Japanese Dramas (and Motion Pictures)
Ideas for Possible Future Viewing
- Under the Miracle Cherry Tree
- Peanut Butter Sandwich
In Progress (5/211/2020)
Year 3: March 15, 2015-March 14, 2016
- Ando Lloyd = 安堂ロイド. A genius physicist is killed. Before he dies he creates an A.I. that looks exactly like himself. The A.I. time travels from 2113 to save the late physicist's fiancée.
- Minami-kun no Koi-bito (My Little Lover) = 南くんの恋人 (5 stars). Finished on 2/3/2016. The perfect fairy tale. My favorite JDrama. 5 stars.
Year 4: March 15, 2016-March 14, 2017
- Future Diary = 未来日記. Manga-based drama about 7 people with special phones that predict the future. (DramaFever).
- Tenchū = 天誅. Female ninga time travels 400 years ahead to the present day.
- The Hours of My Life = 僕のいた時間. An ordinary university student learns that he has ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease). Extremely heart warming. 5 stars.
- Galileo = ガリレオ. A university professor helps a detective woman solve some "mysteries." Episodic. Each episode is self-contained. Originally abandoned after watching all but two episodes. Decided to return to watch it.
- Clinic on the Sea = 海の上の診療所. A hospital boat goes around the inland sea of Japan visiting small islands. After abandoning this after two episodes, returned to watch all 11 episodes. 3 stars.
- Good Morning Call = グッドモーニング・コール. Based on a manga series. On Netflix. Finished 11/23/2016.
- From Five to Nine = 5時から9時まで. Quit after 5 episodes of the male lead--a Buddhist monk--being a total jerk. Revisited later and liked the last 5 episodes (6-10). Finished 1/27/2017. On KissAsian.com
- We Married as a Job = 逃げるは恥だが役に立つ. An unemployed woman cleans house for a terminally shy man 10 years older. They decide to (pretend to?) get married "as a job." Very funny--one of my favorite Japanese Dramas. Finished on 2/1/2017. On NewAsianTV.me.
- It's Sudden but Tomorrow We're Getting Married = 突然ですが明日結婚します(on ＠KissAsian and @NewAsianTV and maybe a few others.) A girl from a happy family meets a television star. She wants to get married; he doesn't. (I won't spoil it for you.)
Year 5: March 15, 2017-March 14, 2018
- Koinaka = 恋仲 ("Love" or "Love Relationship"). Two grade schoolers named Aoi fall for the same girl. Years later one of them marries the girl. Which one will it be? Finished on 3/27/2017 on @Viki.
- I'm Mita, Your Houskeeper = 家政婦のミタ. A dysfunctional family becomes even more dysfunctional until a dysfunctional housekeeper shows up. Watched last episode 4/23/2017 on @Viki.
- I'm Your Destiny = ボク、運命の人です (on @KissAsian)
- Dating: What's It Like to Be in Love? = デート - 恋とはどんなものかしら? [ Deto - Koi to wa Donna Mono Kashira?] (on @KissAsian)
- Sunshine = おひさま. This would have been our 11th Japanese Drama, but its subtitles weren't all translated. Initially watched episodes 1-21 and 31-40 in late 2016. In June or July 2017 we noticed that episodes 22-30 and 41-52 had been translated, so we resumed. Finished episode 52 on 5 Oct 2017 on @Viki. The plot had its ups and downs, but ended on a happy note. It begins in the period leading up to World War II and ends in about 1953, as narrated by a woman in the present-day.
- Teddy Go! 4 30-minute episodes. Not sure what it was about, but it was good Japanese practice.
- Long Vacation (YouTube, 11 episodes). A piano student's roommate is a no show, leaving his prospective bride high and dry.
- Hero  (YouTube, 11 episodes). About prosecutors in Tokyo.
- Gokusen [Part 1] (YouTube). 3rd generation yakuza heiress becomes a high school teacher to a bunch of hoodlums.
- Atelier. A company in Tokyo makes custom women's underwear.
