GTO [麻辣教師] This is definitely a great series, funny and touching, Sorimachi Takeshi is very good as Onizuka, able to bring out the different sides to the character. The storyline is similar, yet different from the anime and manga, but is still as good.
Kindaichi shonen no jikenbo 1 [金田一少年の事件簿 1] Ah, my very first J-dorama, totally fell in love with it, and I found Kinki Kids from this. Tsuyoshi is very good as Kindaichi bringing out the the comedic and seriousness of the character, Rie fits the part of Miyuki well and there's a definite chemistry between the two characters.
Kindaichi shonen no jikenbo Season 2 [金田一少年の事件簿 2] One of my first J- doramas, highly recommended. Tsuyoshi is very good as Kindaichi bringing out the the comedic and seriousness of the character, Rie fits the part of Miyuki well and there's a definite chemistry between the two characters. And the cases are excellent, some really keeps you guessing till the end.
Ningen shikkaku [人間・失格] This is a great drama, very powerful and emotional; Tsuyoshi and Koichi acted very well in this - you could really empathise with their characters - as well as the rest of the cast. The plot is quite dark and depressing, and twisted, so it may not be for everyone but I highly recommend it.
Remote [リモート] A great detective dorama, with solid plots and good acting. Koichi was definitely born to play the part of Himuro Kozoburo, and Fukada Kyoko got the part of Ayaki Kurumi spot on.
Rookie! So many good points to this drama - Koichi as Makoto Aida, the timid rookie with a heart, and Kakei Toshio as Kitami Teppei, the cop who's partnered to Makoto, the chemistry between them is great, which results in many funny scenes. Koichi plays a character that definitely is different from how we usually perceive him, definitely one to watch.
Shota no sushi [将太の寿司] Informative, amusing, and touching, everything you could want in a drama (although no romance).
Densha Otoko [電車男] Rating: 7/10 (Watched) Seen the first episode, and I'll definitely be waiting for the rest of the series to download. Funny and cute, the male lead is very good at being a geek.
Ginrou kaiki file [銀狼怪奇ファイル] Rating: 10/10 (Bought) What can I say about this drama, it's a mixture of high-school detective, a bit of horror and a bit of sci-fi. Koichi is quite good in this, especially playing two opposing characters - Kosuke the sweet yet not very academically minded boy, and the highly intellectual yet haughty Ginrou. Hosho Mai as Saeko was very good, a nice foil for both Kosuke and Ginrou, a strong side-kick for a detective.
The stories themselves were very well written, although some of the explanations were a little too sci-fi/fantasy if you're looking a straight detective story, if you like the X-files, however, then this would entertain you. There are five stories, each lasting for two episodes. I do quite like the relationship between Kosuke, Saeko and Ginrou; Kosuke and Saeko have a very strong sibling bond even though Kosuke is adopted (and no there is no romance), although Ginrou and Saeko don't seem to get on that well at the beginning you do get the feeling that Ginrou is jealous of the bond between Kosuke and Saeko.
The only thing about this drama is that it is very, very camp/corny at times, which may not be a bad thing if you like that kind of stuff. I remember watching the first transformation scene and I laughed, a lot - the flashing lights, the background music...so camp. But I loved it! Also, I'm quite sure it's genetically impossible for Ginrou to have blue eyes and curly hair if Kosuke has brown eyes and straight hair...
GTO [麻辣教師] Rating: 9/10 Great series, quite different from the anime but I enjoyed it (I didn't sit there mentally pointing out the differences). Soimachi Takeshi is definitely Onizuka, the children and adult co-stars were good as well.
Hitotsu yane no shita 1 [ひとつ屋根の下 1] Rating: 7/10 (Bought) A good, solid storyline and great acting, you can empathise with the characters through their highs and lows. Eguchi Yosuke (Kashiwagi Tatsuya) is really good as the older brother who is trying to make the whole family situation work - and he does have his work cut out for him.
Hitotsu yane no shita Season 2 [ひとつ屋根の下 2] Rating: 7/10 (Bought) A good sequel, continuing on the family-centric drama, but this time with two additions to the family. Humorus sometimes, sad other times; it takes you on a rollercoaster ride of emothions. Definitely one to watch.
Kindaichi shonen no jikenbo 1 [金田一少年の事件簿 1] Rating: 10/10 (Bought) Ah, my very first J-dorama, totally fell in love with it, and I found Kinki Kids from this. Tsuyoshi is very good as Kindaichi bringing out the the comedic and seriousness of the character, Rie fits the part of Miyuki well and there's a definite chemistry between the two characters.
Kindaichi shonen no jikenbo Season 2 [金田一少年の事件簿 2] Rating: 10/10 (Bought) One of my first J- doramas, highly recommended. Tsuyoshi is very good as Kindaichi bringing out the the comedic and seriousness of the character, Rie fits the part of Miyuki well and there's a definite chemistry between the two characters.
