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Let's talk about Japanese Dramas!

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Kurita

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Feb 23, 2012
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La France !
Hi everybody...
For my first thread on GAF I decided to talk about Japanese dramas (or doramas).
Drama is the name given to Japanese live action series. They can be original creation or adaptation of novels, mangas, animes...
Some people avoid them mostly because of the "unique" Japanese acting which is often considered to be bad. Of course, there are bad actors but hey, even western shows are plagued with bad actors.
Obviously, the acting is quite different from what you'd see in a show like Breaking Bad, but if you can bypass this barrier you could discover plenty of fantastic series!

Now, some dramas I highly recommend :

Freeter, Ie o Kau
The story revolves around Take Seiji, who quits his job after three months. With no dreams, no savings, and a poor relationship with his family, he becomes a hikikomori. However, after his mother falls ill with depression, he ends up having to take on a part-time job at a construction site. Because of that, he soon decides to work towards rebuilding his life: "Even though I'm just a freeter, I'm going to buy a house for the sake of my family." One of the people he meets at the construction site is Chiba Manami, who graduated from a top-class university and joined a well-known general contracting firm. Manami is the complete opposite of Seiji. But while their personalities clash at first, they gradually come to understand each other.
Easily one of my favourite dramas it was one of the first dramas I watched actually! Lots of emotional moments, a real tear-jerker.
You're gonna laugh, cry, smile. Kazunari Ninomiya shines as Seiji, the eternal part-timer aiming to help his mother. Relatable characters and situations, great actors, definitely a must watch.


Kagi No Kakatta Heya
Enomoto Kei is a security "otaku" working for a security firm, devoted to improving the securities system on a daily basis. He is not an easy person to familiarize oneself with, always collected and calm, unapproachable, a maniac in Physics, Science, Architecture and profound in other basic theoretical foundation. He is certain and proud of the fact that there is no key which he cannot unlock.
One day, Kei is asked to help reveal a mystery behind a locked room murderer. While he lacks any interest in solving the mystery, he is inevitably intrigued by the term, "Closed Doors" and decides to take on the position. He works side by side with Aoto Junko and Serizawa Gou, who are lawyers working at a major law firm. Junko is pure and forward, acting upon her instincts while Serizawa is a prideful elitist who sees time as money, and therefore, will not take on any job that is unprofitable.
Possessing a vast amount of knowledge and acute insightfulness, Kei is able to unlock the closed doors and unravel the secrets leading to the solution. Never before has there been a drama focused solely on closed doors. It's an all new original mystery that will keep you guessing every week!
If you like Detective Conan/Meitantei Conan you'll love this drama.
It manages to be smart, full of suspense, light-hearted and entertaining as hell. A great main trio with three really different characters. An overly confident lawyer, his rookie assistant and the steadfast security expert quicly become loveable characters.


Liar Game
Kanzaki Nao is an honest college student who receives a hundred million yen one day, along with a card saying she has been chosen to take part in the "Liar Game". The aim of the game is to trick the other players out of their hundred million dollars. At the end, the winner gets the hundred million and the loser is a hundred million yen in debt. The next day, she receives notification that her opponent is her former teacher, Fujisawa Kazuo. She goes to him, seeking help, but ends up getting tricked into handing her money over. Desperate, she approaches the police for help, but they are unable to do anything. However, she is told of a mastermind swindler, Akiyama Shinichi, who is to be released from jail the next day. Desperate, she goes to him for help
From the popular manga of the same name, this drama is all about deceiving people. Suspenseful games, characters always turning the tables making you go "WHAAAAAAAT?!". The stellar OST by the famous producer Yasutaka Nakata (producer of capsule, Perfume, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu...) adds another layer of awesome and perfectly suits the action.


