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Yamada Taro Monogatari [山田太郎ものがたり]

Drama Details
Title:Yamada Taro Monogatari
The Story of Yamada Taro
Telecast:2007-07-06 to 2007-09-14
Season:Summer 2007

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TV Station:TBS
Duration:10 Episodes

Arashi members Ninomiya Kazunari and Sakurai Sho star in this comedy series based on "Yamada Taro Monogatari" by mangaka Ai Morinaga. Ninomiya plays the title character, Taro Yamada, whose family lives in extreme poverty. But because of his looks, intelligence, and athleticism, others mistakenly believe that Taro comes from a prosperous family. In contrast, Sakurai plays Taro's best friend Takuya, who really is from a successful family and who often helps out Taro in various ways.

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Soundtrack and Theme Songs (1)
1. Happiness [Arashi]

Actor/Actress Cast (22)
Ninomiya Kazunari
Yamada Taro
Sakurai Sho
Mimura Takuya
Kikuchi Momoko
Yamada Ayako
Matsuoka Mitsuru
Yamada Kazuo
Oshinari Shugo
Sugiura Keichi
Fukiishi Kazue
Torii Kyoko
Otsuka Chihiro
Nakai Masami
Shibata Rie
Ikegami Maria
Musaka Naomasa
Ikegami Ryunosuke
Tabe Mikako
Ikegami Takako
Utsui Ken
Yoshizawa Hisashi
Ehara Makoto
Fukui Hiroaki
Osaki Shinosuke
Yamada Shintaro
Ando Masaki
Kojima Haruna
Usui Kotone
Takahashi Ryosuke
Okubo Shin
Ogata Sayaka
Kasiwagi Honoka
Yarita Akihiro
Yamada Jiro
Shimizu Naoya
Yamada Saburo
Muranaka Haruna
Yamada Yoshiko
Yoshida Riko
Yamada Goko
Shibuya Takeru
Yamada Mutsumi

Related Links (1)
1. Official Site

Drama Reviews (8)
The review section may contain spoilers! Please understand
that you may find out about this drama's endings and plots!

1. a slight disappointment... [Rating: 6/10]
i was really looking forward to the jap adaptation of dis manga esp after watching the taiwanese version which is really very hilarious n entertaining. When nino is revealed as taro, i was kindof shocked... nino is a great actor, but he juz doesn't look 'princey' enough. But since jap adaptation is always better than the lengthy taiwanese ones (think hana yori dango), dis drama is actually on my 'must watch drama of the month'. But after several episodes, it is quite apparent that it fails to meet up to my expectations. A lot of the scenes are VERY cliche; most likely as a result of tryin to be as alike as the manga as possible... but they r more cliche than the manga or even the taiwanese version!!!! Watching is generally pleasant.. i burst out laughing in a few scenes (duh... its a comedy!). But in many others, i sqium in disgust... lets just say they try too hard to portray the warm family feeling...
Dis drama is not that bad seriously.... for a start, the basic storyline is interesting, and there r lotsa eye-candy to indulge. Nino, Sho and Oshinari Shugo will easily make any fangirl gleeful with their cuteness. i find the characters sugiura and masami esp funny n hilarious; they provide the comic relief. Nino is great in any role; i can c he tried his best at the role of taro... the only sad thing is dat the charater don even fit him in the first place. On to the bad parts... i somehow find Tabe Mikako annoying in her role as Takako... i was kindof hoping for a cuter looking actress after the disappointment in the taiwanese version... though her acting do somehow lessen the impact haha. Matsuoka Mitsuru is simply the WORST in dis drama.... if nino's casting is bad... his is even worse. What's with the fangs??? And he looks like his wife's son for god's sake! Seriously he really looks and acts like a weirdo in the drama... i was happy when he disappear in the episodes haha. I guess only the fangirls liking SOPHIA will like his acting.... The rest of the characters r ok... though i find sakurai sho's smile v identical throughout the show haha, but at least he is cute :)
The best thing about dis drama is the setting. Their high school, uniforms, mimura's house, taro's house is really great and in my opinion, brings the audience to the manga world. (sho n shugo in the uniform realli brings out the fangurl in me.. haha)
As a sidetrack, the theme song 'Happiness' performed by Arashi is great too! Super genki and catchy (though its better to watch their actual PV den the intro in the drama)
Conclusion! Yamada Taro Monogatari is a watchable drama. There are merits eg Nino's acting, basic storyline, eye-candy, funniness... as well as sucky parts eg some annoying characters, the much dreaded clicheness. I would say its ideal for gurls, guys would probably puke while the hair stands... Well watch it n decide for yourself... i might be wrong after all :)
Reviewed by kuroihikari on 1 October 2007
2. Predictable, goofy but still fun to watch [Rating: 7/10]
This drama was quite predictable from the beginning to the end. Even though most of them are, they usually contain at least few plot-twists which surprise at some point. But this one didn't. At some points the story felt a bit 'forced', but altogether it was decent basic stuff. Nothing too great, but nothing really bad either.