Moto Kare [元カレ] Rating: 6/10 (Watched) Well, I've seen the first episode and it seem okay, but I'll have to see some more before coming to an opinion.
Ningen shikkaku [人間・失格] Rating: 10/10 (Bought) Many people seem to be a bit split over this, but I liked it very much. It's a very powerful story, dark and emotional. I think the writer(s) definitely plumbed the depths of depravity for this show: bullying, sadism, violence, treachery, betrayal, murder, jealousy, maliciousness etc. This show doesn't hold back any punches, the characters really live up to the title of the show: Human failure/unfit human.
I think the acting is very good, especially from Tsuyoshi and Koichi - it being one of their first doramas. Tsuyoshi is very good as Makoto, from being happy and optimistic to becoming miserable and despairing. I think Koichi did a very good job potraying some one like Ruka, who has a difficult time expressing his emotions and has a lot of repressed anger, when he does show emotions it feels suitable to the context. Akai Hidekazu as Gac-chan (Makoto's father) did a great job, loving father, vengeful father and everything in between, you could emphasis with everything he's going through. Kase Taisho (Nimi sensei), definitely bought out the batshit crazyness and manipulativenes of the character, at least he got his comeuppance. Sakurai Sachiko (?) was very good as the naive and clumsy homeroom teacher, her scene at the end, in the school assembly, was very good, very heartfelt. And let's not forget Koruda Yuki, going from a victim to ring leader to crazy, you could see it gradually developing.
The subtitles on my VCDs were okay, slightly mis-timed but I was able to understand what was going on. But damn the VCD producer, 'that kiss' was censored! And I have a feeling another scene or two may have also been censored but I can't be sure, they could have just been really bad jump cuts. I guess I'll just have to wait for the DVD, which reminds me I need to find a download for the extra ending from the DVD.
Orange Days [オレンジデイズ] Rating: 9/10 (Bought) Absolutely loved this series, it's very well acted, Tsumabuki Satoshi and Shibasaki Kou did a good job playing Kai and Sae, respectively. And I must say that Shiraishi Miho did surprise me a little because I had only seen her in Densha Otoko where she played a very different type of character.
There was a definite strong storyline that was able to keep me hooked, I had to stop myself from watching it all in one session. The interactions and relationships between the characters were believable you do end up caring for them.
Remote [リモート] Rating: 9/10 (Bought) A great detective dorama, based on a manga, but the dorama is slightly different from the mangas, I guess some bits in the manga are a bit too dark for family viewing!
Koichi is very good as Himuro Kozoburo, the reclusive inspector, he definitely bought out the Himuro from the manga and added a bit more to it. Fukada Kyoko is good as Ayaki Kurumi, a little too whiny for my taste but definitely in character.
I really need to get this with traditional Chinese subs, the simplified is simply killing me, damn impulsiveness should have discovered the online shops first!
Rookie! Rating: 9/10 (Bought) I absolutely adore this dorama, Koichi is very good as Makoto Aida, the timid and listless rookie with a heart. It's a definite change to see Koichi playing such a blur of a character, and in a comedy as well. Kakei Toshio is very good as Kitami Teppei, all gung-ho but stuck with the crappy jobs. The scenes between Koichi and Toshio are very funny and touching, a great double act. Uchiyama Rin was good playing Sato Kaori, a rookie photographer, but I'm not sure about the romance between Kaori and Makoto, not much chemistry. Kuroki Hitomi as Mochizuki Reiko, a single mother and a detective trying to make it in a man's world, she's very good as the cool-headed detective. And, of course, Tsuyoshi's cameo was funny as well, a good way to end the show.
Shomuni [ショムニ] Rating: 7/10 (Bought) A good series, very funny especially Esumi Makiko's character, and Kyono Kitomi.
Shomuni Season 2 [ショムニ 2] Rating: 7/10 (Bought) Good sequel to a good series, more of the silly humour from the first series.
Shota no sushi [将太の寿司] Rating: 8/10 (Bought) Shota no Sushi, I definitely learnt a lot about sushi from this dorama, could be where my sushi-philia stems from... It's definitely a good series, you accompany Shota on his journey to become a top sushi chef, with the pre-requisite obstacles in his way - a jealous senpai etc. Good acting from the supporting cast as well. Highly recommended.
Summer snow Rating: 8/10 (Bought) A good drama with solid acting all round. It was definitely different seeing Tsuyoshi in this kind character, such a versatile actor. Hirosue Ryoko was very cute in this, playing a soft-spoken gentle girl, it suited her very well. And I must mention Oguri Shun, his portrayal of a hearing-impaired person was very well done. Even to a non-Japanese speaking person like myself I could tell that his speech was slightly off.
The story itself is very well written, the emotions and relationships between the characters feel very real. Sweet and touching, and the ending is sad, although a little predictable. But a little predictablility doesn't spoil the overall effect as you watch how it developes and the consequences of it. The last scene is very beautiful as well, beautifully shot.