River’s Edge Ookawabata Tanteisha

If you know your J-dramas, you’ll know they’re game for anything weird and wacky. And it’s a great feeling when you sign up for something on a whim and are taken on a surreal ride.

Nestled in one of the multi-tenanted and commercial buildings on the banks of the Sumida River in Asakusa is Ookawabata Tanteisha, a nondescript, humble private detective agency. It is run by three people – the Director (Ishibashi Renji), the licensed detective Muraki (Odagiri Joe), and the bubbly receptionist Megumi (Koizumi Maya). Their customers come from all walks of life, and bring with them plenty of strange requests… Continue reading

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Good Doctor

I had not expected to watch another Yamazaki Kento drama so soon after Todome no Kiss, but who can say no to Fujiki Naohito and Ueno Juri in the cast? Certainly not me.

Shindo Minato (Yamazaki Kento) is autistic with savant syndrome. When he was seven years old, his brother died in an accident while Minato was saved by the kindly Dr Shiga Akira (Emoto Akira). Minato grew up determined to be a paediatric surgeon so he could help other children become adults. Despite all odds, he passes the national examination for medical practitioners. At the invitation of Dr Shiga, Minato enters Togo Memorial Hospital to begin his journey as a paediatrician… Continue reading

Hanzai Shokogun

I never thought there’d be a day when I could (remotely) root for a character played by Tanihara Shosuke, but the heavens must have been listening and there finally is a drama that allows me to do just that.

Muto Takashi (Tamayama Tetsuji) quit the police force a year ago after he lost his sister Sayuri to a crime committed by a juvenile offender. He now works at a detective agency investigating infidelity cases. One day, he is asked by Tamaki Keigo (Watabe Atsuro) of the MPD to take on a special case that he cannot refuse… Continue reading

Rich Man Poor Woman

I try not to watch dramas because of hype, since I’d be disappointed inevitably if they don’t live up to my expectations. There are times, however, when I give in just to see what the fuss is all about. Usually the fuss is much ado about nothing.

Hyuga Toru (Oguri Shun) is an IT whizkid whose company, Next Innovation, is the next big thing in the technology world. Hyuga is rich and successful, and his company is where young, creative people want to be at. Natsui Makoto (Ishihara Satomi) is a luckless young woman who has trouble finding a job. She attends a presentation for new recruits at Next Innovation, but when Hyuga humiliates her in front of the other applicants, she stands up for herself. Hyuga asks for her name and gets told it is Sawaki Chihiro, which stuns him… Continue reading

Fate Twisters: Todome no Kiss & Final Cut

Sometimes I try to be less picky about what to watch, but taking a chance on the unknown is risky business and I’m not always lucky enough to hit jackpot. So since I thought it’s about time I learn to broaden my drama-watching tastes, I decided I’d give two dramas, whose lead actors I don’t give a fig about, the chance to impress me. Continue reading

Asa ga Kita: Weeks 13-16

Here’s another round of Asa ga Kita. These weeks see quite a few important changes in our characters’ lives and in the history of Japan. We also bid farewell to one key character, which is pretty sad. Therefore, it is entirely appropriate to start off with a screencap of the two most handsome men in the asadora, just to brighten your day. Continue reading

BORDER: Shoudou & Shokuzai

I wasn’t particularly thrilled when news came out that BORDER was getting a sequel of sorts, in the form of an SP that would expand on the cliffhanger that was the ending of the drama. Great dramas have been slayed by crap sequels or prequels, and I was happy to let sleeping dogs lie. There was also news of one of the characters, the coroner Higa Mika, getting a spin-off about her first case. By the time the SPs finally aired, I had more or less come to terms with the extra stuff and decided I’d give them a go. Continue reading

Tenno no Ryoriban

Food + Sato Takeru = watch. Voila!

Akiyama Tokuzo (Sato Takeru) is a good-for-nothing young man who loses interest in things quickly and creates trouble for his family. He is married off to a merchant household in Sabae to teach him discipline, and he and his wife Toshiko (Kuroki Haru) get along well. However, Tokuzo soon realises cooking is his passion and leaves the family to master the craft in Tokyo. Despite the hardship and humiliation he suffers, Tokuzo is determined to become the best cook in Japan… Continue reading

Lady Joker

When even WOWOW outdoes itself, you know you’ve got a real gem on your hands.

Shiroyama Kyosuke (Shibata Kyohei), the company president of Hinode Beer, is kidnapped by a mysterious group that calls itself Lady Joker. Shiroyama is soon released in exchange for a secret payoff of ¥2 billion and the warning that 3.5 kilolitres of Hinode beer would be tampered with if he doesn’t do as the group demands. Elite detective Goda Yuichiro (Kamikawa Takaya) is put on the case and realises there is more to it than a simple kidnapping… Continue reading

Byakuyako

Life as a purist is hard.

A pawnshop owner is killed in 1973 in Osaka. Detective Sasagaki Junzo, who has been assigned to the case, begins to piece together the connection of two young people who are seemingly involved in the crime – the son of the victim, and the suspect’s daughter. Over the years, Sasagaki tracks the whereabouts of these two people as he tries to bring the case to a close… Continue reading

Asa ga Kita: Weeks 7-12

I’m back on the asadora trail! I am determined to finish Asa ga Kita, if only to do justice to Tamaki Hiroshi’s first asadora outing in years – and a successful one, I might add, as the drama did well in the ratings game. It wasn’t difficult getting back into the groove as each episode and week ended on a mini cliffhanger that just whetted the appetite. Also, it was nice hearing the upbeat theme song again. Continue reading