Anticipated J-dramas: Winter 2016

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Most Anticipated


Otousan to Yobasete

Notable Cast Members:

Endo Kenichi, Renbutsu Misako, Watabe Atsuro



Short Summary:

About age differences in marriage.  Tamotsu (Endo Kenichi)–age 51–is in a relationship with a young 23-year old woman, Miran (Renbutsu Misako).  Miran’s father (Watabe Atsuro), who is around the same age as Tamotsu, struggles to accept her relationship.


I like all the cast members & am totally looking forward to seeing them working together:

  • Endo Kenichi–I most recently saw him in Fuben na Benriya, which was also a comedy.  Endo Kenichi has a wide acting range and a lot of experience so I have no doubts he will be great in this role.
  • Renbutsu Misako–You may recognize her from her recent drama 37.5°C no Namida.  I remember her role from Nanase Futatabi the most.  I generally like her acting.
  • Watabe Atsuro–I first saw him in Gaiji Keisatsu, which I enjoyed immensely.  I mainly associate Watabe Atsuro with serious dramas, like his recent role in Kageri Yuku Natsu.  So it’ll be interesting seeing him in a comedy.

I watched some comedy j-dramas in 2015 and I gotta say, they have a great effect on me.  They make me laugh and they elevate my mood.  On top of that the premise of the story for Otousan to Yobasete has already caught my attention.  I’m so ready for a funny story about age differences in relationships.


You can watch the preview on the drama’s official site.


Watashi o Hanasanaide

English title:

Never Let Me Go

Notable Cast Members:

Ayase Haruka, Miura Haruma, Mizukawa Asami, Suzuki Rio


Sci-fi, dystopian, novel adaptation

Short Summary:

This is about three children who grew up together in a mysterious school.   They had normal lives until they learned that they’re fated to have a special mission.


*Updated* So at first when I watched the previews, I thought that they reminded me of a play that I saw about human clones who were created so that their organs could be harvested.  The children clones grew up in a secret school where they were given a “normal childhood,” only to donate their organs (aka die) when they became adults.   Well it turns out that YES, Watashi o Hanasanaide follows the same plot as the play.  Because both of them are based on the same original novel!  *MIND BLOWN*

So it turns out that Watashi o Hanasanaide is based off of an English novel Never Let Me Go, written by the Japanese British author Kazuo Ishiguro.  The novel was adapted into a British movie of the same name in 2010.  And obviously, there are other adaptations as well since I saw a play version.  o_O  Anyways, I’ll definitely be checking out this drama because the play I saw was great so I know the story itself is good.  The question is whether the drama & cast can do the story justice or not.

(Thanks to the commenters who cleared up the confusion for me!)




Itsuka Kono Koi o Omoidashite Kitto Naiteshimau

Notable Cast Members:

Kora Kengo, Arimura Kasumi



Short Summary:

A love story about six youngsters whose paths cross when they move from the countryside to Tokyo.


The title is such a mouthful, eh?  The main reason why I’m hopeful about this drama is because 1) It’s written by Sakamoto Yuji (Soredemo Ikite Yuku, Woman) 2) Kora Kengo is one of the lead actors!  However, the synopsis doesn’t really catch my eye just yet, and it’s hard to tell how the drama will be based off of the preview.  I’m also wondering how well-developed the 6 main characters will be.  Here’s hoping for another Sakamoto Yuji drama!


Other Dramas

  • Higanbana ~ Keishichou Sousa Nanaka–A new Horikita Maki drama about an all-ladies detective unit.   Apparently Maki’s character has some kind of ESP ability where she can sense evil…so she wears headphones to block it out?!  Huh?  Does she hear evil or something?
  • Sumika Sumire–About a 65 year old woman who reverts back to age 20 and gets to live as a young woman once again.  This issue arises: If a 65-year old woman in a 20-year old body goes out with a 20-ish year old guy, isn’t that a huge age difference?!
  • Kinpika–I gotta include a WOWOW drama, right?  😉  The story is about an unlikely alliance between a gangster, secretary to a politician, and government official.  Sounds interesting but I doubt it’ll get subbed.

>_<  I feel like this winter season has a good amount of seasoned cast members and interesting combinations in the casting.  I never imagined Renbutsu Misako and Endo Kenichi playing the role of a couple, nor did I imagine Miura Haruma with Ayase Haruka & Mizukawa Asami in a SCI-FI drama.  As for the other dramas aside from the top 3 I mentioned, there aren’t many that caught my attention.  Here’s hoping for a great winter 2016 season!

Let me know what winter 2016 jdramas you’re anticipating in the comments!  🙂

Source: J-drama Weblog


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!
This Year in Drama Soundtracks 2015
Happy 2016!
  • Erm, not meaning to be a spoiler but I think the play you watched which is similar to Watashi o Hanasanaide actually is what the original novel ‘Never let me go’ is about. They do go to that extent. Prepare your tissue box T.T

      • Never Let Me Go was written in English by a Japanese man so I don’t think it’s much of a stretch that the English play and Never Let Me Go is related. I wouldn’t mind watching Haruma in a Japanese adaptation. I never watched the original movie.

      • The novel was translated to English, in fact I read the English one. 0.0 Anyhow can’t wait for an epic performance by the Japanese cast. Watched the English movie one and feel that the Jap production can do very well in this too!

