|14 sai no Haha [１４歳の母]|
O V E R H Y P E D [Rating: 2/10]
This series is fueled by nothing but hype. The only thing it has to offer is the controversial title.
Yes, it sounds controversial, but what happened? They addressed nothing about being mother at 14. The whole time the topic was about how to raise a child without a father... You do not have to be 14 to have this problem. They kept saying society will not be so easy on them, yet whenever Miki makes a cheesey speech, they somehow give in to her demands. The producers were trying to make it moving and made those characters cry, but I couldn't stop laughing because the characters were so stupidly naive and cheesey. Only Kirino's mother made any sense. The reporter somehow disappeared in the end... Bad script sums it up pretty well. Nothing unexpected happened in 11 episodes.
The acting and casting was also horrible. First off, Shida Mirai is too immature for this role. Yes, 14 year olds can get pregnant, but not someone underdeveloped like Shida (Her best friend maybe) and I couldn't stop laughing when she tried to produce milk for the baby. Her character is unrealistically stubborn and confident, it's hard to believe real person like her would exist in Japan. Kirino is a bastard, I guess the acting is fine in this case, but the character is such a pathetic weakling, it was disgusting. Mother was okay, but the father's acting was just a mockery to all viewers. Namase should stick to being a comedian. The reporter was too cool, and in the end he did nothing.
I will definitely NOT have watched this series if I knew how it would turn out to be, and NTV's advertisement team is godly for achieving such high viewership rating with such a worthless dorama.
|Aishiteiru to Ittekure [愛していると言ってくれ]|
Frustrating [Rating: 6/10]
Toyokawa's acting was excellent in this series, but the story is very repetitve. It seems Yada Akiko's character is just lying to Tokiwa's character in the first half to get them apart, and then Tokiwa's character sees Koji with his ex and gets jealous in every single episode in the second half.
There were some good scenes, but overall, the story was very poorly written, and frustrating to watch.
|Aoi Tori [青い鳥]|
Great! [Rating: 10/10]
The OST on this series is PERFECT! Interesting twists throughout the series too. Also couple of great views of countryside in Japan.
Different kind of dorama. Recommended!
Waiting/Watching [Rating: ?/10]
Will write review when the series end.
|Beautiful life [ビューティフルライフ]|
JDrama at its peak [Rating: 10/10]
I just rewatched this series, and it's great no matter how many times I see it. Its quality is still unmatched today. KimuTaku and Tokiwa Takako's chemistry is PERFECT, heartwarming story, and beautiful OST/Theme song.
|Busu no Hitomi Koishiteru [ブスの瞳恋してる]|
Fun [Rating: ?/10]
I didn't like the title of this dorama, but I saw the first episode and thought it was pretty funny.
HERO revisited. [Rating: 10/10]
CHANGE stars Kimura Takuya and Abe Hiroshi from HERO, and also produced by the same director and scriptwriters as HERO.
Once again Kimura Takuya plays a pure-hearted man trying to help others, scaled up from a Lawyer to a Prime Minister. I am a big fan of HERO series, but CHANGE was even better for me.
Kimura Takuya just has that charisma as a leader, and he is the only person who could've handled this role. It was quite interesting seeing him with those dorky glasses... reminds me of Asunaro Hakusho.
Although slightly underused, Abe Hiroshi was also excellent, providing comedic relief for this serious drama.
The person I was most impressed with was Fukatsu Eri. Her chemistry with KimuTaku was even better than that of Matsu Takako, and I really connected with her character (plus those black stockings were really hot on her)
The cast for this thing is absolutely incredible, they managed to gather an amazing array of established actors, and possibly most amazing guest appearances since Furuhata Ninzaburou series.
Admittedly, the plot lacks reality. However, doramas are supposed to be about things that never happen in real life. Though the setting is impossible, character behavior in general makes sense, and impossible scenarios are executed so well that they are touching without being corny.
Although slightly too idealistic at times, I love the way they've depicted right and wrong and what truly important values are. This series has the most solid first and final episode of all dorama series I've seen. I espeically loved the final episode, where they've shown how resistant to change government policies are, even for something as trivial as serving teas for a meeting (this was very funny too). The 'climax' with 20+ minutes of uncut scene was very impressive, and there were so many great, memorable scenes throughout the series.