- Ryōmaden = 龍馬伝 (DramaFever, 48 episodes). Historical drama that chronicles the role of Sakamoto Ryōma in Japan's modernization in the 19th century. He was instrumental in the development of Japan's navy in response to the arrival of the American Commodore Matthew Perry's 1853. His efforts were part of what led to the transfer of power from the Shogun to the Emperor and the Meiji Restoration in the late 1860's. (Fascinating for this former student of Japanese.)
- Final Fantasy XIV: Dad of Light = ファイナルファンタジーＸＩＶ 光のお父さん. A Father and son play Final Fantasy III when it is released. Then, years later, they play Final Fantasy IV. Watched all eight short episodes of this TV drama on Netflix on 22-23 February 2018.
Year 6: March 15, 2018-March 14, 2019
- Yae's Sakura = 八重の桜. (DramaFever, 50 episodes). Historical drama about Niijima Yae, a skilled markswoman during the period of the Meiji Restoration. She received the nickname "Bakumatsu Joan of Arc." (Bakumatsu refers to the final years of the Edo period when the Tokugawa shogunate ended, between 1853 and 1867.) If you enjoy Ryōmaden, you'll like this one. Watched final episode 1 May 2018.
- Partners by Blood / Bitter Blood = ビター・ブラッド. Rookie detective is assigned to work with his father. Funny until the last three episodes, which were a bomb. Finished 13 June 2018. On DramaFever.
- Satorare. About a brilliant physician who was a Satorare—a fictional category of individuals whose thoughts could be heard by everyone nearby. Finished on 16 Jun 2018.
- By Chance (2018) =恋上你的颜. Feature movie. A Chinese woman who has been pursuing her doctorate in psychology for eight years has her thesis rejected yet again. She receives an email from a Japanese businessman who wants to take her photograph—her photo posted on social media looks just like his late fiancée, who died without him being able to take her photo. On Viki
- Doctor X (season 1). A free-lance female doctor goes against the Japanese medical establishment. Finished season 1 on 4 Aug 2018. On Amazon Prime.
- Switched = 宇宙（そら）を駆けるよだか. A high school girl watches another girl attempt suicide by jumping off a roof. She doesn't die. Instead, the two girls switch bodies. 6 episodes on Netflix.
- Mary and the Witch's Flower = メアリと魔女の花. Feature movie, animated, about a girl who finds a mysterious flower that empowers her to become a witch for one night. The 6th highest grossing movie in Japan in 2017. Watched 18 August 2018 on Netflix.
- Love and Hong Kong (2017) = 恋する香港. A Japanese actress is in Hong Kong for a shoot. Another Japanese woman uses the actress's photo as her avatar. A scuffle ensues, and the actress is kidnapped in the place of the other woman. Watched final (4th) episode on Netflix 26 Sep 2018.
- Black Leather Notebook = 黒革の手帖. A woman gets a job as a temp at a bank to pay off debts of her late mother. The becomes a hostess at a club on the Ginza in Tokyo. Watched episodes 1–4 and 8 only. (Skipped 5–7 out of boredom.) Finished 12 Oct 2018 on DramaFever.
- Trumpet on a Cliff = 絶壁の上のトランペット. Full-length feature film. A woman photography student in Tokyo has a heart transplant and goes to Okinawa to recover. She meets Zio, who plays trumpet on a cliff. (He also plays a mean carrot that sounds like a beautiful clarinet!) Viewed 18 Oct 2018 on Viki.
- Love Stories from Fukuoka. Watched 11th (and only?) episode on 24 Oct 2018. Quite liked this one.
- Overprotected Kahoko =過保護のカホコ. A college-degree-holding woman still depends on her overprotective mother to decide whatever she does. It ended up better than it began. Enjoyable. Finished 2 Dec 2018 on Viki.
- Caution, Hazardous Wife = 奥様は、取り扱い注意. A quiet, low-key housewife ends up being capable of fending off the most dangerous bad guys. Really liked this one! Finished 9 Dec 2018 on Viki.