Rich Man, Poor Woman
Oguri Shun plays Hyuga Toru, an affluent man whose personality is on the contrary, speckled with flaws. A CEO of an IT firm who is published on Forbes as a billionaire, Toru attained his fortune through chance and pure luck. A woman who meets Toru and eventually becomes attracted to him is Sawaki Chihiro, played by Ishihara Satomi. Chihiro is a hardworking college student at Tokyo University who has prepared for her future as much as she possibly could through studies and obtaining licenses. Despite her efforts, she has yet to land a job. Upon meeting Toru, she begins to unravel a genuine pureness inside him and solitude resulting from such pureness, which eventually draws her closer to him. The two repeatedly conflict each other, but little by little learn about one another to grow and develop together.
Despite the worldwide recession and financial difficulties, there are people like Mark Zuckerberg who began work from merely an apartment room or a garage that end up growing to be companies generating over ten billion dollars revenues after merely 10 years or so, embracing their new found wealth by living the dream life. Whether it's a game or application software, Ecommerce, or other IT related firm, there are more than a few who rose in fame to such status in recent years. On the other hand, Japan's unemployment rate for new grads dropped to a record low and those who want to work are unable to, or their wishes to work at their company of choice is not granted.
A Cinderella story of the real world. Will the two be able to compromise their values and lifestyles to become a happy couple?
A interesting premise, with bits reminding of The Social Network. The rise and fall (and rise) of an egocentric but loveable bilionaire turns out to be a touching story. One of Oguri Shun's best roles. Another drama with a great soundtrack...


Ryusei No Kizuna
"When we grow up… We'll kill him together". Koichi, Taisuke, and Shizuna are three siblings whose parents had been brutally murdered when they were just in elementary school, and they vowed to avenge their death. Fourteen years later, their vengeful plan unravels countless new facts. A shocking revelation leads to an overwhelmingly emotional ending. What will become of the siblings who have lived their lives solely in reliance of their bond alone?
A drama featuring three rising young actors, Ninomiya Kazunari, Toda Erika and Nishikido Ryo, written by Higashino Keigo, one of Japan's most popular mystery novels' author.
Ryusei No Kizuna is a perfect combination of funny scenes and overly dramatic/emotional ones, this drama will keep you entertained from start to finish.


Last Friends
Last Friends tackles issues that afflict the current generation. Michiru's mother has brought a man back to their home and she is bullied at her workplace where she works as a beauty parlour assistant. She starts cohabiting with her boyfriend, a good young man who works at the Child Welfare Division and the only person who can give her emotional support, but ends up the victim of domestic violence and becomes fearful of love. The boyishly charming Ruka was a classmate of Michiru's in junior high school. She has performed brilliantly as a motocross racer and aims to win the national championship, but as the story progresses, a deep worry that she can neither confide in her parents or close friends grows evident. Takeru is a hair and makeup artist acquainted with Ruka. He is a good confidant to females due to his kindness and perceptiveness, and finds himself attracted to Ruka but has a phobia of sex as a result of a past trauma. The three of them become house mates and through their associations with others, gain the capacity to be positive about life.
Some fantastic characters, especially Ruka and Takeru. Serious issues are tackled by this drama which can easily be depressing. Each character does his best to overcome obstacles, feels betrayed by people they love...
It's quite emotional and Ueno Juri is just perfect as the tomboy lesbian, easily the best character of the drama.


Nodame Cantabile
Based on the hit comic book by Tomoko Ninomiya, this is a fun-filled quirky romantic story of two very opposite people.
Megumi Noda, or "Nodame" is a piano student at Momogaoka College of Music. An extremely talented pianist who wants to be a kindergarten teacher, she prefers playing by ear rather than reading the music score. She is messy and disorganized, takes baths several days apart and loves to eat, sometimes stealing her friend's lunchbox when it is filled with delicacies.
Shinichi Chiaki, is Momogaoka's top student. Born into a musical family, he is talented in piano and violin and has secret ambitions to become a conductor. An arrogant multi-lingual perfectionist who once lived abroad in the music capitals of the world as a young boy, he feels mired in Japan because of a childhood phobia.
They meet by accident. Nodame quickly falls in love, but it takes much longer for Chiaki to even begin to appreciate Nodame's unusual qualities. Their relationship causes them both to develop and grow. Because of Nodame, Chiaki got the opportunity to lead a student orchestra and begins to have a broader appreciation of people's musical abilities. Because of Chiaki, Nodame faces her fears and enters a piano competition. Opportunities open up as both begin taking risks, stretching themselves far more than they ever thought possible.
This drama manages to nail the comedy aspect of mangas/animes with the overacting, stunt doubles flying in the air... The concerts are truly epic, seeing the orchestra playing is often breathtaking and it is also a good introduction to classical music! Pretty much what every mangas/comic books adaptations should be.


