jdorama.com Forum Index
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   RegisterRegister  Log inLog in 
Top 100
Top 100
jdorama.com Forum Index
Viewing profile :: EstherM
Avatar All about EstherM

Joined:  08 May 2007
Total posts:  2334
[0.26% of total / 0.81 posts per day]
Find all posts by EstherM
Country (Nationality):  Belgium
Location:  in South Atami
Occupation:  Marketing expert
Interests: Eating Eating Eating
Contact EstherM
E-mail address:  
Private Message: Send private message
MSN Messenger:  
Yahoo Messenger:
AIM Address:  
ICQ Number:
EstherM's drama votes (0)

No dramas voted

EstherM's artiste votes (15)
Abe Hiroshi [阿部寛]
Cool. Period
Eita [瑛太]
Joking about his ears lets me forget that he is in fact a great actor who has done some seriously good movie work! He has played many different characters in dramas as well, mostly very convincingly and he always delivered: in bad dramas he was the only shining thing, Last Friends and Suppli, come to mind.
Esumi Makiko [江角マキコ]
One of the very few strong female role models the the Japanese film industry. And she´s really pretty.
Fujiki Naohito [藤木直人]
He gets my vote because he´s one of the hardworking guys. Not all his dramas are good, he plays sometimes bland characters, but he has a certain softness that I like.
Ikuta Toma [生田斗真]
I was going to give my one JE vote to Nagase Tomoya but I decided to go for Toma instead. He seems incredible funny, easygoing and very comfortable when performing. I would love to see him more on TV. One advantage is until now he isn´t in some boyband which is all good. Keep it that way and have him do lots of comedy and dramas.
Iura Arata [井浦新]
Another cool indie guy - plays mostly dark characters nowadays. Mainly movie work.
Kamiki Ryunosuke [神木隆之介]
My Japanese son! I want him to have a bright future in the entertainment industry. Is also a seiyuu!
Kase Ryo [加瀬亮]
Indie guy who does mainly movie work.
Kubozuka Yosuke [窪塚洋介]
One of the few daring alternative artists. He´s a bit troubled and probably not reliable but he doesn´t deserve to be snubbed by a film industry who produces JE clones without personality!
Kudo Kankuro
Not really a great actor but one of Japan´s best scriptwriters. Recent work has been a bit weaker but still better than average and never formulatic.
Kuroki Hitomi [黒木瞳]
I think she is hot! Love her!
Maya Miki [真矢みき]
Cool. Period. She should be in the same league as Shinohara Ryoko.
Tamayama Tetsuji [玉山鉄二]
Is a very decent actor with some bold choices in his filmography. His movies are of a much better quality than most of his TV work (Boss or Love and Farm anyone?). Mind you, I don´t care or pay attention, all I do is stare at him (or at my screen to be precice) and my mind goes blank. A beautiful person who seems to have a strong, slightly arrogant personality in real life.
Tanihara Shosuke [谷原章介]
I fancy him - he's easy on the eye and has a solid career under his belt. But his good looks have not always helped his career, it seems that casting agents only realise now that he´s got some talent and he got to play more serious indepth (or good quality lighter) characters in recent drama seasons. We want more!
Toyokawa Etsushi [豊川悦司]
He´s hot! A male Kuroki Hitomi.

EstherM's dramas (327)
11 Nin mo Iru! [11人もいる!]

I admit, I missed a few episodes but I am going to catch up :-) and amend the review! I liked all the episodes I had seen and loved the kids :-) People wear their hearts on their sleeves in this drama. One of the first times I liked Hirose Ryoko in a drama.
14 sai no Haha [14歳の母]
Rating: 6/10
As such the topic of the drama is interesting - teenage pregancy. But again with so many Japanese drama's, the one thing that could have prevented the "drama" - contraception and awarness campaigns - are never discussed. Plus a lot of melodramatic elements were added which could happen to any pregnant woman no matter her age. Great acting though, especially by Mirai Shida!
Ai no Uta [あいのうた]
Rating: 5/10 (Watched)
The first episode was cool and different then it turned into something bland, sappy and horribly cliched.
Aishiteiru to Ittekure [愛していると言ってくれ]
Aishiteru ~ Kaiyo [アイシテル ~ 海容]
Akai Ito [赤い糸]
Rating: 6/10
Follows a bunch of kids from middle school to highschool and their friendship is in one way very well done and realistic. But then again a lot the dramatic elements are completely out of this world, I am especially thinking about the drug abuse and jealousy storylines. Another minus in my opinion is that the young actors seem unexperienced and needed perhaps stronger direction. In short with a bit of rework and avoidance of cliches it could have been groundbreaking.
Akihabara@DEEP [アキハバラ@DEEP]
Rating: 9/10 (Bought & Watched)
Flashy, loud, hysteric, second degree and totally over the top. The characters are loveable (yet annoying) and the overall design is funky. It´s a bit too geeky and weird to appeal to the masses but if you take it as an entertaining life-action-anime, and if you are a bit of an otaku at heart, this should be fun.
Akimahende! [あきまへんで!]
Akuma no kiss [悪魔のKISS]
Akumu-chan [悪夢ちゃん]
Rating: 6/10
Show aimed towards kids - touches upon psychological issues that are often ignored in Japanese society.
Ando Lloyd 〜 A.I. knows LOVE? 〜 [安堂ロイド〜A.I. knows LOVE?〜]
Anego [アネゴ]
Rating: 8/10
I watched this in Japan while being an intern with not a lot to do in a training company. The drama helped me a lot to understand how companies work and what role women still play in Japanese companies. I met so many intellengent women who where soooo underused. Therefore the drama will always stay close to my heart. Unfortunately the love interest had to be one of the least talented JE-Boys.
Anna-san no Omame [アンナさんのおまめ]
Rating: 5/10
Had it's funny moments but was often painful a la Becky. If you like her style you'll love this.
Antique [アンティーク〜西洋骨董洋菓子店]
Rating: 8/10
I like I like I like, good looking guys and cakes, what else is there to wish for. Slow but in a good way.
Aoi Tori [青い鳥]
Arakawa Under the Bridge [荒川アンダーザ ブリッジ]
Rating: 10/10
Very bizarre and funny show but I loved it so much that I'll be running to the theatre next year (2012) when the Arakawa movie is released! You'll need to have an open mind and heart to give it a chance. As I see it, all the weird fancy-dressed people are just humans who failed something or didn't fit into society and found there home under the bridge next to the Arakawa river. The show gives you little glimpses of their weird but sweet community life. I personally didn't like the Billy/Jaqueline episode but other than that no complaints!
Arifureta Kiseki [ありふれた奇跡]
Rating: 9/10
Slow romance and family drama. But with a little bit of patience your reward is superb acting, wonderfully sad and funny moments and a realistic lovestory - meddling family members included.
Around 40 [アラウンド40]
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
Ok to watch once, this drama is very forgettable and adds nothing interesting to the struggle of being around 40 in Japan, but at least the three girlfriends (a psychatrist, a magazine editor and a housewife, later on working as a commercial) are controlling or taking control of their lifes.
Asakusa Fukumaru Ryokan [浅草ふくまる旅館]
Ashita no Kita Yoshio [あしたの、喜多善男]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Ashita is a one of a kind drama - intelligent and full of amazing actors. It´s not in the least commercial, a somewhat complex story. I found it a little difficult to get into - I never knew where this was going. But highly recommended even to fanboys and girls - there´s a few stunners (Matsuda Ryuhei, Kaname Jun, Yoshitaka Yuriko, Konishi Manami) in it.
Asuko March! [アスコーマーチ!]
Rating: 5/10
Naff! A cleaned up script with a social eye could have helped.
Atami no Sousakan [熱海の捜査官]
Rating: 9/10
A wonderful nod to Twin Peaks, but a warning first. This surely isn't everybody's cup of tea. It's an excentric show populated with whacky characters, if you feel uncomfortable with black/bizarre humor or didn't like Twin Peaks at all give it a miss. For the rest of us this mystery a must-see! I love every single character in this series but felt that not enough airtime was given to each of them - I would have liked 1 or 2 episodes more. Perhaps a season 2? PS: Fuse Eri is a peach!
Atashinchi no Danshi [アタシんちの男子]
Rating: 8/10
This is one drama for all those who liked Hana Kimi (the Japanese live action) - same principle, Horikita Maki living with a bunch of guys solving riddles ans learning something about life. I would say this light stuff is aimed at pre-teens and teens and a few people like me who enjoy, when stressed at work, silly camp shows. A tiny bit more open-minded than your usual "fun" drama with hidden conservative values.
Attention Please [アテンションン プリース]
Rating: 4/10 (Watched)
I watched one or two episodes in Japan but I never got over the first 4 episodes. Not my style of drama.
Bambino! [バンビーノ!]
Bara no nai Hanaya [薔薇のない花屋]
Rating: 8/10
Good stuff - a bunch of my favourite actors in one touching, not too light but not too dark neither drama - just wonderful. Except for Katori Shingo, who can't act and looked and talked stupid throughout the drama, the last 15mins of the show are pretty stereotype as well. Nice ending song! And Tamayama Tetsuji gueststars. Yatta yatta yatta.
Bartender [バーテンダー]
Rating: 5/10
This drama is like a stale Bellini made with a low quality sparkling wine instead of champagne! Sweet, no flavors and sparkles!
Beach boys [ビーチボーイズ]
Beautiful life [ビューティフルライフ]
Rating: 6/10
A too bizarre drama - I never figured out what the heroine was suffering of. Was it lost in translation? Didn't I pay enough attention? Then, what stroke me as odd was that in the first episode, she had a perm and seemed not be vain, only to brag about how she used to be a beauty during all the other episodes. Mmmmh and then there were a few creepy side characters. Not my cup of tea at all.
Bengoshi no Kuzu [弁護士のくず]
Rating: 9/10
What a well thought through show combining so many elements I love: Toyokawa Etsushi is superb as the dirty-minded, politcally incorrect lawyer Kuzu, the quite realistic cases looking at life behind the facade, the random elements of humour, the healthy dose of smut, the excentric rituals of the main cast, the oddballs appearing here and there ... Grand! One word of warning, it´s quite a unique show, in which Toyokawa is sporting the worst permed hairdo ever. Both the perm and the show won´t appeal to everybody.
