Must-Watch Jdorama (Japanese Drama) List

Note: Thanks to the scheduled rotating brown-out, I had all the time to draft this post. Hahaha…Thank you BROWN-OUT! 🙂

These are my personally recommended dramas of all times…
[This list is not in particular order… :)]
1. Seigi no Mikata aka Ally of Justice- If you want to laugh and be scared at the same time, then this is definitely a MUST-WATCH Jdorama for you. Don’t get me wrong guys. THIS IS NOT A HORROR FLICK. It’s just that the older sister Makiko (Yamadu Yu) really gives me the creeps!!! Why??? Coz beneath Makiko’s pretty face and impressive wits lays the ultimate “bullying machine”. And her favourite “victim”? It’s no other than her little sister… Yuoko-chan (Shida Mirai). Seriously, how can an older sister be so selfish and devilish?
This drama follows the funny and rather silly occurrences in the life of Yuoko as she continuously battles her sister’s bullying antics. I find it ridiculously comical that despite Makiko’s ill-natured personality somehow, by strokes of luck, her actions make things better for the people around her (except for Yuoko-chan…). Thus, people call her the ALLY OF JUSTICE! (The irony just cracks me up! Hahaha)
Until the very end, Yuoko-chan plays the overly victimized bullied little sister. Poor Yuoko-chan…
2. Love Generation– This is a genuine classic! You may get discouraged because of its antiquity (it was aired in 1997) but trust me guys, this drama is sooooo good!!! (I wouldn’t have recommended if it isn’t). It has a nice storyline, an awesome chemistry and enough romantic sparks to make you want for more.
At first, I was reluctant to watch this drama. It’s kinda old and way-back ancient. However, the first episode got me hooked and the rest is history. It’s your average love story with just a bit of playfulness. Its simplicity and realistic appeal makes this drama a sure treasure to behold. I loved the crystal apple. And yes! I agree that “True love never runs smooth”. (If you watch this drama, you’ll know what I mean).
3. Pride– I’m not really fond of sports dramas but this is definitely an exemption. I thought it was just plain hockey matches all the way through, but NOPE I was dead wrong! I tell you…IT HAS MORE TO IT than meets the eye!!!
This jdorama features the life and PRIDE of Halu (Kimura Takuya), a semi-pro hockey captain and the team’s star player. This is not your typical mushy-type love story but definitely, it will tickle your heart just the same. The plots just flow smoothly. Nothing is rushed and everything falls into place without being dragged. It’s kinda cool and sweet when Halu breaks his “I-don’t-care” charades for his “ice queen Yuko” (Murase Aki). Who would ever think that a carefree hockey player would readily give up everything for the sake of love??? (sigh***)… Oh no! I feel a little dreamy right now. Hahaha…
4. Gokusen 1– My very first jdorama ever!!! I’ve watched this jdorama a couple of times already. But dude, it keeps me laughing every time. The goofy, meddling, sometimes silly, but overly passionate teacher Yankumi (Nakama Yuki) never fails to amaze me. She’s just freakishly funny and quirky (I meant that in a good way). Adding spice to this deadly hilarious drama is the cool and seemingly laid-back leader of the Class 3-D delinquents- Shawada Shin (Matsumuto Jun)!!! And though Yankumi appears to be the perfect push-over, she has a secret that would put her rabble-rouser students to shame. She is, in fact, the next in line leader of Oedo Clan (a prominent Yakuza family)! And she can fight a dozen men twice her size alone as well! Amazing, right?
Yes. It had exaggerated and excessively flashy moments, but duh! Who cares?!
This jdorama is not just an “around the clock” comedy series. It has its heart-warming scenes too- complete with its own doze of real-life lessons on friendship, responsibilities and dreams.
5. Ichi Ritoru no Namida aka 1 Liter of Tears– My tears fell like rain the time I watched this drama. I’m not really a sentimental type of gal, but I have to admit, that I’ve cried my heart out with this one! I cried like I have never cried before in my entire ordinary life. And from my humble opinion, the title should have been 1000 Liters of Tears! Okay, it’s an exaggeration but really, only wooden statues would remain unmoved with this drama. It was so heart-breaking and very very sad. Every episode makes me cry more and more.
