I’m totally a Japanese Dorama freak! Not that I dislike Korean Doramas, it’s just that since I can’t speak a single word in Korean and I can speak a bit of Japanese I kinda feel better watching the Japanese ones.
I’m always watching some Dorama series (way more than anime or other TV shows) and I made a list of the ones I found more interesting on the past few monthes that you certainly won’t regret seeing. Here it goes:
1 – Switch Girl and Switch Girl 2: Probably one of the cutest doramas I’ve ever watched and very loyal to the manga version. It’s about a girl with ON and OFF modes that can be switched according to the situation. With the amazing Mariya Nishiuchi, who is one of my favourite japanese actresses and co-starring Renn Kiriyama as her romantic partner Arata.
2 – Detarame Hero: Meaning something like “random Hero”. It’s Funny and yet touching story about the transformation of a slob guy into a real hero after being putted in charge of his 8-year-old nephew and the acquisition of some “strange pills” that provide super powers to those who eat them. Starring Ryuta Sato as the protagonist Kenta.
3 – No Dropping Out: The story of a 35-year-old woman with a mysterious past that returns to finish high school and ends up changing the life of many people, including herself. Starring Ryoko Yonekura as the 35-years-old Baba Ayako.
4 – Death Note: It starts really bad but gets really awesome. It’s not very loyal to the manga or the anime story but it keeps it interesting. The fans opinions about it are very controversal, some of them love it and some of them hate it. So it’s the kinda of thing you really must watch to draw your own conclusions. Starring Kubota Masataka as Raito Yagami (his “Kira face” is pretty awesome), Kento Yamazaki as L and Hinako Sano as Misa Amane. I also wrote 2 reviews about it here and here if you want to learn more.
5 – Yamada-kun and the seven witches: Also based on a manga/anime, somewhat loyal to the original story. With Yusuke Yamamoto as Yamada Ryu and also starring Mariya Nishiuchi as the first witch Urara Shiraishi. As expect from the doramas she works, with lots of funny moments.
6 – Rebound: It criticizes japanese over skinny standards through the very funny story of a young woman who struggles with her weight to keep her job at a fashion magazine. Things got messy when she falls in love with a Pâtisserie chef. Starring Aibu Saki as Oba Nobuko.
7 – Wild Mom (Abarenbou Mama): Very touching but also very fun Dorama. It’s about a young woman who suddenly becomes her husband’s son “new mommy”. Starring Aya Ueto as Ayu.
8 – Itazura na Kiss (Misschievous kiss) – Love in Tokyo and Itazura na Kiss 2 – Love in Okinawa: It’s a very good adaptation of a manga series and probably one of the funniest dorama series I’ve watched lately. It’s about a plain girl who falls in love with the most handsome and intelligent boy of her class (kind cliché, I know – but certainly worths watching). It’s nice to see how their relationship develops from nothing (or despise, maybe?) into real love. Starring Yuki Furukawa (I also adore him) as Irie Naoki and the cute Honoka Miki as Kotoko.
9 – Last Cinderella: About a middle age woman who lives a lonely life when suddenly a beard thread appears on her face. Her friends say it’s because she’s too manly. It kinda criticizes japanese patriarchal society as well. I really like one of its theme songs called “Last Love” by Rihwa.
Starring Ryoko Shinohara, co-starring Naohito Fujiki as Rintaro Tachibana and the ubberly cute Miura Haruma! ❤
10 – Kokoro ga Pokitto ne: And at last but not least you definitely must watch Kokoro ga Pokitto ne. It’s a very emotional story about 4 very different people whose lives got completely entwined. With an amazing cast like:
Abe Sadao as Kojima Haruta (I didn’t know this actor before but he totally won my heart with this role)
Mizuhara Kiko as Hayama Miyako
Fujiki Naohito as Otake Shin (He also appears in Last Cinderella)
Yamaguchi Tomoko as Kamoda Shizuka
Tokunaga Eri as Itoyama Fumi
Yamashita Rio as Makino Eriko
Nagase Tasuku as Tomita Ryo
Ikezu Shoko as Shoji Kayoko
You should probably prepare your tissues, tears may come out :~
Most of these Doramas can be legally watched through Crunchyroll 😉