Four Japanese Dramas That You May Not Know About (2017-2018)

Shorter Japanese Dramas from
Fall 2017 & Winter 2018

The joy of watching Japanese dramas is the fact that they tend to cover and explore subject matters that are not the typical; the norm. The Japanese writers are particularly good at this and it shows with the the dramas that I have a pleasure to watch. As a drama watcher who doesn’t usually gravitate to the rom-com genre, I’m particularly excited to talk about these four dramas that came out during the Fall 2017 and Winter 2018 season.


Chinmoku Hotei (2017)

Stars
Nagasaku Hiromi as Yamamoto Miki
chihara Hayato as Tasakamizawa Hiroshi
Ohkura Koji as Torikai Tatsuya
Usuda Asami as Nishimura Atsuko
Komoto Masahiro as Takai Yosuke
Kitamura Soichiro as Baba Kotaro
Episodes: 5
Aired: Sep 24, 2017 – Oct 22, 2017
Network: WOWOW
Duration: 45 min.

Synopsis
In Akabane, Tokyo, an old person, who lived alone, is found dead. The elderly person was strangled to death. Detectives from the Akabane Police Station investigate the case. According to the victim’s neighbors, a woman sometimes came in and out of the victim’s home. That woman is Miki Yamamoto (Hiromi Nagasaku). She does housework for her customers. The detectives from Akabane Police Station visit Miki Yamamoto’s house. At that time, other detectives from Saitama Prefecture also arrive at Miki Yamamoto’s house. Multiple suspicious death cases have taken place at her prior clients’ homes. The media begin covering the story as a serial killer case. Who is Miki Yamamoto? What is the truth behind the cases?
My Thoughts
This was definitely a drama of whodunit or did she really from beginning to end. The acting of Nagasaku Hiromi as Miki is worth watching this drama. The case and the evidence looks damning against Miki from the very beginning. The circumstances of what truly happened and why will definitely surprise you. The drama focuses on the crime and also the police force’s inability to truly investigate a crime thoroughly. A very good WOWOW drama indeed!
Rating: 9/10


Kataomoi (2017)

Stars
Nakatani Miki as Hiura Mitsuki
Kiritani Kenta as Nishiwaki Tetsuro
Kuninaka Ryoko as Nishiwaki Risako
Suzuki Kosuke as Nakao Kosuke
Otani Ryohei as Hayata Yukihiro
Wada Masato as Sugai Makoto
Episodes: 6
Aired: Oct 21, 2017 – Nov 25, 2017
Network: WOWOW
Duration: 55 min.

Synopsis
On the night of Tanabata, Hiura Mitsuki, the manager of the American football club in university days, suddenly shows up in front of ace ‘QB’ Nishiwaki Tetsuro and his buddies after the club reunion she missed. She makes a shocking confession: “I killed a person.” Mitsuki also confesses to having gender identity disorder, and that she now lives as a man. Tetsuro and their other comrades feel disturbed but scramble to protect their friend. How did the incident happen? As they try to get to the truth, distressing facts are gradually revealed. What decision will Mitsuki and the team members reach? (Source: jdramas.wordpress.com)
~~ Adapted from the 2001 novel by Higashino Keigo, One-sided Love.
My Thoughts
Once again WOWOW network brings us a drama that touches a subject matter that you won’t see too often on Japanese television or most Asian television; a drama that made me look into gender identity disorder more closely because I had never really explored it carefully before this drama. What will really surprise you is the interpretation of the character brought to the screen superbly by Nakatani Miki who plays Hiura Mitsuki. Miki shows us a character that even though she now identifies as male, she still maintains her crush on Nishiwaki Tetsuro played by Kiritani Kenta. The drama also shows you just how close a relationship that Mitsuki had with Tetsuro’s wife, Risako, played by Kuninaka Ryoko. This drama is in a class by itself and once again it is the WOWOW network that brings it to the big screen.
Rating: 9/10


Meishi Game (2017)

Stars
Tsutsumi Shinichi as Kanda Tatsuya
Okada Masaki as X
Otomo Karen as Kanda Mina [Kanda’s daughter]
Kawai Aoba as Makoto Oki
Ochiai Motoki as Rui Matsunaga
Watanabe Natsuna as Tsukasa Yamamoto
Episodes: 4
Aired: Dec 2, 2017 – Dec 23, 2017
Network: WOWOW
Duration: 45 min.