Until the very last episode, I hoped that Aya (Sawajiri Erika) would one day miraculously heal from the dreaded Spinocerebellar Degeneration disease. (Yah, I know it won’t happen, since it’s based on a true story). But then again, you can’t blame me for wishing a happy ending and save myself from the emotional pains, right?
This jdorama taught me to live on and appreciate life. Arggg…now, I’m getting misty eyed.
6. Hana Yori Dango (HanaDan) aka Boys over Flowers– Compared to other live-action adaptations of the manga/ anime, I honestly believed that the Japanese Hana Yori Dango is the best. (The other versions were good though, but not as great). The fast-paced flow of events suited me well (Since I don’t like dragging dramas) and the unexpected comical inserts were downright funny. It is conveniently romantic, not TOO MUCH nor TOO less- just enough to remind the audience that it IS indeed a love story.
Hanadan revolves around the life of Tsukushi (Inoue Mao), a simple but feisty commoner who daringly declare war with Tsukasa (Matsumuto Jun), the arrogant and cocky F4 leader. Later on the series, the two became a weird and funny pair.
If you’re looking for a trendy and sensational drama, then you shouldn’t miss watching HanaDan.
7. Orange Days– This jdorama is remarkably brilliant and splendid. It had a well-balanced mixture of angst and happiness, a realistic presentation of the ups and downs of any young adults. The storyline is very light and bittersweet, just like an orange. This jdorama got me sooo captivated that after I finished watching it; I was willing to learn sign language! Yah, it had an enormous effect on me that it made me think of doing something that extreme.
I totally adored Kai (Tsumabuki Satosh), a compassionate and thoughtful graduating social welfare psychology student. Just as Kai was exceptionally kind-hearted, Sae (Shibasaki Kou), a fourth-year hearing-impaired violinist on the other hand, was shockingly vulgar and impertinent. The obvious contrast between the two leads, gave this drama an upbeat and fascinating feel into it.
8. Hotaru no Hikari aka Glow of the Firefly– Two words: cute and relaxing. Though the romantic atmosphere in this jdorama is almost too subtle for humans to detect, still I find the series refreshingly good. I just loved the straightforward and unfussy relationship between Hotaru (Ayase Haruka) and her boss Seiichi (Fujiki Naohito). At first, I find the pair off strange and ridiculous, but gradually it grew on me.
May I add that this is the only Asian drama wherein I didn’t take pity on the “other” guy, Makoto (Kato Kazuki). I have nothing against the man though, he was kind and accepted the absurdities in Hotaru, being the “dried fish woman” that she was, but… I don’t know. Maybe, I was just being biased, seeing the carefree interactions of Hotaru and Seiichi. Sorry Makoto-san, it’s not your fault I don’t like you. 🙂
9. Nodame Cantabile– This is the funniest jdorama ever! An eccentric love story about two completely opposite people. This jdorama pretty much revolves around the fun-filled and bizarre romance of Nodame (Ueno Juri), a messy but talented pianist and Chiaki Shinichi (Tamaki Hirosh), an arrogant perfectionist and a prodigy in music.
Nodame, literally outstretched the boundaries of “sassy-ness”. She’s such an adorable little gal with an undeniable talent in playing the piano. I can’t help but praise Nodame all the way through. Chiaki was cool too, but Nodame got me awestricken.
If you want to laugh non-stop, watch Nodame ASAP.
10. Hanazakari no Kimitachi e aka For You in Full Blossom– This is way better than the Taiwanese version, simply because of Nakatsu Shuichi (Ikuta Toma). He was sooo amusingly funny. And how I wished he ended up with Mizuki (Horikita Maki) instead of the somewhat snobbish Izumi (Oguri Shun). This is a jdorama comedy at its finest.
Though the ending was quite cheesy, at least it was bearable. Words are not even enough to describe this drama’s awesomeness.
There are still a lot of jdoramas which I would surely recommend. I’ll be writing ’bout them when I have the time 🙂 For now, Enjoy reading…
p.s. I already posted this entry on my blogger account.

Posted on April 28, 2010, in Japanese Drama/ Movies and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. hi. what about kdramas? what do you recommend? top 10 must watch. not too emotional. if possible romantic comedy.:)

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