The best thing was definitely the acting. Even though I think the lead boy did a better job in 'Haikei, Chichiue-sama' he did well in this one too. Sakurai Shou played his role well also. Kids were really good and lead girls did ok job too.

This comedy stuff is really not my genre at all, so I was actually quite surprised to find myself watching all of the episodes. There must be some catch in it after all :) It was funny at most points and sweet in that dedication by Taro towards his family.

I've never read the manga, and prolly won't, because this didn't move me as much as some other dramas do. But in any case it was fun and amusing time well spent.

There is some sweet moments for tear-jerker-fans like myself in this one, but it really is mainly about the comedy (do'h). So people looking for easily watchable drama and good time, check this out. Others, watch 'Kami-sama, mou sukoshi dake' once more :)
Reviewed by morical on 21 June 2009
3. Cute & light-hearted [Rating: 7/10]
This show was my first introduction to a non-serious dorama. Needless to say, I was somewhat thrown off balance. It took me awhile to get used to the typical over-the-top school scenes. But I recovered.
Aside from the above, which took some getting used to, this is a fairly light-hearted series that's easy and relatively fun to watch. It's evidently not plot-heavy, but the plot is sufficient for such a genre IMO. If you're into school doramas or don't mind them, then go ahead and watch this. In any case, I think Ninomiya was cute enough as his character to sustain my interest. Lol.
Reviewed by calibration on 25 May 2013
4. Sugoi! [Rating: 8/10]
I finished this last night. Two Arashi boys in one dorama. I was so spoiled to see them on one dorama. I love them. I really do. I love the dorama. I enjoyed every minute of it. I watched it for 2 nights. Can you imagine? I can't stop. I was crying all the time. I was laughing all the time. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Both Arashi Boys gave justice to their role. Sho-kun fits the rich Prince. Nino-kun fits the lovable bimbo prince. They were both so lovable. I don't know why they say it was disappointing but for me It was a thrill from the first ep to the last. Watch it!
Reviewed by mrose on 10 December 2007
5. Quite funny [Rating: 7/10]
I liked this drama because I thought Nino did great in his role as a humble older brother (an-chan!) who cared way too much for his family~ I didn't really like Tabe Mikako as the main actress bcoz her acting was too exaggerated (although I did sort of get used to her in the end) also Sugiura falling in love with Yamada was lame and Torri-sensei's 24/7 anxiety attacks got old too soon.. Overall the story wasn't put together brilliantly but there were some pretty funny episodes, such as the maid and supermarket episodes~ I loved Yamada calling "shishou~~!" ^^
Reviewed by sezling on 13 October 2007
6. quite disappointing [Rating: 5/10]
Somehow the writers managed to turn a wickedly funny manga into a sentimental crapfest. They also missed out the best storylines which doesn't make any sense. The cast all did a great job from the teachers to Tarou's younger siblings but good acting can't redeem a bad script. Nino did his best to portray Tarou with the poor material he was given to work with. This is a sad example of writers who don't know how to translate manga into live action drama successfully.
Reviewed by zelie on 28 September 2007
7. Good [Rating: 8/10]
It is a funny drama and without reality. The cast is great, two members from arashi, and they performed well. Sakurai kun shows the image of a prince. Ninomiya kun has talented in acting, and i think this role is very suitable for him. The theme of the drama is full of affection, humanity(?)...The song "happiness"is exciting. Good, worth!
Reviewed by endless kizuna on 20 February 2010
8. An-chan! [Rating: 10/10]
I found this to be a really heartfelt drama that is totally underrated on this site. Tarou, the big brother, struggles to provide for his extremely poor family (a bit exaggerated, I admit, but his siblings are SO CUTE!!!) You can't help but cheer him on. And the whole supermarket thing is pretty hilarious...
Reviewed by doramanoai on 4 March 2012

Comments From Users (109)
This section may contain spoilers! Do not proceed if you
do not want to read about this drama's endings and plots!

