3 nen B gumi Kinpachi Sensei 6 [3年B組金八先生] This is one of the best jdoramas i've ever watched. First of all, I'm pleasantly surprised by the quality of acting by the entire class and the supporting cast. Rarely have i seen such strong emotional acting and evident camaradarie among cast members. This jdorama is certainly at no loss for dramatic moments and boasts a strong and riveting storyline. The only slight weakness with this drama is the ability of all situations to be resolved so ideally although some of that does get credited to the abilities of Kinpachi Sensei to reach through to his students. Most definitely a must-watch drama and undoubtedly one of my all-time favourites!!
Beautiful life [ビューティフルライフ] Takako and Takuya worked very well together. the portrayal of their characters was beautifully done and the supporting cast does a great job as well. A wonderfully touching story worthy of comparison to LG and LV!
Good Luck !! [グッドラック！！] Kimura Takuya, Tsutsumi Shinichi, and Shibasaki Kou brought this jdrama to life. Shinichi pulled off a very convincing Captain
Koda while Kou was an inspired choice to play the mechanic Ogawa. With a superb supporting cast and a refreshing plot, Good Luck!! is one of the few jdoramas that stand above the rest.
GTO [麻辣教師] My first, and my favourite. A riveting and inspirational jdorama driven by an unconventional Sorimachi Takashi as GTO. The script was very well adapted from the manga and kudos goes to the cast for a terrific job in portraying their characters so convincingly. If you haven't watched this, you are missing out on one of the greatest jdoramas ever.
Ichi Ritoru no Namida [１リットルの涙] Storytelling at its best! Erika Sawajiri carries her role to perfection and her mother is no less impressive. Add to that one of the most poignant and realistic scripts I've ever seen for these sadder doramas and you get one incredible series. Completely deserving of a perfect score and for sure one of my top jdorama picks.
Long vacation [ロングバケーション] A tremendous all-round drama with a very strong cast, excellent choice of music, and an enjoyable storyline. Scenes were very tastefully and artistically done giving the drama a high quality feel. Reminds me somewhat of Orange Days (another one of my favourites) and definitely a masterpiece.
Love generation [ラブジェネレーション] Another superb drama! KimuTaku's acting is definitely commendable in this jdorama and Matsu Takako was excellent as usual. With Fujiwara Norika, Uchino Masaaki and Junna Risa rounding off a very strong and well-balanced cast, this touching love story truly came alive. Topped off with a very appropriate theme song, great scripting and satisfying plot results in one of the best jdoramas I've seen to date.
Orange Days [オレンジデイズ] Both Shibasaki Kou and Satoshi gave a superb performances complemented nicely by a strong cast. Satoshi and Kou provide a perfect coupling to an inspirational story to make this among the best jdoramas ever made! A magnificent tour-de-force!
Oyaji~ [オヤジぃ] A hilarious and endearing family comedy with many funny and memorable moments. This dorama and Otousan (a very similar dorama) stand among my favourite family-oriented doramas!
Shindou's artiste votes (9)
Hirosue Ryoko [広末涼子] Wonderful job in Oyaji, Summer Snow and (the cameo) in Long Vacation. Oyaji and Summer Snow really demonstrated her range to play vastly different characters.
Iijima Naoko [飯島直子] Clearly carried the show in Wedding Planner and did a wonderful job in Otousan and Hero....looking forward to seeing more of her!
Kimura Takuya [木村拓哉] After LG and LV, I can understand why Kimura Takuya is the king of jdoramas. With excellent acting in LV, LG, BL and Concerto as well as Good Luck!! and Hero to his credit, KimuTaku is one talented actor. While his acting may sometimes feel the same across different dramas, he's definitely got the charm and skill to pull off the roles handily.
Matsu Takako [松たか子] Having watched Matsu in Love Generation, Long Vacation, Hero (& SP), Uchouten Hoteru and Itsumo futari de, I've come to see why she's such a great actress. Her natural beauty and strong acting skills are definitely to be commended. Definitely looking forward to seeing more of her dramas.
Shibasaki Kou [柴咲コウ] Terrific acting in Orange Days, Good Luck and Battle Royale!! She plays tough personalities extremely well in both of the first two series and was quite the killer in Battle Royale.
Shinohara Ryoko [篠原涼子] A wonderful actress. She completely dominated in Anego and was quite enjoyable in Uchouten Hoteru. Looking forward to seeing more of her in At Home Dad, Odoru Daisousassen and Unfair!!
Tamura Masakazu [田村正和] Excellent portrayals of his characters in Concerto, Oyaji, Otousan and Farewell, Mr Premier. While he likes re-using a number of mannerisms, his acting is pretty solid and carries him through a number of different roles nicely.
Yamaguchi Tomoko [山口智子] Wonderful acting in Long Vacation and Ohsama no Resutoran - two of my favourite series. An extremely talented actress whose roles just flow very naturally.
Shindou's dramas (185)
101 Kaime no Puropozu [101回目のプロポーズ] Rating: 8/10 (Watched) wonderful dorama... a very touching love story with a great cast of characters. asano atsuko and takeda tetsuya were pretty good in the lead roles although i gotta say asano does tend to get a bit over emotional in many instances - not sure whether the script called for that. as to the plot, the story was quite endearing although one would probably question how closely it bears resemblance to reality. aside from that, a drama well done!
14 sai no Haha [１４歳の母] Rating: 8/10 (Watched) A decent dorama starring Shida Mirai, Tanaka Misako and Namase Katsuhisa - the parents remind me a bit of their partnering in Brother Beat. The choice of Miura Haruma is a bit weak and Kaito Ken's character really seems to come out of nowhere and doesn't get explained too well. Otherwise, pretty good work!
3 nen B gumi Kinpachi Sensei 6 [3年B組金八先生] Rating: 9/10 (Watched) With a gripping storyline, a memorable and truly unified cast and some superb acting, this is deservedly one of my favourite shows. It is unusual to see so many intense and powerful acting performances by so many of the cast members. Nao, Hirofumi, Kinpachi, Masanori, Principal Senda all gave particularly outstanding performances. Overall, two thumbs up for this superb dorama.
3 nen B gumi Kinpachi Sensei 7 [3年B組金八先生] Rating: 9/10 Another spectacular Kinpachi Sensei series! Similar to the 6th series, the casting and acting is so heartwarming one can't help but be moved by the extraordinary acting/storytelling by the characters. Kinpachi Sensei really hasn't lost any of its lustre when compared to the 6th season. Yaotome should be commended for an exceptional performance as Maruyama Shu.
Anego [アネゴ] Rating: 7/10 (Watched) A rather enjoyable romantic teaser centred around Anego, well acted out by Shinohara Ryoko. While the plot was mostly predictable, there were a couple of interesting surprises. Overall, with its rather light plotlines, this dorama certainly was quite a bit of fun to watch including the special.
Attention Please [アテンションン プリース] Rating: 8/10 (Watched) Aya Ueto was perfect for her role and nanase natsumi was also perfect for the role of instructor mikami. a fun light-hearted dorama all round with some good acting by the whole cast in general. aya definitely seemed to bring the cast together with her magnetic personality and it was truly an enjoyable experience to watch this series. wonder if i should look for more airline-related doramas if AP and Good Luck!! are both this enjoyable.. :)
Beach boys [ビーチボーイズ] Rating: 8/10 (Watched) Yutaka and Takeshi star in this suitably-named, slow, relaxed jdorama. Also, one of the earliest jdoramas I've seen with a young Hirosue Ryoko. For jdorama fans, it's certainly worth watching to see these earlier roles of some of the more (presently) established actors and actresses.
Beautiful life [ビューティフルライフ] Rating: 9/10 (Watched) Definitely one of the most beautifully done doramas I've seen. Touching performances by Takako and Takuya with a great supporting cast. I'm not a fan of sad stories typically but this one was certainly something else. I can definitely see how this is comparable to LG and LV. Watabe Atsuro was an inspired choice to play her somewhat slow and overprotective brother. A great dorama overall!
Bijo ka Yajuu [美女か野獣] Rating: 7/10 (Watched) A fairly interesting jdorama with some rather amusing and entertaining plots. I haven't watched any other news jdoramas as of yet so this show was fairly refreshing and different. Nanako and Masaharu were a pretty good pair supported by decent cast.
Bloody Monday [ブラッディ・マンデイ] Rating: 8/10 (Watched) Meh.....got off to a good start with an intriguing storyline but the ending was not quite up to the rest of the drama.....finished a bit weaker than it could have. The plot twists with all the intrigue definitely helped build up a lot of suspense and kept me interested right to the end. A decent drama but definitely could be improved on - not a bad dorama to end 2008 off..
BOSS Rating: 8/10 (Watched) Amami Yuki really pulls this drama and the cast together. While there are a number of things that don't really make sense in this drama, the episodes go by and you get rather entertained by the stories. Probably could have developed a bit more both with the character development and with the plots but certainly not a bad job.
Brother Beat [ブラザー☆ビート] Rating: 8/10 (Watched) A reasonably well cast drama with some convincing acting by the 3 brothers and their mother. Reminds me a lot of Otousan and Oyaji - rather fun to watch and definitely recommended for some light entertainment!
Busu no Hitomi Koishiteru [ブスの瞳恋してる] Rating: 6/10 (Watched) Finally completed this series. Despite the interesting concept behind this dorama, the quality of the script and acting fell far short of what I had expected. Tomoko's effort was apparent and worth mentioning but the rest of the cast just didn't have the coherence or 'team' feel evident in other doramas. The weakest part of the series was probably the script, particularly for the comedic moments, which far too often felt forced and unnatural. Overall, a disappointment...
CHANGE Rating: 9/10 (Watched) Excellent series overall!! Kimura Takuya and Eri Fukatsu were a great team coupled with a great supporting cast. Music was very stately and had a regal feel to it matching the series itself very well. Although the series may be a bit too idealistic/unrealistic at times, it bears enough realism to get across the main idea and message. With many memorable scenes and great comedy, it is definitely one of my favourite jdramas.
Chuushingura 1/47 [忠臣蔵 １／４７] Rating: 7/10 Nicely done. Takuya, Takako and the rest of this all-star cast make this a memorable period dorama special. Acting was good, although maybe just a tad overdone, but worth watching.