  • The movie Never Let Me Go was panned by critics, yet it is not only an intriguing piece of work, with a cast simply amazing – Kiera Knightley, Andrew Garfield (the former Spiderman, who is actually quite an indie star with title roles in Boy A, among others), and Carey Mulligan. For Haruma Miura to play that role of a sensitive boy torn between 2 girls is just tragic. I don’t think he can deliver… sorry to say.

    • Thanks Jed! I didn’t know there was also a movie adaptation…and only just found out today that the play I saw was based off of the novel. T_T” The boy was my favorite character in the play so I’m hoping Miura can pull it off..Just wondering, what other actor do you think would be good for the role?

      • I’d love to see Shuhei Nomura play the role of Tommy, but he’s too young compared to Haruka Ayase and Mizukawa. He has shown ability to play sensitive roles, but Haruma is the better option compared to the deadfisheye Sota Fukushi which could have been a disaster if he was cast. I’d say also someone like Yuki Furukawa can do the job – he got the acting chops for that too, or the lesser known Arata Horii – who is one really upcoming actor to watch out for.

        The thing is, they need to be together to see whether there is initial chemistry. I was blogging about Hollywood at the time of the movie and there were reports that the director Mark Romanek (who also did One Hour Photo with Robin Williams) and writer Alex Garland made the cast up close together, and see if they click – with Mulligan becoming quite celebrated at that time.

    • Watashi o Hanasanaide… I might give this a try. I didn’t see the film adaptation (and haven’t read the book either), so I’ll be able to watch this with a pretty blank slate. I’m okay with the actors – they are not my favourites but they aren’t terrible actors either. If I could have my choice of picks, maybe someone like Inoue Mao, Ono Machiko, Eita/Higashide Masahiro/Ayano… I’m not sure if the guy character is supposed to be younger than the girls (on basis of the current casting), but if that’s the case, I’d go for someone like Kamiki. But it’s hard to say, I should read the book first to make more accurate suggestions!

      Yeah for the Kora Kengo drama. That I’m excited about. Really like his acting. Not worried about the minimal synopsis just yet. Japanese dramas often make something from nothing. I mean, Osozaki no Himawari (city to countryside!) didn’t sound very exciting either but it was very enjoyable. Plus: the writer!!!

  • Otousan to Yobasete should be funny, so I’m looking forward to that. I’m so glad Endo Kenichi is getting more lead roles lately.

    As for Watashi o Hanasanaide, it’s adapted from Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. The film adaptation was okay but needed work. As for the Japanese cast, Ayase and Mizukawa should do okay as Kathy and Ruth – Ayase did her homework by meeting Ishiguro to get a feel of her character, so I hope that helps in her interpretation. Miura Haruma is a miscast as Tommy – I wish they’d gotten someone else, surely there are a number of young, more skilled actors out there who can take on the role.

    There’s been a bit of debate that Never Let Me Go doesn’t quite fit into the sci-fi genre, which I agree with because when you read the novel, there are many themes that go beyond sci-fi. Let’s hope the drama will respect the nuances of the novel.

    • Yup I’m happy about Endo Kenichi getting another lead role. And on top of that I’m glad it’s a comedy. 😉 I wonder what other actors you’d like to see in the role of Tommy? I think Watashi o Hanasanaide would also be considered dystopian not just sci-fi.

  • i’m quite happy with this season’s dramas! Watched 3 episodes of Never Let Me Go and really liked it (never caught the other versions – now i’m inspired to go read the book). Also finished ep3 of Kora Kengo’s drama and loved it – I don’t even know who the lead actress is but she’s pretty likeable and the story/writing is good!

    A surprise hit for me is Ueno Juri’s Kazoku no Katachi – mainly because I so can relate to the characters. marathoned through 3 episodes as well. I finished watching 3 episodes of Fukuda Kyoko’s rom-rom (dame na watashi ni koishite kudasai) – i can’t believe this is the first drama I watch where she’s in it. it’s not too bad and well, she’s easy on the eye. I then went to marathon last season’s Second Love (she and Kamenashi Kazuya) which I enjoyed as well!

    So i’ve turned into a total couch potato and totally loved it! It’s been a drought the last few months so I’m so glad for this!

    • Wow you’ve watched a lot from this season! I’m way behind! Next I’m probably gonna try out MARS (since I saw the Taiwanese version before) and Kora Kengo’s drama. I agree, it seems like there are more dramas that pique my interest this winter season.

  • I watched Ep. 1 of Otousan to Yobasete, waiting for the other eps to be subbed. J dramas can be such a gamble as far as subs go. I liked it and hope the rest will be subbed. Meanwhile, I’m watching Kazoku no Katachi. I saw the tweet about Ayase Haruka and Moribito. Not familiar with the series but I’d check it out. I enjoyed her in the film Ichi, where her character is a blind shamisen player who also has exceptional sword fighting skills.

    • I’ve seen part of the anime version of Moribito, which was based off of the manga. The heroine wields a spear and there are some great action scenes. I hope the action scenes in the drama will be good. *fingers crossed*

      Haven’t watched all of Otousan to Yobasete ep1 just yet. I’m getting around to it..

  • Wow. I just watched ep 5 of Love That Will make you cry and preview of ep 6. Suddenly I asked myself who is this man how can he be so different in one drama.

    Never watched him in any drama. He is so talented on how major shift role and expression and when I read about him in phycho drama blog and his movie roles I said to my self. “Where did he go in my jdrama watching?” So handsome, so intense, so expressive and so talented in diff roles.

    • I’ve watched the first couple episodes of that drama. I have seen the lead (Kora Kengo) before in a cop role in a jdrama. His character in Itsuka is a lot different too!

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