Saikou No Rikon
The story begins with a husband and wife caught in the middle of their usual round of bickering and bantering. They cannot come to understand the other's personality or actions as they constantly fight on a regular basis...but despite that, they could not, however, come to part their ways. But one day, after an incident occurs the wife informs the husband that she had "submitted the divorce papers." The former husband and wife, or rather strangers to each other now, somehow end up continuing to live together under one roof...On the other hand, another couple has discovered a "hidden shocking truth." Their marriage seemed to be a happy one but was it really!? What does "marriage" mean? What does it mean to be a "husband and wife"? Watch closely as these two couples become lost in an indescribable complicated relationship, developing in between marriage and divorce. It's the life-sized love comedy you've been waiting for.
A light-hearted story about marriage and divorce. It's pretty straight-forward but really enjoyable thanks to Eita's great performance as the socially awkward main character doing his best to save his ex-girlfriend's marriage, even though he's divorced!


Mother
Matsuyuki plays the part of Nao Suzuhara, an elementary school teacher. When she realizes that one of the female students is receiving abuse from her mother, Nao's maternal instincts kick in, and she impulsively decides to bring the girl into her own care. Serving as a substitute mother, Nao takes the child on a trip from Hokkaido to Tokyo, and the two experience various events together along the way.
I hope you're ready to get depressed. Full of angst, I promise you that you'll hardly smile watching this drama. Believe or not, the child actor manages to be pretty good and touching! Despite disliking children, Nao does her best to live with the little girl and it turns out to be a beautiful story.


Sunao Ni Narenakute
Nakajima looks up to his father, who was a war photographer, but can only get a job as an assistant for gravure magazines. Mizuno is a provisional high school teacher, currently on probation. Nishimura is Mizuno's best friend, whose boyfriend has been avoiding her since she discovered she was pregnant. Ichihara works at a magazine where he is being blackmailed into sexual favours by his chief editor. Park, on Twitter, takes on the persona of a doctor, when he is actually working at a company that sells medical equipment to disinterested doctors, and at the same time, trying to take care of his younger sister.
This is a story about the blossoming friendship of five young people who were brought together by Twitter, and their journey to finding honesty with each other and with themselves.
One of my latest favorite. Using Twitter as a plot device is pretty smart and I'm still surprised that only a handful of shows uses it.
See how the people hiding behind their tweets struggle with their lives which are not as cool as what they say on the famous social network. Seeing a Korean actor in Japanese drama is also really cool and worth mentioning!

______________________

GAF recommends :

Ikebukuro West Gate Park
This story follows a young man named Makoto who lives in Ikebukuro West Gate Park, an area known for youth delinquency and gangs. In fact, one of Makoto's best friends from high school, Takeshi, is the "king" or leader, of one such gang, called the G-Boys. Makoto is known for being tough and smart, and while trying to solve the mystery of a friend's death, he finds himself a somewhat unwilling helper in many mysteries and problems of IWGP inhabitants. All the while, gang tension is mounting between his best friend's gang (which Makoto refuses to join) and a new gang, the "Black Angels."
Densha Otoko
A true love story turned to bestselling novel, created from the Internet BBS, 2channel to blockbuster hit movie. Ito Misaki plays Aoyama Saori, working as an office lady at a MNC, gets into trouble with a drunkard on a train. She's saved by Yamada Tsuyoshi, played by Ito Atsushi. As a form of appreciation, she sends him Hermes teacups. Having no experience with the opposite sex, Tsuyoshi decides to ask for help on the Aladdin Channel BBS on how to interact with Saori.
IS ~Otoko Demo Onna Demo Nai Sei~
“IS” stands for “intersexual,” a term referring to people who cannot clearly be classified as male or female, and who may biologically possess characteristics of both sexes. Rokuhana's manga primarily deals with the troubles faced by the young Hoshino Haru (played by Fukuda), an intersexual who was registered as a girl at birth but has been raised as a boy.
Goriki plays Aihara Miwako, a mysterious classmate who tries to get close to Haru. Inoue Masahiro has been cast as Ibuki Kenji, a member of the soccer club whom Haru begins having feelings for. Nishida Naomi and Minami Kaho play Miwako's and Haru's mothers, respectively.
Strawberry Night
Himekawa Reiko is a police officer working for squad 1 of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department. As the only female squad leader in charge of inspecting a crime scene, Reiko uncovers the mystery behind a merciless murder, a man who was found dead covered in a plastic sheet in the bushes near a pond. Reiko realizes that the crime is not an independent incident, but one that had just begun. The code "Strawberry Night" eventually surfaces from the investigations, a word that eventually leads to another police officer, an elite detective.
Legal High
Of all the law related dramas inside and outside of the country, a majority of lawyers are depicted as heroes, either bringing tears to your eyes helping the weak underdog, or trying to advocate justice to the extreme. This has led the general public to view lawyers with eyes of respect and envy.
However, the main character of "Legal High!!" stands miles away from that stereotypical identity of a lawyer. Komikado Kensuke is stubborn, abusive in his language, sarcastic, moody, and an extravagant spender. To the contrary, he has never lost a case in his life. A genius at bargaining and building strategy, winning is everything to Kensuke. His love for money, fame, and women obviously collects the dislikes of other professionals in the field. Kensuke loathes the textbook of justice the young lawyers try to brandish.
Unexpectedly, Mayuzumi Machiko is a lawyer who passed her bar exam through hard studies. She is overly earnest in her mission of saving the weak, and rather clumsy and incapable of planning ahead. Her lack of versatility and strong righteousness drives her reckless, without compromise to her convictions. Passionate and determined, she is the complete opposite of Kensuke's character.
"Justice is the winner," Kensuke stands by this belief without doubt. Despite the skepticism he receives for his sensational efforts, the people surrounding him begin to see that their view was but a pipe dream. In the courtroom, Kensuke reminds us of the feeling we had all forgotten: To fight with all our energy and to never give up.
Byakuyako
When Ryoji finds out that the object of his father's perversion is his first love, Yukiho, he kills him. To his horror, Yukiho's mother forced her to do so to relieve their dire economic straits. Yukiho also retaliates in similar manner by staging a suicide for her mother as well as herself. It's been 14 years since then and the boy that gave up everything and the girl that waged her life on the boy are struggling to continue to love each other. They grow up attempting to keep it secret and ride out the statute of limitations. In order to protect Yukiho, and improve her life, Ryoji enters the world of vice and dabbles in crimes to support her.