Cupid no Itazura [クピドの悪戯] Rating: 6/10 (Watched) Pretty crappy dorama...just finished it for the sake of finishing the story... dunno why but Akiyama Rina was particularly annoying
Dare Yori mo Mama wo Aisu [誰よりもままを愛す] Rating: 8/10 (Watched) Not bad! Really quite an enjoyable family dorama which brings back memories of Otousan, Oyaji and Brother Beat. Then again, its hard not to when Tamura Masakazu and Tamayama Tetsuji are both back in this type of setting. Tamura's old mannerisms are still around and the lack of a really convincing storyline was the main weakness feeling more like a mishmash of those afore-mentioned family dramas. Kobayashi Satomi was hilarious as the neighbour lady at the beginning!
Densha Otoko [電車男] Rating: 8/10 (Watched) A rather unique dorama with a great storyline. Misaki and Atsushi played their roles well with great performance by Miho and the rest of the supporting cast. Atsushi plays his role very well although his character sometimes feels so ridiculously pathetic that it slightly degrades the believability of the story. The storyline was easily one of the most predictable I've ever seen but I definitely enjoyed seeing how the cast handled their parts, in particular all of the people on the forum - the special in the end was quite good in that sense. Definitely recommended for its uniqueness!
Double kitchen [ダブルキッチン] Rating: 8/10 (Watched) This story takes a very realistic and likely, common, situation and makes a wonderful heartwarming drama out of it. Yamaguchi Tomoko and Nogiwa Yoko seem almost destined for these roles - they are cast so well. Ito Shiro was commendable too as the father of the household, playing his role quite well, providing some added comedy to the series. Recommended for those who love family dramas.
Dragon Zakura [ドラゴン桜] Rating: 7/10 (Watched) Began with a relatively interesting story with topics on sociology and the structure of society followed by some great learning techniques. The story takes on a different direction though towards the latter half and the ending was surprising realistic for once. The cast was pretty decent although you may want to watch something else first if you've just recently watched a school drama :P
Friends [フレンズ] Rating: 8/10 (Watched) Aside from a bumpy start with rather weak acting by Kyoko, the main idea of this short series was definitely unique. Won Bin was well cast and the supporting cast did an OK job though there were definitely places for improvement. Kyoko redeemed herself somewhat towards the second half and should be commended for her effort in speaking Korean. Overall, it might have been better to extend the dorama and build more tension with the father instead of ending with a typically fairy-tale and probably unrealistic ending.
Gachi Baka ! [ガチバカ !] Rating: 5/10 (Watched) Complete rip-off of Gokusen and GTO plotlines - practically no originality or creativity demonstrated. Acting was OK with no particular performances that really stood out. In general, very disppointed with the lack of new ideas in the already very crowded school jdorama set.
Galileo [ガリレオ] Rating: 7/10 (Watched) A decent drama but was somewhat disappointed the script didn't go further to bring out the acting ability in kou or masaharu. Plots were reasonably good and entertaining but at times, yukawa sensei's sudden inspirations and scribblings don't really make sense in the context of the crime/problem - guess one could argue its a quirk in the character but sometimes it just didn't feel in place. Overall, a decent dorama.
Ganbatte Ikimasshoi [がんばっていきまっしょい] Rating: 6/10 A decent dorama with your average ups and downs. The relaxed feel to this dorama sometimes takes a bit far making it a bit too slow for my taste (particularly in the earlier episodes). Acting is ok but the weakest link to this dorama was the script. There was not much tension or flow to this story and the character development was rather minimal and superficial at best.
Gokusen [ごくせん] Rating: 8/10 (Watched) Reminiscent of GTO, Yankumi is yet another unforgettable character as the homeroom teacher of 3D. Nakama Yukie is quite humourous in this series and eventually establishes her own character somewhat different from Onizuka as the series progresses. A great cast including Jun, Shun and Hiroki make this as fun a jdorama to watch as GTO.
Gokusen 2 [ごくせん２] Rating: 7/10 (Watched) A decent sequel to the first season. While the stories begin to get repetitive and formulaic (as if they weren't that way after watching the first season :P ), Jin and Kame lead the cast to a better-than-expected second season. For a debut jdorama for some of the main cast, a job well done!
Gokusen 3 [ごくせん 3] Rating: 5/10 (Watched) Honestly.....this is ridiculous....how many times are they going to keep rehashing the same plots again and again?? And with a weaker and weaker cast...
Golden Bowl [ゴールデンボウル] Rating: 9/10 (Watched) A simple story with some rather bizarre progressions in the story but despite that, the biggest draw for me was the banter between kaneshiro takeshiro and kuroki hitomi, among one of the strongest pairings i've seen to date. That alone was a delight to watch!
Good Luck !! [グッドラック！！] Rating: 9/10 (Watched) Kimura Takuya, Tsutsumi Shinichi, and Shibasaki Kou brought this jdrama to life. Shinichi pulled off a very convincing Captain
Koda while Kou was an inspired choice to play the mechanic Ogawa. With a superb supporting cast and a refreshing plot, Good Luck!! is one of the few jdoramas that stand above the rest.
GTO [麻辣教師] Rating: 10/10 My first, and my favourite. A riveting and inspirational JDorama driven by an unconventional Sorimachi Takashi as GTO. The script was very well adapted from the manga and kudos goes to the cast for a terrific job in portraying their characters so convincingly. If you haven't watched this, you are missing out on one of the greatest jdoramas ever.
Hana Yori Dango [花より男子] Rating: 8/10 (Watched) The plot was great fun and enrapturingly entertaining! With some good casting choices and an impressive filming set makes this a definite must-see jdorama of 2005.
Hana Yori Dango 2 [花より男子] Rating: 7/10 (Watched) Not too bad for a sequel. It certainly maintained the surreal Cinderella-like quality of the first season. However, the plots seemed to be less interesting due to the large amount of time dedicated towards dragging out the teen angst to an almost unbearable extent. If you liked the first and you want some closure, then watch HYD2.
Hero Rating: 8/10 (Watched) One of the most hilarious doramas I've watched. KimuTaku and Matsu Takako have a great chemistry together. Looking forward to seeing this pairing again soon! And despite the jdorama seeming overly unrealistic at times, this was one of the most enjoyable series I've ever encountered. Well done!
Hoshi no kinka 1 [星の金貨] Rating: 9/10 (Watched) A wonderfully constructed dorama. Noriko Sakai's performance is exceptionally well done and each of the character's really made their presence felt on this dorama. The acting and storyline was first class and as was the OST. I would definitely not hesitate to recommend this dorama.
Hotman [ホットマン] Rating: 7/10 (Watched) Sorimachi Takeshi plays a similar GTO-esque character in the form of Furiya Enzo - Great Father Enzo. The supporting cast do an OK job but their acting could definitely be improved on. However, the entertainment and warmth of this jdorama make this a jdorama well worth your time. Remember to look out for Nanami!
Hotman 2 [ホットマン2] Rating: 6/10 (Watched) i have to say this dorama was a big disappointment. the whole show was not very well executed even with the rather reasonable script. all the characters seemed to lack realism i got the sense that the dorama was running out of steam as it progressed. For those who haven't watched this, i would simply recommend watching the first season and stop there, no point dragging out the banality for another 12 episodes.
Houkago [下課後] Rating: 8/10 (Watched) Great fun! Mizuki Arisa and Ishida Issei play(both) their roles quite well and the script contained many an entertaining moment. Only wish that this series could be longer.
Ichi Ritoru no Namida [１リットルの涙] Rating: 10/10 (Watched) Wonderful script plus great casting. Erika Sawajiri and Yakushimaru Hiroko were outstanding in their roles with some strong backup in the supporting cast, most notably Narumi Riko. A very realistic portrayal of a young girl forced to deal with the harsh reality of dealing with an incurable disease. A moving and extremely touching story.
Ikebukuro West Gate Park [池袋ウエストゲートパーク] Rating: 8/10 (Watched) Not a bad dorama overall. Tomoya Nagase is in his element as the lead character and the supporting cast isn't bad at bringing out the flavour of the rest of the characters. The telling of the story is creatively entertaining similar to Tiger&Dragon and Kisarazu Cats Eye.
Iryu [医龍 Team Medical Dragon] Rating: 9/10 (Watched) Excellent casting for medical dorama. Inamori Izumi and Sakaguchi Kenji clearly carried the dorama thru with some great support from the rest of the cast. Natsuki Mari was a delight to watch and Kishibe Ittoku was an excellent choice for the professor role. Plotwise, this definitely kept my on the edge of my seat the whole time. For a medical dorama, very well done!
Iryu 2 [医龍 2] Rating: 8/10 (Watched) A good dorama and a decent followup series to the first season. noguchi sensei is as bad as ever and he plays his role pretty well. wish there was a bit more character development instead of always concentrating on the medical cases. also, the continual success rate of operations leaves little surprise for the viewer despite the many complications that arise in all the operations. but aside from these points, this dorama was an interesting distraction from everyday life =P
Itazura na Kiss [イタズラなKiss] Rating: 8/10 kashi's acting in shota no sushi was more dynamic than this series but this was compensated by (or overcompensated by) sato and asada's characters. the storyline is a pretty typical guy/girl romance reminding me at times of houkago. the last few episodes felt a little bit more rushed than usual and probably could have done better by spreading it into a tenth episode. overall though, an enjoyable dorama.
Itsumo futari de [いつもふたりで] Rating: 7/10 (Watched) A pretty decent jdorama series with good performances by Matsu Takako and Sakaguchi Kenji. Its a typical work-type story with a nice romance to drive the story along. While the story is almost completely predictable, its feel-good nature will keep the viewer pretty satisfied but probably not deeply hooked.
Jotei [女帝] Rating: 6/10 (Watched) Some decent acting by Kato and Shota. Overall, the dorama was a bit too unrealistic, with the characters being overly simplistic and one-dimensional. The sets were well designed but a rather simplistic plot and weak characters made this dorama less compelling than it could have been.
Karei naru Ichizoku [華麗なる一族] Rating: 9/10 (Watched) An intense drama about politics, rivalry and family. Kimura Takuya led a strong cast and did a fine job portraying the conflicts within the Manpyo family. The music reflected the tense atmosphere for the most part and the tumultuous plot lumbered on from beginning to end relentlessly. However, strong as the plot was, one of the casualties in the adaptation was the weakness of the development of many of the side characters. While the main story clearly dominated, it would've done even better by rounding out a number of the supporting characters. Overall though, this is definitely a great dorama, intense to the end!!
Keizoku [ケイゾク] Rating: 8/10 (Watched) One of the best police mystery endings I have ever seen in any show!! Nakatani Miki plays Shibata very well and Watabe Atsuro played an extremely convincing Mayama. The intermingling of serious scenes and light situations were well peppered throughout the show. Starts with a deceptively slow beginning couple of episodes, this dorama knocks you out towards the end. Very well done!