Big wing [ビッグウイング]
Bishojo Senshi Sailor Moon [美少女戦士セーラームーン]
Rating: 8/10
Surprisingly fun! Costumes are super camp and special effects are terrible. I reckon it's aimed at children, despite the flashing white panties:-), but I was sold after the 4th episode. It has humor and it doesn't take itself too seriously and that makes it enjoyable.
Bloody Monday [ブラッディ・マンデイ]
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
Captivating action series! Fast paced with a whole lot of twists, I can highly recommend this suspense series. Good performances by Miura Haruma and Narimiya Hiroki (who´s always at his best as baddie) but don´t expect realism and episode six is a total filler. I also found the actress who played Takagi Fujimaru´s highschool friend highly annoying. Light entertainement = Little logic.
Boku dake no Madonna [僕だけのマドンナ]
Rating: 6/10 (Watched)
Fluffy, funny at times, sweet story, worth watching once. Not more not less.
Boku no Imoto [ぼくの妹]
Rating: 4/10
Star power (in a good way not in a Smap dude way) + mystery + style = excellent drama??? Wrong! What a wasted opportunity - somebody shoot the scriptwriter and the people who greenlighted this. It probably deserves a 6 but I am particularly harsh as most of the actors have quite good to excellent dramas under their belt so the disappointment is double. Triple if you think of how successful this bland police drama was. This season's Rinjo is not flawless, but much better!
Buzzer Beat ~ Gakeppuchi no Hero [ブザー・ビート]
Rating: 7/10
If you´re looking for something not too nervewrecking this might be your drama. It´s just a simple and probably realistic (in the sense that this kind of love it could happen to anyone) love story between a mildly talented basketballer and a unsuccesful violonist. Styling is hideous, sport scences are a disaster and storyline formulatic but I liked Naoki and Riko well enough to care.
Byakuyakou [白夜行]
Rating: 5/10
I like dark stories but this one was too much for me.
Cat Street [キャットストリート]
Rating: 5/10
Interesting topic, poor execution. Acting is probably okay but the drama would have been much better if it had dealt better with certain issues.
Chase ~ Kokuzei Sasatsukan [チェイス ~ 国税査察官]
Rating: 7/10
A different kind of drama (NHK production, 6 episodes, movie star cast) as it deals with tax fraud and the main characters are selfish and plain evil. Acting is excellent. My problems with the drama are more related to my basic Japanese skills which work fine for light comedies but here I got sometimes lost in translation.
Control ~ Hanzai Shinri Sousa [CONTROL〜犯罪心理捜査〜]
Rating: 7/10
Fun and easy watch. The cases were just average but the characters were very likable. The nice thing is that Matsuhita Nao gets to beat up the guys too and not just a mere follower of Fuijiki's professor character. I think she never made tea either! In future I give all police dramas where the main female character doesn't prepare tea an extra point. Styling was horrendous, they dressed Matsuhita and Fuijiki (the jumpers - the horror!), in their 20ties and 30ties respectively, with clothes my parents (61 and 67 respectively) wear.
Cutie Honey The Live [キューティーハニー THE LIVE]
Daisuki!! [だいすき!!]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Danda Rin ~ Roudou Kijun Kantokukan [ダンダリン 労働基準監督官]
Deka Wanko [デカワンコ]
Rating: 6/10
I watched this only because I had a lot of time at hand this season because of a broken foot. Ironically enough Deka Wanko also injures her foot in an early episode, so I could a actually identify myself with this silly show. Tabe Mikako's features are a bit too strong to be really cute but that added another a layer of irony for me and her costumes are fun to watch.
Densha Otoko [電車男]
Rating: 8/10
The opener is really cool and the story is original - a bit streched for a drama and there is no chemistry whatsoever between the beauty and the otaku. 8 points for being unique and funny at most times.
Doctor X ~ Gekai Daimon Michiko [ドクターX 〜外科医・大門未知子]
Rating: 5/10
I totally get it, this drama was successful because a doctor in hot pants is, well hot. And Japan's aging population must be despising their arrogant gods in white as much as I do. So a doctor that gives them shit is just great! But the story is just one big terrible cliche!
Don Quixote [ドン★キホーテ]
Rating: 7/10
Dosokai [同窓会]
Doubles ~ Futari no Keiji [ダブルス ~ 二人の刑事]
Rating: 4/10
4 points for sexy shower scences :-)
Dragon Zakura [ドラゴン桜]
Rating: 6/10
Mildly interesting - good to pick up tips on how to study better. The message given though is not acceptable: get into Todai no matter what. Don't look at your skills, talents and preferences just attend the right college otherwise you'll be a loser. Admittingly the working class kids in this show wouldn't have stood a chance and didn't have many options anyway. But in real life one would expect that there is more choice when it comes to the Japanese higher education system.
Enka no Joou [演歌の女王 (えんか の じょおう)]
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
Freeter, Ie o Kau. [フリーター、家を買う。]
Rating: 5/10
I disliked all characters!
Fumo Chitai [不毛地帯]
Futatsu no Spica [ふたつのスピカ]
Rating: 7/10
A low budget Space Brothers for young teens/adults with all the usual messages: believe in your dreams, you are not alone, friendship is valuable etc. Enjoyable but nothing ground-breaking.
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
Gal Cir [ギャルサ]
Rating: 3/10
A drama around the para para sub culture sounds like fun. Shame it sucked sooo badly. Could appeal to older creeps because of Gakki and Toda Erika and other teenage actresses.
Galileo [ガリレオ]
Rating: 6/10 (Watched)
Not bad - but I couldn't get into it so I dropped at episode 6, which is a bit of a surprise since I like mysteries. Can't really explain why though.
Ganbatte Ikimasshoi [がんばっていきまっしょい]
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
Gekiryuu ~ Watashi wo Oboete Imasuka? [激流〜私を憶えていますか?]
Rating: 6/10
This mystery drama had a promising enough start with actors I like. But the story is weak and has too many soapy moments. Okay to watch once if you like mysteries I guess.
Ghost Friends [ゴーストフレンズ]
Rating: 7/10
I liked this little fantasy story. Touching messages about life and death for kids and young teens.
Gift [ギフト]
Glass no Ie [ガラスの家]
Godhand Teru [ゴッドハンド輝]
Going My Home [ゴーイング マイ ホーム]

I don't know what to say ...
Gokusen [ごくせん]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Funny and charming drama about a naive teacher trying to tame a wild bunch of kids. Little detail, the apparently weak teacher is the grandaughter of a Yakusa boss. It tends to be formulatic but adds some angles to the school drama category. Warning: only watch this one, the other 2 seasons are rehashs.
Golden Bowl [ゴールデンボウル]
Rating: 10/10 (Watched)
I gave this a 10 because I have watched this at least 4 or 5 times. I adore the positively uncool setting, an old bowling hall. The chemistry between the main leads, Kaneshiro Takeshi and Kuroki Hitomi, is great, their age gap doesn´t matter at all. Both of them are good in lying to themselves and not admitting failures. I like the moments when they have their frank dialogues - mostly when playing (and often winning) tournaments. The main characters feel real, because the drama shuns away from the usual "weak woman that needs to be saved - strong man that´ll protect her" scheme. Hitomi, albeit a housewife, is strong and takes responsability for her life and failures, Shu is weaker but strong enough to not choose the wrong girl. And let´s not forget the entertaining sidekicks, Gorilla, Midori, Akira and Owner.
Gonzo - Densetsu no Keiji [ゴンゾウ]
Rating: 8/10
In my opinion probably the best scripted drama of 2008 overall and certainly the best mystery drama since Unfair. The character development is very well executed, this drama made me like and dislike most protagonists, meaning they came across a human being with weaknesses, ego problems and hidden agendas, just like real people.
GTO [麻辣教師]
Rating: 8/10
The GTO universe, which encompasses two manga series, an anime, a live action, a movie and much more, is a classic. It’s even huge in Europe. The live action is quite good and started a trend but if you have watched already a lot of newer school dramas (Gokusen or Rookies come to mind), this might feel too familiar.
Guilty Akuma to Keiyakushita Onna [ギルティ 悪魔と契約した女]
Rating: 5/10
The initial mystery wasn't so bad and kept me watching. But the execution was terrible. Police work was presented in a ridiculous way and caused many plot holes (there were several in each episode). And if not enough, they had to cover it all up by throwing in a sociopath with a penchant for fire, an ugly dog, an awkward love triangle, an emotionally wounded police officer, silly self sacrifices and a Romeo and Juliet ending. Not my kind of vengeance drama.
H2~Kimi to itahibi [2〜君といた日々]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
I always hated sports dramas for that the storyline always seems to be the same: underdogs first struggle, overcome their weakness and always end up winning the finals. H2 in that sense is no different, yet I enjoyed it immensely because H2 gets the balance right between sports and friendship, love and other day-to-day worries. The four protagonists and their friends are normal teenagers who struggle with unrequited love, death of a parent, deciding on their future and other insecurities. Nothing overly angsty but even I (over 30) could identify with some of the issues. The baseball scenes are enjoyable for non-fans and not every game is easily won, some are stupidly lost.
Hachi-One Diver [ハチワンダイバー]
Rating: 5/10
Watched this only because of Shogi ... the format would work as an anime but as a live action it kinda sucks.
Hachimitsu to Kuroba [ハチミツとクローバー]
Rating: 7/10
The source material is a bit slow and boring already so I wasn´t expecting anything hilarious or action driven. The actors fitted well, the major storyline was respected and I recognised many scences from the manga, which I liked. Not grand, but not really bad, like the manga. The anime is funnier.
Hagetaka [ハゲタカ]
Rating: 7/10
Not bad for a drama on the financial world: good actors and a relatively realistic painting of the tone of voice in a greedy business world. And it aired before the Lehman crisis! But don't mistake this for a documentary, some of the deals could simply not have happened in real life. And not only foreign investment is evil - the Japanese financial system is murky in its own right.
Haikei, Chichiue-sama [拝啓、父上様]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
A tad too slow, yet sweet! A nostalgic look on how most things that once mattered come to an end.
