Hey, folks! ^-^
Here comes the second part of my "Why you should try" series! :)
This time the topic is: JAPANESE DRAMAS.
I'll be introducing all MDL countries in case you haven't tried them all yet. This will bring more variety and more fun for us. ;) I hope you'll like it and maybe give some Jdramas a chance! :) Or perhaps you already discovered them and are on the hunt for new recommendations.^^
► Again I got some help from these lovely people:
Sumi: I'm your average older woman with no life. At first an almost exclusively Japanese dramas' watcher since 2010, who is leaning more and more towards Thai series. I'm watching Asian dramas to forget that I'm not even in the credits of my real-life movie, and to have a glimpse at how people from the other side of the world are living. (Tine: but you'll be in the credits of my article ^-^)
burhaaadmi: I'm a middle-aged male who's been watching East Asian Dramas since 2013. After ca. 100 K-Dramas, I tried my first J-dorama (Nobunaga Concerto) and was hooked. Shibasaki Kou was all kinds of amazing, leading me to check out more of her other works, including of course the awesome Orange Days.
OAL: Hi (wave). I am Old Anime Lady. I have been watching Anime for 25 years and found Jdramas in 2016. I am a writer for MDL and a top 20 contributor to the database. Hajimemashite! if this is your first time meeting me, and Konnichiwa! to those that know me. : )
Me: Yo! Surprise, it's me again.^^ Then let's not waste time and get started:
Sumi: Japan is offering a wide range of dramas. They have very different tones: from pure comedy to very dark-themed stories. Japan is the country that proved me that unlikely plots could turn out to be wonderful watching experiences (Ninkyo helper, Liar Game…). They don't make reality look better than it is. Japan is also famous for its slices of life stories: a genre I would avoid at all cost ten years ago became my favourite nowadays. Because Japanese people are able to make you feel love and caring through everyday life and small gestures or gazes. I love the subtility of those moments more than confessions or kisses.
burhaaadmi: Less is More: for me, the biggest win for J-doramas is that they are short. Japan has much to teach about tight, compact storytelling. Hannari Girori no Yoriko San is an outstanding example of this: an engaging tale told in just 4 episodes. Female empowerment: J-doramas like Legal V, Takane No Hana and many more are quite happy to make the FL a genius, either intellectually or in some creative field. Quirky Fun: Even when dealing with a well-established trope such as contract marriage, some dramas show Japan's ability to spin it differently.
OAL: Since I watch very little of other countries I cannot compare, but what I like about Japanese Doramas is the lack of fear of tackling serious subjects. Sometimes with japans special brand of humour, but they don't shrink away. They are unafraid to poke fun at themselves and do parodies that make you think. Most of their dramas highlight the human condition, and I like that.
Me: I think when it comes to High school dramas, Japan is the best. They make very cute and fluffy school dramas (Good morning Call), of course with serious touches, or else it wouldn't be a drama, lol. I also like their sense of humour most of the time (Hanazakari no Kimitachi e).^^ And I guess Japan is famous for their naive FL's, which might not be everyone's cup of tea. But then, they also suddenly come up with dramas with unique plots, that totally flash you. <3
Sumi: I thought this idea –of two bored high shool boys producing a bullied new student to make her become popular–, was unrealistic and would definitely lead to stupid situations. Surprisingly, it deals with all the topics with more subtility than expected, and some crazy situations are balanced by very realistic and on point actions. All the characters are endearing. This story is talking about life as a high school student, respect, learning to know each other, and trusting. Most of all, it is a drama that is celebrating friendship, and nothing matters more than that to me. It was the first drama I gave a 10 rating.
Sumi: A unique story of four unrelated musicians gathering for an obscure reason and spending some time in a remote area in Hokkaido. Unexpected, hilarious situations, slice of life vibes and a suspenseful backstory create one of those little gems we are all looking for. Despite its uniqueness, it is the drama I could recommend to anyone, no matter what they like, and even to people who don't watch Asian dramas. It changed my view of the actors too. Another 10 rating, for the same exact reason: friendship. Bonus: beautiful OST.