This is a really well-made dorama series with very high level of acting all around. The plot addresses the problems with today's election-driven politics, and attempts to make us think more about our roles in a democratic society. It's a series that made me laugh and cry, now one of my favorite series of all time.
Absolutely phenomenal [Rating: 10/10]
I was very skeptical of this series when I first checked the plot synopsis and cast, since I have only seen Karina in super cool/emotionless characters before this, and none of them have been particularly impressive except "Shaberedomo x2", which was a movie. However, this series had an abnormal rise in Oricon anticipation -> satisfaction ratings so I decided to give it a try. It was one of the best dorama decision I have ever made.
"Daisuki!!" is a human drama about a mentally disabled woman, Yuzu, raising her child without a father (died in accident) with support of family and friends. Together they overcome many obstacles they face from pregnancy to elementary school.
Karina was absolutely amazing in her performance, where not only did she make a believable mental patient, she also expressed the positive energy and purity/honesty of her character very well. Her characterwas developed very well, and I really connected with Yuzu. It's a series I laughed and cried whenever she did.
Although Kishimoto Kayoko, who played Yuzu's mother overacted a little bit in the first episode and Hiraoka Yuuta, who played Yuzu's brother Ren was a bit cheesy in the final episode, every other member of the cast put up very solid performances for this well-made dorama.
The story was very touching and inspirational, and they have covered just about every obstacles Yuzu and her family members would face because of her disability.
Ending theme by melody. was very suitable for this series and it was directed exceptionally well for a low-budget-fast-pace dorama production. I especially loved that first time-transition of baby-to-2 year old Himawari in the park. It is apparent a lot of effort was put into the production.
10/10, best dorama series made in the last 4 years.
|Damenzu Walker [だめんず うぁーか]|
Fun series [Rating: 7/10]
Dame (No good) + Men = DaMens.
Very original story, the main character Maria is a "Damens Walker", a woman who walks (jumps) from one "No good" men to another. This series is a bit cheesey, but hilarious. The last 2 episodes were made really poorly though. Possibly because it was after low ratings were confirmed.
Shibasaki Kou ~<3 [Rating: ?/10]
Shibasaki Kou in new dorama at last! (Non-sequel)
Hoping the rest of series will be as good as the first episode.
|Good Luck !! [グッドラック！！]|
Inspiration [Rating: 10/10]
One of most inspirational series ever, with bits of humor, great actors and actresses. Definitely a must-see!
Fun [Rating: 8/10]
A bit cheesey, but really fun series. I liked acting by everyone except Sorimachi, but since it's based on a comic book, it can't be helped.
|Haken no Hinkaku [ハケンの品格]|
Excellent [Rating: 10/10]
This is series has become my favorite comedy dorama of all time!
The cast and OST are so strange for this series, but matches the show perfectly. The script is VERY well written, and it's hilarious yet there are many touching scenes.
The four main characters develop really well throughout the series, and they really connected with me.
|Hana Yori Dango [花より男子]|
Fun [Rating: 7/10]
Fun dorama to watch. A bit too predictable and cheesy sometimes... A typical manga dorama. Oguri Shun's acting is horrible, but Matsumoto Jun puts on a great performance.
|Hana Yori Dango 2 [花より男子]|
A lot better than the first. [Rating: 8/10]
The second season of HYD is a lot less cheesier than the first season. Acting has improved a lot, and although first half was very cheesy and repetitive, it got better in the second half, with great guest appearances.
ARASHI's 「Love so sweet」 is P.E.R.F.E.C.T song with perfect match for this series. It made the viewing experience a lot better. Hikki's 「Flavor of Life」, however, was too emotional and serious for this series.
|Hataraki Man [働きマン]|
Kanno Miho is amazing [Rating: ?/10]
So far, it's been the best comedy series I've seen in years.
I hope it will be this good to the end.
Touching and funny [Rating: 9/10]
Best Conclusion-Per-Episode format dorama ever made. I absolutely love the characters.
|Himitsu no Hanazono [ヒミツの花園]|
Great setting, poor execution [Rating: 5/10]
The first episode was very interesting, but very poor execution in the following episodes. Shaku Yumiko was incredibly cute, but her acting is nowhere as good. She is still not fit for a starring role (at least not yet) The series was very cheesy, and draggy in the end.
|Himitsu no Hanazono [ヒミツの花園]|
Disappointing [Rating: 5/10]
I had great expectation for this series, but it turned out to be so-so.