Haken no Hinkaku [ハケンの品格]
Rating: 8/10
I have a soft spot for office dramas (I blame it on Ricky Gervais) and Shinohara Ryoko, I had to check this one out. I politely overlooked the Japanese interpretation of Spain and Andalucia but the whole drama stayed a mixed bag until the end. There were certain issues and stories I enjoyed, and certain things I deemed ridiculous. Wonder temps who save the the day every day do not exist.
Hakusen nagashi [白線流し]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
A quite realistic coming of age drama about provincial high school kids. I was fresh at university when this first aired. I wish I could have watched this back then. It is also fun to watch a puppy Nagase Tomoya.
Hana Yori Dango [花より男子]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
I am a fan of the manga (the two last books have yet to be released in French) - it's fast and compact with 9 episodes. Inoue Mao is well cast and even MastuJun is okay. Fun-stuff.
Hana Yori Dango 2 [花より男子]
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
HYD2 delivers! I had as much fun watching this as season one. The show is real eye-candy as everybody is soo good looking, from Makino to F4, from Yukie to Makino´s brother, the prettiest being Rui. I gave this a seven because the plot is not entirely convincing, even less then in season one and because the corny wedding proposal in front of 1000 people followed by a badly choreographed dance made me cringe. It simply doesn´t fit a though ping-pong couple and besides, they are way too young!
Hanayome to Papa [花嫁とパパ]
Rating: 4/10
Creepy obessive dad Tokito Saburo and a more than conservative family setting made this unwatchable for me.
Hancho ~ Jinnansho Azumihan [ハンチョウ ~ 神南署安積班]
Rating: 7/10
Cool, well acted police drama - not as addictive as others but I like to watch an episode here and there to relax.
Hanzawa Naoki [半沢直樹]
Haruka 17 [はるか 17]
Hataraki Man [働きマン]
Rating: 6/10
Okay drama - not very realistic when it comes to portray journalism. Kanno Miho has "chispitas" in this but the stories she follows for her newspaper are mildly interesting. A mixed bag.
Hatsukoi [初恋]
Rating: 7/10
The acting is good, the "disease" story lines are in a way secondary thanks god. This drama is one of those where the characters do the obvious mistakes which lead to relationship breakdowns, all the little breaches and betrayals, plus the female character is one of this typical gullible characters who seems not to have learned from her past. This kind of drama tends to irritate to the bones! But then that's probably the point! Quality kitsch.
Hi wa Mata Noboru [陽はまた昇る]
Hidarime Tantei EYE [左目探偵EYE]
Rating: 7/10
Guilty pleasure - not to be taken seriously. The script is a bit of a mess - oh well who am I kidding, it´s trash. BUT I was strangely attracted Satomi-chan´s character and had fun watching her in action.
Higashino Keigo Mysteries [東野圭吾ミステリーズ]
Rating: 6/10
I confess, I only saw a few of the stand-alone episodes. But I found them all average. Watch only if you like mysteries and have nothing better to watch.
Himitsu no Hanazono [ヒミツの花園]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
I want to be Hongo Kanata’s mum – he’s the jewel (and Maya Miki) in this funny and touching drama about a family secret. The main character, portrayed by Shaku Yumiko stays overall too submissive and pale in comparison to the four eccentric brothers and their crazy editor.
Hito ni Yasashiku [人にやさしく / 3ピース]
Rating: 8/10
Cool show despite the Smap dude. Not corny at all - except for a few tiny moments! It´s a fun story about some average guys and their guy stuff - and that´s honestly very refreshing! If you need more to be convinced: Ryo and one of the best (punky) opening themes ever.
Hitori Shizuka [ヒトリシズカ]
Rating: 8/10
Who is Ito Shizuka? Is she involved in a series of murders? Rich drama which first focuses on cops and detectives who deal with crimes that are somehow linked to a mysterious girl, then takes a good look at a blood bath to then finish rather weakly trying to explain the girl's motivation.
Hitotsu yane no shita 1 [ひとつ屋根の下 1]
Rating: 7/10
Story-wise this is an absolute 9 or 10. What a wonderful family drama about 6 siblings living together! Now why a 7, you wonder? It's Eguchi Yosuke's character. He unfortunately portrays the kind of man I hate most in real life: a childish crybaby, who thinks he's a real man, while being agressive and a tad too stupid. Zero respect from me even though he did good and meant good.
Home Drama [ホームドラマ]
Rating: 8/10
Highly recommended - it's more a 9 - but as mentioned by xploring, there is one painful (short) storyline about gossiping and it spoiled this almost perfect drama a little.
Hotaru no Hikari [ホタルノヒカリ]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Neat at work, total slop home, Hotaru has given up on love and prefers to hang out at her perch drinking beer. Her boss going through an acid divorce and has no other place to stay than at Hotaru’s, which is incidentally owned by his parents. Obviously the two personalities clash and Hotaru happens to meet a guy she likes and with the help of her boss progresses in the relationship while all along the two have a thing for each other. This drama felt sometimes like a very loooong beer advert, targeted at women and somewhat like a re-hash of dramas such as Kimi wa petto, Last Christmas, Sapuri etc. On the plus side: the chemistry of the two main actors, their likeability, light entertainment and some funny scenes.
Hotman [ホットマン]
Rating: 7/10
Hungry! [ハングリー!]
Rating: 6/10
Story = meewhaaa - food presentation = lovely
HUNTER ~Sono Onnatachi, Shoukin Kasegi~ [HUNTER〜その女たち、賞金稼ぎ〜]
Ichi Ritoru no Namida [1リットルの涙]
Rating: 8/10
Classic terminal illness drama. Like most dramas of this genre, it's using some gloss to make it more tolerable for the viewer, ie tragic heroine is beautiful until the end/hot on and off boyfriend loves her. But it dares from time to time to look at the grittier reality and the painfulness of dying slowly. Well done!
Iguana no musume [イグアナの娘]
Rating: 6/10 (Watched)
What do you do if your mother doesn´t love you? How do you react if a parent is horribly cruel? Finally an interesting topic for a drama, or so I thought. Unfortunately the mother´s behaviour is not linked to actual psychological troubles, but to a fairytale. So the real family problems are never properly dealt with (depression, bi-polar personality etc) but it´s worth watching once. It's more a seven but the scriptwriters used 3 traffic accidents as deus ex machina - a bit too much for my taste.
Ikebukuro West Gate Park [池袋ウエストゲートパーク]
Rating: 9/10 (Bought)
One of my favourite shows, which I still recommend to all my friends. I can´t really explain why I like this so much, but the plot is tight, the actors deliver and even though it´s a bit violent I find it very touching. It has a certain "this is OUR youth" vibe going on and it makes me for some freaky reason feel young again.
Ima Ai ni Yukimasu [いま会いにゆきます]
Rating: 8/10
Imouto yo [妹よ]
Innocent Love [イノセント・ラヴ]
Rating: 5/10
Dumb and bad acting.
Iryu [医龍 Team Medical Dragon]
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
A bit too much pathos and a touch too heroic for me! But definitly one of the better medical dramas! It´s worth watching for the performances of the cast, for the sometimes quite gory surgery scences and for at least slightly touching the darker sides of the medical world (ie internal power struggles, corrupt or anxious doctors, pharma industry power).
Iryu Sosa [遺留捜査]
Rating: 7/10
Not bad at all - your typical oddball investigator drama. A bit similar to Rinjo as it looks a little at the procedural side. Good but not great - watch if you are into one-mystery-per episode police dramas.
IS ~Otoko Demo Onna Demo Nai Sei~ [IS〜男でも女でもない性〜]
Itazura na Kiss [イタズラなKiss]
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
A predecessor to Hana Kimi and Nodame, this is also based on a (then) popular manga. Same principle, girl has the hotties for a guy who isn’t that interested. The drama follows her as she goes through the process in trying to be liked by her prince. It has aged a bit and is only mildly funny. I don’t like Sato Aiko and her ears (the female Eita) very much in this, her character his a tad too stupid and did I mention her ears? Kashiwabara Takashi is pretty much convincing as the cold love interest.
Itoshi Kimie [愛し君へ]
Rating: 6/10 (Watched)
Not my cup of tea at all. I don't like Kanno Miho and seing her uber-skinny frame plus listening to her annoying bored voice pretending to be a caring doctor during 11 episodes was painful. If you are a fan though, it should be pleasant enough. The script about a man losing his eysight is decent.
Itsumo futari de [いつもふたりで]
Jikou Keisatsu [時効警察]
Rating: 9/10
It’s a one case per episode crime solving series but it won’t appeal to everybody - one of the main ingredients is subtle black yet whacky humor. Therefore, this non-sense comedy won me over in no time. It works on several levels: slapstick, the dialogue, background situations, the chemistry of the two main protagonists and the whacky colleagues. One word to describe this drama: absurd. The cases are not that challenging and the pace is slow but this is not what the series is all about anyway. I prefer this kind of humor over MBMH and even Nodame Cantabile (although I like both of them tremendously).
JIN [JIN-仁-]
Rating: 8/10
Almost a nine! It´s not that original though - it´s like Life on Mars - only doctors instead of cops and Edo instead of Manchester in 1973. Sometimes a bit too melodramatic for my taste, plus when somebody did something heroic (this drama assumes that people acted more noble in the past and would say stuff like "I would die in this fire to save Edo"), the dialogues were painfully corny. Most main characters were thankfully spared and were portrayed in nuanced way. It was also refreshing to see that the female characters in Edo were intelligent, strong and more independent (not physically free, but in their thinking) than in any average drama playing in the now. Osawa Takao - I am not a fan - turned out to be particularly charming, a hero with flaws.
Joker Yurusarezaru Sosakan [ジョーカー 許されざる捜査官]
Jyoou no Kyoushitsu [女王の教室]
Rating: 7/10
Another school drama, a serious one in the vein of Watashitachi ... not Gokusen, and the good news it's it's better than let's say Seito Shokun. Amami Yuki does a fine job as evil teacher. I don't agree with her methods although the messages she wishes to bring across are important ones. Superb child actors, notably Shida Mirai! I got all nervous while watching though, it's not for relaxing times ;-).
