Anticipated Jdramas: Spring 2015

Drama News / Upcoming DramasJapanese Dramas

Whew, I’m just in time for the start of the spring season of 2015!  Some spring jdramas on this list have already started airing, while others are about to start airing shortly.  Here’s what I’m keeping an eye out for this season:

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For the Cast

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 dr-ajdr-sp2015o

Dr. Rintaro

Notable Cast:

Aoi Yu, Sakai Masato, Kichise Michiko

Genre:

Medical

Network:

NTV

Short Summary:

Dr. Rintaro (Sakai Masato) is a renowned psychiatrist who is so popular that he goes on talk shows, gives lectures at universities, and has famous patients.  Although he helps heal people’s hearts, he is passive when it comes to his love life.  But when he encounters a well-known geisha, Yumeno, (Aoi Yu) Dr. Rintaro’s life starts to change…

Thoughts:

dr2-ajdr-sp2015o39

^Aoi Yu as Yumeno

This may sound like blasphemy to all Sakai Masato fans, but Sakai Masato’s name is not the one that jumps out to me the most on the cast list. Even though Sakai Masato is all the rage nowadays due to his roles in Legal High & Hanzawa Naoki, I feel neutral towards him.  I’ve seen him before in JOKER but I wasn’t blown away by his acting or anything. To each his own, right?   Actually, I’m way more excited to see Aoi Yu!  This will be the first time I’ve seen her portray a geisha, so I’m curious to see how she will tackle her role .  I’m also looking forward to seeing her as a geisha because she looks so different!  I could barely recognize her in the stills, omg!  O:

As for the story itself, I guess it will be a combination of medical + romance?  I think the characters will probably be the biggest attraction of the drama…after all, it’s not too often that we see both a geisha and a doctor as the main characters.  I’m wary of the medical aspect of the drama because oftentimes medical jdramas are quite cheesy.  (Don’t get me wrong, there’s other amazing medical jdramas as well.)

Preview:

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kgpn-ajdr-sp2015o

Kokoro ga Pokitto ne

Notable Cast:

Fujiki Naohito, Yamaguchi Tomoko, Abe Sadao, Mizuhara Kiko

Genre:

Rom-com

Network:

Fuji TV

Short Summary:

A love square between for people.  Haruto’s (Abe Sadao) life spirals downwards as he loses his job, his home, and his marriage.  He finds work at a furniture repair shop, which is owned by Shin (Fujiki Naohito).   It turns out that Shin is dating Haruto’s ex-wife (Yamaguchi Tomoko)!  Things get even more complicated when a young woman, Miyako (Mizuhara Kiko), falls in love with Shin at first sight.

Thoughts:

Classic love square + rom-com, eh?  I think this drama may turn out to be really popular because 1) It has Fujiki Naohito 2) It’s a rom-com.  Japanese rom-coms tend to be super popular.  I’m not sure whether the story will have enough to keep me watching because I fear that it will have all the usual rom-com tropes though.  >_>  The scriptwriter, Okada Yoshikazu, has a great track-record–he’s written for Zeni Geba, Flowers for Algernon (NO, not the new one with Yamapi.), and Oyaji no Senaka.  So I think the writing will be decent.  *fingers crossed*

Obviously Fujiki Naohito is the main draw for me in the cast.  The one cast member I’m not so excited about is Mizuhara Kiko, a newbie actress.  The reason I’m sorta iffy about Mizuhara Kiko in this role is that I fear she’ll be overwhelmed by the stage presence of the three other more experienced main actors.  (By the way, she’s the same actress who is playing Mikasa in the Shingeki no Kyojin/Attack on Titan live action.)

Preview:

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yp-ajdr-sp2015o60

Yokokuhan ~ The Pain

Notable Cast:

Toda Erika, Kiritani Kenta, Higashiyama Noriyuki

Genre:

Mystery, suspense, crime, live action

Network:

WOWOW

Short Summary:

The Shimbunshi is a group of vigilantes that holds mock trials for people who are accused of committing a crime.  The group gives punishments for those who are found guilty.  They also post videos of the trials online.  Yoshino (Toda Erika), the head of the cyber crime unit, aims to hunt down the Shimbunshi…

Thoughts:

TODA ERIKA!!!  Actually I almost missed that Toda Erika was even in a spring jdrama because the promo poster has a tiny little picture of her. T_T”  So glad I found her name though!  So obviously I’m really looking forward to seeing Toda Erika as the head of a police unit…I guess it’ll give me flashbacks to her role in BOSS, hehe.  I also like Kiritani Kenta so that’s another plus.