Shaku Yumiko, of course, is very cute, but her acting was very poor, and annoying at the same time.
The story is very predictable, and very cheesy at times. It's another one of those doramas where you watch, have a good laugh, then forgets in couple of days.
|Ichi Ritoru no Namida [１リットルの涙]|
Really touching! [Rating: 10/10]
Based on a real story about a girl with a terminal illness, 1L of Namida is one of the most touching dorama series ever! You won't be able to wait to see the next episode. Great acting by the 6 main characters filled with memorable scenes.
|Ima Ai ni Yukimasu [いま会いにゆきます]|
Mediocre remake [Rating: 6/10]
Nariyama and Mimura as Takumi and Mio?! The young Takumi was a scrawny kid with a disgusting voice, and young Mio was a nerd too. That is just some horrible casting.
This series has been a disappointment after watching the movie. It generally follows the story from novel/movie, but each event seemed to be forced, and felt very unnatural. They also failed to reenact some of the best scenes from the movie too, like when she said "It was comforting being next to you" in the end, or the scene where Mio decided she wanted to be with them even if it leads to shorter life. The concept of having the mother there and Okamoto Aya as Nagase was very good though.
And also, this is not TBS or the producer's fault, but the fan-softsub released for this series was completely WRONG in so many places, it would probably seem even worse if you didn't understand Japanese.
|Itoshi Kimie [愛し君へ]|
One of the best fighting-with-illness series [Rating: 10/10]
The first three episodes of this series weren't very convincing to me, there were way too many cheesy lines and corny scenes.
But eventually all the characters started to grow on me, and I was completely drawn into the series.
Kanno Miho, although there were few lines that sounded a bit too unenthusiastic, gave a solid performance. I used to dislike Fujiki Naohito's acting and thought he was all about the looks, but he was great here.
Many beautiful scenes, memorable lines, and an EXTREMELY strong ending. It's one of those rare series that you won't get bored of even when you watch it for the second time.
|Karei naru Ichizoku [華麗なる一族]|
S T A R S T U D D E D!! [Rating: 8/10]
Very interesting story, great music. Kimura's acting in this movie was superb. A bit more serious dorama about a man's struggle to make his dream come true.
|Kekkon Dekinai Otoko [結婚できない男]|
Best of the year [Rating: 9/10]
This dorama is hilarious! At the same time, excellent acting by Abe Hiroshi and Natsukawa Yui makes it touching as well.
Gradual change in Kuwano's character is beautifully portrayed.
|Kiken na Aneki [危険なアネキ]|
Terrible [Rating: 4/10]
Should only watch it if you are a huge Itou Misaki fan.
Good series plagued by bad ratings [Rating: 6/10]
Nakai Masahiro's first dorama in nearly 5 years, CX probably expected the viewership ratings of this Mon@9 series to be in the 20s.
The acting in this series is embarrassing. Nakai Masahiro was not Amamiya in this series, he was himself, Ueto Aya is horrible as usual, and Satou Ryuuta is hopeless. BUT! The first few episodes had the feel of "Koi ni Ochitara" (by same director), and in my opinion very fun.
However, marriage is not something of interest for the Japanese today, and there was also that Kusanagi Tsuyoshi scandal. It is clear to me that the scriptwriters and the director gave up in this series half-way through. A getsuku that didn't even get extended finale.
It was a so-so series that didn't meet my expectation. FujiTV made a mentally retarded decision of casting Ueto Aya, AKA "Low viewership rating queen", and wasted the opportunity of Nakai's comeback.
|Last Christmas [ラストクリスマス]|
Yada Akiko-chan kawaii!! [Rating: 8/10]
This dorama is kind of cheesy, but still a pretty touching story, and Yada Akiko is SOOOO cute! Definitely recommend it!
|Last Friends [ラスト・フレンズ]|
Hype-driven soap opera [Rating: 4/10]
Homosexuality, domestic violence, (attempted) rape, pregnancy... this show's got them all. On the other hand, character behavior makes no sense, and production being generally poor, with third-rate music (OST) for suspense.