Kabachitare! [カバチタレ!]
Rating: 6/10
Kakusho ~ Keishicho Sousa 3 Ka [確証 ~ 警視庁捜査3課]
Kamisama mou sukoshi dake [神様、もう少しだけ]
Rating: 8/10
Another soppy drama which made me cringe at times. But it has Takeshi Kaneshiro (in his 90ties hotness) and it is actually the only drama in the world suitable for Kyoko Fukada´s whiny self.
Kare, Otto, Otoko Tomodachi [カレ、夫、男友達]
Rating: 8/10
Very good family portrait. I truly enjoyed how the three sisters were portrayed with all their faults and I fell a little in love with Maki Yoko's on-screen boyfriend. DV portrayal is a bit too heavy and cliched. I don't have a problem with the level of violence but it puzzles me that the aggressor is always an emotionless robot with almost magic powers.
Karei naru Ichizoku [華麗なる一族]
Kaseifu no Mita [家政婦のミタ]
Rating: 7/10
Surprise hit of the season! Enjoyed it too but thought it was average. Didn't care for the dad at all. But one thing is sure Matsushima Nanako IS back!
Kasouken no Onna [科捜研の女]
Rating: 7/10
Good forensic one case per episode drama. Season one is best (an 8 or an 9) - afterwards it goes downhill. Without giving away too much, the biggest problem is that Mariko´s team changes every season without any reason and they always have different skills. Also, her relationship with Junko and detective Koba changes somewhat in season 2, plus Junko is nowhere to be seen in season 3. All theses changes are never explained properly, it would have made more sense to make Mariko transfer. Stop after season 1 or if you must continue , stop after season two.
Kaze no Garden [風のガーデン]
Rating: 7/10
I have a soft spot for child actor Kamiki Ryunosuke, and boy does he shine in this drama. I have to admit that despite the stunning Hokkaido sceneries and a wonderful performance by the late Ogata Ken, I couldn´t really get into this. My favourite scenes were the ones with Gaku (Kamiki) and there were too few in the first 4, 5 episodes. Recommened but not perfect.
Keibuho Yabe Kenzo [警部補 矢部謙三]
Rating: 8/10
If you're not a Trick fan it might not be the right show for you as this spin off is pure fan service. Despite the nice Trick references and guest appearances, the show has it's own atmosphere (of whack). Sadly it's a bit short (6eps), so it's difficult to get used to the new characters. I was seriously cranky that it was over so fast. Well there is Trick the movie 3 to look forward to.
Keizoku [ケイゾク]
Rating: 8/10
Quirky to downright weird/dark detective story with brilliant main actress! I watched this after Unfair, two sesons of Psychometrer Eiji, 3 seasons of Trick and 4 seasons of Investigator Mariko - not so much new under the sun. It took me 3, 4 episodes before I got into this series but once I did I loved it. SP, movie and ignoring of plot holes also recommended.
Keizoku 2: SPEC [ケイゾク 2: SPEC]
Rating: 8/10
In short: very creative! Spec was fun to watch, more X-files than Trick or the first series. In any case, it stands on its own and is not really linked to the 1999 show. The special effects were grand (well, for a Japanese dorama), I loved funny puns and the humour. Also, some of the cast are amongst my favorite actors. I should have figured out the big villain around episode 7 or 8 but I didn’t, so I had a little “Ahhh” moment during the last episode. What I didn’t like so much: - Maybe Shirota Yu was a little miscast, he certainly didn’t match the quality of the other actors. - Episodes 3 and 4 were not very interesting
Kekkon Dekinai Otoko [結婚できない男]
Rating: 8/10
Many people have said it before: Abe Hiroshi is excellent in this wonderful little comedy. But it's not only his vehicle, all other main and side characters including Ken-chan the dog are nicely scripted. I will never forget the sight of Abe-san rubbing his long body under a table to clean every single corner of his place.
Kiina ~ Fukano Hanzai Sosakan [キイナ]
Rating: 6/10
Typical mystery with the usual slightly weird but gifted investigator. See also Control, Galieo, Iryu Sosa, Kagi no Kakatta Heya etc. Cases are made from facts - so they feel often familiar.
Kiken na Aneki [危険なアネキ]
Rating: 7/10
If you can overlook that Itoh Misaki’s character is lovely but beyond childish and annoying – it’s a funny and sweet drama about two siblings with funny side stories and characters. It’s strictly a one watch only because it’s a tad too fluffy.
Kimi wa Petto [きみはペット]
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
I liked the manga, so I enjoyed it a lot. I feel though that there was a lack of sexual tension and it was not as steamy as I would like it to be. Mind you this is my personal problem since I am a bit older, European and libertine, impossible for me to buy an ending where two people into each other go back to platonic. Also the time of watching, I wasn´t really aware that the older woman/ younger man plot is such a recurring theme in J-dramas - see Anego, Sapuri, Boke dake no Madonna, Sore wa totsuzen or even Gokusen, and now I am growing tired of it.
Kira kira hikaru [きらきらひかる/法醫物語]
Kisarazu Cat's Eye [木更津キャッツアイ]
Rating: 10/10 (Watched)
My favourite drama by screen writer Kudo Kankuro - even though storywise IWGP and T&D are better. This is mainly because of the story´s central character - Bussan, a terminally ill lad who had not much of a perspective anyway. Bussan is warm, cute, loud yet frail and really really funny. His love for baseball, his small town and his four friends is really touching and never pathetic. Besides the wonderful cast (at least 2 JE Boys, but they deliver) you get hilarous flashbacks, excentric side characters, the über-cool references. I want to see the two movies, which followed really badly :-))) EDIT: have now watched the movies - the nihon series movie is great but the world series movie only half great.
Kita no Kuni Kara [北の国から]
Koi no Chikara [恋ノチカラ]
Rating: 7/10
Romantic drama, which should appeal to those liked Love Revolution, Anego, Slow Dance and Seigi no Mikata. Good cast, good entertainment. Not very deep but perfect for a rainy weekend.
Koi wa Tatakai [恋は戦い!]
Rating: 8/10
I didn´t think it was like SATC at all. No fashion, no (clearly shown) shagging and no cocktails. Although Love and Fight had a lot of booze too! It did extremly bad at ratings but it was a lot better and funnier than I expected. Portrayed women in a somewhat goofy and realistic way.
Koibito yo [恋人よ]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Good old-school drama on what happens when you meet the love of your life the day you marry (somebody else). It’s a more mature drama trying to explore relationships after you wed, which is something rare in the drama world. The only thing I deemed unnecessary was that there had to be *spoiler alert* a tragic illness at the end to solve conflicts.
Koibumi [恋文~私たちが愛した男]
Rating: 5/10
Koishite Akuma [恋して悪魔]
Rating: 7/10
Vampire story for kids and young teens. More a 7.5 than a 7 as I thought the 2 main actors handled the weak story (well the original idea is good but the script was done lazily) quite well. Uses a little too many dorama cliches and flashbacks. Nice ending song!
Koishite Shinitai [恋して死にたい]
Rating: 5/10 (Watched)
Forgettable unhealthy love story with unlikeable characters. Stalking seems socially acceptable in this drama.
Koori no Hana [氷の華]
Rating: 7/10
A nice, albeit not very logic, mystery. Is the beautiful femme fatale a cold blooded murderess or just a poor yet strong victim?
Koori no sekai [冰の世界]
Rating: 7/10
A nice, albeit not very logic, mystery. Is the beautiful femme fatale a cold blooded murderess or just a poor yet strong victim?
Koshonin [交渉人]
Rating: 7/10
So stylish it tries too hard! But any Japanese (cop) drama with a strong woman in the lead is worth a watch! I love the ending sequence.
Kou kou kyoushi [高校教師]
Kou Kou Kyoushi 2003 [高校教師 2003]
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
Kuitan [喰いタン]
Rating: 7/10
Only in Japan - a food obsessed detective. I found the cases just ok. Didn't motivate me enough to watch the 2nd season.
Kurokochi [クロコーチ]
Kurosagi [クロサギ]
Rating: 7/10 (Bought)
Good vehicle for Yamapi who has improved his acting skills. The plot sometimes lacks pace and the female parts are too one-dimensional. I found the cat fighting between the two university pals over Kurosagi childish and annoying.
LADY ~ Saigo no Hanzai Profile ~ [LADY〜最後の犯罪プロファイル〜]
Rating: 7/10
Way over the top, and too gimicky, lining up one mad serial killer after the other. A shining light is the character of Yuki, she makes an interesting (albeit annoying) team leader. She's shy and nervous, often weak but has some backbone when needed. It's a fast watch and the guest stars give their scary best but I doubt that there are that many smart killers on the lose in Japan. Unfair is still a million time better.
Last Christmas [ラストクリスマス]
Rating: 8/10
Classic romantic drama - formulatic but well crafted. As always Oda manages to butcher the title song.
Last Cinderella [ラスト シンデレラ]
Rating: 5/10
Makes me regret that I gave Saikou no Rikon only 7 points. This just lives off the gimmick of making the audience guess who Shinohara will end up with. The amazing choices are: a 15 year younger blandie or a misogynist her age. Oh wow! Mind you the younger guy is quite a hottie:-)
Last Friends [ラスト・フレンズ]
Rating: 5/10 (Watched)
Storywise a 2, it gets 3 extra points for Eita, Ueno Juri and the first episode. It failed because of so many missed opportunities - the list is almost endless. Avoid this if you can!
Rating: 8/10
LIFE [ライフ]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
LIMIT [リミット]
Rating: 6/10
To enjoy this mystery about a few teenagers who survive a crash and are left on their own to survive you need to accept a major plothole: when their bus gets off a road, the students in distress don't make any effort to climb back to the road to get help. But it's a thrilling enough watch for a rainy day.
Lipstick [リップスティック]
Long Love Letter [ロング・ラブレター〜漂流教室]
Rating: 9/10 (Bought)
I gave this an 8 but I rewatched it recently and I loved it even more. I had to change my rating as I finally understood the end as well. Here´s what I wrote initially: I like "out of the box" ideas so this one about a time-travelling highschool works fine for me. A weird story, nice reflexions on humanity, the recurring theme of lost love, a cute closing song and some good (and some good-looking) actors is entertaining enough for me. The last episode is a bit confusing, as if the scriptwriters wished to give us a happyend albeit this only works on the personal level of the protagonists not on the underlying topic of total environmental destruction.
