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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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)”

Japanese Winter Drama Season Review (2017)

Rakuen (2017)
Tokyo Tarareba Musume (2017)
Quartet (2017)
Seirei no Moribito II: Kanashiki Hakaishin (2017)

Sadly, I’m STILL watching Winter season dramas. Talk about biting off more than you can chew! I think I started a total of 20 dramas from this season and finished around 12 so far. Of the 12, I can safely say these four easily bubble to the top of my list. Let’s get started. Continue reading “Japanese Winter Drama Season Review (2017)”

Movie Monday – High and Low: The Red Rain (2016)

Starring: TAKAHIRO as Amamiya Masaki, Tosaka Hiroomi as Amamiya Hiroto, Saito Takumi as Amamiya Takeru, Yoshimoto Miyu as Aika Naruse, Iwata Takanori as Cobra, and Suzuki Nobuyuki as Yamato

Rating: R, subject matter and some violence

Running Time: 110 min

Twinkies: 4 1/2 stars Continue reading “Movie Monday – High and Low: The Red Rain (2016)”

Drama Marathon – Bewitched in Tokyo (2004)


Inane, silly, fun? Just think about all the goofy adjectives that comes to mind and it pretty much describes this drama. I would definitely classify this as an ‘easy watch’. No drama tropes, no love triangle, and truly a remake of one of my favorite shows from the distant past, Bewitched with the late Elizabeth Montgomery. Continue reading “Drama Marathon – Bewitched in Tokyo (2004)”

Spring 2017 J-Drama Wish List

Spring 2017
Japanese Dramas

I’ve pretty much have done a post for what I want to watch since last winter season, 2016. It never fails that I’m always disappointed at the number of dramas on my list I DON’T get to watch. I think this season will be full of disappointments also. There are some I would be surprised if they aren’t subbed (Crisis and Boku, Unmei no Hito desu) and some that I kind of want to watch even more (Hokuto and Bouncer); however, here is my official wish list for Spring 2017. Not that long as there really isn’t a lot I want to watch but these definitely bubble to the top of my must-see list. Continue reading “Spring 2017 J-Drama Wish List”

Movie Monday – Battle of the Remakes ~ Haunters vs Monsterz (2010/2014)

Starring: Haunters (See cast list here and Monsterz (See cast list here)

Rating: R, subject matter and some violence

Running Time: 114 min

Twinkies: 4 1/2 hypnotic stars Continue reading “Movie Monday – Battle of the Remakes ~ Haunters vs Monsterz (2010/2014)”

Japanese Drama Winter 2017 Wish List ~ Once Again Incredibly Long!


Without a doubt, there are so many dramas this season that I want to see. I was very fortunate that almost every drama on my wish list was subbed! As a matter of fact, I ended up watching a whole lot more! Thank you, subbers for making my dismal 2016 bearable. Now, if I can put these in my drama shopping list now, here are the dramas I am BEGGING get subbed this season! Yeah, the list is long once again! Continue reading “Japanese Drama Winter 2017 Wish List ~ Once Again Incredibly Long!”

Japanese Fall Season 2016 – A Banner Watch Season For Me!

Japanese Fall Season 2016
Japanese Fall Season 2016

This had to be the best season to watch Japanese dramas! This was the first time that my watched list exceeded my wish list by leaps and bounds! The Fall season started in late September and now that we approach January, 2017, I’ve seen all but one of the dramas to completion. That is a total of 11 dramas! 11!! That is some kind of record for me! I loved that the season covered every genre: from thriller to crime, to romance and comedy. A little of something for everyone! Continue reading “Japanese Fall Season 2016 – A Banner Watch Season For Me!”