Summer Snow
A love story between a young man who has been forced to grow up too quickly, and a young woman with an ailment that has placed restrictions on her life. Natsuo has been looking after his younger brother and sister since the death of their parents. He has also been running the family bicycle shop. Yuki becomes the only person in the world in whom he can confide. For Yuki, Natsuo becomes the catalyst that has her trying to break out of her cocoon.

1 Litre of Tears
15-year-old Ikeuchi Aya was an ordinary girl, the daughter of a family who works at a tofu shop, and a soon-to-be high schooler. However, odd things have been happening to Aya lately. She has been falling down often and walks strange. Her mother, Shioka, takes Aya to see the doctor, and he informs Shioka that Aya has spinocerebellar degeneration - a terrible disease where the cerebellum of the brain gradually deteriorates to the point where the victim cannot walk, speak, write, or eat. A cruel disease, as it does not affect the mind in the least. How will Aya react when told about her disease? And how will Aya live from now on?

Papa to Musume no Nanokakan
This home comedy tells the story of Kyoichiro (Tachi Hiroshi) and his teenage daughter Koume (Aragaki Yui). One day, the two ride a train together after visiting Kyoichiro's mother-in-law. He sees it as a chance to get to know his daughter better, but he ends up getting more than that - by some mysterious force, both Kyoichiro and Koume end up with their mind in the other's body! Unfortunately, they have no choice but to swap lives, pretending to be each other at school and work.
Proposal Daisakusen
Iwase Ken and Yoshida Rei have been friends since elementary school. Ken, is obstinate and unskilled in love, but he fell long ago for the lively and cheerful, Rei. But Rei is about to get married to another man. While Ken and other friends from high-school attend the wedding ceremony, a fairy appears and sends Ken back in time, giving him a second chance to win the girl he loves.
 

ActStriker

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I watched a couple episodes of Liar Game on a flight a couple years ago.

I've only watched Densha Otoko, Hana Yori Dango, and Taiyou no Uta when I was in a small J-Drama kick like 5-6 years ago, and then some episodes of the Detective Conan Live Action, but that's about it.
 