Long vacation [ロングバケーション]
Rating: 8/10
I finally watched it! As a few of you might know, I am a not a Kimutaku fan, not even remotely so, but this romantic drama is GOOD. The depicted relationship seems real and modern even though the show is 15 years old. And for being the blueprint of the romantic drama, this show uses very little cliches, aka the weak female, the lead down with fever,... you know what I mean. A must watch.
Love and Eros [ラブとエロス]
Love complex [ラブコンプレックス]
Love generation [ラブジェネレーション]
Rating: 7/10
Love Revolution [ラブレボリューション]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Pretty standard romantic comedy with a few mature elements. Mind you, it's one of the better ones out there, although Overtime is still better.
Love Shuffle [ラブシャッフル]
Rating: 8/10
Love Shuffle is a not so innocent love story, an unpure romantic comedy if you like. A few scences are quite daring (for a J-drama not real life) and dialogue is witty and even post-modern at times. This drama is about eight trendy, good looking highly successful urbanites (aaah I hate them). The sets are too hip and impersonal for my taste and certain actors are really badly styled but it´s overall well scripted and that´s what matters. Cheesy music though!
Love Story
Rating: 9/10
The title is corny, the plot less so. This is one great romantic drama which manages to avoid the biggest cliches of the genre (no terminal illness, no living in the same housing complex, no falling sick or kissing while drunk, no getting together at episode 7, breaking up around 9 and getting back together in the final episode). It even has some really funny moments! The leads, Toyokawa Etsushi and Nakayama Miho, both stunningly beautiful in Love Story, are brilliant as always. If you like Golden Bowl or Kekkon Dekinai Otoko, you might like this one. Maybe it´s more for an older audience though.
Lucky Seven [ラッキーセブン]
Rating: 6/10
Not good!
Lunch no Joou [ランチの女王]
Rating: 8/10
Fun drama, fun actors and a lot of food. Good but a bit too long perhaps and a loose end.
M no Higeki [Mの悲劇]
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
Made in Japan [メイドインジャパン]
Rating: 6/10
Not really showing the reality sleepy Japan Inc is currently facing. But then again denial is very much the core of Japan Inc - see Tepco. Dares to speak some truth in the first episode but instead of exploring those issues, it moves swiftly to blame the evil foreign company.
Magerarenai Onna [曲げられない女]
Rating: 8/10
Great characters - great slice of life story from a female perspective! Improbability of basic elements in the script and Masato´s unlikely personality changes spoil it a little. The leading ladies, Miho Kanno and Nagasaku Hiromi are outstanding! I like that the usual "a girl has to be married to be happy" life model is not forced upon the characters.
Mahoro Ekimae Bangaichi [まほろ駅前番外地]
Rating: 9/10
This is a niche drama about 2 oddballs running an oddball business, meeting a bunch of oddball clients! Great stuff but certainly not to most people's tastes. There's a movie too.
Majo no jouken [魔女の条件]
Rating: 6/10
I think I am writing this review four or five years after watching it so my memory is a little blurred but it left an impression. Acting gets high points but the script not so. This is a classic example of a Japanese drama I have serious issues with the ethics of the main characters. Typically, in these kind of dramas something fundamentally wrong is portrayed as something pure and romantic, in Kamisama mou sukoshi dake for example it’s ok to sleep unprotected with a HIV-infected person out of love. Here the high school teacher falls for a 17 year old boy, which could happen alright, but instead of taking the right measures, resigning from the school and agreeing to wait until the boy is older, it gets all muddled up.
Majo Saiban [魔女裁判]
Manhattan Love Story [マンハッタン ラブストーリー]
Rating: 9/10
Subs are only available until episode 3 but boy I had a great time watching this. Something to look out for if you like Kudo Kankuru's work. Plus, it´s romantic in a really cool way.
Maou [魔王]
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
A modern Count of Montecristo story, this one tries to explore darker territories, unusual for a JE-populated drama. I enjoyed these kind of mystery (?) dramas a lot, but this one had its weaknesses. For instance there were a few obvious plot holes and it relied too much on deus ex-machina (the magic elements for example). I am convinced if all the protagonists would have used public transports, cars or taxis, it would have had a very happy ending. The actors were good (a bit too young perhaps for the positions they held) although Ikuta Toma overacted but at least he wasn’t wooden and can show a certain range of emotions, and I really felt for his character in the last episodes. Also, the drama intended to conflict the viewer, trying to have them decide who was good/right (the police officer or the lawyer) and having them choose a side. Ethically speaking I wasn’t torn at all, for that the police officer did no real wrong but caused a tragic chain of events.
Marks no Yama [マークスの山]
Rating: 7/10
Definitely one of the better vengeance dramas from this season! Pick this over Guilty, the quality and the acting is far superior but I didn't like Kamikawa Takaya in this.
Marumo no Okite [マルモのおきて]
Rating: 7/10
Cute kids!, cutest ending song ever!
Mayonaka no Ame [真夜中の雨]
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
Mayonaka no Panya-san [真夜中のパン屋さん]
Rating: 7/10
Calm, simple story about a night bakery. Nothing groundbreaking but watchable. Didn't mind Takky for once.
Medaka [めだか]
Rating: 8/10
Meguri ai [めぐり逢い]
Minna Mukashi wa Kodomo Datta [みんな昔は子供だった]
Mirai Koshi Meguru [未来講師めぐる]
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
Kudo Kankuro weakest work to date. Absolutely watchable for its quirkiness and adorable excentric characters - I loved Meguri´s grandfather, Michiru and her accent and Yuki, the stupid boyfriend. But the story is too often too silly and the heroine - no surprise - infantile and annoying. But it would be too easy to blame it on Fukada Kyoko only, the script wasn´t that neat either. Cool ending song and guest apparences by beloved actors though.
Miseinen [未成年]
Mitsu no Aji ~A Taste Of Honey~ [蜜の味~A Taste Of Honey~]
Rating: 6/10
To be fair, I skipped a few episodes but this drama wasn't good at all. Silly incest story in medical setting. Shame Arata was in it.
Mop Girl [モップガール]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
I have only watched 4 episodes - the rest not yet subbed. It´s surprisingly good despite the whacky concept. A good watch for mystery fans with refreshing dialogues and ideas. Edit: Have now watched all episodes - great stuff, not to be taken seriously though. Would love to see a second season happening.
Mori no Asagao [モリのアサガオ]
Rating: 5/10
I love Arata but I hate that tiny Densha Otoko gnome, focus seemed more on him than Arata's prisoner so I couldn't be bothered.
Moteki [モテキ]
Rating: 9/10
How great is Moteki? First of all I was blown away by its amazing soundtrack, often name checked by characters on the show. Quruli, Nakatani Miki, Fuji Fabric to name just a few. The basic storyline is pretty cool too - 30 year old loser suddenly becomes popular, and the women he meets are more than ready to spice up his life. Aki, who is older and likes him but plays stupid games and can't be honest, Natsuki who is perfect in his eyes but just sleeps with anyone to mend a broken hard, Itsu who is in love with his best friend, as well as his yankee friend Naoko from high school and now love coach to Moteki. Great stuff and quite realistic in its portrayal of relationships between men and women. Glimpses into Moteki's inner world are great for comic relief.
Rating: 9/10
Mother is the only drama ever that made me shed a tear or two. It's a proper drama carried by a series of strong female characters ranging from the 5 year old child actress to the seasoned mother figures. It tackles a broad range of serious traumas (what a chilly first episode). I admit, emotional buttons are pushed shamelessly but the characters have dignity and strength, it's easily forgiven.
Moto Kare [元カレ]
Rating: 6/10 (Watched)
This one was a bit uncool. The characters weren't that nice and I couldn't get into the story.
Rating: 7/10
Starladden superficial drama, which wants to be all at once in 8 episodes: a sometimes funny, high tech, psychological, mystery, smart, dumb, scary, gory, violent, cute, fangirl loving, big budget cop show. Easy to watch, but not the finest moment of drama.
Mukodono! [ムコ殿/女婿大人]
Rating: 6/10
I found this very silly but funny at times.
Muri na Renai [無理な恋愛]
Rating: 6/10
It´s actually better than a 6 - it deserves a 7 or 8. In this case it´s me, not the drama (and certainly not the acting). It´s just simply not my kind of drama.
My Boss, My Hero [マイボスマイヒロ]
Rating: 8/10
This drama/comedy succeeded in making me laugh out loud all the time. It’s neither smart nor subtle but downright funny. Nagase Tomoya is not taking himself too seriously as a stupid (or shall we say intellectually challenged) Yakusa. Will I ever watch this again? Probably not – this is not the kind of series I can watch over and over again.
My Little Chef
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
Nakuna, Hara-chan [泣くな、はらちゃん]
Rating: 8/10
A sweet feel-good fairytale - so don't expect any realism! Nagase, who's not an actor but an over-actor is perfectly cast as the manga character thrown into our world. Sometimes he made me laugh out loud, but mostly this drama left me warm and fuzzy inside. Basically, if you liked the AHA Take on Me videoclip from the 80ties, you will like this.
Namida o fuite [涙をふいて]
Nankyoku Tairiku ~Kami no Ryouiki ni Idomunda Otoko to Inu no Monogatari~ [南極大陸〜神の領域に挑んだ男と犬の物語〜]
Rating: 6/10
Could have been grand if it hadn't been for the cheesy dialogues and the overly melodramatic scenes (worse than Jin). Some of my favorite actors are in it and the dogs were cool.
Narita Rikon [成田離婚]
Natsu no Koi wa Nijiiro ni Kagayaku [夏の恋は虹色に輝く]
Rating: 6/10
Average romance - pretty formulatic but has one twist, or novelty if you like. It's very easy to watch but a little forgettable.
Nazotoki wa Dinner no Ato de [謎解きはディナーのあとで]
Rating: 5/10
Cases are boring and the "rich heiress" thing got on my nerves.
