truly hilarious, touching, and an all-around GREAT drama series. Although... I am still not a loyal follower of Itoh Misaki. Sure she;s pretty and sometimes a little bit cute, but she's almost TOO "soft." Ah well... "Kiiiiitaaaaa!!!"
Engine [エンジン]
Rev Your Engines! [Rating: 9/10]
This was my first Kimura Takuya drama. Seriously! I knew I'd end up watching one eventually, though. I have to admit, he IS a great actor. Engine was such a great drama, as well. It was so cute seeing Jiro (Kimura) interact with the kids and help them out, when what he really wants to do is ressuerct his racing career. Heh. Koyuki shines, once again in a somewhat "geeky" role. Overall the drama was a nice story with plenty of comedy, excitement, and even a bit of romance. I really enjoyed the series, and its conclusion probably couldn't have been better.
Friends [フレンズ]
As Good As It Can Get... I Guess. [Rating: 7/10]
If you're wondering what Korean dramas are like, Friends is essentially a Korean drama condensed down into 4 episodes (on average they last for 16-24). This series followed the same back and forth and back and forth romance seen in just about every kdrama I have watched, which is not something I always enjoy. In this case, it was an alright love story which thankfully only last 4 episodes (I would have stopped if it had been longer), but I did not particularly enjoy either Fukada Kyoko or Won Bin. They competed on screen for the "most annoying cute and innocent" award and that got on my nerves. Props to Fukada for some passable Korean, but she needed to learn how to act first. I don't know if she's gotten any better since this (7 years is a long time)... One can only hope.
Gokusen [ごくせん]
SHIN I LOVE YOU [Rating: 9/10]
I, like many young women, instantly fell in love with Sawada Shin! However Nakama Yukie became a favorite artiste as well. She was fabulous and funny as Yamaguchi Kumiko. I've never seen the manga or anime that this series was based on, but I just might have to check it out now.
GTO [麻辣教師]
#1 on JDorama For a REASON! [Rating: 8/10]
Now I can understand why GTO is the #1 rated drama on JDorama - even if it might not be MY personal all-time favorite. Sorimachi Takashi is hilarious! He's so smooth and sly in his role. The series, despite boasting a "violent" teacher with a criminal past, it can be rather light-hearted and downright cute. I enjoyed the diverse characters and stories, and how Onizuka managed to heal all wounds with his unique style and attitude. Although, I have to admit that the drama special, and especially the movie, really stretched the limit as to how far you can take an outrageous character like Onizuka. However, if there's ever a GTO 2, I'd watch it.
Hana Yori Dango [花より男子]
Cute! [Rating: 9/10]
Another J-Drama bites the dust! I have to say, I was skeptical about Hana Yori Dango, but in the end it was one of the most enjoyable J-Dramas I have ever seen! Matsumoto Jun was very fun and outrageous, and Inoue Mao was very cute. I especially enjoyed Oguri Shun. As he gets older, his acting and roles just get better and better! Everyone in this series definetly has a bright future in entertainment! This series only gets a 9 out of 10, however, for being just a bit obvious and irritating at times.
Hero
Quirky... But Not Enough to Keep Me Watching [Rating: 6/10]
While Hero did have some sweet undertones, curious characters, and somewhat involving stories, I found that the episodes were very formulaic. After watching half of the series, I began to feel myself losing interest. I did enjoy the series, and it was indeed very quirky with enough suspense to keep me watching it. It wasn't a total loss. But I feel like it could have been so much better.
Ima Ai ni Yukimasu [いま会いにゆきます]
ima... [Rating: 9/10]
I adore Narimiya Hiroki, and so when I heard that he was doing a new drama, of course I had to check it out eventually. I have to admit, that I did not expect him to play this sort of role. It really goes to show how he has grown as an actor. While waiting for english subtitles for the drama, I decided to watch the film version of this heart wrenching story. To compare the drama and movie, the movie definetly has a sweeter, softer tone to it, with a higher level of acting and scenery. But the drama, I tink, is a fine interpretation as well! Everyone did well in their roles, and I was glad to watch it!