FallingEdge

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Mar 24, 2010
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Taisetsu na Koto wa Subete Kimi ga Oshiete Kureta



http://wiki.d-addicts.com/Taisetsu_na_Koto_wa_Subete_Kimi_ga_Oshiete_Kureta

Toda and Miura play two teachers, Natsumi Uemura and Shuji Kashiwagi, at the same high school who are set to get married in half a year. However, the night before the school year's opening ceremony, Shuji becomes involved with the young Hikari Saeki (played by Takei), without realizing that she will be a student in his class starting the next day. As Shuji struggles to help Hikari deal with the mental complex she is suffering from, he is also torn inside by his betrayal of Natsumi. Meanwhile, Hikari attempts to get closer to Natsumi, driven by feelings of jealousy and a desire to destroy the couple's relationship.
I have no idea if this is a "good" J-Drama but it is something I enjoyed watching.
 

LordCanti

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I've been meaning to watch Liar Game. I've seen Rich Man, Poor Woman, Last Friends, and Nodame already. I usually wait till the series run is over anymore because it's terrible to get 2/3 of the way through a season and have the subs dry up.
 

Nocebo

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Thanks for this thread.

I'm currently watching Dragonzakura as I'm typing this. It's about a lawyer trying to teach a bunch of kids from the worst school in Tokyo or whatever on how to get into the most prestigious university in Japan.
 
May 16, 2010
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Thanks for this thread.

I'm currently watching Dragonzakura as I'm typing this. It's about a lawyer trying to teach a bunch of kids from the worst school in Tokyo or whatever on how to get into the most prestigious university in Japan.
Never watched it but Hiroshi Abe is legit. The summary reminds me of Gokusen.
 

Fuzz Rez

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Feb 2, 2008
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I have actually started to watch some J-Dramas just lately and I have to say most of them have been god awful. There has been some real gems in the punch too.

Here are the few shows that I have actually enjoyed.

1. Kekkon Dekinai Otoko

Shinsuke Kuwano (Abe Hiroshi), a successful architect at 40, enjoys living by himself. He doesn’t like people but somehow is able to design wonderful houses for them.
He has a routine of making himself a delicious dinner and then relaxing to classical music in his easy chair. (He likes to pretend he is the conductor.) One night, he plays the music loud enough to make his next door neighbor, Michiru Tamura (Kuninaka Ryoko) knock on his door to complain. When Kuwano answers the door, he suffers a terrible stomach pain and collapses to the floor. Lucky for him, his neighbor Michiru is nice enough to accompany him to the hospital, where he is treated by Dr. Natsumi Hayasaka (Natsukawa Yui). He is really rude to Natsumi, but she is still determined to treat him.
Afterwards, Michiru and Natsumi become part of Kuwano’s life. They make friends with Kuwano’s colleagues Eiji (Tsukamoto Takashi) and Maya Sawazaki (Takashima Reiko). They all enjoy talking about how strange and eccentric Kuwano is. Is it possible that someone would ever want to marry him?
Plot might not sound all that interesting but it's really great show. It has amazing cast and above all it has Abe who can do no wrong. Abe fits the role well and all his quirks and twists are fun to watch he really nails the role. I'm only at episode 9 but already this show is one of my all time favorites. I especially like how the show isn't over acted (as much as every other show) and there is no drama at least so far. It's just kinda feel good show that revolves around great character and their dynamics. It's absolute blast so people really should watch it. I knew Abe was great actor after I saw the movie Still Walking but I didn't know he had done so many TV shows as well. I'm going to check them all out.

2. Bayside Shakedown

Bayside Shakedown takes place in the fictional Wangan Precinct of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department. Unlike most police dramas which tend to focus on action and car chases, Bayside Shakedown is largely concerned with the bureaucratic issues of the police department that are also very present in many other sectors of Japanese society. The series depicted police work as office politics under a slightly different environment, complete with bureaucratic red tape, lethargic civil servants, bosses more interested in playing golf and saving face than solving crimes, interference from politicians, and conflict between Police Headquarters and the local officers.
Again I think this show works so well because it has such great cast the characters are interesting and many of them could star in their own show. It's mostly comedy but some of the crimes are gruesome. There are also three movies and some TV specials but they weren't all that interesting. I guess the first movie is ok. 9.5/10

3. Hero

Kuryu Kohei is a young public prosecutor who gets transferred to a division in Tokyo from Hokkaido. Kuryu is unlike a typical prosecutor; he refuses to wear a suit and tie, opting for casual clothing, his trademark brown parka and stylish boots. He looks and behaves more like a Generation X slacker. He is known for always buying bizarre items from infomercials and the home shopping network. Kuryu is a high-school dropout who was falsely accused of a crime - cleared only by a public prosecutor who took the time to research the facts. He then takes his high school equivalency, studies for the bar exam and passes with flying colours.
Can't stand the lead in this show. He is probably one of the most succesful television actors in Japan at the moment but I hate his guts. Nonetheless Hero is good show. It has good amount of comedy and drama. 8/10