Nemureru mori [眠れる森]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Minako is a young woman who has it all - a lovely finance and a bright future. But does she really? Of course not - after meeting a young man played by Kimutaku (my least favourite idol) her world crumbles. Kimu's performance is actually very good - he gives a great performance as the angry hurt man from Minako's past. Expect a few plotholes and unlikley events in this otherwise neat dark mystery drama.
News no onna [ニュースの女]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Follows the live of a seemingly cold hearted career-orientated news presenter. Nice story, good elements, a slice of life kind of drama. A surprise: Takky is good in this!
Ningen no Shoumei [人間の証明]
Nisennen no koi [二千年の恋]
Nobuta wo Produce [野ブタ。をプロデュース]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
Yamashita Tomohisa's (only) master performance as the seemingly drunk Akira. Even the other JE boy, Kame as Shinji, does ok. Wonderful little school stories about two boys who try to turn ugly duckling Nobuta into a popular girl. This is a nine but for young teenagers :-)
Nodame Cantabile [のだめ カンタビ−レ]
Rating: 8/10
Classic goes cool: great actors, funny over-the-top characters and an eye for details (probably due to the generous budget). Eita is wonderful as Mine and Ueno Juri IS Nodame. Nice use of CGI to give it a little anime touch.
Odoru Daisousasen [踊る大捜査線]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Fellow drama friends have said it already many times: it’s a funny classic that aged (will age) really well. It’s a must watch for all those who love police and mystery dramas. Entertaining but was a bit pathetic around episodes 6 an 7 and Oda Yuji is not really my cup of tea. I find his mouth creepy, probably because he insists on singing and he really shouldn´t, his singing makes me actually appreciate JE ending songs.
Ohitorisama [おひとりさま]
Rating: 6/10
Not good but watchable if you're a female with some free time to spare - it's something like a mediocre chick flick a la PS I love you. The synopsis is wrong -> they don't fall in love and start living together - they live together and that's mostly it.
Ohsama no resutoran [王樣のレストラン]
Oishii puropozu [おいしいプロポーズ]
Rating: 7/10
Extremely formulatic love story - accidental kiss in second episode, real action in episode 7 and 8 and break-up due to people meddling in episodes 9 and 10 but of course a silver lining in the last 2 minutes. It's a in a way a comforting watch because you have seen it all before (really all) and I thought the chemistry between Hasegawa and Koide was, if not great, acceptable enough. I didn't like any of the side characters, from the manager, the assistant, the banker/ex-lover, the brother to the father plus there was Saeko (only acceptable in Nodame). The kissing scenes were terribly awkward but I know that Koide amd Hasegawa can pull it off so I blame direction for this.
Okane ga nai! [お金がない!]
Rating: 7/10
Ma ma - not a total winner but fun to watch. Has aged a little.
Orange Days [オレンジデイズ]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
There’s something strange about Orange Days, it’s very formulatic if you come to think about it yet I watched it in one weekend and I was completely captivated by the five characters and their college life. The friendship and the love stories seem incredible real and warm without touching the cheesy or the corny (except maybe for the last episode).
Orthros no Inu [オルトロスの犬]
Rating: 3/10
Oh dear! The idea behind the drama is sort of interesting but the script and acting are just cheesy and terrible ...
Osen [おせん]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Yet another show about food and a beautiful traditional restaurant - but it's surprsingly charming and warm. Beware, not all episodes are subbed. EDIT: subs now available for all episodes. Nostalgic and cute (Aoi Yuu) until the end.
Osozaki no Himawari [遅咲きのヒマワリ]
Rating: 7/10
Noble attempt to realistically portray the struggles of small town twenty and thirty-somethings limited by old-fashioned conventions or their own inabilities to move forward. A good, albeit slow quality watch. Mind you, this is a typical drama where all characters take the morally "good/noble" decisions in the end, which in real life they would not, hence rendering it unrealistic.
Otenki Onee-san [お天気お姉さん]
Rating: 6/10
A little bit of a silly mystery drama, fun to watch. Falls flat at the end, because some background story lines of the main characters were heavily built-up but then never fully addressed.
Otomen [オトメン(乙男)]
Rating: 6/10
Light weight! Fluffy fantasy in the vein of Hana Kimi. The gender issues are ridiculous, so what if the hero likes knitting and the heroine can't cook. Hence some storylines are just intolerable. I must admit Okada Masaki has the perfect physique for his role, he's tall and sporty but somewhat feminine, but in a natural way, not in a Johnny's entertainment sequins and feathers way. I was a little offended by the nose jokes.
Otousan [おとうさん]
Ouran High School Host Club [桜蘭高校ホスト部]
Rating: 8/10
Silly is key here! It stays quite faithful to the original, read remains super camp and completely unrealistic. Good adaptation but if you are allergic to the silly hyper anime drama style beware, you won't like it.
Over Time [オーバー・タイム]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
Nice love story, I won’t say much just that I found the dialogues between men and women refreshingly open and honest for a Japanese drama.
Oyaji~ [オヤジぃ]
Rating: 8/10
Man that family was a real pain! The mother is a pushover, so is the oldest daughter, the two younger kids are spoiled and the dad, oh my god, the dad is a major hypocrite. The grand bit is though that all what shouldn´t happen to a perfect Japanese family happens, morale has to be thrown out of the window at the end of each episode. Good stuff, great actors!!!
Pandora [パンドラ]
Rating: 6/10
Teen drama in the vein of Akai Ito. Very fast watch, the mystery factor is relatively mild and the love story somewhat bland. Not great, but not cringeworthy either. Beware if you allergic to Johnny's Entertainment, the male cast is made up of Johnny's I believe.
Pin to Kona [ぴんとこな]
Pretty Girls [プリティガール]
PRICELESS ~Aru Wake Nedaro,n namon!~ [PRICELESS ~あるわけねぇだろ,んなもん!~]
Rating: 7/10
Good enough but doesn't deal really with the very real (and very ignored) issue of homelessness. As always I enjoy the the secondary actors more than Kimutaku.
Pride [プライド]
Rating: 6/10 (Watched)
This drama left a bad aftertaste in my mouth, not only because of Kimutaku´s annoying Prido this Prido that mantra: Mainly made for a female audience, the love interest Aki is one of the weakest, unintelligent female drama characters and shouldn´t be seen as a role model at all - in fact I am starting to get annoyed about the way women are portrayed in some dramas. Thank god there are exceptions!
Proposal Daisakusen [プロポーズ大作戦]
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
Yamashita Tomohisa's second best performance as the undecided Ken who fails to declare his love over and over again.
Psychometrer eiji 1
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
Good but two flaws: First of all, this drama aged badly! It must have been very now when first aired. If you see it as a testament to what it was to be young in 1997, it´s fun, the dancebeats by DJ Krush, first computer animations, the haircuts, ... memory lane Secondly, it´s based on a hugely popular manga and it´s somewhat faithful but sacrifices too many beloved side characters. Also a bit too low budget. Best ending sequence ever, makes me smile every time.
Pure [ビュア]
raiaa geemu [ライアーゲーム]
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
Have only watched until episode 4 and got hooked. The leads are very charming and so far convincing (although Erica Toda´s persona is borderline annoying with her apparent (?) naivity). Let´s see what happens next but to remain really good, this series needs some twists and more surprises. Maybe it turns out to be a series that you watch only once but it´s fun. Compliments 4 the music!
Real Clothes [リアル・クローズ]
Rating: 6/10
A little bit on the empty side - stunning wardrobe though.
Reinoryokusha Odagiri Kyoko no Uso [霊能力者 小田霧響子の嘘]
Rating: 6/10
A bit too silly to be good, the actors are lovely but the story a bit weak. It’s easy to watch though and only 9 episodes long. Mop Girl is probably a better choice.
Remote [リモート]
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
Mystery stories around a traumatised cop unable to leave his basement. Unfortunately for us Fukada Kyoko was chosen to be his "eyes". It's okay to watch once though if you like mystery.
Rich Man, Poor Woman [リッチマン、プアウーマン]
Rating: 5/10
This is targeted to vow away Japanese (female) audiences away from Korean dramas. Not sure if it'll work though because of the very tired story - I mean even the title is tired. Episode one was too cheesy but it got a little better further down the road but then sadly ended as formulatic as a drama possibly can.
Rikon Bengoshi [離婚弁護士]
Ring: Saishusho [リング 最終章]
Rating: 8/10
Starts out really great but loses pace - probably a mini-series of 5, 6 episodes would have been better. Is outdated and wouldn't scare a 10-year old but at least Nagase Tomoya is a bit scary 90ties hot.
Rinjo [臨場]
Rating: 7/10
Despite the 7, this one is a very good police drama about a team of forensic officers. Acting is good and the cases are close to reality (Just before watching the drama I had read an article about a forensic doctor - the way he described his work was very close to what was shown in Rinjo). It has its flaws though, a very weak last episode and I felt that it was unlikely that so many people at this police station were linked personally to murders/suicides.
ROOKIES [ルーキーズ]
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
There are better sports dramas about baseball (H2), there are funnier dramas with baseball (Kisarazu´s Cats Eyes), there are better highschool dramas (GTO), there are funnier dramas about rogue students (Gokusen 1) but once you have watched all those Rookies might be the next best thing. Better than Gokusen 2, 3, Seito Shokun, Regatta etc. it´s tries to be quite realistic and it has a few excellent young actors in it. Usually Japanese casting respects the age of the actors, oddly almost all of them are in their twenties so playing highschool students is a bit pushing it too far. A big minus is the stereotyped ex-Yakusa idealist trainer/teacher - the scriptwriters should have developed a more nuanced persona.
Ruri no shima [瑠璃の島]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
I feel all warm and fuzzy inside when I think of this lovely family drama. Outstanding cast! Extra bonus: the paradise-like setting.
Ryusei no Kizuna [流星の絆]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Nice one! I like it when characters are not "pure" as I believe real people are never all good and pure. Kudo Kankuro responsible for for the script of this drama is someone who (I believe) thinks like that as well. We get a great trio of far from perfect siblings who try to revenge their parents´ murder. Only minus for me was the lacking chemistry between Toda Erika and Kaname Jun, essential to the story and the reasons of the killings. Not Kudo´s best work but he´s getting back on track :-)
Saigo Kara Nibanme no Koi [最後から二番目の恋]
Rating: 8/10
Lovely family drama set in the even lovelier town of Kamakura. Great actors and interesting side characters, but not entirely cliche free! But the observations made about life, age, death, loneliness and love are in my opinion accurate, and that's a big achievement for a drama.