The mystery itself doesn’t sound that compelling to me.  It could get kinda cheesy…I mean, seriously?  Newspaper face masks?  But who knows, maybe the mystery will end up being really good?

Preview:

This is the preview for the Yokokuhan movie, which aired earlier this year.  I think the storyline precedes the drama.  I will update this later when the drama preview is released.

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fs-ajdr-sp2015o

Futagashira

Notable Cast:

Matsuyama Kenichi, Saotome Taichi, Narimiya Hiroki

Genre:

period, live action

Network:

WOWOW

Short Summary:

This is about two men–Benzo (Matsuyama Kenichi) and Soji (Saotome Taichi)–who are a part of a gang called “Akame”.  Their boss tells them that he will leave the gang in their hands.  But after the boss’ death, Benzo and Soji discover that Jinzaburo (Narimiya Hiroki) is actually the successor.  They decide to split from the gang.

Thoughts:

I’m mainly looking forward to this for the casting of Kenichi Matsuyama, an excellent actor who has starred in several movies and the jdrama Zeni Geba.  He has only been in a couple of jdramas in the past five years (he was more active in movies than in jdramas during this time), so I think it’s noteworthy that he’s coming back for Futagashira.

BUT!  I think the story will also be good.  Usually I’m sorta wary about live actions but this one is by WOWOW and I’ve had a good experience with the WOWOW live action for xxxHOLiC.  Again, the synopsis is kinda vague so I have no idea what the main characters are going to do once they leave the gang. O_O”  I will wait for the previews for more clarification.

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For the Story

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fb-ajdr-sp2015.2o85

Fuben na Benriya

Notable Cast:

Okada Masaki, Suzuki Kosuke, Endo Kenichi

Genre:

Comedy

Network:

TV Tokyo

Short Summary:

A young man (Okada Masaki) is stranded in a rural town in Hokkaido due to a snowstorm.  He ends up staying in town and starts working at a benriya (a business that does handyman jobs).

Thoughts:

This drama has the potential to be wacky and fun.  I already love the concept of the benriya because I loved the benriya in Mahoro Ekimae Bangaichi!

Preview:

Review:

Eps 1-2: First Impressions

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yoa-ajdr-sp2015

Yume o Ataru

Notable Cast:

Komatsu Nana, Kikuchi Rinko, Mackenyu, Odagiri Joe

Genre:

?? Romance?  Tragedy?  Novel adaptation.

Network:

WOWOW

Short Summary:

The story of Yuko (Komatsu Nana (old Yuko)/Tani Kanon (young Yuko), who enters the show business at a young age due to her mom’s (Kikuchi Rinko) wishes.  Years later, she joins an entertainment company and rises to fame.  However she has a conflict between her real self and her celebrity image.  She meets a free-spirited dancer (Mackenyu) who freely lives his life.  A tragedy starts to unfold..

Thoughts:

I give my vote to Yume o Ataru for the best promo poster, it’s so mesmerizing isn’t it?  The synopsis is really mysterious–I can’t tell whether it’s supposed to be a tragic romance or a melodrama or what?  Knowing WOWOW, it is bound to be a dark story.  But I’ll have to wait for a preview to be released to gauge what the drama will be like.

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64-ajdr-sp2015

64 (Rokuyon)

Notable Cast:

Pierre Taki, Kimura Yoshino, Arai Hirofumi, Nagayama Kento

Genre:

mystery, suspense, novel adaptation

Network:

NHK

Short Summary:

The story of the unsolved case of “64,” which involved the kidnapping and murder of the victim.  The statue of limitations for the case is going to run out soon.  But then another kidnapping happens, and it is a copycat of 64…

Thoughts:

You have to see the preview to see why I think this will good.  The preview is super intense and suspenseful, so I’m hoping that it’ll be great mystery!  Also, it’s only 5 episodes long, which is just the right length.  The Long Goodbye was 5 episodes long (also by NHK) and it was amazing.  So I have no doubt that NHK could pull it off again.

Preview:

You can view the preview on the official site here.

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Etc.

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DoS Deka

I’m surprised to see Tabe Mikako in a “bad cop” kind of role.  I guess it’s because I’m so used to seeing her in ‘good girl’ roles?

ffa-ajdr-sp2015o63

Algernon ni Hanataba o 2015

I can’t believe they’re making another remake of Flowers of Algernon, starring Yamapi & Kuriyama Chiaki!  There’s already a 2002 jdrama adaptation of Flowers of Algernon starring Kanno Miho and Yusuke Santamaria.  So I don’t think there’s a need for yet another Algernon adaptation. =_=  At least the poster is pretty?  And just a heads up for those who will be watching this, this isn’t a happy story.