Kekkon Dekinai Otoko [結婚できない男] Rating: 9/10 (Watched) Abe Hiroshi does it again, and this time he gets his match in Natsukawa Yui, who plays her part wonderfully opposite his. the rest of the cast was pretty well chosen although the characters themselves could've used a bit more development; they seemed more like ornaments surrounding the main story. nevertheless, the humorous comedic banter was excellent and this dorama is for sure one of the best of 2006
Kimi wa Petto [きみはペット] Rating: 7/10 (Watched) Koyuki's acting was excellent in this series with a decent job put up by the rest of the supporting cast. An rather unique twist of having a human pet sets this dorama apart from the usual but aside from that, its a typical relationship dorama.
Kindaichi Shonen no Jikembo 3 [金田一少年の事件簿 3] Rating: 7/10 (Watched) MatsuJun's Kindaichi is fun and Suzuki Anne plays a good supporting role as they solve mysteries together. My personal favourite was still the first episode although the rest were still pretty fun to follow. This was my first set of Kindaichi so I'm looking forward to seeing Kazuya's and Dohmoto Tsuyoshi's version.
Kindaichi shonen no Jikenbo (2005) [金田一少年の事件簿] Rating: 6/10 (Watched) Kame seems a bit too corny in the title role of this latest rendition of Kindaichi. Interested in how Kame will mature as an actor after this and Nobuta wo Produce. A jdorama worth watching for Kindaichi fans.
Koori no sekai [冰の世界] Rating: 9/10 (Watched) An unexpectedly good dorama.....truly was kept on the edge of my seat trying to figure out who the murderer was. The supporting cast did well in portraying their characters, keeping you speculating throughout. The acting by nanako and yutaka was outstanding. The choice of music and background was better chosen than Sleeping Forest which unnecessarily created more tension than existed. Definitely a must for all mystery fans out there!
Kou Kou Kyoushi 2003 [高校教師 2003] Rating: 4/10 (Watched) I didn't like this at all. If you can make it past the first five episodes, you'll have pretty much met all the ridiculously sick and unlikeable characters there are in the show. If the purpose of the jdorama was to illicit revulsion towards most of the characters, I would say it definitely got to that point. It's fortunate that the last couple of episodes somewhat redeems this rather twisted series.
Kurosagi [クロサギ] Rating: 5/10 (Watched) A disappointment. the concept of a swindler swindling others isn't bad but it wasn't carried through very well. The acting was rather superficial - particularly that of Horikita Maki: in light of Nobuta wo Produce, not to mention the weakness of some of the episode plots. Could've been better...
Kyousoukyoku [協奏曲] Rating: 9/10 (Watched) Tamura Masakazu and Kimura Takuya excel in this drama - great plot, superb acting and some masterful storytelling. Bravo!
Kyumei Byoto 24 Ji 2 [救命病棟２４時 ２] Rating: 7/10 A pretty typical drama as far as ER type dramas go. Yasuko and Yosuke as well as the rest of the cast did a pretty good job with this drama although the plotlines did get a bit repetitive in the middle. Not too bad of an ending but overall, I like the 3rd season a tad more.
Kyumei Byoto 24 Ji 3 [救命病棟２４時 3] Rating: 8/10 (Watched) While the drama starts off with a bang with nothing less than an earthquake to set the tone, the rest of the jdorama, particularly towards the end, gets fairly routine as a medical jdorama. A bit unrealistic since the ER felt as thought it was an independent hospital but the cast carried this through. Great soundtrack and great footage of the earthquake!!
Last Christmas [ラストクリスマス] Rating: 9/10 (Watched) A must-watch jdorama, particularly over the holiday season. The story is constantly moving with well-woven side stories intermingling with the main plot. A heart-warming jdorama acted out by a superb cast.
Long vacation [ロングバケーション] Rating: 10/10 (Watched) Superb drama!! Excellent acting by Tomoko and a very strong cast overall. The music to the drama couldn't have been more appropriate and was exceptionally well suited to the story. Definitely one of my favourites on par with Orange Days. A great finale episode caps off this truly enjoyable series. Definitely would recommend this without hesitation!
Love generation [ラブジェネレーション] Rating: 10/10 (Watched) Another superb drama! KimuTaku's acting is definitely commendable in this jdorama and Matsu Takako was excellent as usual. With Fujiwara Norika, Uchino Masaaki and Junna Risa rounding off a very strong and well-balanced cast, this touching love story truly came alive. Topped off with a very appropriate theme song, great scripting and satisfying plot results in one of the best jdoramas I've seen to date.
Love Revolution [ラブレボリューション] Rating: 8/10 (Watched) An enjoyable drama carried out by an endearing cast. Esumi Makiko does a great job leading this series and the plots are enjoyable. The main weakness of this series is the back-and-forth nature that makes this series never seem to end and a strange departure from the flow at around ep 8. Otherwise, a pretty decent drama.
Lunch no Joou [ランチの女王] Rating: 7/10 (Watched) A disappointment. I couldn't think of what else I could call this given the all star cast - takeuchi, tsumabuki, misaki itoh, yamapi, takayuki, shinichi, yosuke and morita go. The story started out quite nicely but after the first couple of episodes, the stories just seemed to get unnecessarily dragged out and felt rather directionless. The saving grace of this dorama was the splendid looking dishes they managed to create, their omurice looked to-die-for!
Majo no jouken [魔女の条件] Rating: 7/10 (Watched) A reasonably decent dorama that touches on a tricky subject. Matsushima Nanako does a good job as Michi is supported by a good performance in general by the supporting cast. Taki's acting doesn't really do much for his character and i find this dorama a bit staged at times. Theme song was good though!
Mayonaka no Ame [真夜中の雨] Rating: 9/10 (Watched) One of the best mysteries I've seen so far. Though the main plot may be a bit of a stretch, the script, music, acting are all excellent. There were some obvious weaknesses in the plot (like Yasuko seeming to not have to do police work on so many days...), but I believe the screenwriters sacrificed that for the main plot to keep it rather captivating. It definitely kept me hooked ep after ep. A top-notch cast with Oda Yuji, Abe Hiroshi, Nagatsuka Kyozo and Matsuyuki Yasuko played their roles very well and definitely made this one of my favourite jdoramas.
Moto Kare [元カレ] Rating: 7/10 (Watched) Too slow for me. Feels too much like a slowed down version of Summer Snow with a plot that doesn't really go anywhere.
MR. BRAIN Rating: 7/10 (Watched) Decent, entertaining drama but certainly lacks the appeal of Kimura Takuya's earlier works. Episode are rather forgettable and the rest of the cast isn't that strong. A nice time-passer but nothing that stands out in particular
My Boss, My Hero [マイボスマイヒロ] Rating: 7/10 (Watched) Not a bad dorama, entertaining at least. Obviously goes without saying that the audience shouldn't expect any of the storyline to make any sense but given that, the selection for the cast could've been improved on. Nagase Tomoya was decent as the lead but Yuya was really too much of a wimp whereas Koki overcompensates on this point.... Yu was decent as the homeroom teacher and the rest of the cast was passable. A nice light drama to pass your time as long as your expectations aren't too high.
My Little Chef Rating: 8/10 (Watched) Yada Akiko fits the role perfectly as a charming and ingenious chef. A delightful dorama with entertaining, episodic stories to keep the audience hooked for hours.
Nanisama! [なにさまっ！] Rating: 8/10 (Watched) Another strong jdorama of the same calibre as News no Onna. Good pacing and a great all-round cast make watching this a truly enjoyable experience! I must say though, this drama is pretty packed with stars (almost as many as Lunch Queen!), not that I mind :)
Narita Rikon [成田離婚] Rating: 9/10 (Watched) Giving this dorama a solid 9/10 as well, almost perfect except for a few minor things. I highly recommend this one as tsuyoshi and asaka really played their roles to the fullest. The supporting cast led by abe hiroshi, eri fukatsu and morimoto leo did a great job backing up the leads. i originally did not expect this dorama to be that good, particularly on the heels of another great dorama Over Time, but ended up finishing this in about 3 days.
Nemureru mori [眠れる森] Rating: 8/10 (Watched) Not a bad mystery dorama but I think they overdid the suspense with this one. Particularly with fast-paced soundtrack, the dorama seemed to be on edge almost the whole way through. The story was certainly well done with the constant suspense dominating the show. The acting by Miho, Takuya, Toru and the rest of the cast wasn't bad and if you're a fan of mysteries or any of the cast, this dorama shouldn't be missed.
News no onna [ニュースの女] Rating: 8/10 (Watched) This dorama ROCKS!!!! Excellent balance of drama, comedy, character development and great plotlines. Suzuki Honami, Nagatsuka Kyozo, and Tackey fully carried this dorama to the end with an interesting surprise ending I didn't expect due to an unconventional twist late in the jdorama.
Nobuta wo Produce [野ブタ。をプロデュース] Rating: 7/10 (Watched) One of the funniest jdramas I've seen in a while. Entertaining storyline carried through Horikita Maki, Kame and especially Yamapi. akira shock, akira down, kon were hilarious ^_^ While depth was somewhat lacking in this drama, the hilarity of the plot and characters definitely carried the show.
Nodame Cantabile [のだめ カンタビ−レ] Rating: 8/10 (Watched) From all the dorama i've seen, this one is the most anime-like to date. the actions are sometimes exaggerated nicely but i definitely well-adapted for tv. As the dorama progresses, i found myself getting drawn into the series as i developed an attachment to the characters. As a music-lover, their choices for the difference pieces throughout the series were well-picked and suited both series and character development. A most entertaining series, bravo!!
Odoru Daisousasen [踊る大捜査線] Rating: 9/10 (Watched) The strongest police dorama i've seen and certainly in leagues with Keizoku and Midnight Rain. Oda Yuji does a fabulous job in this dorama as Aoshima and i definitely look forward to seeing the specials. cast and script are also first-class. This dorama definitely counts among my favourites
Ohsama no resutoran [王樣のレストラン] Rating: 9/10 (Watched) A light and humourous series. Despite its rather simple storylines, the cast gels together very naturally and the delightful quirkiness of the characters and the plot will keep one entertained for hours. Simply put, one of the best doramas I've seen and certainly the best food-related drama out there. A must-watch!
Orange Days [オレンジデイズ] Rating: 10/10 (Watched) Both Shibasaki Kou and Satoshi gave a superb performances complemented nicely by a very strong cast. Satoshi and Kou made a perfect couple in a truly inspirational series and yet maintained a realistic down-to-earth tone. Unquestionably among the best jdoramas ever made, a magnificent piece-de-resistance!