Kimi wa Petto [きみはペット]
Personal Favorite! [Rating: 10/10]
Matsumoto Jun was superb in this light-hearted series. As the hyperactive, funny, and cute "Momo," he played a perfect compliment to Koyuki's serious, beautiful, but wounded Sumire. Koyuki, to me, is such an elegant and natural actress, and I hope to see her in more leading roles where this side of her is exploited. I admit that I don't think much of Matsumoto as a singer, but I think that he has the potential to be a really superb actor. I look forward to all of his future projects. Kimi wa Petto is my favorite J-Dorama, and will likely remain my favorite for some time!
Kindaichi Shonen no Jikembo 3 [金田一少年の事件簿 3]
Mysterious and engaging... [Rating: 9/10]
I originally grabbed this to watch more of Matsumoto Jun, but I was really suprised at how absorbing the mysteries are! I love quirky, msyerterious series like this and I devoured each and every episode! I hope I can find the first two series to watch - even though no MatsuJun - because I'm really interested in seeing more of Kindaichi!
Kisarazu Cat's Eye [木更津キャッツアイ]
NYA! [Rating: 9/10]
I admit to having an interest in seeing Kisarazu Cat's Eye for quite some time, and I was NOT dissapointed! It was hilarious. The acting and characters were all around superb, the misadventures were engaging, and the writing was endlessly clever! I cannot find a single fault with the series. Even the ending did not dissapoint. Who would have thought...?!? Although it isn't quite one of my favorites, this drama will always have a place in my heart! "NYA!"
Kurosagi [クロサギ]
MA-I-DO-A-RI! [Rating: 9/10]
Certainly a cheesy drama, but well worth the watch! I definetly enjoy Yamashita Tomohisa's crazy performances! From drama to drama, he always wears a different face. And in Kurosagi, he wore more than I could count. But what good is a drama without a GREAT ending? I have never laughed out so loudly in my life! Katsuragi, as portrayed by Yamazaki Tsutomu, will always be one of my favorite characters from a drama series! He was disgusting, old, smelly, and downright evil. But hilarious! MA-I-DO-A-RI!
Moto Kare [元カレ]
My Ex-Drama [Rating: 10/10]
This was my first Dohmoto Tsuyoshi drama. He has had such rave reviews, and Moto Kare seemed interesting enough, so I checked it out. To be honest, after the first couple of episodes, I found it a bit dull. But it picked up a bit in later episodes, and I found myself rooting, "Ganbatte!" for Touji (Dohmoto) near the end! I am glad I decided to watch this drama all the way through. I have really good memories of watching it, and I will definetly watch it again. And now I have to admit that I am a bit of a Domoto Tsuyoshi fan, due to this series, and the variety shows he hosts, "Domoto Kyoudai" and "Domoto Tsuyoshi no Shoujiki Shindoi." Tsuyoshi-kun is so funny, and not a half bad actor and singer either!
Mukodono! [ムコ殿/女婿大人]
Ridiculous! [Rating: 5/10]
As far as ridiculous dramas go, this one takes first prize! From this point on I will never be able to take Nagase Tomoyo seriously. But at the same time, he should be praised for his undeniable mastery of portraying completely unbelievable and stupid characters. At times I found this series mildly amusing, and it's not completely unwatchable, but sometimes it just went way too over the top! I'll pass on Mukodono 2003.
Nobuta wo Produce [野ブタ。をプロデュース]
Nobuta Power... ENTER! [Rating: 10/10]
When I first heard of this drama, I didn't think that I'd like it very much. At last I watched it... and discovered it to be one of the best dramas I have seen! Nobuta Power... ENTER! The relationship of Shuji and Akira was very cool. It wasn't until the end that I understood that this was more a drama about their friendship, and not just about Nobuta. At first Akira was a bit annoying, but he definetly grew to be my favorite character after Shuji! The only dissapointments I had in this series were how Shuji and Nobuta never hooked up, and how Nobuta was left behind in the end. It was an almost-sad, but satisfyingly happy ending.