- Pretty Proofreader = 地味にスゴイ! 校閲ガール・河野悦子. A fashion-conscious 28-year-old woman who wants to work for a fashion magazine is able to get a job as proofreader. Watched last episode 14 Feb 2019 on Viki. Five stars.
- My Long Awaited Love Story = わたしに運命の恋なんてありえないって思ってた. 90-minute feature film on Viki. A woman who designs dating games consults with a large video game company. The CEO is clueless about women. The designer is able to teach the CEO about love. Definitely five stars!
- A Sharply Graceful Girl = はんなりギロリの頼子さん. A writer of articles for a Tokyo magazine is sent to Kyoto because he didn't measure up to the standards of the main office. He meets a girl who was born in Kyoto but doesn't speak with a Kyoto accent. She provides material for articles about Kyoto. 4 episodes, 20 minutes each. Watched on Viki 11 Mar 2019. Five stars.
Year 7: March 15, 2019–March 14, 2020
- Time Taxi = 素敵な選TAXI. A taxi can take its passengers back in time to a time they choose (for a fare, of course [most of the time]). Some of the episodes showed a great sense of humor. Watched last episode on Viki on March 24, 2019. Four stars. (Some episodes were 5.)
- Sumika Sumire = ウミカスミレ. A 65-year-old woman frees a magical cat from a painting. It enables her to relive her youth. Watched last (8th) episode Viki on April 5, 2019. Five stars.
- Osaka Loop Line = 大阪環状線. Ten short independent episodes that occur near stops on Osaka JR line that circles the city. Finished 10 April 2019.
- Stay Tuned = チャンネルはそのまま. Five episodes about a smaller television station in Sapporo. Watched last episode 28 April 2019. 3 stars. On Netflix.
- May I Blackmail You? = 今からあなたを脅迫します. A man helps people in trouble by blackmailing the perpetrator of the trouble. A woman with unlimited funds tries to help others from the natural consquences of their actions. Finished 7 Jun 2019 on Viki.
- In Time with You = 僕はまだ君を愛さないことができ. A man and a woman—best friends since high school—finally realize that they love each other by the time they reach their 31st birthdays. Might have been 5 stars except for the ending, which bombed. The writer couldn't decide whether or not the two would marry, leaving an open ending for the viewers. Finished 3 Sep 2019 on Viki. 4 stars.
- Rilakkuma and Kaoru = リラックマとカオルさん (animated). A nice, stress-free drama about a woman, two bears, and a bird. Each episode is 10-15 minutes long. I like the bird the best. Watched last episode 16 Sep 2019.
- Takane and Hana = 高嶺と花. Based on an anime, a fun drama consisting of eight 25-minute episodes about an arranged marriage between the son of a rich family and a high school girl who was substituted for her older sister (who had no interest in the son). Watched last episode 28 Sep 2019 on Viki.
- Erased. Based on a manga, then anime, about a boy who tries to prevent murders by going back in time. He is able to save his mother and several schoolmates. He identifies the murderer, and—after awaking from a coma after 15 years, he manages to serve justice to the murderer. Rather dark and depressing. Finished watching 7 Nov 2019 on Netflix.
- Tuna Girl (motion picture). Like a documentary on saving tunas (fish)
- Ramen Shop (motion picture). Watch chefs cook and eat food in Japan and Singapore.
- When One Day I Will Sleep = いつか眠りにつく日. Six short (25-minute) episodes about a high school girl who dies when a school bus traveling to a school outing is involved in a crash. She meets the Reaper and sets straight things that need to be resolved. Then, a surprising ending shows that things aren't really what they seem. Very enjoyable. Finished 2 Dec 2019 on Viki.
- Hoping to Give You a Big Hug Tonight = 今夜勝手に抱きしめてもいいですか. Drama about three women and two men in love triangles (or is it a love pentagon?). One woman (a teacher of young children?) loves a college student (guy), who loves another college student, who meets her long-lost childhood first love (who has just become a well-known photographer). The rich daughter of a CEO also loves the photographer. Finished 21 Dec 2019 on Viki.