Synopsis
Kanda (Shinichi Tsutsumi) is a producer of a popular quiz program. When he wakes up, he finds himself wearing a mysterious necklace and there a lot of business cards scattered on the floor. His daughter (Karen Otomo) is there and wearing the same necklace. Kanda and his daughter are locked up in a secret room. Mysterious man X (Masaki Okada) appears in front of Kanda. X suggests to him the “MeishiGame” (“Business Card Game”) with a 2 hour time limit. The rule of the game is for Kanda to find the business cards he received and return them to the owner of the business, but, if Kanda makes a mistake, his daughter will blow up. Kanda accepts the challenge to save his daughter and there is also a hidden secret.
My Thoughts
I cannot begin to talk about this drama and how twisted it was! Meishi Game is one serious roller-coaster ride as first sympathize with Kanda played brilliantly by Tsutsumi Shinichi and later hate him as you see what his character really is like from the constantly flashbacks that add substance to the drama as well as the story. While you watch the game to save his daughter played out, it is easy to feel sympathy with everyone; victims and players. But, once again as this is a WOWOW drama, things aren’t what they seem and this becomes more apparent with every episode you watch. With this being a short 4-episode drama, the story is fast-paced and by the end, you almost want more. Story is complete for sure! Once again, WOWOW=twisted!
Rating: 8/10


Joshi teki Seikatsu , Life As a Girl (2018)

Stars
Machida Keita as Goto Tadaomi
Shison Jun as Ogawa Miki
Koshiba Fuka as Yui
Shiori Tamai as Kaori
Suzuki Hiroki as Toshio [Miki’s brother]
Episodes: 4
Aired: Jan 5, 2018 – Jan 26, 2018
Network: NHK
Duration: 48 min.

Synopsis
Miki Ogawa yearned to live the life of a lovely girl and moved to the city from the countryside because of this. She holds a job at a fashion mail order company. Miki Ogawa also has a secret. She is transgender. Although she has a pretty woman’s appearance, her sex is male. One day, Tadaomi Goto appears in front of Miki Ogawa. They graduated from the same school. Tadaomi Goto is flusteredby Miki’s different appearance, but they happen to live together.
~~Based on the novel “Joshi teki Seikatsu” by Tsukasa Sakaki (published August, 2016 by Shinchosha)
My Thoughts
Surprised!? A drama that WASN’T from WOWOW that managed to WOW ME! This drama explored another pretty controversial subject matter here in the US; transgender. And what a convincing performance we received from Shison Jun as Miki. From the beginning to the end, I was convinced of his character. He had the mannerisms, walk, talk and just about anything you could associate with a woman down to a tee. I love that he was accepting of himself and made sure that everyone around him was comfortable. His fashion sense was well appreciated on his job by his boss and peers who accepted him totally. When Goto Tadaomi (Machida Keita) arrives on the scene as the unsuspecting classmate who needs a place to live, what you see is not a romance bloom but the continuation of a great friendship!! Overall, this was a well-done and too short drama. By the end, you just wanted some more!
Rating: 8.5/10

What do you think? Want to give these a try?

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Favorite Movies Watched for 2017…..so far

Movies and More Movies!

Movies are truly my passion! It was Asian movies that are responsible for grabbing my interest in drama watching.I was SOOOOO many movies each year. I wish I had the time to review all of them. Instead, let me give you a quick list of movies from 2017 hat I would recommend. MDL refers to MyDramalist website. Continue reading “Favorite Movies Watched for 2017…..so far”

K-Rap Nights in Washington, DC with BewhY, Mad Clown and San E (2018)

BewhY
Mad Clown & San E

WOW! 2 posts in the same month! I’m on a roll!! Korean rap hit the states with a vengeance last fall, 2017 and this Spring. Both concerts, I was fortunate to attend at the Howard Theater in Washington, DC. The theater is actually nice! My only complaint is when you reach a certain age, standing room only venues are NOT my favorites; however, one good thing that can help with the constant standing is if the music is right and the crowd is excited. Continue reading “K-Rap Nights in Washington, DC with BewhY, Mad Clown and San E (2018)”

Movie Monday – Battle of the Remakes ~ Golden Slumber (2010/2018)

Starring:
Japanese stars: Sakai Masato as Masaharu Aoyagi,Takeuchi Yuko as Haruko Higuchi, Aibu Saki as Koume Inoue, Ito Shiro as Hirakazu Aoyaki, Kagawa Teruyuki as Ichitaro Sasaki, Bengal as Shizuo Todoroki, and Hamada Gaku as Kill-O

