Mini J-drama puffs: 2022 half-time round-up

Greetings after a long while of silence. Hope everyone’s been doing well and watching dramas! In the past few months, I’ve watched a number of Japanese dramas but just haven’t had the energy to dedicate specific posts to each of them. So here’s a wrap of what I’ve put my eyeballs on so far.

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A Business Proposal

Greetings after a long silence. Hope everyone is still keeping well and watching dramas! Lately, I’ve been in the mood for something light and took a chance on A Business Proposal after hearing good feedback from friends.

Shin Ha-ri (Kim Se-jeong) works as a food researcher at a company and is also best friends with a chaebol heiress, Jin Young-seo (Seol In-ah). Ha-ri agrees to go on a blind date in place of Young-seo, but is shocked when the prospective partner turns out to be Kang Tae-moo (Ahn Hyo-seop), the president of the company Ha-ri works for…

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It’s been a while since I watched a drama that lived up to its hype, and I’m glad to say this was the case for Saiai, which had generated a lot of buzz throughout its run and ended with pretty decent ratings. It’s always nice to see a drama tell its story properly without too many bells and whistles getting in the way.

Sanada Rio (Yoshitaka Yuriko), the young CEO of a pharmaceutical company, becomes a material witness in a series of murders. As her family lawyer Kase Kenichiro (Iura Arata) tries to protect her, Rio comes face to face with Miyazaki Daiki (Matsushita Kouhei), the detective who is trying to uncover the truth behind the murders, and with whom she shares a past… Continue reading

Oku Otoko

Was in the mood for some Sato Takeru recently, and finally decided to watch Oku Otoko. Two of my favourite Japanese actors in one movie? Bring it on.

Kazuo (Sato Takeru) is down on his luck, working two jobs to pay off his brother’s debt so he can live with his wife Masako (Kuroki Haru) and their daughter again. One day, he strikes lottery to the tune of 300 million yen, and goes to his friend Tsukumo (Takahashi Issei) for advice on how best to use the sudden windfall. After a wild party to celebrate, both Tsukumo and the money disappear… Continue reading

Kikazaru Koi ni wa Riyuu ga Atte

Spring is the season for love, and sometimes a drama responds to that theme beautifully.

Mashiba Kurumi (Kawaguchi Haruna) is a social media influencer who works as a publicist at el Arco Iris, an interior design company. After she forgets to renew the lease on her apartment, Kurumi ends up moving into a shared house with three other strangers and learns to live with people whose values and perspectives aren’t always similar to hers – in particular, minimalist chef Fujino Shun (Yokohama Ryusei), whose nature seems diametrically opposed to hers…

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Word of Honor

Greetings again after a long period of silence! Real life got in the way and there was much upheaval both in my corner of things and the big wide world out there. Hope everyone is staying safe and getting vaccinated!

Zhou Zishu (Zhang Zhehan), the leader of a royal secret service organisation known as Tianchuang, takes drastic measures to escape his former life. He wanders the pugilistic world and hopes to simply enjoy what is left of his life. When he steps in to save a young boy, he gets embroiled in a conspiracy and also encounters the mysterious Wen Kexing (Gong Jun), who has an agenda of his own…

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Happy birthday, Tamaki Hiroshi! 💖💖 He’s had a big year in 2020, but for good reasons – he and Kinami Haruka welcomed their first child in the summer! Congratulations! Here’s hoping he will have a wonderful 2021!

Tatsu (Tamaki Hiroshi) is a former yakuza turned househusband who strives to do his best every day for his wife Miku (Kawaguchi Haruna) and their daughter Himawari. Even so, Tatsu finds that being a househusband has its own challenges, and his yakuza past keeps coming back to haunt him in hilarious ways… Continue reading

Watashitachi wa Douka Shiteiru

It’s been a while since I watched a drama that could be termed as “crack”, even though it wasn’t the best there is to offer. I wasn’t going to watch it, but the plot sounded interesting and featured wagashi, so I gave it a shot.