Otousan [おとうさん] Rating: 9/10 (Watched) Almost an exact replica of Oyaji. Despite that, judging by the acting and the story/acting, this series is deserving of an 8.5, just like Oyaji. Excellent acting once again by Tamura Masakazu and Hirosue Ryoko and Iijima Naoko and Nakatani Miki were great additions to the cast. Music was light-hearted and fun and there were plenty of things happening in the plot to keep you entertained.
Over Time [オーバー・タイム] Rating: 9/10 (Watched) Wonderfully acted out by Sorimachi Takashi and Esumi Makiko. Of the four Kitagawa doramas I've seen, I must say all four are among the finest jdoramas i've had the pleasure of watching. Over Time is just a tad weaker than the others but amazing nonetheless. The story is predictable for the most part aside from the unexpected ending. Personally, the music might have been a bit too slow but it seemed to meld well with the pace of the rest of the dorama.
Oyaji~ [オヤジぃ] Rating: 9/10 (Watched) A first-class dorama! Kuroki Hitomi, Tamura Masakazu, Hirosue Ryoko, Okada Junichi, Mizuno Miki and Ishida Yuriko made up a very effective cast with great chemistry together. The plot flowed along with a good amount of humour and character development. There were definitely some surprises along the way and I very much enjoyed ryoko's performance in this series. She was vibrant and somewhat boisterous - very different from her subdued and quiet character in Summer Snow.
Proposal Daisakusen [プロポーズ大作戦] Rating: 8/10 (Watched) Surprisingly refreshing idea....perhaps my expectations have fallen too much but this certainly exceeded my expectations. Cast was not overly spectacular but they did get the story across - which was probably the most endearing part of the drama
Remote [リモート] Rating: 7/10 (Watched) an unexpected dorama - fukada kyoko and dohmoto koichi weren't bad in this series - the credit should probably go to the scriptwriters for fitting the script around cast - sometimes not the easiest of tasks. On the whole tho, this isn't a bad dorama - a good little time-waster..
Rinjo [臨場] Rating: 8/10 (Watched) Another decent drama but again, nothing too outstanding. I actually liked this one a bit more than Mr Brain as I watched them at the same time. The cast seems more cohesive with more realistic storylines than the rather polished and at times non-sensical Mr. Brain.
Satomi Hakenden [里見八犬伝] Rating: 6/10 (Watched) An enjoyable special with many familiar faces. As a fan of Inu Yasha, this drama special had a rather predictable plot but was nevertheless well done. CG was a bit overly-intrusive at times but otherwise had some good special effects. Overall, not a bad SP for 2006.
Seikei Bijin [整形美人。] Rating: 8/10 (Watched) An unusually enjoyable jdorama with some rather quirky characters. Supported by a rather original story, Yonekuro Ryoko clearly carried the show with her superb acting, capturing the character of Honami exceptionally well. The rest of the cast was decent and the plot made for an enjoyable albeit predictable watch. Two thumbs up!
sengoku Jieitai [戦国自衛隊〜関ケ原の戦い〜] Rating: 2/10 (Watched) The biggest disaster of a japanese production i've seen yet. With an illogical, poorly-written and rather juvenile script, very cheesy scenes, as fake a set as you can get and a horrible plot, I don't think anything could sink lower than this.
Shota no sushi [将太の寿司] Rating: 9/10 (Watched) Takashi truly carried through the show! The supporting cast was very well picked and definitely gave this dorama the coherence and team spirit that is getting to be more and more difficult to find in the more recent doramas. Takashi's enthusiasm clearly showed throughout the episodes and provided more than enough motivation for the audience to continue watching ep after ep. Tetta was a great counterbalance for most of the show and contributed to making this dorama a balanced yet wonderfully enjoyable series.
Slow Dance [スローダンス] Rating: 7/10 (Watched) Slow Dance is aptly named - the first half and some of the second move quite slowly but picks up near the end. An inspirational story coupled with an experienced cast make this a good jdrama to watch.
Souri to yobanai de [総理と呼ばないで] Rating: 9/10 (Watched) Had trouble telling this apart from a continuation of Ohsama no Resutoran! :P Seriously though, I thoroughly enjoyed watching this dorama with the great scenes among the cast members and watching them handle crisis after crisis in quirky and at times humourous ways. Music was very appropriate and the acting was first-rate. Two thumbs up for sure!
Stand UP!! Rating: 4/10 (Watched) Four guys who haven't done it yet, not much else to say..
Strawberry on the shortcake [ストロベリー・オンザ・ショートケーキ] Rating: 7/10 (Watched) A OK teen jdorama - slightly different from the regular high school dorama routine. Takki and Yosuke played their roles fairly well and Rina was better than usual. Kyoko was somewhat annoying but a somewhat different plot leads to a rather unique dorama albeit with a seemingly pointless feel to it.
Summer snow Rating: 9/10 (Watched) Hirosue Ryoko and Dohmoto Tsuyoshi were the perfect choice for Summer Snow, an unforgettably moving jdorama. Shun, Tsubasa and Chizuru round off a strong supporting cast. Hats off for a very unique ending to a touching story.
Tiger & Dragon [タイガー＆ドラゴン] Rating: 9/10 (Watched) Hilarious, simply hilarious! This comedic dorama was unbelievably funny with nagase's and junichi's great performances. the script was generously sprinkled with humour and the whole cast truly came together as a single, coherent unit. the storytelling was very unique and captured the mood and essence of the stories wonderfully well. Bravo!!
Tokyo Friends [東京フレンズ] Rating: 7/10 (Watched) Didn't have very high expectations for this dorama initially but it turned out to be a more enjoyable than expected, laid-back dorama with some great music. Acting was decent and the slowish, laid-back pacing of this dorama suited the storyline very well. Particularly liked the twists at the end - Will watch for the movie!
Trick [トリック] Rating: 8/10 (Watched) The entertaining duo of Nakama Yukie and Abe Hiroshi do a great job of solving all these mysteries. Namase Katsuhisa as Yabe was an excellent cast choice, continuing his hilariously comedic sparring with Yukie from Gokusen. Definitely a must watch, if not for the tricks, then at least for the comedy ^_^
Umizaru [海猿] Rating: 9/10 (Watched) A solid dorama! Well-paced and well acted by the whole cast. The script for each episode was very neatly crafted with a tidy satisfying ending to round off the series. Plotlines were intense but not overpowering and writers took care not to overdo it, sometimes a difficult task given the topic. Well done!
Unfair [アンフェア] Rating: 9/10 (Watched) Shinohara Ryoko carries this dorama from beginning to end. Her presence is as dominating and as strong here as it was in Anego. Building on her screen presence is the riveting and at times teasing storyline, drawing the viewer in with the sense that we're just 'one step away' from solving the whole thing. The supporting cast was great; Eita has definitely been in some good doramas recently between Unfair and Nodame. Loved Ryoko's ringtune - very appropriate for this dorama
Virgin Road [バージンロード] Rating: 9/10 (Watched) Another one of my favourite jdoramas ever! Incredibly powerful acting performances by Tetsuya and Sorimachi in a very well-written and well-paced romance. Music was very appropriate but I think what stands out the most is the quality of the acting - among the best I've seen in jdorama for some scenes - those were particularly gripping and powerful moments - making this jdorama truly outstanding!
Wedding Planner [ウエディングプランナー] Rating: 8/10 (Watched) Iijima Naoko clearly leads the cast in this endearing drama filled with many laughs and touching moments. Even with the light script and storyline, the cast played their characters well and gave great performances in bringing out the development in the characters. Well done!
Yamato Nadeshiko [やまとなでしこ【大和撫子】] Rating: 7/10 (Watched) Shinichi and Nanako certainly make an awkward pair, haha ^_^ Anyhow, Nanako's performance was hilarious as an airline stewardess and shows off her great acting ability. Shinichi plays a somewhat convincing math genius though I like his performance in Good Luck!! more. All in all, a pretty entertaining jdorama to watch.
Yasashii Jikan [優しい時間] Rating: 9/10 (Watched) Well-written and well-acted! The script and cinematography was excellent in this series with some very artistic shots. Terao Akira and Nino both do an exemplary job portraying their characters. My favourite part of the series were all those one on ones between Terao Akira and Ohtake Shinobu - certainly added colour to the storyline and a bit more depth to the characters. Bravo!
101 Kaime no Puropozu [101回目のプロポーズ] Heartwarming [Rating: 8/10] Led by Asano Atsuko and Takeda Tetsuya, the cast delivers a memorable performance in this heartwarming drama. Definitely a great drama that contributed to the later popularity of jdramas throughout the 90s. The plot and acting were well done although I personally felt Asano cried a bit overly much - should definitely get her some tissues =). And aside from the idealistic (and probably unrealistic) storyline, this drama definitely doesnt lack surprise or some truly heartfelt moments.
14 sai no Haha [１４歳の母] A pretty decent series [Rating: 8/10] Shida Mirai does a great job as Ichinose Miki and carries her role out quite well for her age. Tanaka Misako and Namase Katsuhisa play her parents very well having played similar roles in Brother Beat. The main weakness of this dorama is with Miura Haruma who seems to always just have this stunned look on his face and Kaito Ken's character seems a bit underdeveloped. But otherwise, a pretty good series!
3 nen B gumi Kinpachi Sensei 6 [3年B組金八先生] Truly an incredible drama! [Rating: 9/10] Truly one of the best jdoramas i've ever watched. First of all, the quality of acting by the entire class and the supporting cast was quite impressive. Very rarely have i seen such strong emotional acting and evident camaradarie among cast members. This jdorama is certainly at no loss for dramatic moments and boasts a strong and riveting storyline. The only slight weakness with this drama is the ability of all situations to be resolved so ideally although some of that does get credited to the abilities of Kinpachi Sensei to reach through to his students. Most definitely a must-watch drama!
3 nen B gumi Kinpachi Sensei 7 [3年B組金八先生] Go Kinpachi!!!!! [Rating: 9/10] The 7th season of this drama truly fares no less than its 6th season predecessor. The great choice in casting and strong acting performances bring the story to life and takes you on an emotional roller coaster ride throughout. The drugs theme of this season was well explored in this series although there were one or two minor stories that were not as well developed as the main storyline. Yaotome was an exceptional Maruyama Shu and Hamada played Shintaro very well. I certainly hope the 8th season lives up to this very high standard set by the 6th and 7th seasons.
