Dorama Reviews

J-Dorama : [A-C] [D-F] [G-I] [J-L] [M-O] [P-R] [S-T] [U-Z]

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Below are my reviews on doramas I've watched recently!^^ Actually, I have watched MORE doramas than these, but I don't have a good memory on 5 years ago^^ I hope these reviews can help you to make a decision on which dorama you should buy and watch. But, remember these are my subjective opinions according to my taste ^_^ Pls, don't be offended if any of my opinions oppose yours, coz every people have different tastes, ne?^^

My All-Time Favorite Dramas(not particularly in order):

  • Love Generation : Takuya Kimura and Takako Matsu
  • Hito ni Yasashiku : Shingo Katori, Mitsuru Matsuoka, Koji Kato and Kenta Suga

My Favorite Actors:

#1. Shingo Katori : Love and adore him as an actor(he's a brilliant actor!!), as a singer(his voice may only be so-so for some ppl, but I love his singing voice!), as an entertainer, as a comedian(he can make me laugh my brains out) and as a person!!^^ To sum it up, I'm crazy about this guy!!! Some of you, would might think I'm biased when it comes to anything about him...but, I'm serious about his brilliant acting skill!! Hontou desu yo!^_^

#2-5. Masahiro Nakai, Takuya Kimura, Goro Inagaki and Tsuyoshi Kusanagi(not particularly in order) : Yup, yup, yup!! Can't help it! All I've been watching these days are their dramas! So, they're definitely my favorites!!!^^ I dont know...its just gets interesting to watch them in different roles coz I already know the REAL them...from Smap shows, I know their REAL, its very interesting to see them in various roles in dramas^^
Althou, Nakai does not really concentrate himself in acting/dramas but more in variety shows as MC....nonetheless, he's a GREAT actor and he really proved that, in Shiroi Kage drama and Mohouhan movie.
Kimura is the most successful actor I've ever known!! Actors with great and amazing acting skills?? We can find often! But, actor with great acting skill with 90% of his dramas being a success....VERY RARE!!!^^
Goro have always good acting and as he's actually an introvert type of man, I'm amazed when he can act ridiculous and funny. He already acted a leading role since 1992(Kimura have leading role in dramas not until 1995). He's such a great actor! Rather than drama, he focuses himself in theatrical plays.
Tsuyoshi is also a great actor!! And, I think he has the most high-quality dramas among Smap members together with Kimura....I love it, when he act a role oppose his realself which is the introvert type and never talk much...and he also won Best Actor award for last season's drama(Kimura was a runner-up)!!

#6. Yutaka Takenouchi : He's still a fabulous actor to me!!!^^ Its just, I watch less of his dramas now....=P Anyway, I admire his ability in characterizing totally different roles from the other!! Sugoooi!! In one role, the way he talks and his gestures can be very different from the other roles he ever played before!!! I'm amazed!!O_O He also can change his 'image' easily, only by adding beard or cut/grow his hair or even only by putting on glasses, he already looked different from before! A Man with A Thousand Masks!!!^^

My Favorite Actresses:

1. Takako Matsu : Her acting skill is excellent!!! And she's just soooo adorable! From SxS shows I watched, I think Matsu-san is actually the sweet and quiet type. Yet, she can act as loud Riko(LoveGen), ditsy Setsuko(OmiaiKekkon) and ridiculous Amamiya(Hero)!!! Superb!
2. Ryoko Hirosue : I love her acting style, that's all!!^^

Asunaro Hakusho(Ordinary People)

Rate: 8.0
Broadcasted in Japan: FujiTV October-December 1993
Duration: 12 episodes
Scriptwriter: Eriko Kitagawa
Themesong: True Love by Fumiya Fujii

Synopsis: Five youngsters enter the same university and become very good friends. As they're very close, they're afraid of 'hurting' one another, and this results in even more tragedies. Both Kakei and Toride, who fall for Narumi, keep holding back their feelings and giving way to each other. In the end, all left school due to one reason or another, leaving Narumi alone to complete the course. The happy days are gone, but they happen to meet one another again a few years later, and the story continues...