Korean stars: Kang Dong Won as Gun Woo, Han Hyo Joo as Sun Yeong, Kim Sung Kyun as Geum Chul, Kim Eui Sung as Mr Min, Kim Dae Myung as Dong Gyu, and Jung Jae Sung as Jo Se Hyun

Rating: PG-13, subject matter and some violence

Running Time: 139 min (2010)/109 min (2018)

Twinkies: 3 1/2 (2010)/4 (2018) stars Continue reading “Movie Monday – Battle of the Remakes ~ Golden Slumber (2010/2018)”

Movie Monday-Detective K: Secret of the Living Dead (2018)

Starring: Kim Myung Min as Detective K, Oh Dal Soo as Seo Pil, Kim Sang Beom as Chun Moo, Lee Min Ki as Heuk Do Po, Kim Ji Won as Wol-Young, and Jang Yool, and Park Geun-Hyung as Kim Shin

Rating: PG-13, subject matter and some violence

Running Time: 120 min

Twinkies: 4 3/4 stars Continue reading “Movie Monday-Detective K: Secret of the Living Dead (2018)”

Drama Weekend with Gomen Aishiteru (2017)

Gomen Aishiteru
aka
I’m Sorry, I Love You

I love remakes when they honor the original story and is done well. No surprise here that the screenwriter, Taeko Asano (Love Generation, Kamisama Mou Sukoshi Dake, Last Friends) and Director, Ishii Yasuharu (Byakuyako, Kurosagi, Ouroboros) would put together a great rendition of one of my favorite super melodramas, the Korean drama, Sorry, I Love You. Continue reading “Drama Weekend with Gomen Aishiteru (2017)”

Movie Monday – Let’s Go JETS! (2017)

Starring: Hirose Suzu as Tomonaga Hikari, Nakajou Ayami as Tamaki Ayano, Amami Yuki as Saotome Kaoruko, Mackenyu as Yamashita Kosuke, Kentaro as Yashiro Hiroshi, and Yanagi Yurina as Reika Murakam

Rating: PG

Running Time: 121 min

Twinkies: 3 1/2 stars Continue reading “Movie Monday – Let’s Go JETS! (2017)”

Movie Monday – This Is Not What I Expected (2017)

Starring: Kaneshiro Takeshi as Lu Jin, Zhou Dong Yu as Gu Sheng Nan, Sun Sean as Xiao Meng, Yang Tony as Cheng Zi Qian

Rating: PG-13, subject matter

Running Time: 106 min

Twinkies: 4 1/2 stars Continue reading “Movie Monday – This Is Not What I Expected (2017)”

Happy New Years to ALL (2018)


I want to take this time to wish everyone a Happy New Year! As we enter the new year, I’m wishing the best for everyone. 2017 had its ups and down as it became clear that I had no time to devote to my blog as I had wished. Between work and the ups/downs of my personal life, I really had no time.

So, will 2018 be any better? Probably not. For work, I have many major projects that have to be completed this year. There is no time allowed to let the schedules slide. Another thing is the sadness we are expecting as my mother’s last remaining younger sister is at the end of her life. Time is really precious and we really need to spend time with love ones when we can. This year also marks the 2 year anniversary of my beloved sister’s death. Again, death is expected but that doesn’t make it any easier to accept.

Regardless. I hope that every has a wonderful and prosperous New Year. I do plan on returning to review at least one movie each month and I still have several blog posts to complete or write. Here are some of those I plan to write…one day:

A Night with beWhy in Washington DC (Concert review)
Best of 2017 Japanese Dramas (Still watching a few so I’m not ready)
Best 2017 Movies (Chinese,Japanese, Korean)
U-Prince Series (What’s Good, Bad, and Ugly)
Taiga Japanese Dramas I’ve Enjoyed in 2017 (Tenchijin, Chuushingura no Koi)
Astro Fan Meet in Washington DC (Upcoming in February 2018)

Movie Monday – Thanksgiving Holiday 2017 Movie Watch List~Adult Version

Beautiful Accident
Wolf Warriors II
Shock Wave
This Is Not What I Expected

Starring: See Cast List Below

Rating: PG13-R, subject matter and violence

Running Time: Varies

Twinkies: 4 stars and up Continue reading “Movie Monday – Thanksgiving Holiday 2017 Movie Watch List~Adult Version”