Some other shows I have seen but were more or less awful
Pricless - It was decent for couple episodes but eventually I just got bored with it. 6/10
Pride - Awful drama that I had to stop watching after 4 episodes. It's gotten some rave reviews and that's one reason I started it. 4/10
Liar Game - ugh. Make it an anime show and I might watch it. 1/10
Mr. Brain - Brain science and stuff. I hope Abe's crime show isn't childish like this one. I stopped after 4 episodes. 3/10
Change - Eh, another miss. Only good thing about it was Abe and Rosa Kato. Too mellow for my taste. 4/10
Blood Money - Has some neat hacking (if you don't count the CGI parts). Other vise it's dumb. I guess it's kinda like Japanese 24. Well except Jack Bauer is played by teen hacker and isn't anything like Jack Bauer.

I guess I'm not much of J-Drama guy :D If there is no comedy at all then I'm not interested at all since without that aspect it boils down to drama and I just don't get the Japanese tv acting. Stuff that you only see in American mid-day soap operas seem to be the norm in Japanese TV industry.
 

Samurai_Heart

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Oh and I also recommend 99 Years of Love 〜Japanese Americans〜. It's a miniseries:
99 Years of Love 〜Japanese Americans〜 (99年の愛〜JAPANESE AMERICANS〜 Kyūjūkyūnen no Ai Japanīzu Amerikanzu?) is a Japanese, 5-episode miniseries produced by TBS[1] for its 60th anniversary, starring Tsuyoshi Kusanagi and Yukie Nakama, and sponsored by Toyota and Panasonic. It tells the story of a family of Japanese immigrants who moved to America 99 years ago. When the Second World War (Pacific War) breaks out, the family encounters racism and segregation. The two daughters, who were sent back to Japan, experience the suffering from the Japanese side of the war.
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_Americans_(miniseries)
May not be everyone but it's quite a good series based on Japanese American immigrants.
 

Lijik

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Someone who has seen both, help me out:
If I adored Kaiji (the anime), is it a safe bet I'd also be into Liar Game? Because the description sounds pretty up my alley.
 

Kurita

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La France !
Someone who has seen both, help me out:
If I adored Kaiji (the anime), is it a safe bet I'd also be into Liar Game? Because the description sounds pretty up my alley.
I love Kaiji too, and Liar Game is kind of a less fucked up version of Kaiji (like, the characters don't risk their lives). You should check it out yeah.
 

ZoddGutts

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Didn't care for most of the shows that was listed in the OP besides Kagi No Kakatta Heya and Nodame. For something good recently, I highly recommend Legal High.

It's a fun twisted comedy law show. Love how it makes fun of your typical cliches in J-Drama shows and characters. Seriously check it out if you want to watch a really fun show.
 

LordCanti

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Nocebo

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Never watched it but Hiroshi Abe is legit. The summary reminds me of Gokusen.
First time I've seen him anything but he's pretty cool.

Anyone ever seen "Shinsengumi!"? It's a historical supposedly accurate drama about the time when Japan started opening up to the outside world again and basically the end of samurai era.
There are two factions vying for power, one wants to expel the foreigners the other wants to welcome them. This is a time of chaos for japan. The story follows Isami Kondo, a farmer's son who gets adopted by the master of a martial arts school. Even though he is a samurai he gets discriminated against because he was born a farmer. He eventual forms the Shinsengumi group and starts policing Kyoto in name of the Shogunate.
It's a interesting story about Japan's history. And friendship, honor, betrayal, politics etc.

Absolutely loved the first watch through. The acting wasn't as bad / exaggerated as most of the dramas I had seen before (not that I had seen many...).
The first episode is tough to get through though. Since you get introduced to approximately 100 different characters. But it's a great show once you get into it. Recently started a second watch through.
 

maomaoIYP

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Very nice op Kurita!
Where did you look up these award thingies? I wanna look up so jdorama as well.

To contribute, I really enjoyed Yamato Nadeshiko from way back.