 Renai Jidai

The synopsis sounds really cute.  A divorced couple decide to find each other a new marriage partner/date.  I watched some of episode 1 and (*spoiler*) it’s obvious that the divorced couple still loves each other but has no idea about it.  Also their relationship is the classic constant-bickering type.  I don’t want to watch them bickering and being oblivious about their feelings for each other the entire time. T_T”

And for those who are instantly connecting Renai Jidai to the k-drama Alone in Love, guess what, both of them are adaptations of the same novel, “Renai Jidai” by Hisashi Nozawa.

mg-ajdr-sp2015050

Mother Game ~ Onnatachi no Kaikyuu

In all honesty, this drama looks like it could be a really fun and popular watch.  I recognize ALL the names for the main cast members!  And I love the poster!  But…I doubt that I will follow this drama because it will be all about the high society of rich mothers.  =_=

Bijo to Danshi

The English translation “The Beauty and the Fellow” sounds really awkward.  I can see how they had trouble figuring out which word to use for Danshi which means a young guy.  I thought of all the other possibilities…the beauty and the guy?  The beauty and the young man?  The beauty and the boy?  Nothing sounds quite right.

Anyways, I took a peek at episode 1 for Nakama Yukie but…I definitely will not be watching this.  >_>  It takes a whole episode for her character just to get the main guy character to agree to be her talent recruit.  Meh.

I’m Home

At first I didn’t recognize Kimutaku with his new hairstyle!  Interesting Kimutaku will be working with Ueto Aya.  I’m not interested in the synopsis because the ‘I don’t really know my family’ story has been done before.  In fact, the jdrama Ryuusei Wagon, did this very concept just last season.

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Are there any other jdramas you’re looking forward to that aren’t on this list?  What spring jdramas & actors are you looking forward to the most, and why?  Which promo poster or trailer is your favorite?

Note: Please comment if a video link is broken, or if the video no longer exists.

Sources: Dramawiki / Jdrama Weblog / Asianwiki

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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  • I’m not a big fan of Sakai Masato however for some reasons I always enjoy his dramas – probably he has luck when choosing dramas. For now I want to keep Dr. Rintaro to watch it when it ends airing.

    I wanted to watch “Kokoro ga Pokitto ne” but I can’t watch Mizuhara Kiko’s acting, she’s always conscious of the camera and it’s slightly annoying to watch – but that’s just a personal opinion.

    I watched the first episode of “Fuben na Benriya” and it’s really fun, the writing and the acting is spot on and it has the typical Japanese humor.

    I watched the first two episodes of Renai Jidai and it’s more like the ended relationship where they still have a lot to say to each other. They want to find each other new partners and it was funny seeing them putting a wall of pride in front of one another.

    Thanks for the list; “Yume o Ataru” has an interesting premise on top of that Odagiri Joe is in so I’m in for the drama as well, hopefully it will turn out to be good XD

    • Wow you’ve already watched a lot of new jdramas! I also took a peek at Kokoro ga Pokitto ne and was unimpressed with Mizuhara Kiko. T_T” Plus her character is a main character so…lots of screen time for her..

      I’m not sure how big of a role Odagiri Joe has in Yume o Ataru. His character works at the entertainment agency where the main character also works.

  • Kokoro ga Pokitto ne – I watched ep. 1 and it’s promising. I’m more interested in Abe Sadao’s under-dog character than Fujiki Naohito (I don’t mind him, but he has no special appeal for me?). I don’t mind Mizuhara Kiko. I think as models-turned-actresses go, she’s actually pretty decent. I think all the characters so far are interesting (hopefully Yamaguchi’s will become more multi-dimensional because at the moment that’s a pretty irritating woman she’s playing) and the whole story could explore new territory.Maybe. If they focus on the social/psychological issues more so than the romance.

    Fuben na Benriya – there better be subs for this. Watched a bit of ep 1 raw… this could be such whacky fun!

    Renai Jidai – never managed to get through the Korean adaptation of that one. The premise just didn’t make sense to me with them trying to get over each other by hanging out with each other. Their dialogues in the Korean version to me seemed nonsensical (but I know others who find this one of the most realistic & best K-dramas)… the J version could improve on it because might tackle things differently, but I’m not sold.

    Yume o Ataru – damn, I want to watch that for the cast!