1. Comments by Fye_D.Flowright [Rating: 9/10]
If it is not based on manga, I definitely will give this drama 10/10. I think all the fanz of Ai Morinaga will frust with the storyline of this drama. But those who didn't follow the manga, like me..will agree that this is one of the best drama this year. I like the way Ninomiya present himself as an elder brother of 3 brothers and 3 sisters. A very responsibility guy..and honest..the way he try to make his family happy together is such a huge sacrifice to him. But sometimes, I can't see him as a Prince like Ikegami san admired on. Princely attitude is much more shining on Mimura-kun (Sho). If I'm one the girl in that class, I definitely will faint each time I saw Mimura looking and smile at me. ^^! Sho didn't bring much interest on me, but I love the way Mimura Takuya is. Cool..serious and sometimes caring about his friend..thats it..the main thing that every girl in the Ichinomiya crazy with. But the thing that bring much interest on this drama for me is, Tabe Mikako and all the sisters and brothers of Taro kun..
2. Comments by donna8157 [Rating: 7/10]
This is a cute rendition of the ever popular "Prince and the Pauper" however in this case, they don't switch places and one of them doesn't even pretend to be rich however because of his looks, intelligence, and the way he carries himself, the entire school thinks that he's royalty. The characters in this drama are pretty typical, but I really liked Yamada Taro's character. Ninomiya Kazunari was perfectly cast for this role and played the character very well.

Although the storyline wasn't that great and some of the character were a little annoying in the beginning (ie the Takako who fell in love with Yamada on the premise of him being rich), you develop a fondness for them and that is mainly because of Kazunari's role in their lives. The little kids in this series are just so adorable (Yamada's little brother and sisters), the acting can be very melodramatic but it's not too bad.

I recommend this drama for people who want a cute, fairy-tale like drama.
3. Comments by Di@na [Rating: 8/10]
Another extremely cute story from a popular manga.
Firstly I thought that Nino absolutely do not suit to this role of a handsome "prince" because he is more the guy next door and roles like in "STAND UP!!" suits him moor.
Still he proved again what an AWESOME actor he is ( I have to say that he is one of the best actors in Johnnys Ent. FOR SURE!) and played this role very good.
Sho is suits perfectly to this role, I mean, he IS good-looking and it seems like he improved his acting skills a lot.
All in all its a totally cute jdorama BUT when you compare it to similar jdoramas like Hana Yori no Dango..well then I have to say that Yamada Tarou Monogatari is MUCH weaker (especially the settings are not as good as in Hana Yori no Dango). Nevertheless, great actors like Nino or Sho are worth to watch it. ^^
4. Comments by nishishi [Rating: 9/10]
First things first i didnt read the manga.... so i cant make any comparison (in fact.. i never read mangas... they give me headache)

Nways... its a lovely dorama... Nino and Sho r great actors, specially nino... but i must agree with those who say that he didnt fit Tarou's character really well.... But still he's a good actor and beside that problem he managed to play his char really well....

The relationship betwen those 3 main characters kind of remind me of Wakaba mo Koro (thnx GOD they didnt use a love-triangle situation!!!)

But if theres sumthing 'bout this dorama that really should be praised... that imo would be the last episode!!! Damn... Yamada Taro Monogatari has one of the best endings i've ever seen!!! Really touching!!!!
5. Comments by ainangst [Rating: 8/10]
I have to say I agree with SOME of the low rated reviews. I don't think this drama will be as entertaining without all the wonderful cast. The cast are lovely (hence my biasness). They did great with lowsy material to begin with. I can't stand the manga.. funny but annoying. I'm not satisfied with the storyline and they used a lot of cheap tricks to make the audience cry. However, overall it was entertaining.
If I'm not biased I might give this a 6. In the spirit of indulging my biasness, 1 extra point for Happiness and another for MimuTaro :P
6. Comments by Susan [Rating: 9/10]
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!
7. Comments by monta [Rating: ?/10]
no scores. i'm totally biased with the casts (look at those smiles) *ashamed. hehehe*