Anego [アネゴ] A nice romantic teaser [Rating: 7/10] Shinohara Ryoko carried through the show starring as the titular Anego. The cast certainly came together very convincingly and the light plotlines were rather enjoyable. Overall, a pleasant drama to watch but the series does get a bit slow at times. As for the special, i thought it was a rather neat way of ending off a series :)
Attention Please [アテンションン プリース] most entertaining dorama of 2006 (so far) [Rating: 8/10] Most entertaining dorama of 2006 (so far)! Aya Ueto is a natural for this role and nanase natsumi took to her role like a fish in water. A bit manga-like at times and keeps its light-hearted streak throughout the series. The plot was semi-predictable with surprises popping up here and there to liven things up. OST for this dorama was very fitting as well. Giving 9/10 is perhaps a bit high for light-hearted doramas but i think AP deserves it.
Beach boys [ビーチボーイズ] Relaxing [Rating: 8/10] Watch this series over the summer! The relaxed pacing of this jdrama makes this great to watch during the summer. The camaraderie between the cast members was evident although the plot throughout the entire series didn't really go anywhere. Still, a fun series to watch to pass the time!
Beautiful life [ビューティフルライフ] Beautifully done! [Rating: 9/10] A warm and heartfelt drama that is superbly carried out by Takuya and Takako. The supporting cast gave pretty good performances as well although some slight improvements could be made. Atsuro was a perfect choice as the slow, overprotective older brother and Ikeuchi Hiroyuki and Mizuno Miki were pretty good with their roles. Storyline flowed very smoothly at a good pace. Overall, a very well done drama worthy of comparison to LV and LG.
Bijo ka Yajuu [美女か野獣] It's showtime! [Rating: 7/10] Matsushima Nanako, as usual, does a great job playing a top-notch producer weighed down by a less top-notch but highly dedicated crew. Fukuyama Masaharu, as Nagase, truly embodies the spirit and determination of the team and injects the needed heartfelt touch to this entertaining drama. Nicely crafted episode plots will keep the viewer more than satisfied.
BOSS Pretty decent [Rating: 8/10] A cut above most of the crap these days that pose as dramas. I was surprised with some decent character development and Amami Yuki really pulls the rest of the cast through this very well. Some things still don't make sense and that's mainly what prevents me from giving this a 9/10 but it certainly has some commendable points. Would not mind seeing another drama like this!
Brother Beat [ブラザー☆ビート] Great family drama! [Rating: 8/10] An amusing drama revolving around a lively family of 3 sons and their mother. Episode plots are pretty typical of jdramas but the different threads are woven nicely into a good coherent story. The casting choices were made well and each of the actors and actresses left their mark as the characters they played. With a fair bit of comedy and likeable characters, I am reminded of Oyaji and Otousan except with its own little quirks. A fun drama to pass the time!
Busu no Hitomi Koishiteru [ブスの瞳恋してる] Disappointing... [Rating: 6/10] I was drawn to this dorama by the interesting concept but was sorely disappointed particularly by the weakness of the script and acting. Tomoko's effort is worth mentioning but Goro and the supporting cast never really built the camaraderie necessary for the dorama to take off. Compounded with the fact that many of the comedic moments were ruined by poor jokes and forced humour, this series truly disappointed me by its inability to reach its true potential.
CHANGE We want change!!! [Rating: 9/10] A well-written, well-cast and well-executed dorama showcasing some fine acting by the cast and an intriguing storyline. This dorama definitely brings back memories of Hero and Souri to Yobanaide with Tamura Masakazu. While not overly different from his other screen characters, Kimura Takuya plays the role very well and has some great chemistry with Eri Fukatsu. Abe Hiroshi was a great addition to the cast adding some nice comedic moments to the series. Kato Rosa was perhaps the only extraneous character who, whether because of her character or her acting, didn't add much value to the series. For those who are interested in this dorama, I would also recommend watching the British dramas Yes Minister and later, Yes Prime Minister which depicts the rigidity of the civil service.
Chuushingura 1/47 [忠臣蔵 １／４７] Nicely done! [Rating: 7/10] A worthy dorama special to watch. The all-star cast consisting of Takuya, Takako, Junichi, Yasuko, Eri, Satoshi, Koichi, Shinichi among others definitely helped :P. Acting was quite well done overall and the plot is focused; a special worth watching
Cupid no Itazura [クピドの悪戯] Uhhh..... [Rating: 6/10] Strange topic but even given that, the plot felt half-baked and the acting wasn't too convincing....IMO, not worth your time
Dare Yori mo Mama wo Aisu [誰よりもままを愛す] Heartwarming [Rating: 8/10] A pretty enjoyable family drama with Tamura Masakazu in a role-reversal from his Otousan-Oyaji roles. Having watched Otousan, Oyaji and Brother Beat, this dorama's quality certainly hasn't stooped to the level of say Gokusen 3 in the school drama category. Main setback for this dorama, however, was the lack of realism sometimes with most problems dealt with in too idealistic/unrealistic a manner. Given that, it was certainly a nice, mellow, enjoyable dorama to pass the time.
Densha Otoko [電車男] One very unique dorama [Rating: 8/10] A rather unique dorama with a great storyline. Misaki and Atsushi played their roles well with great performance by Miho and the rest of the supporting cast. Atsushi plays his role very well although his character sometimes feels so ridiculously pathetic that it slightly degrades the believability of the story. The storyline was easily one of the most predictable I've ever seen but I definitely enjoyed seeing how the cast handled their parts, in particular all of the people on the forum - the special in the end was quite good in that sense. Definitely recommended for its uniqueness!
Double kitchen [ダブルキッチン] One of the best family dramas [Rating: 8/10] Aside from the type of family dramas based around the parents and their relationships with their children (Oyaji, Otousan, Brother Beat), this type of dorama addresses the common issues faced between daughter-in-laws and mother-in-laws. Toss in Yamaguchi Tomoko and Nogiwa Yoko into the mix and you've got an entertaining drama that has a life of its own. Great comedic and heartwarming moments!
Dragon Zakura [ドラゴン桜] Like the learning methods! [Rating: 7/10] Abe Hiroshi just carries this show through brilliantly! With all the quirky teachers and nice effective learning techniques (not necessarily new but unusual for this aspect of 'education' to be portrayed), this show was nicely built around a more specific plot compared with other typical teacher-helps-each-student-in-the-class dramas with far more realism than usual. All-in-all, a pretty decent drama with a good performance put up by the rest of the cast.
Friends [フレンズ] Fairly interesting Japanese-Korean collaboration [Rating: 9/10] Aside from a bumpy start with rather weak acting by Kyoko, the main idea of this short series was definitely unique. Won Bin was well cast and the supporting cast did an OK job though there were definitely places for improvement. Kyoko redeemed herself somewhat towards the second half and should be commended for her effort in speaking Korean. Overall, it might have been better to extend the dorama and build more tension with the father instead of ending with a typically fairy-tale and probably unrealistic ending.
Gachi Baka ! [ガチバカ !] Not worth your time [Rating: 5/10] Complete rip-off of Gokusen and GTO plotlines - if you've seen those two jdoramas, there is absolutely NO need to watch this one. The acting is clearly worse than Gokusen or GTO, not much chemistry among the cast and a complete lack of creativity and originality sinks this dorama. A 5/10 is already rather generous...
Gakko ja Oshierarenai! [学校じゃ教えられない！] 7 is probably too much [Rating: 7/10] Yet another school drama with another wacky twist...character and plot developments are not that great. Probably being a bit generous by giving this a 7/10...
Galileo [ガリレオ] truly amusing...... [Rating: 7/10] An amusing drama yet at the same time somewhat disappointing as I was rather anticipating the masaharu/kou pair-up. Plots were reasonably well crafted although some of the material in the series didn't seem to fit. As a physics professor, yukawa sensei doesn't seem to focus on any one research field and conducts experiments from all over the field of physics which seems rather unrealistic. His sudden inspirations when he starts scribbling equation also seems a bit far-fetched as his equations sometimes don't seem to be related to the topic but I suppose I may be expecting too much from the series. Overall though, this was a pretty decent series with a nice, light tone.
Ganbatte Ikimasshoi [がんばっていきまっしょい] Passable [Rating: 6/10] A somewhat slow dorama without much driving force or storyline. Plot was rather straight-forward and predictable. In terms of the acting, no one really stood out for his/her acting but this is also partly due to the weak script. Lack of deep character development also made this harder to stomach, particularly in light of the lack of a good plot.
Gokusen [ごくせん] Super! [Rating: 8/10] Great acting by Nakama Yukie! Wonderful lead/supporting roles by the group of five and the other two teachers. In particular, Matsumoto Jun, Oguri Shun, and Narimiya Hiroki stood out for their great performances. Storyline is similar to GTO, and while, at times, a tad repetitive, the episode plots were all quite refreshing and entertaining.
Gokusen [ごくせん] Yankumi ^_^ [Rating: 9/10] Reminiscent of GTO, Yankumi is yet another unforgettable character as the homeroom teacher of 3D. Nakama Yukie is quite humourous in this series and eventually establishes her own character somewhat different from Onizuka as the series progresses. A great cast including Jun, Shun and Hiroki make this as fun a jdorama to watch as GTO.
Gokusen 2 [ごくせん２] More of Gokusen [Rating: 7/10] As a 2nd series, not too badly done. The Yankumi and Sawatori scenes were hilarious and Kame and Jin led the cast reasonably well although I felt Matsujun and Oguri Shun in the first series had slightly stronger cast interactions. As far as plotlines go, it's more of the same student-gets-in-trouble, Yankumi-beats-up-bad-guys type of thing. They should definitely not do a Gokusen 3 tho, Yankumi can only beat up so many bad guys so many times.
Gokusen 3 [ごくせん 3] If Gokusen 4 comes out..... [Rating: 5/10] Skimmed through this for the sake of seeig what it was about and I think I think I'm being way too generous with a 5/10.....the plot is the EXACT same as its predecessors and the cast is getting less and less convincing each time. If you haven't watched the series before, watch the first and stop.
Golden Bowl [ゴールデンボウル] A golden pairing! [Rating: 9/10] Weird but comedic storylines and rather illogical plot progressions essentially capture the essence of this jdorama. Strangely enough, a wonderful story between kaneshiro takeshi and kuroki hitomi was woven in and provided for some of the best 'couple' moments in all the jdoramas i've ever watched. Kudos to a golden performance!!
Good Luck !! [グッドラック！！] Good Luck!! [Rating: 9/10] Kimura Takuya, Tsutsumi Shinichi, and Shibasaki Kou definitely brought this jdrama to life! Great supporting cast and a good storyline rounded off this must-watch series! A good combination of comedy, romance and some minor action. Good luck!!