Okitegami Kyoko is a forgetful Detective. Her memory is reset at night, but she can solve all her cases within a day. Yakusuke Kakushidate, who has a crush on her, is always mistaken by her as the culprit of a case.
burhaaadmi: Aragaki Yui OWNS this role, and her character is AWESOME. She's super sharp, and always in charge, and the development of the romance is PERFECT, right to the poignant end. I think the ML may be the most evolved ML I've seen in terms of his attitude and conduct toward the FL.
Moriyama Mikuri starts working as a housekeeper for Tsuzaki Hiramasa by chance. One day, he proposes a contract marriage to her. They get married in secret, but how will their married life turn out?
burhaaadmi: More of the VERY lovely Ms. Aragaki, I like this one for the development of the relationship between the OTP and of course for THE DANCE!!! - That dance is just all kinds of super fantabulous fun and helped make the Drama quite irresistible.
OAL: Tokyo bandwagon is about family, not tv - perfect family, but a real family. With different people, different personalities living together with the bond of familial love. It also showcases a generational household with 4 generations under one roof and the different ideologies from each generation having to blend together. Also, the outsider coming into this atmosphere and being accepted with all your flaws. Slight romance, family with a dash of silly, in the form of spontaneous song.
OAL: There has been nothing like it since. It was as shocking when it aired – as it is now. It's about parents with money and one child on the way to Todai. They hire a tutor –with a 100% guarantee to get anyone into Todai (Tokyo University)– for the second child, who has become a shut-in. The tutor uses drastic measures and subterfuge to reveal the failure, starting with the parents being more concerned with money and status than their children's school life.
|Todome No Kiss|
Me: An arrogant and greedy for money ML meets a mysterious woman, who can turn back a certain amount of time by kissing. This drama was so unique, definitely one of my favourites. I especially love the character development of the ML here. <3
Me: Ok: this is definitely a must-watch, even for those who only watch romance –like me, lol. It's about Light Yagami, who one day finds a book, which can kill people if their name is written in it. It belongs to a Shinigami and comes along with some rules. And then there is the genius young detective L, who tries to catch Yagami. This is a masterpiece. I think it's a little better than the J-movies because there is more time for the characters to develop. It's amazing. Watch it! xD
Sumi: … something unique. No, to be true, whatever mood you can be, there's always a Japanese drama that can heal your pain, or feed your appetite.
burhaaadmi: ... a different perspective, less predictable outcomes, and the satisfaction on stories told almost without pointless filler stuffed in to make up an inflated episode count.
OAL: ... I have a Jdrama for every mood since 96% of what I have watched in 4 years has been Japanese.
Me: ... cute and light school drama to give you a good feeling. Or a unique story you will be amazed over. Most Jdramas are not that long, so it's an easy watch.^^
Sumi: I often see people complain about over the top acting and humour, too short length, and bad cinematography. I've honestly never understood those statements. The acting will depend on the kind of show you are watching: manga adaptations often have over the top acting fitting the original material, but WOWOW crime series have some of the soberest, subtle and straight to the point acting. Japan is sticking to its usual length (10-12 episodes). It seems like an effective format, where the story doesn't drag too much and can still unfold efficiently. What stroke me when I first went to Japan was how close to their dramas' depiction this country and its people are. I feel the same while watching a Japanese drama or when I'm there: relaxed, safe, entertained, and at home.
OAL: In my native language, I tend to watch dark, sci-fi/fantasy and superhero shows like Buffy the vampire slayer and Supernatural. Also shows like Criminal Minds, CSI, and Bones. Japanese dramas are light for me comparatively OR fall right in my wheelhouse : ) ~Ja Ne
Me: I hope you liked this article too and maybe give Jdramas a chance now if you haven't yet. ;) The next article will introduce Chinese Dramas, so keep staying tuned.^^
Big Thanks to my J-trio:
I don't own any pictures: they are taken from the MDL sites and Google. Credits to the respective owners. The headers are done by myself.