Acting performances:

Hikari Ishida as Narumi Sonoda
Her acting is good, what I don't like is Narumi's character >_<

Michitaka Tsutsui as Kakei
I hate Kakei! Gee....I can't really explain why, I just hate the character....which made me didn't put much sympathy for the actor, either =P

Anju Suzuki as Seika
Now, I like Seika ^_^ I think she's sweet! Anju Suzuki is good in acting, too. Her face reminds me a lot with Honami Suzuki(Tokyo Love Story's Rika Akana), they even have the same surname!O_o Perhaps, they ARE related??

Hidetoshi Nishijima as Matsuoka
I like him very much in the beginning until I find out he's a gay >_< I thought he really have sparks with Seika. Too bad...=( And, not a very good ending for him too...

Takuya Kimura as Toride
This dorama is very popular in Indonesia(my country) back in 1995. Perhaps, as popular as Long Vacation when it was broadcasted in Indonesia in 2001, but most of people never realized Toride and Sena were played by the same actor, including me!^_^ I was 11 when I watched this dorama, and really didn't realize Sena is Toride =P Until, one of my friends reminds me of it and then my brother bought the VCD^^
The impression of Kimura on Toride and Sena is very different!!^^ Kimura as Toride is so cute and so sweet! Look at his hairstyle and his big glasses...haha! But, actually his way of acting is still sooooo "Kimura" ^_^ I didn't give much attention on Toride back in 1995, but when I watched it again on VCD, Toride became my favorite character =P Perhaps, Takuya Kimura being one of my favorite actor had a lot to do with it ^_~

First sight: J-dramas became very popular in Indonesia since a local TV station broadcasted Tokyo Love Story(TLS) in 1995. Asunaro Hakusho(Ordinary People) is one of the legendary dorama along with TLS, Anything For You and 101 Proposal. The themesong could be the main factor on why I watched this dorama^^ I didn't really remember the story back then, but I know it really left me a very good impression!^_^ And, I remember I like Matsuoka very much that time, and very dissapointed when I found out he's a gay >_<

Comments: It is still as good as ever!!^^ Love the friendship between those 5 bestfriends! It's just, I don't like Kakei and Narumi themselves as the main characters. I'd rather see, Seika and Matsuoka's story(why can't they have a happy ending??>_<). And since there's no choice, I guess...I want to see Toride be happy with Narumi(although I dislike her =P)! Toride is probably the sweetest character, Kimura ever acted!!!^O^
This dorama also has the greatest themesong of all time!^^ Perhaps, the only Japanese song which is well-known by every people in Indonesia, even until now^^

Watched: twice(all eps), on local TV(Indosiar) and bought the VCD

Likes: Toride^^, the background musics, the themesong

Dislikes: Kakei & Narumi(>_<), the story, the atmosphere

Beach Boys

Rate: 7.0
Broadcasted in Japan: Fuji TV July-Sep 1997
Duration: 12 episodes + 1 special
Scriptwriter: Megumi Okada
Themesong: Forever by Takashi Sorimachi

Synopsis: Having nothing to do, ex-Olympic candidate swimmer, Hiromi, decides to go to the beach after being thrown out of his girlfriend's house. While there, he meets Kaito, an elite salaryman of a big company, who comes with the purpose of cooling himself down. Both then arrives a lodging house where they stay on for their summer vacation ... and unknowingly, they grow to like the place very much.

Acting performances:

Takashi Sorimachi as Hiromi
Great performance as Hiromi!! But, I didn't dig his acting here as much as I dig his acting in GTO^^ Although Hiromi and Onizuka are both cheerful!

Yutaka Takenouchi as Kaito
Very cool!! He's a very flexible actor, what more can I ask?? Although being a quiet guy is not my type, I still think he's sooo 'kakkoooiii' here!!! =P

Ryoko Hirosue as Makoto
This is the drama that made her as my favorite actress(next to Takako Matsu, of course^^)! She's pretty cute here...although, her acting ability here is not as good as now...but, I like her...maybe Makoto's character?!