GTO [麻辣教師] Surprisingly Good! [Rating: 10/10] My first and most favourite jdrama yet! Its unconventional plots and Onizuka's irregular teaching methods helped create a most heartwarming and inspirational jdrama. Plotlines were very nicely adapted from the anime and flowed exceptionally smoothly building up to a triumphant ending. Truly enjoyed the watching experience and definitely worth re-watching again! GTO 4eva!
Hana Yori Dango [花より男子] A deliciously fun series to watch! [Rating: 8/10] Inoue Mao and Matsujun are a fabulous pair in this enjoyable series also starring Oguri Jun and Matsushima Nanako. Kaga Mariko was cast perfectly as the mother to Domyouji and provided the required amount of high-class attitude and animosity. The music suited the drama nicely and contained some rather catchy melodies. All in all, a rather satisfying series!
Hana Yori Dango 2 [花より男子] Decent sequel [Rating: 8/10] HYD2 was highly anticipated given the success of its predecessor and as a result, I was a bit wary of a weak sequel as is often the case. HYD2 fortunately didn't deviate significantly enough to warrant major concern but it certainly was a bit less enjoyable than the original. There was too much teen angst and contrived situations that made watching the series sometimes rather unbearable. Overall, I'd say this isn't too bad of a dorama but you should probably only watch it if you enjoyed HYD. An 8 is probably a bit generous given that I'd probably put this more at a 7.5.
Hero Hilarious!! [Rating: 8/10] One of the most amusing doramas I've seen yet with a relatively light and humourous tone. Matsu Takako and Kimura Takuya were a great pair leading a great comedic cast. Definitely one of the most enjoyable doramas you'll come across. I highly recommend this!!
Hero A surprisingly enjoyable lawyer show! [Rating: 9/10] I'm typically not a lawyer show fan but this one was pretty entertaining. Takuya's a pretty hilarious and unconventional public prosecutor and putting him together with Takako here was a good match. The rest of the cast was pretty well cast with some good comedic moments by Hiroshi, Fumiyo and Takuzo. Overall, a light and thoroughly enjoyable series that will leave you amused and probably give you a few laughs every ep!
Hero Bland... [Rating: 7/10] Considering the star power of Kimura Takuya and Tsutsumi Shinichi, this was definitely not among their better works. The plot was rather uninventive with very little entertainment value and it was a shame we only got to see the original cast for a couple of minutes. Should this turn out to be a bridge to either a movie or a 2nd season, hopefully, the plots improve and we get to see the original cast return.
Hoshi no kinka 1 [星の金貨] Among the stars [Rating: 9/10] From the doramas I've seen, this series definitely ranks among the finest I've watched. Character development is an important point of the series and the cast did wonderfully in this respect. The storyline itself was quite captivating aside from the slightly hurried and what I found to be a bit contrived ending. In general, very very well done!
Hotman [ホットマン] A warm and fuzzy feeling [Rating: 7/10] Sorimachi Takeshi stars in this warm family dorama in the role of Furiya Enzo aka. Great Father Enzo. The dorama is entertaining and the supporting cast is OK but feels a tad unrealistic at times. For sure, the comedy and warmth of this jdorama makes the viewing experience a pleasure as you watch the trials and tribulations of Enzo's family. NAnami is soooo cute! :)
Hotman 2 [ホットマン2] Pales in comparison with season 1 [Rating: 6/10] This second season of Hotman seems to drag out even more than the first. The script had several subplots that never really got resolved, leaving the viewer with the feeling that many loose ends were just left dangling. The finale lacked passion and the whole dorama suffered from poor execution of the script, which was not stupendous to begin with. All in all, a rather pointless time-waster - just watch Hotman 1 and leave it at that is what I'd recommend
Houkago [下課後] Fun Fun Fun!! [Rating: 8/10] A wonderfully endearing and amusing dorama. This is probably the closest I've seen to something resembling Hana Yori Dango and I must say I was quite pleasantly surprised. A bit manga-like at times, this dorama had an entertaining script and great acting from both leads. Supporting cast was quite good although some of the supporting characters could use a bit of improvement. Highly recommended!
Ichi Ritoru no Namida [１リットルの涙] Incredible storytelling [Rating: 10/10] Ever since I started watching doramas, I have rarely had the chance to come across such emotionally powerful doramas without the usual melodramaticism. 1L of tears is definitely one of those, with some aspects reminiscent of Beautiful Life. Erika Sawajiri does an incredible job as Aya and Yakushimaru Hiroko played the mother to perfection. The script was realistic and deeply moving thus making it one of the most powerful doramas i've seen to date. If any dorama deserves a 10/10, it is this one.
Ikebukuro West Gate Park [池袋ウエストゲートパーク] G-boys rule! [Rating: 8/10] this was a very interesting dorama done very similarly in style to tiger & dragon and kisarazu cats eye. tomoya nagase definitely excelled in this role although i still prefer his performance in tiger & dragon over this one. the supporting characters, while endearing, don't really allow for much in terms of developing a real attachment for them. while the dorama had a single storyline tying the series together, each episode very much had an independent feel to it. overall, IWGP is a fun and decent dorama.
Iryu [医龍 Team Medical Dragon] Excellent medical dorama [Rating: 9/10] Among the best medical doramas i've seen. Casting Kenji with Izumi was a good choice and the rest of the supporting cast was very well picked. I particularly liked Natsuki Mari's character :P. The OST was quite appealing and served the dorama well, particularly with all the suspenseful moments. Plotwise, this dorama had a clear direction and continuously drove toward that goal without losing overall focus, usually a problem with other medical doramas. i'd definitely recommend watching this series if you are into medical related doramas - one of the best of 2006.
Iryu 2 [医龍 2] A good second season [Rating: 8/10] This dorama continues along the same vein as the first season and offers few surprises in terms of the cast or plotline. I suppose one shouldn't tamper too much with a good thing but sometimes the dorama does tire a viewer when operations are all expected to succeed despite the various complications with good expected to triumph over evil in the end. As with the first season, I do appreciate the efforts made to explain the operations to the viewer. Overall, a decent sequel.
Itazura na Kiss [イタズラなKiss] Over the top but enjoyable [Rating: 8/10] Sato and Asada's characters were a bit over the top in my opinion while Kashi's was practically non-existent. The dorama maintained a light tone throughout and it never hurts to respin the basic guy/girl romance plot although sometimes things don't always make sense. Overall, the essence of the dorama carried through and left me a little more cheerful than before I started. Although there are definitely better doramas than this, I wouldn't mind recommending this one for those looking for a light romantic comedy to pass the time.
Itsumo futari de [いつもふたりで] An enjoyable series.. [Rating: 7/10] A pretty enjoyable drama. Kenji and Takako were a pretty good couple and it was too bad that Takashi left after the second ep. Somehow, the colours in the apartment just felt a bit odd to me and reminded me of Slow Dance. As for the plot, most of it was pretty predictable material. An enjoyable series to watch but not particularly enrapturing.
Jotei [女帝] An OK dorama [Rating: 6/10] Not a bad dorama as far as recent doramas go. Kato Rosa's character was not played convincingly enough IMO, with her rise being attributed more to chance than ability. Shota's character was also a disappointment, being relegated to a minor role as the series develops. The premise of the dorama isn't bad but the good and bad characters are just too one-sided to seem realistic.
Karei naru Ichizoku [華麗なる一族] Intense!! [Rating: 9/10] As expected of Kimura Takuya, another strong dorama. The change from a romantic dorama to one more focused on politics and business seems to be an interesting change in direction. Given the star-studded cast, this dorama did not disappoint and the scripting and plot were masterfully done. However, there was perhaps too much of a lack on emphasis on the development of the supporting characters thus weakening the overall feel of the dorama, making it seem too focussed simply on the battles of Daisuke and Teppei. Music was quite appropriate and the ending was a rather unique turn of events. If intensity is what you're looking for, this is definitely the dorama for you!
Keizoku [ケイゾク] One of the most suspenseful shows (at the end) [Rating: 8/10] Aside from the rather repetitive and seemingly juvenile first couple of episodes, this dorama leads the viewer down a deceptively simple path through the first couple of episodes and then takes you completely by surprise as twist after twist emerge. Unquestionably, this police dorama was completely riveting in the second half - truly one of the most well-thought out (in terms of complexity) and well-executed police cases I've seen on TV. The cast played their roles very well; kudos to Nakatani Miki and Watabe Atsuro. As a rating, the first half deserves maybe a 7/10 but the ending was undoubtedly a 10/10. Overall, exceptionally good build up to one of the most suspense-filled endings I have ever watched! Bravo!
Kekkon Dekinai Otoko [結婚できない男] abe does it again! [Rating: 9/10] Abe Hiroshi and Natsukawa Yui play an awesome couple in this dorama - their comedic acting and humorous banter makes this dorama fully worth wathing. the rest of the cast was pretty decent although the characters themselves could've used a bit more development. the choice of music was rather interesting and it was great to hear some familiar classical pieces - a bit rare in doramas these days. in any case, i'd definitely recommend this for those looking for a light comedy or more of abe hiroshi.
Kimi wa Petto [きみはペット] An unusual tale [Rating: 7/10] A rather unusual twist on the overdone older woman-younger man relationship dorama. Koyuki plays her role very well and the rest of the cast does a good supporting job. Aside from the unique premise of having a human pet, the story is rather predictable. A decently enjoyable series.
Kindaichi Shonen no Jikembo 3 [金田一少年の事件簿 3] Fun mysteries to solve [Rating: 7/10] MatsuJun's Kindaichi is fun and Suzuki Anne plays a good supporting role as they solve mysteries together. My personal favourite was still the first episode although the rest were still pretty fun to follow. This was my first set of Kindaichi so I'm looking forward to seeing Kazuya's and Dohmoto Tsuyoshi's version.
Kindaichi shonen no Jikenbo (2005) [金田一少年の事件簿] More Kindaichi! [Rating: 6/10] Kazuya's portrayal of Kindaichi is a bit different from MatsuJun's version in Kindaichi 3 and seems far too corny IMO. Nevertheless, the movie is pretty fun to watch with the rather predictable Kindaichi culprits. Kindaichi fans should enjoy the show.
Koori no sekai [冰の世界] Icy.... [Rating: 9/10] Had the same dark, chilling atmosphere as Sleeping Forest but the storyline, plot, acting and music was definitely notch above. Matsushima Nanako's acting was superb and the supporting cast did a spectacular job as well, keeping you guessing as to the identity of the murderer up until the end. My only complaint is an illogical event in the last episode and the pacing being a tad slow in the earlier episodes.