Oishii Kankei [おいしい關係]
OISHIII! [Rating: 10/10]
So very delicious! Nakayama Miho is lovely. She is definetly one of the best Japanese actresses out there. There were times in this series that she reminded me of Nakama Yukie, whom I also love. I wish that Miho was still acting in new dramas! I'll definetly be checking out more of her past projects.
Orange Days [オレンジデイズ]
Orenji [Rating: 9/10]
Okay, so I found the plot a bit obivous, and the characters seem to take forever to realize important facts and feelings. BUT, Orange Days was just so cute and funny that I found myself devouring each episode as I got them! I laughed and cried for all of the victories and dissapointments of each of the characters, and I couldn't help but root for their loves to be realized! The ending was perfect and lovely. Narimiya Hiroki, especially, was so fantastic in yet ANOTHER drama. I am looking forward to his future projects! He's so wonderful.
Remote [リモート]
Don't Touch That Remote Control! [Rating: 8/10]
Okay, so you can't really overlook the overwheliming cheesiness of the series, the simple-mindedness of Fukada Kyoko's character is truly unbeleiveable, and Domoto Koichi is no Domoto Tsuyoshi, that's for sure. BUT. It was great! I really laughed alot during this series, and the ending was perfect!
Saito-san [斉藤さん]
Unexpectedly Complex! [Rating: 10/10]
I have to say that Saito-san was a surprisingly enjoyable series for me. Though I initially passed on it, I decided to check it out recently and finished it off in just a few days. I was really impressed by the cast, especially Mimura. She pulled off her role so convincingly and I fell in love with all of Mano's little quirks. Her nervous stutter, her hilarious made-up songs, her skipping, and her colorful facial expressions! Mimura stole the screen every time she was on it and out shined even Mizuki Alisa, who was also superb. One of the other aspects of the series that really defied my expectations was the episodic nature of the series, or lack there of. Initially I expected every episode to have some incident where Saito-san saves the day, solves someone's problems, and makes a new friend. But I was pleasantly surprised to discover that is not the case. In fact, the plot of the series and relationships between the characters turned out to be pretty complex and I appreciated the writer's attention to detail and truly awesome characterization! Mikami (Takahsima Reiko) was probably the most well-made character besides Mano, and perhaps even more so. In episode one she came off as a shallow, high-class woman, but as the series went on layer after layer of her character was stripped away to reveal each and every of her complexities. Perhaps Saito-san won't impress everyone, but this is most definitely a drama worth at least checking out!
Slow Dance [スローダンス]
Waltzing, slowly... [Rating: 9/10]
I decided to watch this series because of Tsumabaki Satoshi and Hirosue Ryoko. They both gave splendid performances! I really enjoyed it, although... yeah. It was indeed a "slow dance." And despite how happy and graceful the ending it was, it felt sort of... half-hearted? I was a bit dissapointed somehow. I really enjoyed the series up to the last episode, but then it was just... over. Maybe the 1 year gap just didn't sit right with me. Ah well. I still loved it!
Stand UP!!
Stand up! [Rating: 9/10]
Stand up! This is not a series to be missed! Ninomiya Kazunari and Suzuki Anne are delightful in this heart warming story! Narimiya Hiroki is also NOT to be missed! I laughed so much, I almost cried. And then I did! This is the kind of series that's like a friendly hug. It can be firm and it can sometimes mean goodbye, but more often than not its warm, sweet, and absolutely fun!
Summer snow
I cried! [Rating: 8/10]
Dohmoto Tsuyoshi has stolen my heart. It's true that this series will have you crying by the end. It's so bitter-sweet. However, I truly enjoyed it. It was also very funny and cute! I just wish I hadn't stumbled upon a spoiler here at J-Dorama regarding the outcome of the series, because when I made it to the final episode I knew almost immedietly exactly what was going to happen. As such, I cried through the entire episode! Even if it's cheesy sometimes, and even if it might make you feel a bit depressed... DEFINETLY check out Summer Snow!
