Japanese Drama Review for 2013-The Ones You May Not Have Heard Of

       Japanese Drama 
        2013 Year in Review    
           Romance, Drama, Comedy
Late but not forgotten! I love Japanese dramas! I feel in some genres like Medical, Suspense, Crime, Psychological, and Thriller, the Japanese excel. Let me take it one step further, only the Japanese can get me to watch High School dramas!
Even I can’t watch the Korean ones! Though I love the Japanese dramas, I find them hard to find with English subs or on websites that I can comfortably watch. So, from year to year, I don’t get to watch as many as I want “I miss Dramacrazy TEARS”! Here are a few that I was able to watch and I enjoyed.
Synopsis: When the new students arrive at the White Witch Academy, the young girls have come to learn the art of witchcraft but must all put the pains of their lives behind them to focus on their studies. As they are given assignments and tasks to develop and hone their magical powers, the girls must also earn the rights and privileges to use those powers. But will they be able to complete the ultimate final challenge to become a full-fledged White Witch? Shiromajo Gakuen/Innocent Lilies is a new 2013 Japanese drama series starting in September that stars Moga Mogami, Nemu Yumemi, Mirin Furukawa, Eimi Naruse and Ayane Fujisaki.
My Thoughts: I must preface with the following: If you are expecting romance; don’t watch. If you are squeamish about violence: don’t watch. If sexual innuendo gives you the creeps: don’t watch. And most of all, if you think this is Sailor Moon: you better damn sure make sure you don’t let your kids watch! This is my final warning! 
Man, I watched this having no idea what it was about. Imagine my shock after the first episode. You doubt me? Watch the first episode and report back to me. I guarantee, your mouth will drop like mine did. But getting past the violence, sometime choppy story line, I had a great time watching it. The action was sensational. I found out afterwards that most of the actresses are part of a singing group but then blame it on my ignorance of Asian pop music that I didn’t know that. Overall, I was duly impressed with the acting and the action was KICK A$$!
Where Did I Watch? Viki.com


Synopsis: The story continues with Michiko still working as a freelance doctor at the Teito University Hospital. Enjoying herself at a horse-race in Hokkaido from an invite by Dr Kanbara Akira, Michiko happens to chance upon a scene at the owners’ box. The elegant woman draped in a fur coat, sipping champagne with her handsome younger lover. Her attention is soon diverted to the race, as she cheers on the horse that she had bet on. Suddenly, the said horse veered into the path of another horse, causing a nasty fall. Michiko then overhears the elegant woman, who happens to be the injured horse’s owner, lamenting “A hundred million yen horse, euthanised just like that”. To which the vet replies, “Even a surgery will result in 100% failure”. Michiko then chimes in, “If it was me, I would succeed”…
My Thoughts: Oh my goodness! I just LOVE Daimon Michiko! It is rare that a sequel is just as good as the first! Yonekura Ryoko as Michiko, she was fierce and totally in control, again!! I loved how every procedure was explained with a diagram of the body and depicted whatever type of surgery that was being performed with thorough details. I loved the addition of Fujiki Naohito as Kondo Shinobu which was a sure thing for me. Between the manager, Kanbara Akira played by Kishibe Ittoku , the everyday ‘Gyoi’ by all of the male doctors or just the massive crowds during the rounds, I can’t say I was ever bored.
Where Did I Watch? Gooddrama.net

Synopsis: Doctor Kouta Sezaki works on a clinic ship, which sails around the Seto Inland Sea. He’s talented as a doctor, but possesses a weakness to fall easily in love with women. When he lands at an island, Kouta falls in love with a woman from that island. He tries to solve a medical problem which that woman has and makes other people get involved in her situation. Nevertheless, Doctor Kouta Sezaki is rejected by that woman and, with tearing eyes, moves on to the next island.
My Thoughts: First of all, a Matsuda Shota drama, enough said! But Shota in a comedy? My first and I was glad I watched it. Shota as the poor, lovesick who falls for every woman he meets, Sezaki Kouta was hilarious! From episode 1 until the end, he would basically fall in love with EVERYONE. It was cute! The drama was definitely quirky. Takei Emi as Togami Mako was Kouta’s opposite. I had seen her only once before in W no Higeki, so this was a totally different role. This drama was really straightforward and easy to watch. But the one thing you will definitely notice is the gorgeous backdrop of the islands around Seto Inland Sea. Erika Toka has a brief cameo role in the drama and made me miss the Liar Game days once more.
Where Did I Watch? Dramafever.com but I’m sure it is available on other sites.
Synopsis: Kuzumi Kenta is a lowlife moocher whose tendency to always do absolutely nothing because he thinks doing anything is troublesome, is a sure sign that he is NOT a hero. However, upon eating mysterious candy, Kenta discovers that his physical strength and sensory abilities are increased tenfold for exactly ten minutes. When a police officer, his best friend Tanba Shuiji, discovers this ability, Kenta is forced to use his newly found abilities for good.
My Thoughts: Stupid and funny? Check. Grown man running around in a Super Hero outfit? Check. Cute kid? Check. If that is your kind of drama, this one is for you. This was my first time seeing Sato Ryuta and he is pretty funny. Much of this is really slapstick humor. What else can you call it when you see a grown man running around in a super hero outfit!! Motokariya Yuika as Natsuki was cute as the convenience store worker that Kenta saves at the beginning. It’s full of laughs that is for sure.
Where Did I Watch? Crunchyroll.com
Synopsis: Koharu lost her husband Shin in an unexpected accident. Koharu must go on for her two children Nozomi and Riku. Koharu works hard to make a living, but her financial situation does not improve. She goes to the social welfare office to apply for assistance, but is refused due to not meeting certain requirements. An employee at the welfare office asks Koharu if she has family that can support her, but she says no. Koharu’s father passed away and her mother Sachi left her and her father for another man twenty years ago. They have been estranged since then. An employee at the welfare office then contacts Sachi. Her mother makes it known she will provide support for Koharu. Meanwhile, Koharu is stunned by her mother’s response. After twenty years, Koharu decides to meet her mother again.
My Thoughts: Things that I learned while watching Woman: I am unforgiving; I am not a saint; I am unforgiving (wait, I said that already). Woman is a powerful and brilliantly written drama. It literally takes us through the hardships and life of a woman and mother of 2 children who loses her husband under tragic (and unfair) circumstances. The financial difficulties that she endures alone would be daunting to most of us. But what is most important, is how she deals with them to include putting aside her negative feelings against her mother who she felt abandoned her so that her children could live a better life. I cannot say that this drama didn’t contain a sad story or tragic scenes but what it did show us was a representation of real life. Even though Oguri Shun’s role was basically a cameo, when he was on the screen, it was very, very memorable!
Where Did I Watch?  I don’t remember now but it is available on Drama.net
I watched a few more JDramas but most of them were from previous years. It is like I am trying to catch up on all of the dramas I missed but I do have a preference for the older dramas. There are some I failed to mention because I just didn’t like them (you’d be surprised, but if you knew me, probably not). You definitely might want to consider some of these! They were funny, serious and really good.


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