Matsushima Nanako grew up in a very poor family and is thus determined to marry a rich man so that she will never have to go through poverty ever again, and is named the "gokon queen" in her quest to find her man. Tsutsumi Shinichi is a brilliant academic (Fields prize winner - Nobel Prize equivalent in Mathematics) who gave up his studies to take over his deceased father's fish-shop. They meet through a doctor's "gokon" (group date) and she falls in love with him under the mistaken assumption that he is a very rich man
 

MrBeggar

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Ummm where's Long Vacation????

Gaf seriously????
It should be the first one that comes to mind.
 

Caelestis

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I think most of my tastes are similar to the OP's. I enjoyed most of the shows from that list, although I haven't watched anything recent. Really want to give a shot to Saikou No Rikon sometime soon.

Some shows that'd recommend other than those would be Boss (first season only) and Tsuki no Koibito.
 

Synth_floyd

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Jun 12, 2005
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I watched Liar Game years ago. It starts off good but gets kind of lame near the end. I've had Liar Game 2 on my computer for a long time but never got around to watching it. It seems to suffer from the thing where they take a decent idea (people playing zero-sum mind games against each other) and beat it to death by taking it to the Nth degree with lame dramatics. Lots of Japanese manga/anime seem to have this problem. Death Note was another one that got pretty ridiculous with the over-the-top complicated schemes to L and Light to out-do each other.
 

Sinople

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From the OP's list, I loved Saikou no Rikon, Kagi no kakatta heya and Nodame Cantabile. Liar Game is not bad too, but the adaptation is a bit weird.
I didn't like Rich Man, Poor Woman though.

From the previous season's drama, I also recommend Yakou Kanransha, from the author of the best-seller Kokuhaku, and Karamazov no Kyoudai, an adaptation of The Brothers Karamazov set in modern Japan.
 

Zefah

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Jan 7, 2007
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Ikebukuro West Gate Park is probably the best Japanese drama ever made.
 

Fuzz Rez

Banned
Feb 2, 2008
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I've recently finished watching
Majisuka Gakuen
Majisuka Gakuen 2
Saba Doru

Although I wouldn't really recommend them, unless you like watching idols doing other activities besides being on stage and singing/dancing.

I'd recommend
GTO 2012 I still need to watch the older version. I enjoyed This one though.
Hanazakari no Kimitachi e Horikita Maki <3
I will never understand the love for the old GTO. Maybe it's because I saw the anime first and that's why the live action series felt so out of place. It had basically nothing to do with the anime/manga. He didn't even perform german suplex in the old series! Characters were all wrong as well the story. There was nothing to like about. New show changed many things but at least the main character looked and acted like Onizuka, I never finished the new show either but it most certainly was better then the old show.
 

LordCanti

Member
May 8, 2011
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I will never understand the love for the old GTO. Maybe it's because I saw the anime first and that's why the live action series felt so out of place. It had basically nothing to do with the anime/manga. He didn't even perform german suplex in the old series! Characters were all wrong as well the story. There was nothing to like about. New show changed many things but at least the main character looked and acted like Onizuka, I never finished the new show either but it most certainly was better then the old show.
The old GTO was a national TV sensation in Japan (if I remember my J-Drama lore correctly). I don't know why, but I did love the initial TV series. I don't have as fond of memories for the specials (and a movie? Was there a movie?) that came after though.
 

cooljeanius

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Dec 7, 2008
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There was some paper about Japanese dorama that I read once for a class. It focused on Araundo 40:Chûmon no ôi onnatachi. I never actually watched the show though, so I just had to take the paper's word for it.
 

m3r4

Dufter Typ taking lurking to the next level
Dec 2, 2011
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There used to be a Japanese drama club at my university where a couple Japanese studies students showed the classics aswell as new stuff in a lecture hall. The first drama I watched was Nodame Cantabile and it hooked me immediately. There were some I didn't quite enjoy, though. Life, for example, was interesting in its premise but the execution was horrible and... Stand Up! I found a bit lacking. My favourites were Nodame Cantabile, Love Shuffle, Bloody Monday and Atashinchi no danshi. Tokyo Dogs was great, too.

Oh, and I love Yuriko Yoshitaka and Michiko Kichise.

I never watched Densha Otoko, Last Friends or One Liter of Tears, which are all considered essential, but I will eventually. I started IWGP but didn't get very far...
 
May 22, 2011
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Ive always been intending to watch jdramas but have always put my time into kdramas. Is there any different between the two? I absolutely adore the few kdramas that I have watched.

edit: I may have to watch nodame cantabile because Im almost done with the anime of it.
 
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