it was okay, nothing special. the acting wasn't stellar, but it wasn't bad either. one thing for sure, it is funny. the dorama started off really bad, i thought the first episode was really boring. but after the second episode the characters somehow grows on you and makes you wanna know what happens next. what's surprising is that the characters that i thought were annoying becomes less and less annoying as episodes go. still stupid though
8. Comments by hummer [Rating: 7/10]
This was enjoyable, but sometimes the cheese was unbearable. I felt the main girl of the series was insufferable - she simply came off as a whiny, shallow, and simpering golddigger. Some minor details of the drama seem extremely unrealistic, like the age gaps between Taro and his family. For one, his siblings are all considerably younger than him, and his parents also seem way too young. The redeeming points of the drama is it's genuinely cute and funny moments and a handful of the cast's acting talents.
9. Comments by koala_bry [Rating: 9/10]
it's an enjoyable dorama...it's funny and sometimes, really touching!! really good dorama!! and tabe mikako is just soooooo cute in this dorama!! an instant crush..she just took my heart!! on___no a special thumbs up to the character yamada itsuko(the kuroke girl in the first episode) she's just an amazing actress for her age!! can't wait to see her more!! tabe mikako mo!! gyaboooo n___n anyone know what's her real name? i think she played the young aiko(ishihara satomi) in hanayome to papa..right?
10. Comments by aliceeatcow [Rating: 8/10]
this is such a great dorama! it is very light-hearted but has those moments that really touch you at the same time. i love how it is pretty consistent and doesn't try to do much at one time, like put in too much love side story to the main story. there were some things wrong with it that didn't benefit the series (such as the teacher side love story) but in all, it was excellent. loved nino's acting and loved the kids.. must see! for full review, check out my site: www.clearblogs.com/arashi
11. Comments by ScrappedShinigami [Rating: 8/10]
Just finished this, it was a fun drama wasn't taxing on the Brain the storyline was simple but sweet. I'm not a fan of Nino at all but his character was sweet and likable.
I absolutely LOVED the relationship between Torri and Ehara I could be biased because Ehara was played by Yoshizawa Hisashi but they were just so funny and so cute at the same time ^0^
It's not exciting enough to give it a higher mark but it's sweet and entertaining in my opinion =D
12. Comments by mrose [Rating: 8/10]
I finished this last night. Two Arashi boys I was so spoiled to see them on one dorama. I love them. I really do. I love the dorama. I enjoyed every minute of it. I watched it for 2 nights. Can you imagine. I cant stop. I was crying all the time. I was laughing all the time. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Both Arashi Boys gave justice to their role. Sho-kun fits the rich Prince. Nino-kun fits the lovable bimbo prince. They were both so lovable.
13. Comments by PaperCaged [Rating: 7/10]
Nino's dorky character from Stand Up!! is forever embedded in my mind, so it was hard to picture him as a princely (but poor) character in this drama. But that doesn't mean he didn't do a good job of conveying his character. It was a light-hearted show that was fun to watch, but at times Nino's character annoyed me because all he thought about was his family every second of the day to the point where it became ridiculous in a way.
14. Comments by yurifly [Rating: 8/10]
story was rather random and pointless, but nino and sho are cute...and all the kids, omg, aren't they the cutest things...I don't like the main girl's character that much...i found her fantasy rather annoying, although she did a great job with it. Overall it was enjoyable though. Oh I swear, Sho is in love with Nino, or rather Mimura with Yamada....the way he looks at Yamada...if thats not a crush, i dont know what to call it.
15. Comments by Gork [Rating: 7/10]
wasn't too bad, easy to watch I guess. tabe was REALLY annoying at first when she was in her gold-digger stage. nino is a good actor but i definitely can't see him as a convincing Yamada Taro (he's not hot enough? LOL). sho was a good mimura takuya but I felt that his was just a two dimensional side character and they did not give many scenes or much character development, which is a waste in my opinion!!
16. Comments by loveaomori [Rating: 7/10]
Has its good moments. Like the scenes in the supermarket etc.. I found it very japanese! It reminded me of the obbachan who make a screen out to you to get some sushi or fresh products when there are sale! But there are quite stupid times in this dorama. Going to university can only be a benefit for his family! He will get a better job, more money to support his family! He's too stubborn in this aspect!
17. Comments by chazarst [Rating: 7/10]
I didn't read the manga, so I can't make any comparison.
I thought the drama was ok. The plot was pretty typical (the importance of familial bonds over money), but I thought the comedic and serious scenes complimented each other.
However, the cast was quite disappointing. Tabe Mikako was average, Sakurai Sho was borderline horrible, and Ninomiya didn't fit the role (even if he is a good actor).
18. Comments by daniela [Rating: 6/10]
warukunai yo, demo..I think I have enough of dramas showing extreme poverty like this one..and Mimoru character is somehow featureless (if this is the right word), we do not know anything about him except his passion for games and his desire to be recognized by his grandfather in ikebana and I think it is pity..come to think of it, all characters somehow suck..
19. Comments by oonqy [Rating: 8/10]
is so funnie... as well as heart-warming ~
Nino is really a gd actor.. while sakurai really has the pose of a rich guy, i guess not much difference from his real identity hahaha.. but nonetheless his snigger smile is one of the main characteristic in the dorama ~
the last epi is jus soooo touching~ cried like mad..
lastly , the children are so cute !
20. Comments by oldasianguy [Rating: 6/10]
OK drama...there were some "cute" scenes....The cast was generally ok and entertaining...but there were a few who were annoying..particularly the 'dead beat' father...who not only was useless but generally is the weirdest looking actor I have ever seen...fangs and all......The plot got weak and scattered at the end..and unsatisfying......
21. Comments by Dr_Pain [Rating: 9/10]
loveable..just loveable...you can easy get teary here TT__TT
But it's okay to do so ;__;"
It's also interesting to see such a poor family.
You learn to aprreciate things much more and get happy much easier ^______^b
Yeah it was really good Dorama..Sho and Nino is a pretty good combination XD
22. Comments by mr_dreamboy [Rating: 7/10]
honestly one of the less interesting dramas i have watched... even though most dramas are repetative this one was very lengthy and ongoing, it has its moments but not one of the best ones if have seen, its worth watching, you wont feel dissapointed, and thats about it
23. Comments by weirdsally [Rating: 5/10]
It was a cute drama but I definitely don't think Ninomiya was right for the role though I love his acting. I think it was pleasant to watch although a little too ridiculous and the characters seemed much too shallow.
24. Comments by tachan [Rating: 6/10]
Dissapointment. I know dramas aren't supposed to be realistic, but they really lost me with some of the decisions Taro made at the end. The episode where they made the movie was very funny though.
25. Comments by Maiuuri [Rating: 7/10]
Funny at times but Ninomiya Kazunari really doesn't fit the roll of a princelike character... thats the only thing that bugged me...that and him working almost 24/7 and not looking like the undead.
26. Comments by nienna [Rating: 6/10]
okay.... this show was not what i expected it to be. it's so unlike the manga which i love to read. but i guess ninomiya is kinda cute in a way and i really like sho~~ he's so rich~~! kyaa!!!
27. Comments by jessiesoon [Rating: 8/10]
the dad is.... :(
maa ii...sho to kazunari no tame ni....i will finish it!
sakurai sho is so cute with his itazura smile.....wicked!! love it...
but chou kandou in de end...
28. Comments by shunrei [Rating: 10/10]
After watching 'Kaze no Haruka,' I became a fan of Matsuoka, Mitsuru! That's how I got to watch this JDorama. And I have to say Ninomiya, Kazunari and Sakurai, Shou are hot!
29. Comments by v1olet [Rating: 10/10]
This dorama is a must watched, especially with 2 arashi member casted together in it. Nino-kun and Sho-kun were damn great. May everyone have a smile in their face. Cheers.
30. Comments by x_XJules [Rating: 6/10]
not too great but still kind of cute. i really liked nino's character. he was darling (and i'm not even a nino fan!). surprisingly, the kid actors were pretty good too!