Izumi Inamori as Haruko
Very mature!! Sooo different than Momoko in LongV ^_~ I guess she's one of the flexible J-actress ^_~

First sight: I was soooo interested in this drama when I knew Sorimachi was in this and his character is cheerful(I got hooked with his performance in GTO!)...I'm so anxious to watch it, when I knew it'll be broadcast on my local TV! But, turns out...Hiromi's cheerfulness is different with Onizuka's...and the storyline is pretty much boring for me...solving problems of the customers is not my type of drama -_-

Comments: I don't know how this drama gets very popular in Japan...but it didn't impress me much. There are bunch of funny scenes, but it's just too boring, coz all they do is just sit and talk, sit and talk....oh, well...still the casts are amazing!!^^

Watched: once(few episodes only), on local TV(Indosiar)

Likes: The casts!! Mmh..nothing more...>_<

Dislikes: The themesong, the story, the ending(without watching the special episode, of course!!^^)

Beautiful Life


Rate: 9.0
Broadcasted in Japan: TBS Jan-March 2000
Duration: 11 episodes
Scriptwriter: Eriko Kitagawa
Themesong: Konya Tsuki no Mieru Oka Ni by B'z

Synopsis: Kyoko, a young woman with an unhindered spirit despite being physically bound to a wheelchair due to illness, and Shuji, a stylish and popular fashion magazine hairstylist, are brought together in a fateful traffic incident. Despite their confrontational meeting, they soon find themselves falling in love, with Shuji drawn to her courage and enthusiasm and Kyoko attracted to his ability to look beyond her physical limitations and into her heart. However, Kyoko's protective older brother and her worsening condition begin to test the bounds of their love for each other and threaten to end their beautiful life together.

Acting performances:

Takuya Kimura as Shuji Okishima
Great performance from Kimura, like always!!^^ He can really express Shuji's feelings right, I love it when he's angry but tried to be calm. And he really has done a very good job at the end of this drama....soooo touching...I feel like crying....*_* What can I say, it's Kimura-san, of course his acting wasn't dissapointing^^ Afterall, his character here is not too far from Teppei(Love Gen)'s character, he's quite an expert in playing those kind of roles^^

Takako Tokiwa as Kyoko Machida
Ok, to be frankly...all this while, I don't really like Tokiwa, can't really explain why^^ But, her character here has change it, I like her now!! She can really act! Her character, Kyoko, is such a sweet person, too. She might be too sensitive sometimes, and I got really annoyed when that happens =P But, can we blame her? Being a handicap...I think it's understandable if she becomes sensitive even to the little things. Asides that, I admire her spirit to keep on living for the past 10 years. She tried to commit a suicide one time, but you ever have the feeling to know your own death is coming soon? Oh, well...Tokiwa did a great job portraying Kyoko!! I like her cheerful doesn't feel like she's sick, when she's being cheerful ^_^

I really think Kimura and Tokiwa suits each other!! They're so sweet when they're together. The on-screen chemistry is there....but, still for me, Kimura and Takako Matsu have the best on-screen chemistry =P

First sight: Well, obviously because all the of the episode broke the record to get the highest rating of all time(42%)!!^_^ Just would like to know what the fuss is about...

Comments: Wow!! Beautiful Life really IS beautiful!! Although some episodes carry boring scenes and it kinda picks up here an there^^ However, starting 7th episode or so, the story picks up and constantly intriguing. I really love the monologues! And this drama have made me realized, that how we've neglected the handicaps, there are just so many facilities and places which handicaps can't go to. And, gosh...Shuji and Kyoko's date is just so sad =( Then, in the last episodes, the story tells us to be grateful for the each second that we live, and don't just waste our life like that. Oh, yeah...I don't like Shuji's story with Satsuki, his highschool sweetheart, I don't know why.
I LOVE Masao and Sachi's story!! Soooo cute, ridiculous and hillarious!! Haha! This the first time, I ever see Miki Mizuno, and because of this drama, I come to like her very much!!^_^
I also love the background musics, beautiful musics! Really suits the scenes in this drama! But, I don't like the themesong >_< I dunno, it's's a rock song. I think for dramas as sensitive as this should have a ballad themesong, something like, Utada Hikaru's First Love =P sum it up, Beautiful Life is a great, superb and beautiful drama! It may not be one of my favorite, but it has really left me a deep impression^^ Recommended for all J-drama fans!!

Watched: once(all episodes), borrowed it from a friend(thx Fitri! =P)

Likes: The story, Shuji's character, Kyoko's character, Shuji & Kyoko's sweet scenes, Masao & Sachi's love story, the monologues

Dislikes: the opening themesong

Big Wing

Rate: 6.5
Broadcasted in Japan: TBS Jan-March 2001
Duration: 10 episodes
Themesong: Graceful World by Every Little Thing

Synopsis: Kumiko Yoshikawa (Yuki Uchida) joins the Big Wing company at Tokyo International Airport. It' s her first day and she is full of enthusiasm, but that leads her into trouble. She gives an old lady who is running late for her plane a piggy-back to the departure lounge only to delay the flight's departure even more. Then, while away returning a lost wallet, her counter is robbed. However, Big Wing general manager, Shoko Hanamura (Yoko Nogiwa) sees potential in Kumiko' s dedication to her customers.

