Quartet 2017: Eps 1-2 (First Impressions)

Drama ReviewsJapanese Dramas

Quartet (2017) is a winter jdrama about 4 musicians who form a quartet together.  If you are a fan of any of the cast members, I would recommend this drama to you.  I started watching because of my faves Matsuda Ryuhei (Mahoro Ekimae Bangaichi) and Mitsushima Hikari (Woman).  Of course, just having a favorite actor or actress doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll enjoy the drama.  The thing is, all of the characters are interesting and likeable.  Let’s just say that my inner fangirl is verrrry satisfied to see Matsuda Ryuhei in the role of Beppu, a shy violinist with an unrequited love.  😛  Mitsushima Hikari clearly got the most interesting character, the cello-player Suzume.  She is quirky–she sleeps anywhere, always plays the cello barefoot, AND is a double agent spying on the other quartet members.  (Yes, you heard me right.)  Suzume is likely going to be an instant favorite for most viewers.

I’m also impressed by the other two main cast members, Matsu Takako and Takahashi Issei.  These two are super charismatic–I’d say their charisma levels match Matsuda & Mitsushima’s–and have solid acting chops.  Furthermore, their characters are also interesting and endearing.  Matsu Takako steals the show as Maki, the lead violinist of the group…she just has a great aura around her.  I feel that she really is one with her character.  Lastly, Takahashi Issei is the playboy viola-player, Iemori.  I’ve heard good things about Takahashi Issei, but previously I only remember seeing him in supporting roles.  So, I wasn’t aware of his acting abilities, nor was I prepared for his charm. o_o  IMO he’s gotten the least amount of screen time in episodes 1-2, but I definitely want to know more about his backstory!

I like that this drama is not about starry-eyed youngsters forming a quartet.  It is not a youthful drama or a college drama about following your dreams and YOLO.  Instead, it’s about adults who already have a day job and were not able to be successful as professional full-time musicians.  (Only Maki became a pro violinist.)  Yet they still pursue music, regardless of their age.  I hope that Quartet will not only focus on the romance and character dynamics, but also show their journey in the music world.

More pros:

  • Fast pace–a lot happens in 2 episodes.
  • Awesome ending MV
  • Hard to predict what’s going to happen
  • Actors + instruments = eye candy
  • Character-driven
  • No stereotypical drama tropes
  • Good chemistry between all cast members
  • Quick cameo starring Uchi from Terrace House Boys and Girls in the City
  • Pretty setting
  • Outfits show the characters’ personalities rather than just following the fashion trends


  • Sometimes the dialogue feels forced, like Sakamoto Yuji is trying too hard to make it sound deep and realistic.
  • Not sure about the double agent side-plot.
  • “Doughnuts Hole” as the name for the quartet?  Really?!?
  • Because of the language/cultural barrier, it may be harder to get the jokes or plays on words in the script.  There are moments that are obviously supposed to be funny, but I don’t get them.  >_< This is not the show’s fault.  It’s just..the fate of being an international drama fan.

First Impression:

Quartet 2017 is fun and enjoyable.  The pros clearly outweigh the cons.   Its major strength is its cast–all four cast members are solid actors and have good chemistry with each other.  Quartet is especially fun for me because of how much I like Matsuda Ryuhei & Mitsushima Hikari.  😛  However, I have yet to deem this a must-watch because so far Quartet is good, but not amazing.

© My Drama Tea, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to heisui and My Drama Tea with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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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