Kou Kou Kyoushi 2003 [高校教師 2003] A Twisted Tale [Rating: 4/10] Based on the first five episodes, I must say I've never been so disgusted with almost every single character in the jdrama. With its somewhat twisted plot, it was definitely difficult to finish. Fortunately, the ending episodes redeems the show somewhat and to an extent, provides some justification for the characters' personalities. Psychologically speaking, this jdrama is a very interesting study into human behaviour but it is definitely not a jdrama I'd recommend for light watching.
Kurosagi [クロサギ] What the heck is bang..??? [Rating: 5/10] A disappointment. the concept of a swindler swindling other swindlers isn't bad but Yamapi and Horikita Maki failed to deliver. Resorting to gimmicks like 'bang' compounded with weak plotlines and Maki's weak acting contributed to a rather weak dorama overall.
Kyousoukyoku [協奏曲] A First-Class Concerto! [Rating: 9/10] Tamura Masakazu carried the role of Ebisawa Kosuke exceptionally well opposite of Takuya's Kakeru. Unquestionably among the top dramas I've seen with some first-class acting, a great script and storyline and very fitting musical selection
Kyumei Byoto 24 Ji 2 [救命病棟２４時 ２] Typical ER [Rating: 7/10] More typical ER than I would've liked so I prefer the 3rd season over this one. Fumiyo was hilarious as usual (he seems to do great in light comedic roles like Abe) and Eguchi and Yasuko weren't too shabby in this one either. Plotlines got a bit dull and repetitive towards the middle but it certainly came to a very abrupt and somewhat unexpected end. Not too bad as far as dramas go but doesn't really go beyond the typical ER-type show.
Kyumei Byoto 24 Ji 3 [救命病棟２４時 3] Not bad at all! [Rating: 8/10] This ER-style jdrama was pretty well done and I must admit I was hooked even though I don't usually like ER dramas much. Eguchi Yosuke and Matsushima Nanako were excellent leads and I was pleasantly surprised by the improvement in acting Kawaoka Daijiro made since Beach Boys. The plotline of the story was good (and it definitely helped to start the jdorama off with an earthquake - brilliant idea) but felt more directionless towards the end. All in all, a pretty enjoyable jdorama to watch!
Last Christmas [ラストクリスマス] Heartwarming and fun. A great present for the hol [Rating: 9/10] A must-watch jdorama, particularly over the holiday season. The story moves along at a good pace with well-woven side stories intermingling with the main plot. A heart-warming jdorama acted out by a superb cast.
Long vacation [ロングバケーション] Superb! A definite masterpiece! [Rating: 10/10] One of the few doramas I'd call a masterpiece. Tomoko's acting was definitely outstanding and the rest of the all-star cast played their roles quite convincingly. The music in this jdorama is very well selected and well used throughout all the episodes. While the story was not uncommon, the cast brought the characters to life in a very classy manner. A great ending as well, bravo!!
Love generation [ラブジェネレーション] An immensely satisfying love story.. [Rating: 10/10] Headed by a strong cast of Kimura Takuya, Matsu Takako, Fujiwara Norika, Uchino Masaaki and Junna Risa, this drama was very well acted out. Takuya's performance in LG is particularly alive, far more than usual. A well-paced, well-written and well-executed script and plot made this drama truly satisfying to watch. The soundtrack and theme songs also suited the drama very well. In all, an immensely enjoyable jdorama that definitely stands among my favourite series.
Love Revolution [ラブレボリューション] Enjoyable [Rating: 8/10] A pretty decent dorama. Makiko is a great lead actress and Fujiki Naohito plays a character he is quite familiar with interpreting. The rest of the cast do a fine supporting job with kudos to Ryoko for a lively performance. The only drawback of this series was the weakness of the plot in the second half as the series started to drag and the dorama seemed to lack the freshness with which it began. A fine job nevertheless and an enjoyable dorama overall.
Lunch no Joou [ランチの女王] Superb omurice! [Rating: 7/10] The dishes they managed to concoct, from omurice to their katsu, looked ravishing. Unfortunately, the rest of the dorama didn't quite meet the same standard with the storyline seeming a bit directionless and too much repetition of the notion of all the brothers being in love with mugita. Dorama was quite enjoyable over the first couple of episodes but lost its drawing power in the latter half with the last couple of episodes feeling rather stretched and thin on substance. 7/10 is probably a bit stingy on my part, realistically probably closer to a 7.5/10, but i'm disappointed with how this dorama turned out given its quirky opening.
Majo no jouken [魔女の条件] A decent series.. [Rating: 7/10] There was very little on-screen chemistry between Nanako and Takki making the dorama feel a bit empty despite the controversial topic. Wooden is a good adjective to describe the overall atmosphere I felt while watching this; perhaps the slow pacing might have affected my viewing experience but regardless, this dorama isn't one that particularly stands out for me.
Mayonaka no Ame [真夜中の雨] Great mystery thriller! [Rating: 9/10] This drama is one of the best I've seen, Yuji, Yasuko, Hiroshi and Kyozo make this a great watch keeping me hooked to the unravelling mystery. The filming for this series was very well done (something I usually don't feel too much of that in other series) and the music was definitely appropriate. Overall, with its nicely mysterious plotline, this is one of my favourite dramas ever!
Moto Kare [元カレ] Feels like a continuation of Summer Snow... [Rating: 7/10] This drama reminded me too much of Summer Snow with Dohmoto Tsuyoshi, Hirosue Ryoko and Kadono Takuzo all assuming roles similar to before. This typical BGR jdrama doesn't deviate too much from standard plot fare and feels too much like a sequel to Summer Snow to stand out. Kadono's role as father sometimes feels a bit overacted. An OK drama to pass your time but nothing spectacular here.
MR. BRAIN Disappointing [Rating: 7/10] Bit disappointed with Kimutaku.....script is not that great and everything seems really cheesy. Characters seem almost like cardboard and you don't get any sense of there being any 'real' characters in this drama. Would have helped if things made more sense but that just further subtracts from the drama. Wouldn't watch this again if I had the chance.
My Boss, My Hero [マイボスマイヒロ] Entertaining [Rating: 7/10] Not the greatest dorama with its rather ridiculous storyline and juvenile plots but entertaining nonetheless. Tomoya carries this dorama by providing much of the comic relief. Yuya and Koki however.....would've been better off if Koki passed on some of his aggressiveness to Yuya.....seems so ridiculously imbalanced as depicted. The rest of the cast was ok although there's definitely potential for improvement. My recommendation? Watch it for what it's worth and you'll get out a laugh or two.
My Little Chef Delightful! [Rating: 8/10] A wonderfully delightful jdrama with well-rounded acting by the whole cast including Yada Akiko and Abe Hiroshi. With a light-hearted storyline, this enjoyable jdorama was a pleasure to watch.
Nanisama! [なにさまっ！] Definitely a fav of mine! [Rating: 8/10] Nanisama! is another one of those very enjoyable dramas that builds up a great balance between its main plotline and the various side stories. The script was pretty well written and a strong cast led to some great moments (and surprising ones too). Overall, I'd definitely recommend this drama for its simple and light-hearted tone.
Narita Rikon [成田離婚] Perspectives on divorce [Rating: 9/10] Excellent dorama with plenty of hilarity interspersed throughout. Abe Hiroshi and Eri Fukatsu were at their finest leading the strong supporting cast while Tsuyoshi and Asaka couldn't have done any better with their characters. The dorama's first episode started off in a rather interesting way and after a few bumps in the first or second episode, the dorama came into its own, fuelled by a strong script and was truly very well executed. Definitely a must watch!
Nemureru mori [眠れる森] Overly suspenseful! [Rating: 8/10] As an overall dorama, Sleeping Forest wasn't badly done on the whole. The acting was fine and the storyline was quite gripping. However, the music created a constant aura of suspense, as though something was always going to happen the very next second, but that something never materializes. This was the main weakness of the show and trying to maintain a constant suspenseful atmosphere sorta knocked this dorama down from a 9 to an 8. but if you're a person looking for suspense, look no further.
News no onna [ニュースの女] Felt very much like Nanisama =) [Rating: 8/10] News no Onna was another great light-hearted and fun drama to watch! Similar to Nanisama (strong independent woman in the workplace type of show), the cast was very strong and I liked Norika's jealous performance in this one. Kyozo was just hilarious and it was very interesting to compare his performance from this drama to his rather serious character in Midnight Rain. Also loved all the scenes between Honami and Tackey - great fun to watch.
Nobuta wo Produce [野ブタ。をプロデュース] Akirashock! [Rating: 7/10] The YamaPi and Kame pairing was a great choice. Many, many funny moments with "Akira" and a generally entertaining storyline make this a very enjoyable jdorama to watch. As a bonus, it has very memorable catch-phrases and characters I've seen in some time. 'Nobuta power chunyuu!' In terms of depth, the drama was rather weak with a simple story of friendship.
Nodame Cantabile [のだめ カンタビ−レ] Bravo!! [Rating: 8/10] A well-adapted series led by Ueno Juri and Tamaki Hiroshi. Juri played her part very well and Tamaki certainly shone in the leading role. The supporting characters were well represented by the rest of the cast, Takenaka being a very interesting 'Stresemann' character. Mizukawa Asami was probably my fav character in this series :) - she looked quite professional and i'm actually curious if she played the violin for this filming of the series. The comedy in the series served the dorama well and certainly did not overwhelm the underlying storyline and the more serious issues the characters faced. Last of all, the background music and classical pieces chosen for this series were surprisingly well-picked. I would definitely recommend this light-hearted comedy without reservation! Bravo!!
Odoru Daisousasen [踊る大捜査線] One fine dorama.. [Rating: 9/10] Among the finest police doramas i've seen. Oda Yuji is in top form in this dorama and comparable to his performances in Last Christmas and Midnight Rain. The cast has great chemistry together bringing out some great performances by yuji, eri fukatsu, mizuno miki and yusuke santamaria. script was very well written particularly given the difficulty of writing a great police dorama. i fully recommend this to all jdorama fans to give this series a spin.
Ohsama no resutoran [王樣のレストラン] Simply Superb [Rating: 9/10] Among the best jdoramas I've ever watched. Humorous, delightful and truly endearing, this drama is wonderfully entertaining. Matsumoto Koshiro, Yamaguchi Tomoko and Nishimura Masahiko lead this cast of charming and quirky characters very well. The music is quite suitable, although the French pronounciations were clearly off - had absolutely no idea what on earth they thought they were saying in French, lol. Aside from that minor detail - a superb drama overall. Don't think anything since the US sitcom Frasier had me laughing like this. Two thumbs up!