Acting performances:

Yuki Uchida as Kumiko Yoshikawa
Pretty good as this TOO nice girl ^_^ I like her's just, her character is too perfect, isn't it?? =P

Takashi Kashiwabara as Kuruyama-san
Built a great 'image' as a boss!!^^ I like it when he keep yelling at Kumiko or caught Kumiko doing strange things^^

First sight: Interested because of Kassy's in it and a rush decision on the VCD store!! =P And, now I regret it so much...NOT that the story is THAT bad, no...the story is average. But, I bought the English-subbed with a below average picture quality and more expensive than the Chinese-subbed with good picture quality!!!O_O A big mistake...-_-

Comments: The story is so-so, I only smiled on the funny scenes and didn't feel touched on the touching scenes >_< The problem is, the touching scenes comes from the customers which JUST appear in that episode and we don't know their characters at all, total strangers! That's why I don't feel anything for them at all....but, lots of people still think this is a good drama with moral messages in it^^ I guess it's just not my type of drama...

Watched: once(all episodes), bought the VCD boxset

Likes: Takashi Kashiwabara as Takeshi Kuruyama ^_^

Dislikes: The story, the ending

Boku ga Boku de Aru Tame ni

Rate: 9.0
Broadcasted in Japan: FujiTV January 3rd, 1997
Duration: 1 episode special - 130 minutes
Themesong: Boku ga Boku de Aru Tame ni by Yutaka Ozaki
Sub-themesong: Fire in The Sky by CAGNET

Synopsis: The members of Smap play former high school classmates who were members of the Ekiden team 6 years ago. This drama depicts the changes in character over the past 6 years and the members future endeavors. Naruse(Nakai), Riki(Kimura), Kinoshita(Goro), and Etsuro(Tsuyoshi) are all 24 years of age. Satoru(Shingo) is 22 years old. Satoru was an ichi-nensei when the team won the prefectural Ekiden meet. After they graduated from high school they all went on their own separate paths. Naruse is a marathon runner for a sporting goods firm. After his senpai gets discharged due to an injury, Naruse also worries about his own future. Hirosue Ryoko plays Naruse's younger sister, Yako. Riki works as a model scout. He is still not used to his work. Although he has been living with Natsumi(Mayu) for about 3 years, he still has many relationships with different women.

Acting performances:

Well...would you look at the casts?!?O_O If I were to give my opinion for each of them, it would be the longest opinion on the acting performances among the other reviews here!! So, I'll just make it short here, ok?^^
They all did a superb job in portraying their roles! None of them are dissapointing! And, although the majority of the story twirls around Naruse-Natsumi-Riki love triangle, but each of them have enough spotlight and scenes, don't you worry! None of these well-known actors & actresses seems to be a waste in this dorama!!^_^

First sight: I was looking for this dorama since (almost)2 years ago!! Looking at the great casts and the good reviews on it, of course I'm tempted to find this one!! Moreover, recently I grow a great fondness to Smap....need I say more??^_~

Comments: After 2 years searching...this dorama is definitely worth to wait!! Definitely not dissapointing! It has such a great storyline!!! Love it! The friendship, the romance, even family relationships...these can really make me laugh, smile, and cry. Naruse and Yako's relationship as siblings always make me laugh, they are very funny and have a good chemistry as brother & sister. These 5 bestfriends friendship can make me smile and cry, esp. when one of them dies!!>_< I got my waterworks 3 times b'coz of this!! Sooo touching and sad...=( Riki and his parents' relationship almost makes me cry, how can he be so not grateful to his parents while they're being very nice to him, esp. his mother! I'm excited following Kinoshita & Kawakami(Seto)'s story, coz a story of a cynical guy upseting a girl always interest me! Satoru & Sonoko(Suzuki)'s relationship is very makes me laugh but also feels sad for Satoru =(
Overall, I agree with the review I've read before, that this dorama is such an emotional rollercoaster!! Not to mention, CAGNET's songs are always smashing for a dorama themesong, ne?^_^ Love it!! This dorama deserves a 9!
...chotto, what did you say?...I'm biased? Heyy, I'm may be a Smappy...but I know I'm not bias about this one =P Afterall, I've seen another Smap dorama that makes me almost goes....zzzzzz..... =P