Hanaoka Nao (Hamabe Minami) is a wagashi maker in Kanazawa known for her skills despite her youth. At a contest involving wagashi, Nao is reunited with her childhood friend Takatsuki Tsubaki (Yokohama Ryusei) – the young master of Kougetsu-an, a famous wagashi store in Kanazawa. Fifteen years ago, Tsubaki accused Nao’s mother Yuriko (Nakamura Yuri) of murdering his father, and Nao now accepts Tsubaki’s surprise offer of marriage to get herself into the Takatsuki household in order to prove her mother’s innocence… Continue reading

Banjou no Alpha

Greetings after a long silence! Real life got in the way, so I’ve been swamped with work, deadlines, and more work, and there just didn’t seem enough hours of the day for drama-watching and writing. So here’s a short post to make up for it.

Reporter Akiba Shunsuke (Tamaki Hiroshi) is transferred to the cultural desk and put in charge of shogi. He meets Sanada Nobushige at a small diner one day and finds out that Sanada is aiming to become a professional shogi player and pick up from where he left off. Despite himself, Akiba becomes invested in Sanada’s quest for redemption…

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Tokyo Sentimental

Life has been stressful lately, so I wanted to watch something light and short. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of J-dramas with shorter episodes, and one with a relaxing, charming vibe is always welcome.

Kururi Takuzo (Yoshita Kotaro) is a wagashi-maker who runs a small shop in the shitamachi area of Tokyo, with the help of a sassy part-time assistant, Sudo Akane (Takahata Mitsuki). Takuzo is thrice divorced and is always looking for love. He enjoys walking around the various areas of Tokyo and taking photographs. And Tokyo proves to be just the place for encounters of any kind, no matter one’s age… Continue reading

Warm fuzzies: Shinya Shokudo 4 & 5

It’s been a while since I watched any Shinya Shokudo. Season 3 was a bit blah, so I was glad to take a break and move on to other things. I was a little hesitant upon hearing that Netflix has taken over producing the next two seasons, now with the tag “Tokyo Stories”, but am glad to report that it’s almost like the good old times. I’d initially intended to watch only season 4, but mixed up watching some episodes of season 5 and decided to barrel through both. Continue reading

Shiranakute Ii Koto

There are two sides to a coin. And there is always another perspective to every story we come across. Sometimes, we are so caught up in what we think is the correct version of the “truth” that we neglect to consider what the other party is thinking, or whether there is new information that sheds light on something and makes us reconsider what we think we already know. The good Japanese workplace dramas do that, without judgment as far as possible. Continue reading

Koi wa Tsuzuku yo doko made mo

Greetings again on the second day of spring, and also Sato Takeru’s birthday! Thought I’d whip up this quick post after a while of radio silence. We are living in difficult times, so I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy. Keep calm and watch more dramas!

Sakura Nanase (Kamishiraishi Mone) met Dr Tendo Kairi (Sato Takeru) during a chance encounter many years ago and fell in love with him. To meet him again, she studied hard to become a nurse. However, the Dr Tendo she enounters again is totally different from the person she imagined him to be. Nicknamed The Devil, Dr Tendo is cold, level-headed and a perfectionist who is hard on the people who work with him. Nevertheless, Sakura seeks to win him over…

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Nusumareta Kao

Happy birthday, Tamaki Hiroshi! It’s the big 40 for him, and here’s wishing him many happy returns of the day! And while it’s taken me forever, I finally managed to complete Tamaki’s first WOWOW drama, so here’s a quick write-up.

Shirato Takamasa (Tamaki Hiroshi) is a detective at Tokyo Metropolitan Police’s Criminal Investigation Liaison Division. He is a “recogniser”, someone who memorises the faces of wanted criminals and spots them in the crowds. Along with his two subordinates Ando Kanae (Uchida Rio) and Tani Ryohei (Machida Keita), Shirato works hard to spot the criminals trying to escape detection. One day, he sees the unlikely face of his senior Sunami Toru (Shibukawa Kiyohiko), who died four years ago…

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