    You didn’t mention: Ishitachi no Renai Jijou. Watched ep 1… it’s yet another medical drama with a conflict we’ve had before (money vs. medical ethics), but it seems to have an actual romance line. Takumi Saito is… intense. Hirayama Hiroyuki’s character I think is going to get intense (he already is, but there’s definitely a love triangle coming our way).

    Been watching Hana Moyu, that one started January (so I guess it’s not a spring drama) but subs only started appearing now. I don’t normally watch historical dramas with gazillion episodes, but really liking this one so far because the characters are great (and the actors – can’t wait for Inoue and Higashide to get together!). Also, since I’ve seen the film Chosyu Five, so it’s really interesting to get another interpretation (with a heavy emphasis on the female perspective to boot) of that particular era in Japan.

    • I’m hoping that Kokoro ga Pokitto ne will go beyond the typical rom-com storyline. I think they can do a lot with Abe Sadao’s character. I’ve heard of Ishitachi no Renai Jijou (it’s on Viki) but I thought I wouldn’t be into a medical romance story. I’m surprised it’s so intense! O_O Ah I haven’t ever braved a historical jdrama. Too long for me!

      • I was already bored with the second episode of Kokoro ga Pokitto (the characters are already getting tiresome).

        Still liking Ishitachi no Renai Jijou, although there’s absolutely nothing original about it. Bit worried it might go dark. Don’t mind if Takumi Saito’s character stays intense (and stays 100% true in terms of his sense of justice/medical ethics), as long as he doesn’t turn possessive or mean or something.

  • That’s not a very exciting season, isn’t it? I’ve tried a couple of pilots but none of them really convinced me.

    Ishitachi no Renai Jijou : Super predictable (and the main romance is quite cheesy in my opinion) but there is chemistry between the leads.

    Kokoro ga Pokitto ne : Not convinced and I don’t know exactly why. I love Abe Sadao in this role and I’m glad to see Fujiki Naohito and Tomoko Yamaguchi again but… the pilot felt quite disjointed to me.

    And lastly, Renai Jidai : Liked the pilot, but like you, I don’t think I’m in the mood for that kind of romance (loved Alone in Love though)…

    I hope that Fuben na Benrya will have subs, it looks funny!
    Also, I really like the new design of your website! =)

    • Yeah, I don’t have any dramas for my usual ‘most anticipated’ category. :'( I thought Renai Jidai ep1 was cute but yup…I don’t think I want to watch them taking the whole drama to figure out they are still in love with each other. *sigh* I’m also hoping that Fuben na Benrya will have subs!!

  • This spring season doesn’t look very exciting drama-wise. Will check out Kokoro ga Pokitto ne for Fujiki and Yamaguchi, but will keep expectations low. Might watch 64 and I’m Home as well, and the poster for Fuben na Benriya cracks me up.

    • Yup I love the poster for Fuben na Benriya, hehe. I’m curious about how 64 will turn out..looks like it will be really intense.

  • Kiko is love, Kokoro ga Pokitto ne enters instantly my list! Fuben na Benriya is a drama i might try due to the fun factor and see if it works for me. I’m Home is another one i want to give a shot because i’m curious about its scenario, the promotional cover of the drama with the wife and the kid with the white masks has a sickening aura. Algernon ni Hanataba o is one i will try as well, but something tells me spring season’s doramas don’t seem as intriguing as the wintry ones were; still watching them one after the other. Thanks for gathering them in an article and sharing your thoughts!

    • I’m curious to hear your initial thoughts on Kokoro ga Pokitto ne when you start watching it. Seems like people are still divided on this drama.

  • Yeah, pickings are slim this season. Kokoro ga Pokitto ne’s first episode was better than I thought it would be and has some interesting, flawed characters, but I don’t know if it can keep it up. Renai Jidai was okay, but nothing really compelling. Fuben na Benriya looks like fun, but I doubt it will get subbed. The only other drama that could be interesting is She. It has Matsuoka Mayu, who I loved in Mondai no Aru no Restaurant, but I’m a little wary of high school mystery dramas.

    • Jed at Psycho-Drama is also watching She; I think he’s also a fan of Matsuoka Mayu due to Mondai Aru no Restaurant hehe.

  • I’m Home (Takuya Kimura and Aya Ueto) is a good drama.. now im watching Im home, Tenno No Ryoriban and Tatakau Shoten girl. so far, i really love im home and tenno, while tatakau is so-so but still enjoy watching it.. 🙂

  • Hello!! Im just wondering if you know where I can watch Yume O Ataru with english sub? I tried searching but so far nothing’s come up

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