After few episodes, it's painfully clear the scriptwriter just threw in whatever it takes to stir up controversy in order to get ratings without concern for story flow or character development.
Acting in general was horrible, except Nishikido Ryou did an excellent job when finally breaking down. Unfortunately, he was playing a poorly conceived character for most episodes, and only had one episode to shine in. Similar case for Eita. Acting by the other 4 main cast were just plain joke.
This show started very poorly, but actually started getting interesting around episode 7~10, but it was ruined by one of the worst final episode ever for a dorama. One thing gained for this series though, is that I hated Utada's "Prisoner of Love" when I heard it before watching this series, but the song itself really grew on me by the end.
|Liar Game [ライアーゲーム]|
Waiting/Watching [Rating: ?/10]
Will write review when the series end.
|Long Love Letter [ロング・ラブレター〜漂流教室]|
Great story, great acting, 5 years too early [Rating: 8/10]
I'm a big fan of both Kubozuka and Tokiwa, so I was really looking forward to watching this series. Kubozuka simply cannot disappoint, and Tokiwa was great as usual. It was an unique series that I really enjoyed. Most of the characters developed really well, and there were quite a few touching scenes.
It's just mind-boggling how young actors in this series like Yamada Takayuki, YamaP, Tsumabuki, Karina etc have become big-name today. What an all-star galore!
However... I must say that CG/SFX were horrible, and it turned out really fakey. Another thing was that, I felt the connection between the "present" and the "future" were unnecessary and outright stupid. I know this is based on a manga series, but they should've only focused on the "future". The "human 2.0" was really stupid as well.
Had they fixed couple of plotholes, removed manga stupidity, and made this series around now with way better SFX (and possibly higher budget), it would've been a masterpiece.
|Long vacation [ロングバケーション]|
Charming [Rating: 10/10]
This is the most charming, fun, and heartwarming series I've ever seen. Kimura and Yamaguchi's chemistry was perfect.
|Love generation [ラブジェネレーション]|
Love story [Rating: 10/10]
I said it before, and I will say it again. "Man they used to make it good!" Chemistry between KimuTaku and Matsu Takako was perfect. Not too original, but sweet story. Great characters, and it's really funny sometimes too.
|Mei-chan no Shitsuji [メイちゃんの執事]|
I hate myself for liking this series. [Rating: 7/10]
At this day and age, super rich girl's private school where every student has an ikemen butler sounds like a fangirl's dream gone out of control, but this was the only series this season with a promising viewership rating curve, so I decided to give it a try.
The setting of this series was filled with plot holes. A campus 1/3 size of Tokyo in Japan would require at least $1 billion/year per student to function rather than ridiculously cheap $1 million, why are all butlers ikemen if romance is forbidden, almost everything happened in 4 buildings, what's the ridiculous size for... and that's just the plot flaws on academy itself. The story was simply absurd.
Although everyone looked incredibly beautiful, and fit their roles (especially Yamada Yuu) everyone's acting was horrible at best, even for super-quirky comedy. Only Iwasa Mayuko (Ryuuonji Izumi), Yoshida Riko (Miruku, child prodigy), and Mukai Osamu (Shinobu, Lucia's butler) managed to deliver an acceptable level of acting for my standards.
However, with all such flaws... this series had the drama and magic. The characters slowly grew on me, and there were many touching scenes despite extreme cheesiness. Comedy is excessively wacky, but I found myself laughing most of the time. And yeah, girls are hot, and so were the guys (though I still don't get why Mizushima Hiro is considered ikemen, he has a weird face). School/inheritance politics were portrayed very well.
Although this is a very, very poorly produced dorama, and sometimes extremely predictable, it had the energy and magic. Not a series you would drop half-way. Possibly all thanks to the strong original story in manga. Watch without thinking too much.
|Moto Kare [元カレ]|
Average [Rating: 6/10]
Pretty average romance dorama. Should watch only if you are Tsuyoshi or Ryouko fan. Ending is a bit... Disappointing.
Not very good for Kimutaku, but coulda been worse [Rating: 7/10]
This series had an all-star cast and very high budget, but it turned out very cheesy and acting was very bad, especially Kagawa Teruyuki, who is an EXTREMELY talented actor when he's not rushed in dorama-pace rushed productions.
