Spring 2017 Drama Roundup

I sometimes get people asking on my diary thread which of the current dramas I like/don't like. Here's a comprehensive roundup based on what I've managed to see so far. Please feel free to leave comments on your own favorites!

Summary: I find this season pretty weak so far. There are some good police procedurals, and that's about it. Nearly all of the comedies are lackluster.  

Language Level: Most of these are high intermediate to advanced. I'd call all of the police procedurals advanced. ボク、運命の人です is probably about as easy as it gets - lots of regular conversation, almost no specialist language.

For those interested in comparisons, Naver is keeping track of episode ratings.

My list, from order of favorite to least favorite:


緊急取調室 - A crack squad leads interrogations on high profile cases in order to elicit confessions out of suspects. This is one of the highest rated dramas in Japan at the moment, and one of my favorite shows of the season - tense story telling, tight writing, and cases with interesting twists and turns. It's also funnier than most of the comedies featured on TV this season. Amami Yuuki's Makabe is a pleasure to watch in every episode.

小さな巨人 - An elite member of the metro homicide squad is set up for a fall from grace, and abandons his career ambitions to fight for the truth. This is a great "heroes stick to their morals in the face of massive corruption" tale; it fills a hole for me left by the long, slow decline of 相棒.

ボク、運命の人です - A single guy comes home to his apartment to find God, who tells him that he must marry the woman who works in the office next door or the world will cease to exist. A really interesting premise that usually delivers on the laughs it promises, especially whenever Yamashita Tomohisa is on screen. This is possibly the only decent comedy on Japanese TV at the moment; otherwise, you're gonna have to get your laughs from Matsuko.

リバース - 10 years after one of their friends dies in what was deemed a tragic accident, a stranger begins persecuting the four survivors, accusing them of murder. This is unfolding as a decent whodunit. The main attraction for me is the relationship between the protagonist and his love interest; the writers and actors have done a good job of building them up into a couple you want to root for.

そして、誰もいなくなった - Two-part made-for-TV adaptation of Agatha Christie's famous story. Enjoyable, and good practice in everyday language (absent some mildly difficult parts, particularly the writing in the "10 soldiers" poem).

女の勲章 - Two-part made-for-TV movie about an outsider who breaks into the fashion business in post-war Shouwa Japan, and the creepy-ass huckster who manages to worm his way into her good favor. If you like relationship drama, this will likely appeal to you.


人は見た目が100% - Three female researchers must (for reasons largely unclear to me) learn the meaning of beauty after their paper making company is bought by a cosmetics firm. I can take this or leave it. I was a little put off at first by Kiritani Mirei playing more or less the same character I always see her play (終の棲家, アンダーウェア), but she's just so damn adorable that she grows on me after repeat viewings. Her performance almost balances out the fact that Buruson Chiemi can't act.


女囚7 - A geisha is sent to prison for a murder she didn't commit. There are some interesting things here for language learners, particularly the use of 京都弁 by the lead character. But it's all kind of silly and repetitive and predictable in the end. I had this at first in the どうでもいい section, but it's really hard to watch over time. The ratings are absolutely tanking; the recent episode fell to under 6% viewership during Golden Week, but outside odf that has never managed to break past 7.5%.

貴族探偵 - A prince solves crimes...I guess? I watched 20 minutes of one episode and it seemed so stupid and outlandish that I didn't bother watching any more. I REALLY wanted to like this, especially after watching Takei Saki in すべてがFになる, but...ugh.

あなとのこと、それほど - A woman gets married and then starts having an affair. I watched an episode and a half, and it seems like it's just heading for sadness and disaster. Maybe this kind of drama is just not my cup of tea, but this kind of story makes me want to grab the characters by their lapels and shake sense into them.

母になる - This lost me in the first 5 minutes when a kids' body was discovered floating in the ocean. It may be a decent show, but I just can't. (The show has managed double digit ratings, but appears to be sliding into single digit territory now.)


ひょっこ - The latest NHK 朝ドラ.
フランケンスタインの恋 - Could be good?
犯罪症候群 - Still in my queue; don't know much about it.  
CRISIS - Looks intriguing.
Edited: 2017-05-07, 7:01 pm
Where are you getting these? I'm pretty sure Jdramacity hasn't uploaded anything for a month now.
(2017-05-07, 7:06 pm)TheVinster Wrote: Where are you getting these? I'm pretty sure Jdramacity hasn't uploaded anything for a month now.

Search for "Zhuixinfan". 

You're welcome.
Thanks for the Zhuixinfan tip!
Started downloading some of you recommendations Smile