Saikou no Jinsei no Owarikata ~Ending Planner~ [最高の人生の終り方~エンディングプランナー~]
Rating: 5/10
That one was a downer - the first episode was quite lovely I thought despite the wooden idols. But then it mixed up so many elements such as mystery of the week, family drama, love story, all rolled into one indistinguishable boring story.
Saikou no Rikon [最高の離婚]
Rating: 7/10
I had very high hopes for this but I found this very predictable and conservative despite the raunchy closing credits. 10 points for the fast-paced witty dialogues, good acting and realism (and the ending credit of course!). But story and resolution were safe and even a little cliche. Also apart from Maki's, I didn't warm up to the characters.
Sapuri [サプリ]
Rating: 6/10 (Watched)
The source material is quite good, a josei manga about a career woman in the advertising world. What the heck is Kame doing there? Why is his character so prominent, in the manga it´s an older side character? It spoils the original work. And why has poor Eita to be in this? Could have been good but they preferred to ruin a good story for intelligent women because of giving in to the pressure of JE. It´s okay to watch once maybe.
Saru Lock [猿ロック]
Rating: 5/10
too crude for my taste.
Satorare [サトラレ]
Rating: 7/10
Original concept! Lovely cast and an engaging storyline but I hated the Satorare with a vengeance, hence the 7. I understand why they made him pure and innocent, imagine how pornographic it would have turned out if he would have been a normal 27-year old. But I hate these pure, sensitive male protagonists in Japanese dramas already, here I had to listen to his thoughts on top ...
Rating: 8/10
A woman disappears and four friends from her past try to find her. The first 2 episodes or so are slow, a bit of patience is required. It should not be remembered as a mystery drama (the mystery is just decent) but as a portrait of female friendship. It depicts well all kind of dilemmas (mostly Japanese) women are bound to encounter in their lives with men. In that perspective it’s a much better drama than Around 40. I had a great time watching the girls maturing and taking responsibility and giving their mediocre men well-deserved kicks.
Seigi no Mikata [正義の味方]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
Not a 9 really, more an 8, but it gets a 9 from me for two reasons: I am very tired with the portrayal of women as being weak creatures in need of protection, especially in supposedly funny dramas. Here not so much, we have a mother that teaches her daughters to be straightforward, a beyond ambitious daughter and one that is - agreed - a pushover but also a little scheming and able to take her own decisions. All three played by wonderfully fitting actresses. Secondly, I am an older sister myself and I did recognize certain elements. I also always got the best spot on the table, was an important decision maker in picking family activities and my younger sister was always my avid follower and executed my evil plans, in short there were a lot of “lol I know this” moments in it for me. Two little negative points: it can be repetitive and Makiko’s love interest/husband is a bit bland, though Hongo Kanata is the sweetest thing.
Seikei Bijin [整形美人。]
Seito Shokun! [生徒諸君!]
Rating: 5/10
A rather bland highschool drama. Go for GTO, Medaka or Gokusen 1 instead if school life is your thing.
Sekai no chuushin de, ai wo sakebu [世界の中心で、愛をさけぶ]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Pure (ie no intercourse) terminal illness love story. Quite trendy topic in the first half of the 2000s. This one is quite alright really, combining two timelines - the 80ties and how the surviving lover copes 20 years later.
Sennyu Tantei Tokage [潜入探偵トカゲ]
Rating: 4/10
No it's bad, there is no way around. Masuda Shota can't save this.
Sh15uya [シブヤフィフティーン]
Rating: 6/10
This is an odd story for kids or young teens. Bizarre but lovely closing song.
Share House no Koibito [シェアハウスの恋人]
Rating: 6/10
Sadly instead of a story we got all the cliches that you can possibly find in our jdorama cliche thread. Safe easy watch and you have seen it all before unless this is your first ever drama (don't chose this as your first drama though!). But to contradict myself, it's also a likable drama.
Shiawase ni Naritai [幸せになりたい]
Shika Otoko Aoniyoshi [鹿男あをによし]
Rating: 8/10
Loved the talking deer, loved the idea and the surrealism, loved the location of Nara and the old-fashioned look and feel, loved the actors and the dialogues. I’ll rate this 7.5 to 8 as I got distracted around episode 6 and only regained interest in the last two episodes. The execution was too slow, or to put it in a different way, most of the time the characters were doing uninteresting things (visiting temples, drinking, participating in school competitions, teaching), these activities had a higher purpose though, the search of the triangle, but I felt it was boring to watch at times nonetheless.
Shima Shima [シマシマ]
Shinya Shokudo [深夜食堂]
Rating: 8/10
A show to my taste - makes you feel that you are a regular at Master's night restaurant in Golden Gai too. Each episode is about one simple dish and tells the backstory of one or two regulars. Not all the stories are good, in fact most of them are cardboard stuff, but they convey a warm and fuzzy feeling ^_^!
Shinzanmono [新参者]
Rating: 4/10
I dropped this after episode 1. Oddly the second Abe drama in a row I dropped.
Shiroi Haru [白い春]
Rating: 6/10
Not so much my idea of a good time. Abe's great but the story is not for me.
Shiroi Kyoto [白い巨塔]
Shokuzai [贖罪]
Rating: 8/10
Does show the worst in humankind. Not a comforting watch at all, but you are rewarded with excellent actors who are able to bring across the nasty!
Shomuni [ショムニ]
Rating: 9/10
What’s not to love about Shomuni – I visited several offices at my stay in Japan and I am friends with a few non-Japanese who worked in companies in Japan and some of the things I saw and anecdotes I was told actually reminded me of certain scenes of Shomuni. What a wonderful piss take always wonderfully plotted by employees with the least value (OLs) in the Japanese business world. Brilliant.
Shota no sushi [将太の寿司]
Shotenin Michiru no Mi no Uebanashi [書店員ミチルの 身の上話]
Rating: 7/10
Strange mix of murder mystery, stalking, small-town boredom with a flaky damsel in distress at the centre. Good actors but the story is a little random. Wasn't too keen on the Christian theme.
Slow Dance [スローダンス]
Rating: 8/10
I thought this was ok as a one-watch unoriginal romantic drama. It's not even remotely close to Orange Days but isn't Eri-chan a peach in this? Absolutely adorable, love her.
Sora Kara Furu Ichioku no Hoshi [空から降る一億の星]
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
8 points for the acting - yes even for Kimura although his hair looked silly - 6 for the script. Interesting mystery that lacks pace.
Sore wa, Totsuzen, Arashi no you ni... [それは、突然、嵐のように…]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
I expected the worst with this older woman/younger boy story but it was interesting in the sense that it was mainly from the woman's point of view.
Soredemo, Ikite Yuku [それでも、生きてゆく]
Rating: 9/10
Stand UP!!
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Feel good teenage drama - funny and sunny :-)
Star no Koi [スタアの恋]
Starman ~ Kono Hoshi no Koi [スターマン ・ この星の恋]
Rating: 5/10
Alien snatches body from a guy and ends up dating a mother with three kids. Cute but the script is rather weak and not charming enough to be enjoyable.
Strawberry Night [ストロベリーナイト]
Rating: 8/10
Solid! 9 points for the cast and their characters, 7 generous points for the cases, they are not that engaging IMHO. The special, a must see in my opinion, is a fast-paced thriller whereas the drama itself is slower, concentrates on police work and gives depth to the characters. Something that could work well over several seasons! Yuki Takeuchi is stunning of course!
Strawberry on the shortcake [ストロベリー・オンザ・ショートケーキ]
Rating: 6/10 (Watched)
What can I say, it´s a classic, a classic-not-good drama that most J-drama fans have watched. I finished this so it must be better than Yaoh or Jotei. Takky and Fukada aside (they aren´t really good at acting), the story is on the stupid and creepy side, but that´s just how most teenagers really are. So what you get is an insight to their minds and you have a view on their silly actions, which is neither uplifting nor entertaining, but I have done equally wimpy things in my highschool years. Hence, who am I to judge. Clever use of ABBA songs!
Style! [スタイル!]
Rating: 7/10
If you like Kiken na Aneki or Koi no chikara, you'll probably enjoy this one. It's fun, it's fluff and doesn't explore characters very much. Set in a depaato, the drama revolves around a (fairly hot) manager of a group of female personal shoppers. Motoki Masahiro is quite good, and good-looking (what a grand haircut), but the script is rather superficial. Note for fanboys: Takeuchi Yuko stars in it. Note for fashion fans: avoid, the fashion in this show is terribly outdated.
Suika [すいか]
Rating: 9/10
This one was pure bliss - a true insight into women's minds. It catches prefectly well this very special warm and fuzzy summer feel. There is not much of a storyline, it just follows the lives of 4, no actually 6, very different women over the course of a few month.
Summer Nude [サマーヌード]
Rating: 5/10
I would be lying if I said I watched all episodes, I think I watched 4 or so - but it's an extremely boring drama about 2 people who have been dumped.
Summer snow
Rating: 6/10 (Watched)
This drama has some decent performances and some heartwrenching scenes. Just not my style of drama and I don´t like Hirose Ryoko much in this (too bland and without personality).
Suna No Utsuwa [砂の器]
Sunao ni Narenakute [素直になれなくて]
Rating: 5/10
Irrelevant stuff - would like to be fresh but fails. Avoid if you can.
Suteki na kataomoi [すてきな片想い]
Sweet Home [スウィート・ホーム/甜蜜家庭]
Taiyo no Kisetsu [太陽の季節]
Rating: 5/10
I don´t know why I watched this half-baked stupid dark tragedy. It stars Takky and all female characters fall for him and are willing to follow him blindly. I guess I am like them.
TAKE FIVE ~ Oretachi wa Ai wo Nusumeru ka [TAKE FIVE 〜 俺たちは愛を盗めるか]
Tantei Gakuen Q [探偵学園Q]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
This is a detective adventure with kids for kids and younger teens, based on a hugely popular manga. The young actors are absolutly charming, and the music lovely - this is a nine but for kids :-).