Read all 109 comments from users

Users who voted for this drama (22)
1. aliceeatcow
This is such a refreshing break from all the dorama tedium! It's sweet, warm, and incredibly fun to watch! It is definitely one of my all-time favorite doramas. Who cares if it is not completely in keeping with the manga? Does that matter? Not if something this good comes from it! Nino gives a great performance in this, he's amazing! Great supporting cast as well. Awesome, a must see!
2. suzzy
this was funny and a very good drama
the actor(nino and sho) did a grwat job from the begining to the end
in some pieces tears came to my eyes because of the perfomance giving by ninomiya and his costars that played his brothers and sisters
just wonderful
is amazing
overall the drama is really really good that all
the actors and actresses did a great job
3. Teenah
I love this drama, not just because of 2 Arashi members starring, but because of the story! It's funny and at the same time, very touching. I love Taro's family. The story is reaaally cute!! I totally love it. Friendship and Family!!
4. dreamer10231
one of my fave shows...it's funny and shows the importance of family...there are a lot of things that you can learn from him although it may seem to be impossible...it's really funny...
5. ryouji
this was so funny.. i love the story but annoyed with tabe mikako sometimes.. those three has a great team up.
6. JellyFishSushi
HAHA! One of the funniest dramas ever! I can't for the life of me figure out why the ratings are so low!
7. athida
Really fun to watch! I hope there's a season 2 just so I can watch Yamada and Mimura again. ^_^
8. Reikorei
Ahhh---<3 This drama is super fun (* u *) !! Yamada Taro is cute.
9. nurul addina
i like nino, he very caring in this drama....hehehe
10. hellogirl1604
the story is very nice..n nino acting is good
11. togu
Watching it every friday. so funny
12. Natsuki07
This drama is very nice...^^
13. kyunspark
NinoxSho... >0<
14. ojouprincess
i'm lovin' it!
15. cutetenshi
Funny and cute
16. ikkin-bot
Great story.
17. scareglow
neat :)
18. eiza
19. Cagallisan
20. spaced_man
21. FLOW
22. nekOzuki21