One Year Since my Japanese Drama Plunge

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!!
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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

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
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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.


17 thoughts on “One Year Since my Japanese Drama Plunge

  1. Are you going to continue the dramarama for 2010?

    If you want to be entertained, try 笑っちゃいけない (Waraccha Ikenai). It’s pretty funny, but it’s not a drama.

  2. I’m curious to know how did it helps regarding your aim to, and I quote : “expose myself to naturally spoken Japanese in an attempt to improve my own learning of the language” ?

    1. it does help by allowing me to hear Japanese other than in anime or music. Hearing conversations, responses, pronunciations and such allows me to pick up words and learn without even knowing it at times.

  3. I’m sure you have a long “to watch” list – I know I do. But from the last year’s worth of TV I recommend Jin. It’s something a bit different – a doctor is somehow transported to the past. Highly recommend! Keep us updated on your drama adventures :)

  4. I’ve already lost count how many doramas I’ve watched ^^
    Hana yori dango was my first one and I think Nobuta was my second.
    This year had a few really great doramas, like Ninkyo helper.
    Jin! I loved that one great cast and story.

    1. not at ignorant question at all, I get that a lot. No a drama is not a soap opera, it’s like a regular western TV show with topics ranging from scifi, to mystery, to school, to hospitals, anythign and everything basically.

  5. think I also recommended you some of these via twitter, but who can remember well now. The first 5 shows I’ve also watched and loved. Liar Game was a bit too dumb for me, I mean Toda Erika was.

    By the way, I recommend Nagase’s doramas, especially Tiger & Dragon, which I personally think was the best.

  6. Looking for another great one? Mr Brain is my favorite show so far.

    Thanks for the list! I’ll be checking out at least some of these!

  7. Hey,

    Great to see others with similar ideas like myself with the aim to be fluent in Japanese.

    An easy jdrama you can watch and fully understand is “Zettai Kareshi “(Comedy Romance)

    A really good an awesome movie “Love Exposure” .

    A Sex in the City type of jdrama “Love and Fight ”

    Similar to GTO if you love that you’re gonna love “Gokusen” Seasons 1 – 3

    Yes , as others have mentioned “JIN” is a really really really good jdrama.

    If you’re into Medical Jdrama you could check out : “Dr. Koto Shinryojo ” this is more like the american medical drama “House”, but instead of jerk , you get a nice warm hearted good feeling doctor on a small island.

    I also heard the medical jdrama “Code Blue” is really good too.

    If you like the american movie “Freaky Friday” you’ll love the jdrama : “papa to musume no nanokakan”, instead of a mother and daughter switching it’s father and daughter, hilarious situations ensue!!

    If you want to watch about Jdrama cuisine with romance, and never heard of Omurice, I highly recommend “Lunch Queen”.

    Oh, and if you really want to get heavy and teary eyed, you should watch :

    “1 Litre of Tears”
    “Queen’s Classroom”

    OH, I just remembered, if you’re into like comedy romance you can get “Muko Dono”, stars Tomoya Nagase, same guy in My Boss My Hero.

    I think this will keep you busy for now. …

  8. My Boss My Hero is definitely on my to-watch list! I also recommend Densha Otoko. It’s pretty funny yet touching at the same time.

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