Tantei Gakuen Q (Special) [探偵学園Q]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Ahhh my favourite kids! Prequel to the series with lower budget.
Tatta Hitotsu no Koi [たったひとつの恋]
Rating: 6/10 (Watched)
A major sucker this one. Kame as a working class guy - you gotta be kidding. The girl of his dreams is ill and close to death but behaves like a five-year old on speed most of the time.
Tempest [テンペスト]
Rating: 3/10
One word: cringeworthy.
The Quiz Show 2 [ザ・クイズショウ 2]
Rating: 8/10
Mystery/vendetta drama which unfolds slowly. The storyline is very unrealistic and the first 4, 5 episodes are a bit repetitive but then it really gets entertaining! Decent acting and a lovely Maya Miki.
Tiger & Dragon [タイガー&ドラゴン]
Rating: 10/10 (Watched)
Nyaaaaa! My favourite comedy. It took me ages to actually watch this because the descriptions in reviews put me really off. This is surely not a 10 for everybody but give it a chance!
Tokkyu Tanaka 3 Go [特急田中3号]
Tokyo DOGS ~ Saiaku de Saiko no Partner [東京DOGS]
Rating: 5/10
Tokyo Dogs made a lot of noise but had no substance. It made a lot of jokes too but it wasn't all that funny. Like Boss and Mr Brain it was a "hit" with audiences but I started to wonder about the Japanese audience - will they watch just anything as long it has the label mystery or cop show, despite the weakest scenarios one can possibly imagine. One big plus for Oguri fans. He looks absolutely amazing in Tokyo Dogs, but that can't save a drama.
Tokyo Friends [東京フレンズ]
Rating: 7/10
A light mini-drama - The story is very Nana-like. It´s fun to watch once on a rainy weekend. Popcorn material.
Tokyo Wankei [東京湾景]
Rating: 5/10
I already forgot what this was about - shame I like the actors.
Tokyo Zenryoku Shojo [東京全力少女]
Rating: 6/10
Just checked this out to see how Watabe Atsuro would do in a comedy. The show is funny enough but I couldn't get into it.
Toubousha [逃亡者]
Trick [トリック]
Rating: 8/10
This review refers actually to all seasons - I wasn't convinced when I watched the first three episodes - too slow, too cheap, too weird. After that I kind of got addicted to it (kind of because I took a year break between season 1 and 2), and what seemed boring became compelling. Nicely different and sometimes cheek in tongue! I became a faithful follower as of season 2 and have seen all the SPs and movies (minus movie nr 3 which is still showing in cinemas).
Tsubasa No Oreta Tenshitachi 1 [翼の折れた天使たち]
Rating: 7/10
This series is actually a set of unrelated short stories about women in distress. Some of the stories a grand. I like the one with Horikita Maki best. Very touching! The one with Ueno Juri is also very entertaining.
Tumbling [タンブリング]
Rating: 6/10
Not the best sports drama - uses too many cliches (Gokusen) and flashbacks. A few story lines had real potential, like the gay outing, which was handled well for a Japanese drama, also the teacher seemed somewhat realistic. Other than that: cheesy. The 8 protagonists are alright though, it's not their fault that some idiot decided to enhance their lips by injecting collagen, and they do all their stunts themselves! Well done!
Unfair [アンフェア]
Rating: 9/10 (Bought)
I was highly entertained and this drama kept me guessing all the time. Very few shows are that thrilling, and with its twists and u-turns, it has almost movie tension going on. As a consequence, the plot is a bit unlikely but thight enough to work out well.
Untouchable [アンタッチャブル]
Unubore Deka [うぬぼれ刑事]
Rating: 7/10
This one case per episode drama about a detective who can’t get married and falls in love with murder suspects is in fact pure Kudo Kankuro fan service, actors from previous Kankuro dramas star or make a guest appearance, which is great fun. But if you are not familiar with his work, it might not be the greatest drama to start with, and one reason is the variable quality. Some episodes are grand, I roared with laughter during episodes 3, 7 and 11 and I really fell asleep during episodes 4 and 5. On the plus side, it started formulatic but slowly added variations and twists to the same theme. Particular highlights: the dances and the Unubore 5 combo, Unubore’s loser bar friends, always great for comic relief.
Ushi ni Negai wo: Love & Farm [牛に願いを - Love & Farm]
Rating: 4/10 (Watched)
I grew up in the countryside so have little patience with unrealistic agriculture settings. It´s a though business and the horribly cliched drama doesn´t help. Not even the eye candy made this watchable for me.
Utahime [歌姫]
Rating: 8/10
It gets already a few extra points because it's different. The timeline is the 50ties and local ben is spoken throughout the drama. Charming. I thought it was comedy but it had sad elements too. It turned out different then I imagined and I am not sure I like it. But if you are looking for something different, this could work for you.
Utsukushi Rinjin [美しい隣人]

Dropped out at episode 3 - maybe I'll watch it later but it kind of fell flat after the first episode.
Virgin Road [バージンロード]
Rating: 9/10
Honestly it's a little pathetic and has lots of cringe moments (especially the last episode). But I was addicted from the first episode and genuinely cared about the protagonists. I watched this in one weekend, so it deserves a 9/10. But caution, it's like stuffing yourself with sweets on a rainy Sunday. It’s okay to do so but only once in a while.
Voice [ヴォイス]
Rating: 7/10
Beware if you think this is a mystery/forensic medicine/crime solving action drama. On the contrary, it´s more about five medicine students, their challenges and their friendships. They solve some minor mysteries but it´s more because they care and they wish to make difference. The characters are loveable, especially Eita and Toma and I enjoyed it very much but I found it at times a bit slow.
Watashi ga Renai Dekinai Riyuu [私が恋愛できない理由]
Rating: 7/10
Drama focused on the worries of modern women. I liked the heroines but I thought it was a bit boring at times. Karina is great though.
Watashitachi no kyokasho [わたしたちの教科書]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Water Boys [ウォーターボーイズ]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
The idea is so whacky it works :-) Light summer entertainment, best watched on a rainy winter weekend.
Wedding Planner [ウエディングプランナー]
Rating: 7/10
One of the better romantic dramas around in terms of characters and side stories - the comedic elements used sporadically are great too. Weddings aren't my cup of tea so I wasn't that much interested in the weddings they organised. Last 2 episodes were a bit too dramatic.
Yakou Kanransha [夜行観覧車]
Yamada Taro Monogatari [山田太郎ものがたり]
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
One doesn't need much braincells to watch this. It's good fun and not to be taken seriously. Two JE boys lead so there is some fun service.
Yamato Nadeshiko [やまとなでしこ【大和撫子】]
Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge [ヤマトナデシコ七変化]
Rating: 4/10
Hoped it would be as much fun as Atashinshi no danshi but it wasn´t.
Yankee Bokou ni Kaeru [ヤンキー母校に帰る]
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
Yankee-kun to Megane-chan [ヤンキー君とメガネちゃん]
Rating: 7/10
Not as good as Nobuta but similar because it tries to bring across positive messages about the importance of friendship. Sometimes fun, always easy going stuff - as in so many high school shows, the protagonists who are meant to be around 16, 17 years old behave and live the life of 13 years olds so the target is probably young teens.
Yaoh [夜王〜YAOH〜]
Rating: 5/10
It's me not the series - I have nothing against it (except for the ridiculous hairstyles and for that women who go to host clubs can't tell the difference between a service offered and love) but I can't get into it.
Yasashii Jikan [優しい時間]
Rating: 10/10
An instant classic. It just feels right on so many levels. The sets and the scenery are amazing, as well as timeless - this drama will age really well. Pace is slow but not too slow, and it´s easy to watch again and again. Acting is well done - even the weakest links give performances of their lives. The day-to-day live of our protagonists feels real and we can relate to their personal dramas or demons. Guest stars and secondary characters are also well fleshed out. In short: a lovely tale!
Yasha [夜叉]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Surprisingly touching for a SF-drama! Very good performances and good action scences. I give this only an eight for three reasons: - firstly the two first episodes were too slow and rather weird/boring instead of intriguing, I almost gave up. Thanks god I didn´t! - Then the title song since I really hate Sting but that´s a very personal view, sorry. - And lastly because on one hand it had too many repetitive flashbacks and on the other hand I was left with many open questions.
Yasuko to Kenji [ヤスコとケンジ]
Rating: 7/10
Like with Nodame, the producers choose to emphasize on the manga aspect. What we get are over-the-top performances, an anime-like soundtrack and comic-like costumes. Hence Y+K is not to be taken too seriously and good fun to watch once.
Yoomigaeri [黄泉がえり]
Rating: 9/10
Yume no California [夢のカリフォルニア]
Yuukan kurabu [有閑倶楽部]
Rating: 3/10
Too cheesy and some real bad acting, yes Akanishi Jin I am talking to you, makes this a bad choice. If you are looking for a solid series for kids go for Tantei Gakuen Q or Nobuta wo Produce.
Yuusha Yoshihiko to Maou no Shiro [勇者ヨシヒコと魔王の城]
Rating: 9/10
A nine might be too generous as it's not the funniest thing I have ever watched but it's pretty unusual and had amazing nonsense moments for a jdrama. Especially recommended if you like whacky Monty Python humor. Kudos to the main cast for keeping straight faces trough out the show.
Zenkai Girl [全開ガール]
Rating: 6/10
Like the the rainbow drama with MatsuJun last year this romantic comedy is easy to watch but totally forgettable.
Zettai Kareshi [絶対彼氏]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Light and funny drama around the concept "what if your perfect boyfriend was a robot" - the good news is that it´s not badly made - something for us girlies with two goodlooking (non-JE) male leads. I only felt that 7, 8 episodes would have been more than enough.
Zettai Reido [絶対零度]
Rating: 7/10
Decent cop show but not exactly novelty stuff. I figured out the culprits and twists in the first minutes. On the plus side this is not a pure Ueto vehicle - writers put a lot of effort in the team work. Nice to watch once if you like one case per episode mysteries.

EstherM's drama reviews (0)

No dramas reviewed


Jump to: