Japanese Drama Watch List 2015: Into Summer

There are many Winter and Spring drama series for 2015 that I haven’t watch, but Summer is already here. Learning from the past, it would not be good to judge the upcoming dramas based on first impressions alone, or the “stellar” cast or even the storyline. When Wakamonotachi was first announced, I have zero interest, but the drama turned out to be one of the best of the season. It’s that good, and the major reason for my raves is the cast.

Here are 5 upcoming dramas I am excited to watch—based on the plot and the cast.

1. Death Note


Date: From 10.30 p.m., Sundays, 5 July 2015
Station: NTV
Genre: Detective, sci-fi thriller
Cast: Kubota Masataka, Yamazaki Kento, Yuki Mio, Sano Hinako, Fujiwara Reiko, Seki Megumi, Maeda Goki, Yuge Tomohisa, Hankai Kazuaki, Sato Jiro, Matsushige Yutaka


Synopsis: One day, the god of death drops a notebook in the human world where it is picked up by Yagami Light (Kubota Masataka). It is the notebook of death that will determine people’s deaths. Once a name is written in the notebook, that person will die instantly.

2. Age Harassment


Date: From 9.00 p.m., Thursdays, 9 July 2015
Station: TV Asahi
Cast: Takei Emi, Inamori Izumi, Seto Koji, Kaname Jun, Okura Koji, Naito Risa, Hara Mikie, Sugimoto Tetta, Fukikoshi Mitsuru, Asano Kazuyuki, Aso Yumi, Takenaka Naoto, Kazama Morio, Koizumi Kotaro

Synopsis: Yoshii Emiri (Takei Emi) is a new employee of a top trading company. In addition to her motivation, skills and ambition, she possesses both youth and beauty. This would appear to be her passport to happiness. But because she is assigned to the General Affairs Department, the old guard which only pays lip service to “female employment”, everything she possesses becomes a target of harassment. The company only requires Emiri’s youth and beauty. Her dream of doing a good job and eventually becoming an executive officer is quickly crushed. On the other hand, Emiri just has to flash a smile and the male staff would fuss over her even though she did not ask for anything. She becomes the target of jealousy of the older female staff. Emiri is given a hard time simply because of her youth and beauty. Although she endures this every day, she soon reaches the limit of her patience. When Emiri rebels against the old-fashioned company, what awaits her is …


3. The Last Cop


Date: From 19 June 2015, Fridays
Station: NTV & Hulu
Genre: Detective
Cast: Karasawa Toshiaki, Kubota Masataka, Sasaki Nozomi, Matsuo Satoru, Kurokawa Tomoka, Kuji Akiko, Tayama Ryosei, Suzunosuke, Miyakawa Ichirota, Saito Yuki, Sano Shiro, Wakui Emi, Emoto Tokio (guest star), Takimoto Miori (guest star), Malia (guest star), Ryusei Ryo (guest star)

Synopsis: In 1985, Kyogoku (Karasawa Toshiaki) is an unconventional but passionate to the point of overeagerness detective who has solved many cases. He corners a violent criminal called Kagura, but at that moment, a bomb planted by Kagura explodes and Kyogoku slips into a coma for 30 years. One day in 2015, Kyogoku suddenly wakes up and visits his wife, Kanako (Wakui Emi). However, she has remarried and rebuffs him. Just at the moment he is behaving violently, he ends up getting arrested by a young detective, Mochizuki Ryota (Kubota Masataka) and brought to Yokohama Chuo Police Precinct where he is reunited with his former junior Suzuki (Miyakawa Ichirota), and boss Kujira (Tayama Ryosei). Kyogoku quickly returns to his position as a detective. However, he cannot comprehend the latest gadgets and the “new wisdom”. He keeps ignoring modern rules without a care and getting Ryota, who has been made his buddy, into trouble.


4. Tamiou


Date: From 11.15 p.m., Fridays, July 2015
Station: TV Asahi
Genre: Fantasy comedy
Cast: Endo Kenichi, Suda Masaki, Motokariya Yuika, Jiyoung, Takahashi Issei, Kaneda Akio, Minemura Rie, Yamauchi Takaya, Hara Kintaro, Iketani Nobue, Rokkaku Seiji, Kusakari Masao

Synopsis: One day, the current prime minister of Japan, Muto Taizan (Endo Kenichi), and his useless son, Sho (Suda Masaki), suddenly discover that they have switched bodies. With no known cause or solution at hand, Sho reluctantly ends up appearing in the Diet on his father’s behalf. But he completely cannot follow the deliberations as well as the questions and answers because it has been his routine to skip his studies. He is also repeatedly caught making childish responses or misreading kanji in documents. However, untainted by the adult world, Sho’s straightforward opinions and genuine feelings start to mobilise the Diet and the public. On the other hand, Taizan has to lead the life of a university student and search for a job on behalf of his son, but with the brains of a prime minister. He refutes arrogant interviewers with his overwhelming knowledge and debating skills. Although Taizan wins the war of words, he is an absolute failure in the interviews itself. Furthermore, several peculiar girls whom Sho has had relationships with appear and makes Taizan more bewildered.


5. Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san


Date: From 11.40 p.m., Saturdays, 27 June 2015
Station: Fuji TV
Genre: Food
Cast: Hayami Akari, Miyama Karen, Furuhata Seika, Ono Yutaka, Tanaka Hideki, Muramatsu Toshifumi

Synopsis: Koizumi-san (Hayami Akari), a cool, beautiful high school student of few words, is in fact a ramen expert who seeks and tries out delicious ramen with gusto every day.

Among those five, I guess Death Note receives the most attention since its manga’s so booming back then—and until now, I guess. It’ is rumored that the drama series differs from previous movie adaptations where the main characters battle it out as young professionals. In the new drama, both Light Yagami and L are college students.  There are also pros and cons about the cast—which probably I’d like to discuss later.

However, let’s just drop the debate and enjoy the dramas.


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