The research lab was excessively futuristic, and unlike American tech investigation drama (i.e. Numb3rs, CSI), the technology used by the institute lacks plausibility (at least not for another 50 years).
But one thing this series has is an incredibly good pace. All the cases were somewhat interesting. Amazing cast of special guests for each cases were very cool (especially rare appearances like Gackt). I don't know if the series got better or I got used to the cheesiness, but I enjoyed the latter episodes a lot more than the first half.
Overall, fun series, but excessive plot holes and poor direction.
|Nobuta wo Produce [野ブタ。をプロデュース]|
Excellent! [Rating: 10/10]
Unpredictable story with great acting by Kamenashi. This dorama features one of the best OST ever. A thriller from beginning to the end.
|Nodame Cantabile [のだめ カンタビ−レ]|
BRAVO! [Rating: 9/10]
This is probably the funniest dorama series I've ever seen. All the actors did a great job, and the story was so well written that it's hard to believe this is a comedy series, not to mention it's based on manga, which usually have pathetic storylines. The performance scenes were very moving, and they did a very good job displaying the passion in music.
Nodame Cantabile features CG that make you feel like watching anime. It effectively removes cheesiness in manga-based doramas. Hopefully this is the the new trend!
|Orange Days [オレンジデイズ]|
ONE OF THE BEST DORAMA I'VE SEEN! [Rating: 10/10]
Incredible! Amazing plots and acting. I was not at all expecting it to be so amazing when I started watching, but I was hooked after the very first episode, and watched the whole series in 1 day! Cried few times too, very touching. Shibasaki Kou's performance was even better than in Good Luck!!
Mr. Children's 「Sign」 has the perfect lyric for this dorama too.
Two thumbs up!
So-so. [Rating: 8/10]
It's a lot cheesier than I'm used to from a KimuTaku series. And whole "Maybe" thing was stupid as hell.
However, I love Takeuchi Yuuko, and the although the whole final episode was incredibly predictable, it was written nicely.
Definite watch for Hockey fans and Kimura fans, watch only if you have time otherwise.
|Proposal Daisakusen [プロポーズ大作戦]|
Waiting/Watching [Rating: ?/10]
Will write review when the series end.
Baseball lovers must-see. [Rating: 7/10]
This series was really corny and Satou Ryuuta's acting so horrible, but I found myself coming to tears after watching episode 1, and a little in ep 2. I don't think baseball-lovers can resist :P
The following episodes were less impressive for me, but overall, I really enjoyed this series.
Satou Ryuuta's acting was so pathetic though. Even if the character was based on a manga character, he could've been much more convincing. He is still not ready for lead roles, as expected. However, he did show enough passion to get by.
Fortunately, the students in the series were really well-casted. The only exception were the Nya~ guy (character flaw, not the actor's fault), and Shinjou, that half-Japanese guy is hopeless stiff in every single series.
I've seen Ichihara Hayato in quite a few movies and he's never made a big impression on me before, but I was very impressed this time around. I thought this was a perfect role for him (although his character overused his signature lines :roll: )
Koide Keisuke was also excellent as usual... The difference between movie and dorama actors are staggering. These two were more than enough to compensate for the unconvincing acting by adult actors in this series.
Despite all the manga corniness, I think it was a pretty good series. The only thing that really bothered me was that they used "sequential face close-up" of everyone like every 10 minutes. It's an inevitably corny filming technique that's not meant to be overused...
|Sailor Fuku to Kikanju [セーラー服と機関銃]|
ガッカリ [Rating: 3/10]
This series had a great start, with its refreshing theme and decent cast, but it started to stink of cheese from the second episode. Nagasawa Masami is horrible in this series. This role doesn't fit her at all, and it gets very predictable after a while. The cheesiness is from poor acting as well as poor script. The only thing that caused me to keep watching is the knowledge that there are only 7 episodes in total.
Another OL hit! [Rating: 9/10]
This show reminds me of 「道徳」 (morality) classes I took in elementary school in Japan.
There were some very excessively cheesy scenes in this series, but there were more than enough touching moments to make up for it. Although I found Mimura's character quite annoying, this is a very well-casted dorama where everyone fit their roles perfectly, and characters developed really well. Mizuki Arisa's acting was very impressive, especially in the final episode.
