Heisui’s favorites: What are the best dramas for summer?

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Lately I’ve been getting into the summer mood.  Yes, it’s the summer season here and for some reason, instead of making me think of the glorious beach, vacation, the sunshine, and hot weather…the summertime always makes me feel a bit wistful.  It makes me feel free and happy and yet…something about it also makes me feel nostalgic and melancholy.  I guess the word that describes summer for me is ‘bittersweet’.  Last night I was reading old letters from friends (I’m sentimental like that, ok :P) and it made me feel so..summery.  Because they were melancholy and happy and reminded me of the old times in the past.  Anyways, there I was, feeling all old and nostalgic and sorta sad, and then I got my idea for this post…I need the perfect drama for summer.  So I tried to think of dramas that are best for the summer season.  So, here it goes!

The slice-of-life drama: The first love(s)

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Sprout

The first drama that comes to mind when I think of the summer is Sprout.  It’s about a girl Mio who falls in love with her ‘fated one’ but also gets entangled in the lives of his best friend and his girlfriend.  (not in a cheating way, I mean..she has her ups and downs with them) Sprout is a live action drama but it doesn’t feel like a typical cheesy live action at all.  Instead it is a really sweet slice-of-life story, full of all the emotions that come along with first love.  It makes me feel really reminiscent because it makes me think back to my high school days.  It’s also quite bittersweet because the four main characters are all so young, all so in love, and yet they are also ever-aware of all of the pain that comes along with their love.  Overall it’s a simple story, but the way it’s told really speaks volumes.  The episodes are short but tastefully filmed, with a great soundtrack and just the right amount of silence too.  A great choice for summer nostalgia.

The harem shoujo drama: Friendship, fluff, and heart-warming fun.

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Asuko March

The second drama that comes to mind is Asuko March!  This is another live action, except it is moreso a shoujo story where a girl, Nao, goes to an almost-all-guys-high-school.  On top of that it is a ‘technical’ high school where the students learn how to work with machinery and such!  So Nao learns how to toughen up and eventually makes friends with all the guys who initially didn’t accept her as ‘one of the bros’.  It is super shippy, super fun and really cute.  I would classify it as a harem drama (read: one girl, like 10 guys fall for her.  Ok exaggeration but you get the point.) and here’s the thing..like ALL the guys are great.  I couldn’t even decide between all of them.  O__O  But if I had to choose, it would be Kaku Kento’s character of Tamaki.  😉  Why does it remind me of summer?  Well first of all I watched it during the summer season so that might be it.  But it is also a feel-good show with friendship and warm fuzzies, so I think it suits summer perfectly!

The human drama:  Emotions, raw and straight-forward.  (currently airing Summer 2013)

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Woman

The previous 2 dramas are all past dramas so I figure I might as well choose a currently airing drama as well.  Of course the summer season has only started, but so far Woman is my #1 pick of the season.  We don’t always need an idol drama for the summer, nor do we always need a shippy high school drama.  Woman is a more ‘mature’ drama and for sure, a much more serious one.  It is about a widower, Koharu, who is raising her two young children on her own.  She struggles to support her children, cope with her husband’s death, and come to terms with her mother whom she has alienated.  Although you might think of summer as a happy time, and Woman is not really a super happy drama, I still think Woman embodies part of the summer spirit.  It’s not aiming to make you feel happy, instead it’s trying to make you feel all the emotions of the characters by capturing the warmth of family, the meaning of motherhood, and the hardships of life.

Overall

So, those are the three dramas that came to mind when I tried to think of the summertime.  Somehow all I came up with are jdramas although I didn’t intend for it to be only jdramas.  T_T  I’m sure there are many more great summer dramas out there that I didn’t think of or am unaware of so if you have any suggestions let me know!  Which dramas are the best for the summertime?  And what feelings reminds you of summer the most?

heisui

I'm heisui, an Asian drama blogger and the creator of My Drama Tea. I love stories and writing, so I watch dramas and blog. I especially have a penchant for Japanese and Chinese dramas, and those hidden gems that are waiting to be discovered. Oh, and I'm Legend of Zhen Huan-obsessed!
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  • For shippy high school ones, definitely Hana Kimi! I think it originally aired in summer(ish), but it also has a happy, playful vibe that I associate with summer. Another one that I’m enjoying right now is the Korean school drama Monstar, about a pop star who ends up in high school for PR. Sounds silly, but all the characters have layered interactions and are really great, and it has a bit of summery melancholy to it to anchor the small fits of cracktasticness. Plus great use of music. Ooh, also Proposal Daisukusen for nostalgic youth stuff, too. I’ve heard Answer Me 1997 (Korean) is a good nostalgic one, but I haven’t watched it yet.

    I don’t really know many super serious dramatic ones, unfortunately. Or at least, not ones that are summery. Maou is stark and wintery, and… yeah. I just really don’t have a lot on the human interest ones. I do want to try Woman, though.

    • Hiiii jubi! Ah yes, Hana Kimi for sure. I couldn’t remember if it was aired in the summertime or not though. >_< Hmm I think Proposal Daisukusen is very nostalgic with all of their high school memories too! *W* I've heard of Monstar but never tried it out. Sounds like it's good!

  • If Sprout went the way of the manga, I don’t think I could have stomached the drama. Thankfully it didn’t. It’s a very poignant and very appropo summer pick. Asuko March! I could have shipped her with Eita’s baby brother or Kaku Kento. Love what’s his name, but I just shipped her more with someone else 😛

    A drama that makes me think of summer…Gong for some reason. And ToGetHer. Both good summer dramas. One is relatively short and good for a summer romance an the other…just might take you all summer to watch depending on how a person watches dramas.

    I haven’t started watching any summer dramas yet. Gasp! I’m still stuck on Spring dramas I need to finish. I always think of dramas and summer…but can never watch all that many thanks to the demands of just what summer means.

  • Summer dramas…. For me, it’s Roy Qiu’s Waking Up Love, taiwanese Hana Kimi, Dragon Zakura, Buzzer Beat, Summer Fever (with guigui and george hu), Seigi no Mikata (with shida mirai) and Asuko’s March as you mentioned.

    in general anything that is beachy, waves, sunscreen, eating watermelon is summer 🙂

  • Rich Man Poor Woman because it aired last summer. Though I wasn’t such a fan of it (it was good but…). Osozaki no Himawari, despite the fact that that one goes through the full seasons. But there’s a summer feeling about it.

    Not sure what else, I don’t normally connect dramas and seasons…

    • Ooo I didn’t know RMPW was a summer drama. I bet that’s a summer favorite of a lot of jdrama/Oguri Shun fans. I also think Osozaki no Himawari feels sorta summery although it was not a summer drama. I guess since it’s a slice-of-life drama and it was set in the countryside.

  • After seeing supah’s kid spam I was so gonna pass on Woman but then I read this. I really may give it the ole college try. Lol. It sounds like my kinda stuff just the kiiiids….

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