It’s a year since my decision to started watching Japanese dramas properly with the aim being to expose myself to naturally spoken Japanese in an attempt to improve my own learning of the language while hopefully being entertained. A year later I have watched 7 series completely with a list of about 20 series thanks for friends and readers who recommended some shows that I should check out. I tried to mix up the genres and freshness levels of the dramas I watched so far and after writing what I thought of each I decided I’d rank them in order of preference.
- My Boss My Hero
My Boss My Hero is my favourite Japanese drama. I like to describe the feeling that I had while watching it as being a like a child in an amusement park. I couldn’t have chosen a better first show to watch as it’s story provided more than enough to keep my attention and the comedy had me in stitches with almost every line.
- Great Teacher Onizuka
Great Teacher Onizuka is described as a classic and a favourite of many of the people who recommended it and it didn’t take long to see why while watching it. It’s lessons about life, mistakes, change, team work and so much more of life’s lessons was very moving but not in the tear jerking kind of way. I’ll join in and recommend that every check out GTO if you haven’t done so already.
- Stand Up!!
Stand Up!! is another great Japanese drama I enjoyed that combined so many of the ingredients that make a show appeal to me, interesting characters and comedy being two of them. This did seem a little slow and drawn out at times in the middle of the series but a huge cast and increasingly quirky scenes kept me interested.
- Nobuta wo Produce
Nobuta wo Produce was the second show I watched after My Boss My Hero. From reading the plot synopsis I expected a mundane story but it turned out to be much more interesting than I thought. the character named Akira was the true star in this series and his antics kept things cheerful at all times no matter what else was going on.
Akihabara@Deep is one of the funniest series I have seen that initially moved up my “to watch” list because it had “Akihabara” in it’s name. The story was a bit cliche but the cast carried the show well although the low production values made it lack the polish of some of the other shows I had watched.
- Liar Game
Liar Game started well and did a good job hooking me as I watched the entire series without much of a break. As things got closer to the end though it did feel a little repetitive. The story surrounding Akiyama Shinichi was the most interesting but Kanzaki Nao was so dumb she should be ordered by law to colour her hair blond.
- Innocent Love
Innocent Love isn’t necessarily the “worst” Japanese drama I have seen but more like the one found least interesting. The tear jerking stuff isn’t for me as I find it more annoying than sad most times. I did develop a liking for Horikita Maki who also stared in Nobuto wo Produce, maybe I’ll be allowed to join her stalker army one day.
Hi Fives all around
Hi5 to Yonasu, Koichi, Justin, David, Billy, Sanjo-chan and the many others who recommended shows for me when I announced my impending Japanese drama plunge. There are still many many shows for me to watch this year so like 2009 it seems 2010 will be filled with lots of Japanese drama goodness.
1 Year Later
There more I read through my blog archive for 2009 I realize how awesome a year it was, look out for a similar “1 year later” type post next month that details how my anime figure collection has grown.