I'm a guy, but I was able to sympathize with the characters' concerns, and this series really touched me. It kind of brought back memories of when I was a little troublemaker, and made me realize how much trouble I caused to my parents.
|Saiyuuki [西遊記 ]|
Wow! [Rating: 7/10]
This Saiyuuki is not for everyone. Don't expect to see the traditional 'Journey to the West' 'Xi You Ji' or you will be very disappointed. It is a version of Saiyuuki that is very entertaining, and touching at times.
Katori Shingo's performance was excellent! The chemistry was great between Gokuu and other main characters.
The storyline was generally weak, but it makes up for it with funny jokes, cool fight scenes, and many memorable lines.
|Sekai no chuushin de, ai wo sakebu [世界の中心で、愛をさけぶ]|
Perfect 10 [Rating: 10/10]
Perfect story of love, perfect story of lost love, perfect acting, perfect music, perfect song.
Get ready to cry and see it!
|Shiroi Haru [白い春]|
Very touching [Rating: 9/10]
It's amazing how Abe Hiroshi still hasn't completely graduated to the big screen like Tsumabuki Satoshi or Kaneshiro Takeshi yet. His acting is way too good for dorama in this series. Any Abe Hiroshi dorama is a must-see.
Another interesting casting is Endou Kouichi, who is very well-known "Kowaomote" (strong, scary face) yakuza actor as a baker instead of Abe's ex-Yakuza role.
The main cast, including the little girl, did a very fine job in this series. The story was very touching, though some patience may be required for lesser experienced Jdorama viewers.
"Shiroi Haru" is a really well-made drama that starts out as sort of a revenge of an ex-yakuza, to fight to get his daughter back, then finally wanting the best for her.
Highly recommended for serious dorama viewers.
|Star no Koi [スタアの恋]|
Pleasant surprise! [Rating: 10/10]
I was DEFINITELY not expecting this series to be that good when I started watching because it seemed like a typical cheesy story, but it turned out perfect. It's true this is impossible in real life, but isn't that why we watch TV, movies and plays?
This dorama has a really nice flow to it. I was cheering for the two of them before I realized it, and Sousuke's coworkers were really funny. The ending was a bit cheesy, but it was still very moving.
I've always liked Globe's "Stop! In the Name of Love", but being a techno/trance song, I didn't think it was a good choice for this dorama, but it seems to fit better and better as the show progressed. There might be something wrong with me, but I almost cried to this Trance song in the final episode.
|Tokkyu Tanaka 3 Go [特急田中３号]|
Watching [Rating: ?/10]
Very strong first episode, will write review when the series end.
|Tokyo Love Story [東京ラブストーリー]|
This is what dorama is all about [Rating: 10/10]
I tend to like dorama series in late 90s to early 00s the most, but Tokyo Love Story was very enjoyable for me.
Suzuki Honami was incredible, it's impossible to not like her cheerful and energetic character. She's criminally cute!
Even Oda Yuuji's acting was decent.
There were just so many great memorable scenes in this series and I really connected with Rika that it made me cry watching the final episode with all those flashbacks.
I would've liked to see Rika and Kanchi get together in the end, but I guess it's all about lost opportunities and it shows that timing is everything in romance. Or maybe I'm just too spoiled with happy endings in all the recent dorama series.
Still, the ending was deep and satisfying in its own way. This series is truly a masterpiece, and I'll never forget it.
Serious renai dorama seemed to just disappear after 2003 or 2004. I hope they'll make them again one day .
|Virgin Road [バージンロード]|
Man, they used to make it GOOOD! [Rating: 9/10]
It's so refreshing to watch old dorama once every while. This is a GREAT dorama. Fantastic plots with excellent acting. A little too dramatic in the end, but one of the best and most touching romance dorama I've ever seen.
|Watashitachi no kyokasho [わたしたちの教科書]|
Watching [Rating: ?/10]
Will write review when the series end.
|Yamato Nadeshiko [やまとなでしこ【大和撫子】]|
Great series. [Rating: 9/10]
Funny and touching series. The story is kind of predictable, but great acting by the whole cast. Definetely recommend it.
I was surprised though, that I still don't like Misia after this... It's very rare for me that a dorama ballad doesn't grow on me. I have no idea why there's so many Misia fans around.
Interesting [Rating: ?/10]
Watched first episode. Seems to be an interesting series.