Densha Otoko [電車男] This was a great drama! Anyone looking for an introduction to Japanese TV would do good to watch this show. It was clever, well-acted, and touching at the same time. ~~Ganbare, Densha!!
Ichi Ritoru no Namida [１リットルの涙] 10/10 - Easily. Still, only "Sekai no Chuushin de, Ai wo Sakebu" is sadder -- but not by a lot. I hope I can rise above my illness should I become sick like Aya.
Shomuni [ショムニ] Rating: 7/10 (Watched) I grew to like the Shomuni series. They are entertaining and easy to watch. You are not left with cliff-hangers at the end of each episode so you can set your own pace rather than get sucked into the next episode.
Attention Please [アテンションン プリース] It's not Good Luck by any means [Rating: 6/10] It's closer to "Bad Luck". The only thing that makes this drama watchable is the supporting cast. They are very, very good, but the mains are weak. Ueto is her usual annoyingly cute self while Nishikido is still sleepy-eyed and dead pan. I'm going to finish this show, though -- not because the story is very good or the main characters very interesting. I want to see how the supporting cast turns out.
Attention Please [アテンションン プリース] Not the worst I've seen, but not good at all [Rating: 4/10] Unless you are one of Ueto Aya's many would-be stalkers, this drama isn't for you. Once again, she finds herself cast and an annoyingly cute rebel type who manages to annoy and be cute for everyone she meets.
There are lots of cute girls in this show who are not annoying and it has a good supporting cast, but they are all washed away since Ueto is the star.
The ending is preditctable and there are no plot twists at all to keep thew viewer interested -- unless you are only looking to see Ueto Aya.
Boku dake no Madonna [僕だけのマドンナ] Just barely watchable... [Rating: 6/10] Like the title of my review says, this drama was just barely watchable. The supposeting cast is more interesting than the main characters and the story has nothing special about it. It started well, but grew soft and preditcable by episode #3. Were the producers of this show trying to make it seem like an updated version of Long Vacation? I guess one could argue that, but if that is the case, they fell way short of the mark.
Enka no Joou [演歌の女王 (えんか の じょおう)] An easy to watch and fun show [Rating: 8/10] I don't understand how some others who have reviewed this drama gave it such poor ratings. A story about a woman who some want to consider over-the-hill struggling to make it in a form of music that lots of people consider over-the-hill has comedic elements alone. Add to that the unusual way it was made and you have a show that keeps you watching.
Jyoou no Kyoushitsu [女王の教室] Several cuts above the norm! [Rating: 9/10] This drama was certainly much better than I expected it to be. In fact, it was much better than I could have imagined given the setting -- elemetary school(!!).
I once had a hard-nose teacher, but he wasn't at all like the teacher in this drama. I think he wanted peace and quiet rather than to help us learn to find our own way in the world. ... but back to the show...
I agree with Old-Ant that the ending was unsatisfying, but I think it fit the show since we are all curious about how the people we knew when we were younger turned out later on. Graduation is like this unsatisfying ending. One day, we're gone and a new story begins. That can't happen on TV, but we saw how one class' story ended and we are left to wonder about the next one -- the one we'll never see.
Koi wa Tatakai [恋は戦い！] Very watchable [Rating: 8/10] I really enjoyed watching this drama after seeing a pair of drawn-out, over-cooked dramas. If you are tired of the "drama" aspect being done over too long of a time, then this drama is the one for you. It's not perfect, but not too over-done in terms of the story.
Koi wo nan nen sundemasu ka? Affairs abound [Rating: 7/10] This story is similar to Toshishita no Otoko in that there are lot of affairs; but unlike that drama, "koi wa Nan Nen Sundemasuka?" is strictly about affairs and love not the larger idea of living honestly like "Toshishita no Otoko."
This is a well-acted drama, but don't look for hard-core tearjerkers here. The pot simmers, but never reaches a boil.
Ns' Aoi [Ns’ あおい ] Ns' �܂�Ȃ� [Rating: 6/10] If it wasn't for Yanagiba Toshiro, I would not have bothered to finish this show. Satomi Ishihara's chracter was a little to sweet for me to relate to so I could not see how she was a real character in the show. Yanagiba steals the show and I will look forward to seeing more of his work.
Sapuri [サプリ] Watchable, but not much else... [Rating: 7/10] I'll give this drama a 7/10 since it does get a passing grade from me, but not much else. I suspect that the developers of the show thought that the great casting would cover up for a so-so story and warmed over plot-line (older career woman vs. young guy).
If you like the cast, then you'll like the show, but don't look for any tricks in this one. There are no plot twists, no real cliffhangers -- it's a very straightforward drama, but nothing more.
Sora Kara Furu Ichioku no Hoshi [空から降る一億の星] Excellent!! [Rating: 10/10] Don't look at the cast and draw conclusions for this drama. No one is who you'l think they'll be. It's good to see actors finally play charaters that are outside of what their fans would otherwise expect -- and the results here were great.
This is the first drama since Long Vacation in which I actually liked Kimura. His acting chops were not streched too much, but at least the character was different from his norm. The best actor in this drama was Sanma. You'll see why.
Don't miss this one.
Taiyou no uta [タイヨのうた] It's not Sekachuu or 1-littoru by any means~~~ [Rating: 8/10] I'll give this drama an 8/10, but it's more like an 8.5. Sawajiri Erika is once again playing a doomed girl so I wonder how much of an acting challenge she was presented with when making this story. Yamada Takayuki is also playing a familiar role. This should really be the *last* time these two play these types of roles. It'll get stale very quickly. These two are in their 20's so it's about time they stopped playing teenagers. I am not down on the drama. It was actually very entertaining. The supporting cast was very good and more important to the story than those of 1-littoru. This needed to be the case since the effect of the main character on the others had to be shown.
Don't expect this to be a tearjerker -- it wasn't. If we had a scale for that, it rates a 5/10 -- if not lower.
Toshishita No Otoko [年下之男] a quiet jem [Rating: 10/10] I watched this drama in one sitting -- only a story of the rarest of rare quality can hold my attention so long.
It was refreshing to see Inamori Izumi in a role in which is isn't comic relief. She does a great job as the lost 30yr.-old daughter. Still, the rest of the cast played their parts perfectly.
I am a fan of Inamori so I turned this one on just to see her, but even if you are not, you are missing out on a good story if you pass this one up. There is a deep sadness you can feel with each episode and all the characters are affected. All of them find it hard to find a reason to smile and we don't know why they should until the end -- the very end. The music, all of it, perfectly matches and enhances the mood of the show.
Uso Koi [ウソコイ] Avoid this one like it was the plague!! [Rating: 1/10] Fans of faye Wong and would-be fans should look elsewhere to get their Faye-fix. Not only is Faye's character terminally annoying, but the very idea that someone hiding in a foreign country under a fake visa would make life uncomfortable for the person she's sponging off of is outrageous. Any sane person would go out of her way to make life easy for her benefactor, but no~~ not in "Uso Koi".
Every episode tries to hang you over the same old, tired cliff. Will her secret be revealed this time?? I stopped caring by episode #6 and I was surprised I watched it that long. Actually, the only secret was how bad this show was -- and now that I have written this, the secret is out.