- Secret Unrequited Love = 僕の初恋をキミに捧ぐ. When the male lead was 8 years old and was in the hospital for heart problems, he met the female lead. Then promised to get married when they grew up. (He also met another girl, with whom he made some sort of promises.) The main action occurs when they are in high school. The end of the drama left me hanging, unfortunately. Seven 40-minute episodes. Finished watching 25 Feb 2020 on Viki.
- Hey Sensei, Don't You Know? = ねぇ先生、知らないの? Six half-hour episodes. A drama about a manga writer and her hair dresser. Unfortunately, the entire drama is about how the hair dresser finally gets the manga writer to "reward" him with sex. (I had to fast forward the last 10 minutes of the final episode. A complete waste of time. 0 stars. Finished on 12 Mar 2020 on Viki.
Year 8: March 15, 2020–March 14, 2021
- Criminologist Himura and Mystery Writer Arisugawa = 臨床犯罪学者 火村英生の推理. Patterned after Sherlock Holmes and Watson, a criminologist named Himura Hideo and a friend who writes mystery novels named Arisugawa Arisu work together to solve cases. Several cases are intertwined throughout the ten episodes. Watched last episode on 22 Mar 2020 on Viki.
- Is This Love Checkmate!? = この恋はツミなのか!? A 24-year-old salaryman who has never interacted with a girl in his life chances upon a 32-year-old woman who plays shōgi. Four 22-minute episodes. Watched all four on 11 May 2020 on Viki.
- Secret Message (JDrama/Kdrama). No plot. Couldn't figure this one out.
- Rainbow Rose. Hyper giggly Korean drama, overdubbed in Japanese with English subtitles. Slept through episode 1 on 12/2/2016. Can't bear to watch another episode.
- Second to Last Love. I was initially very hopeful about this. However, after the two main actors slept together in episode 2 and talked openly about it at the beginning of episode 3, I lost all interest.
- 99 Days with a Star = 僕とスターの99日
- Samurai Gourmet (Netflix)
- You're My Pet. Watched one episode. Too "kinky."
- No Dropping Out, Back to School (an adult in high school)
- Blue Fire. Main character goes to art school, only to realize that many others are as good as he is. Watched 1-2 episodes.
- Hibana. About a comedian.
- Midnight Diner. Stopped after 1 1/3 episodes as it exceeded my threshold of raciness.
- Mischievous Kiss (Japanese version). Watched 4-5 episodes.
- Spring Has Come. Watched 2 episodes. Abandoned after it became apparent that the father was secretly a drag queen.
- Queen of Mystery. Lost interest after 5-6 episodes.
- Kantaro, Sweet-Toothed Salary Man
- Vampire Heaven
- Doctor X, season 2 (Amazon Prime) (might return to this one)
- The Perfect Insider (might watch more of this one?)
- A Girl's Breakfast. First episode had too much talk about who was having an affair at the moment. Boring.
- Frankenstein's Love
- Tokyo Tarareba Girls. Dropped after 2 episodes because everyone was having affairs.
- Fugitive Boys. Slept through most of the first episode.
- Holiday Love. Too racy for me.
- Age Harassment. Excessive harassment in the workplace. No plot otherwise. Gave up after watching half of the first episode.
- Swim! No plot at all. Barely made it through the first 9 minutes of episode 1.
- Adult High School. Dumped this one after 10 minutes and 30 seconds. Totally boring.
- Aino Mating Agency Inc. Slept through entire first episode. Not worth watching any more.
- Osaka Loop Line 2
- I Bought My Boyfriend on a Loan
- Scam$. Too depraved for me. Didn't finish first episode.
- My Moochy Boyfriend. Watched only one episode. Totally stupid
- Giri/Haji. Quit after watching half of episode 1. Far too R-rated. (7 Feb 2020)