Orange Days [オレンジデイズ] Doesn't get any better than this! [Rating: 10/10] Both Shibasaki Kou and Satoshi gave a superb performances complemented nicely by a very strong cast. Satoshi and Kou make a perfect couple in this inspirational yet realistic jdorama. Truly among the best jdoramas ever made! A magnificent tour-de-force to be recommended to all!
Otousan [おとうさん] Oyaji cont'd [Rating: 9/10] Excellent family dorama feeling very much like a continuation of Oyaji. With another top-notch cast of Iijima Naoko, Nakatani Miki, Tamura Masakazu and Hirosue Ryoko, what's there not to like? The music was rather interesting with a latin-esque flair and the plot was different enough from Oyaji to keep my interest but with enough similarities on many of the strong points to make this dorama just as enjoyable. Two thumbs up!
Over Time [オーバー・タイム] Eriko Kitagawa certainly doesn't disappoint! [Rating: 9/10] Definitely liked a lot fo the one-on-one scenes that were taken in this dorama. Sorimachi Takashi worked very well with Esumi Makiko in this dorama and I wish their was more interaction between them in GTO. Takashi also seemed to work well with Rena which probably explained their cast selection in the GTO special later on. Kitagawa wrote a fine script for this dorama although personally, it may have been a bit overly draggy. All in all though, i'd rank it among the best doramas i've seen.
Oyaji~ [オヤジぃ] Superb! [Rating: 9/10] An excellent all-round dorama. The top-notch cast succeeded in bringing this dorama to life by portraying these endearing characters to the audience. The chemistry between the cast was instrumental to the success of this dorama and the humorous plotlines definitely made the whole series very enjoyable. Despite the all-too-regular types of problems this family had to face (ie. pregnancies, school problems, marriage etc.) the script really made the situations unique and memorable experiences. Excellent OST and theme song for this seris as well!
Remote [リモート] Unexpectedly good [Rating: 7/10] an unexpected surprise! fukada kyoko and dohmoto koichi weren't bad in this series - in fact fukada kyoko fits right in as a ditzy, dumbish cop who follows instructions given by domoto koichi. most of the episodes were pretty light hearted and Bob was rather entertaining. Excellent work by the writers for both the rather interesting cases and adapting to the cast.
Rinjo [臨場] Decent. [Rating: 8/10] Cast was at least better chosen with better execution and plotlines than Mr. Brain. Crimes at least seem more realistic and certainly the drama attempts to portray the human element with some success. Certainly not up to the standard of the best dramas ever but still comes across as pretty decent considering the low standard these days.
Satomi Hakenden [里見八犬伝] my first period jdrama [Rating: 7/10] A rather star-studded cast for this period special. Having watched all of the many eps of Inu Yasha (anime), this felt very much like a typical episode so there were no surprises in the plot. There were a number of special effects which sometimes felt too intrusive although as a whole, it was an OK drama. Fight scenes were a bit weak and it felt a bit odd to watch so many familiar faces i'm used to seeing in modern dramas go back in time and play other characters.
Seikei Bijin [整形美人。] Ryoko carries the show! [Rating: 8/10] An unusually enjoyable jdorama with some rather quirky characters. Supported by a rather original story, Yonekuro Ryoko clearly carried the show with her superb acting, capturing the character of Honami exceptionally well. The rest of the cast was decent and the plot made for an enjoyable albeit predictable watch. Definitely a must watch simply to see Yonekura Ryoko's hilarious performance as Honami!
sengoku Jieitai [戦国自衛隊〜関ケ原の戦い〜] An epic disaster, 10 on the Richter scale... [Rating: 2/10] I've never watched anything quite this bad before, this is for sure a new low. The script is very badly written and the set is unrealistically polished; I could go on and on about the problems in this SP and I would probably need pages to write it all out. Suffice it to say, this is a production disaster that I would recommend steering clear of.
Shota no sushi [将太の寿司] Subarashii! Nippon Ichi!!! [Rating: 9/10] A charming and riveting tale acted out wonderfully by Takashi and the rest of the cast. The individual episode plots were very well balanced and infused with a good mix of manga-like comedy, seriousness, and a strong sense of spirit and determination. Of the doramas I've seen from Takashi, this is undisputedly his best role. With a strong supporting cast and a worthy OST to accompany the series, this dorama (despite its slightly longer-than-usual length at 17 eps) is well worth watching.
Slow Dance [スローダンス] "SLOW" dance [Rating: 7/10] As the name implies, this series goes pretty slowly. Maybe I just have a preference for faster-moving series but this one just seemed more dragged out than it needed to be. With a pretty strong cast (Satoshi, Ryoko, Naohito, Koutaro), I had rather high expectations along the lines of Orange Days and unfortunately this fell somewhat short. Its not bad a dorama but could have been better.
Souri to yobanai de [総理と呼ばないで] A First-rate dorama [Rating: 9/10] Among the finest doramas I've seen, Farewell, Mr Premier brings out the same delightful touch found in Ohsama no Resutoran. Tamura Masakazu as the premier was a great casting choice and Nishimura and Tsutsui made this feel like King's Restaurant in the Premier's office. The acting by the whole cast was excellent and the quirky plots kept me entertained throughout the whole series. I'm thoroughly satisfied that I watched this series particularly in light of all the current trendy types of doramas that seem to have lost the kind of originality and touch that a dorama like this one provides.
Stand UP!! A waste of time [Rating: 4/10] If you like American Pie, you'll probably like this. If not, you probably won't. This drama wasn't particularly good and I'd count it among the worst ones I've watched with no real story to it aside from the fact that the 4 guys haven't had sex yet - if u can call that a story...
Strawberry on the shortcake [ストロベリー・オンザ・ショートケーキ] Eat the strawberry last! [Rating: 7/10] An OK jdorama. Plotwise, it has a nice but somewhat shallow feel to it. However, the jdrama was unexpectedly thought-provoking for me. Not an exceptionally captivating tale but perhaps worth watching for fans of any of those actors or actresses in it.
Summer snow A moving story [Rating: 9/10] A beautiful story concerning the love between Natsuo and Yuki. Tsubasa, Chizuru and Shun were great in supporting roles, particularly Shun, who gave his best performance in this dorama IMO. The ending took me completely by surprise and the music integrated itself nicely into the series. Very very well done!
Tiger & Dragon [タイガー＆ドラゴン] Tiger, Tiger, Gilletiger!! [Rating: 9/10] For a dorama about Rakugo (a form of storytelling), it was a pleasant surprise that this dorama excelled at storytelling. The storytelling was superb and the acting, particularly by nagase and junichi, were top-notch. There is no doubt that this is one of the most humorous doramas i've ever had the pleasure of watching. Along with 1L of Tears and Hana Yori Dango, this dorama ranks among the best of 2005!
Tokyo Friends [東京フレンズ] An unexpected surprise [Rating: 7/10] Didn't have too high expectations for this dorama at first but it turned out well and was unexpectedly more enjoyable than I would have thought. Music was great and the only real bone I have to pick about the acting was the goofiness of White Tights. Other than that, the acting was decent and laid back.
Trick [トリック] Fun Series! [Rating: 8/10] The entertaining duo of Nakama Yukie and Abe Hiroshi do a great job of solving all these mysteries. Namase Katsuhisa as Yabe was an excellent cast choice, continuing his hilariously comedic sparring with Yukie from Gokusen. Definitely a must watch, if not for the tricks, then at least for the comedy ^_^
Trick 2 [トリック2] More Trick! [Rating: 7/10] The second season of Trick is slightly weaker than the first but the cast seems to work together pretty well. The pairing of Nakama Yukie and Abe Hiroshi was an excellent idea and I look forward to seeing the third season for more tricks!
Trick 3 [トリック3] Nice Trick! [Rating: 8/10] The third season of Trick comes with some better cases more in the style of the first season and are better thought out. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the whole Trick series and I only wish there were more tricks to watch!
Umizaru [海猿] A solid dorama! [Rating: 9/10] This dorama was very well paced with a solid storyline that was convincingly portrayed by the cast. The various stories interleaving the series were handled well, without overdoing the emotion or action aspect. kato ai's boss seemed to be less fleshed out as a character than and felt like an afterthought but overall, an enjoyable dorama to spend time watching.
Unfair [アンフェア] Ryoko doesn't disappoint! [Rating: 9/10] Shinohara Ryoko carries this dorama from beginning to end. Her presence is as dominating and as strong here as it was in Anego. Building on her screen presence is the riveting and at times teasing storyline, drawing the viewer in with the sense that we're just 'one step away' from solving the whole thing. The supporting cast was great; Eita has definitely been in some good doramas recently between Unfair and Nodame. Loved Ryoko's cellphone ring-tune - very appropriate for this dorama.
Virgin Road [バージンロード] Superb acting!! [Rating: 10/10] One of the few gems among the jdoramas I've watched. Incredibly powerful acting performances by Tetsuya and Sorimachi with a very well-written and well-paced script. The theme song was very appropriate for the jdorama and despite the pretty common romantic theme, this jdorama truly stands out among the best!
Wedding Planner [ウエディングプランナー] Great casting! Iijima Naoko rocks!! [Rating: 8/10] A thoroughly enjoyable jdorama with a strong emphasis on character development. Plots were well written culminating in a satisfying but anticipated ending. Characters were quite endearing and the cast did a great job portraying them with laughs interspersed throughout. The advice meetings seemed a bit out of place I found but did give the drama some 'spicing up'. A well-cast and well-executed dorama!
Yamato Nadeshiko [やまとなでしこ【大和撫子】] Fun, decent jdrama to watch [Rating: 8/10] Shinichi and Nanako certainly make an awkward pair, haha ^_^ Anyhow, Nanako's performance was hilarious as an airline stewardess and shows off her great acting ability. Shinichi plays a somewhat convincing math genius though I like his performance in Good Luck!! more. All in all, a pretty entertaining jdorama to watch.
Yasashii Jikan [優しい時間] Time well spent! [Rating: 9/10] Watching this dorama was comparable to watching a picture in a picture frame slowly change and move you from one tableau to the next. While the pace was a bit slow for me, it certainly was quite appropriate and used the time exceptionally well to present the carefully prepared set and props. Certainly a dorama that heads off the beaten path a bit in presenation but its well worth your time.