Tokyo DOGS ~ Saiaku de Saiko no Partner [東京DOGS]
Yoshitaka Yuriko's Big Stink [Rating: 5/10]
Poor writing ran this drama into the ground, despite its strong cast (with one exception)! Good comedy, but unfortunately the same handful of cliche jokes were over-used and thus I just grew irritated by it. Oguri Shun and Mizushima Hiro had good chemistry together, but unfortunately their relationship as friends and partners was left underdeveloped. Last, but not least, Yoshitaka Yuriko STANK in this drama. Her acting, her role... This drama would have been better off without her. Overall this drama was extremely overrated. Lots of melodrama, cheap jokes, and cliches, but absolutely no substance whatsoever!
Tokyo Wankei [東京湾景]
Your Destiny Awaits! [Rating: 9/10]
It truly was my destiny to watch this series, and I'm glad that it came into my life! At times I was lifted up to great heights of joy, and at others I was plunged into trepidation and sorrow. But the ending made the series well worth my patience. Sometimes it was obvious and cheesy, but when you look at the whole picture, it was brilliant. Nakama Yukie was simply beautiful, although I'm used to seeing her in comedic roles. For her fans, and fans of J-Drama in general, this is a series to watch!
Trick [トリック]
Delightful and Weird! [Rating: 8/10]
I thoroughly enjoyed Trick! It was so strange and funny... I think I like sort of "odd" dramas the best of all. Trick is often as odd as it gets. The mystery behind each of the spiritualists was suprising and engrossing, and the constant "flirtation" between the two main characters was well played out. Nakama Yukie, especially, is so delightful in ANY role she takes on (Even Pocky commercials!). I first began to like her in Gokusen, but her role in Trick has truly cemented my fandom. She's so cute! Abe Hiroshi as well, gave a superb and quirky performance. He can be so scary yet so funny at the same time. I look forward to seeing more of his work! I can't wait to watch Trick 2 and 3.
Trick 2 [トリック2]
Dissapointing, but still Trick... [Rating: 8/10]
Ah yes! More Trick! I felt like this time around, that the "tricks" weren't quite as interesting... There was just something about the two main characters that felt... off. Perhaps like they were trying too hard? I don't know. Yamada Naoko seemed to be acting a bit too... normally. And the way Ueda Jiro kepot stepping on her toes and taking credit. Still, Trick doesn't fail in delivering the laughs! I look forward to seeing the movie and Trick 3, as well as the NEW yet-to-be aired drama special!
Trick 3 [トリック3]
Enjoyable! [Rating: 10/10]
By far, the funniest of the Trick series! Although, at this point I was bit bored by the formula, I found the jokes and the chemistry between Yamada and Ueda to be at their peak. Trick 2 lulled in that aspect. Some of the engrish-y jokes and the Japanese play on words were a bit hard to follow, but enjoyable nonetheless! I laughed so much during Trick 3, and it had a superb ending.
Uta no Onii-san [歌のおにいさん]
Don't Worry, Be Happy [Rating: 9/10]
If you're looking for a heart-warming pick-me-up type of drama, then look no further! With the ever adorable Ohno Satoshi as its lead, this drama featured kids, fun songs, dancing, comedy, romance and dreams fulfilled. Although a bit too short with a cramped final episode, this one of the best dramas of the Winter 2009 season and well worth the watch!
Water Boys [ウォーターボーイズ]
Beyond Words [Rating: 9/10]
This series was a fine follow up to the film of the same name. Although it's plot was rather obvious and formulaic, it was well acted and had some great comedic moments! But what impressed me the MOST, was the SUPERB synchronized swimming performance!!! If you watch this series for no other reason than to see the performance in the final episode, then you will NOT be dissapointed. It is BEYOND WORDS, the quality and strength of that performance. They took what the movie did and improved upon it 10 times over! And it lasts for 20 MINTUES!!! For that reason alone, I give this series a 10!
Yasashii Jikan [優しい時間]
Lovely! [Rating: 9/10]
This is a lovely series. I cried a fair bit in just the first few episodes. Such a sad beginning, but what a lovely, graceful ending. Really a must see, with wonderful acting all around and beautiful scenery.

   

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