Watched: twice, collected the VCD

Likes: story, sub-themesong, great casts' actings

Dislikes: Riki & Natsumi's story & scenes!-_-


Rate: 7.5
Broadcasted in Japan: FujiTV April-June 1998
Duration: 12 episodes
Themesong: Taisetsu by SMAP

Synopsis: "Brothers", is the tale of four brothers and their widower father, who heads a large Buddhist temple in Tokyo. Goro Kishitani, the oldest brother, does not want to take over the temple. He prefers only to pass through now and then to exercise his eldest brother prerogative and hit No. 2 brother Masahiro Nakai over the head. Nakai, who really wants to be a sportswriter, appears to be in line for the temple takeover and zips around in a motorcycle helmet and Buddhist robes to chant sutras for the dead. Dear old dad frequents Ginza clubs and had a cigarette or a toothpick dangling from his mouth for most of the first episode. He hires an "Otonashi Karen look-alike" with a crush on Nakai as housekeeper and she bops around the temple grounds as if it was Shibuya on a Sunday. I guess it has finally come to this. Nothing is sacred anymore. Even Buddhist temples have been taken over by the sleazy comedy crowd so they can portray a priest's family sitting around the breakfast table making crude conversation about the state of Nakai's sex life, with younger brothers aged 9 and 15 joining in.

Acting performances:

Masahiro Nakai as Shinjin Fujiwara (Jin)
Jin's character remind me so much of Nakai himself!!^^ Very funny person!

Yoshino Kimura as Nana Hatori
Very cute!! I've always seen Yoshino in cheerful yet elegant or mature characters....but never have seen her this way. Cute and childish, love her here!!^^

First sight: Caught this on my CableTV(Phoenix channel), thought its interesting. And, I especially loooove the themesong(note: the first time i saw this, it is faaaar before I became a Smappy =P)!

Comments: After I became a Smappy, I got interested again with this Nakai's dorama and borrowed the tapes from my friend. Since the one I watched on TV was dubbed to Mandarin. I want to watch the original version.
The story is actually just so-so. But I love the comedic scenes!!^^ Althou, this drama is actually not really all-comedy, either =P Oh well...40% comedy and 60% serious! I love Jin's character and his relationship with his brothers.
What I love even more are Jin and Nana's scenes!!!^O^ They look soooo cute together! They have cute and sweet romantic scenes!!! Nakai and Yoshino's chemistry are very good, love them!
The ending is not really satisfying..but oh well, I can let it go....=P

Watched: twice, on TV and borrowed the tapes from a friend

Likes: Jin, Nana, their romantic scenes, the funny scenes, the themesong

Dislikes: ...some boring scenes...and the ending...-_-

Chuusingura 1/47

Rate: 7.5
Broadcasted in Japan: FujiTV December 28th, 2001
Duration: 3 episodes(3 hrs)
Scriptwriter: Yumiko Inoue
Genre: Taiga

Synopsis: This is a story of Yasube Horibe, a member of the Ako Clan. In 1701, the Lord of Ako drew his sword against Kira Kozukenosuke, and was sentenced to death by suicide. In 1702, Yasube, 1 of 47 of the members, who had sworn revenge, stormed the Kira house.

Acting performances:

Takuya Kimura as Yasube Horibe(formerly: Nakayama)
Cool! Very cool!! Just like how I imagine, Kimura as a samurai!!^^ But, I rather see him with that cool Kenshin-hairstyle like in the first scene than that half-bald style....really awkward >_< He didn't look good with that hairstyle...but then again, most of the well-known actors didn't look good with that hairstyle ^_^
I have always wished, Rurouni Kenshin(the anime) to be adapted as a taiga dorama, and when that happens...watched Kimura in this dorama, I know he will be the perfect actor to play Kenshin Himura =P

Eri Fukatsu as Hori Horibe(Yasube's wife)
Her character is sweet. And, just like always, her acting is very good.

Takako Matsu as Aguri(Lord of Ako's wife, the first lady of the Ako Clan^^)
Her role is not much here, she's the Lord of Ako's wife, which later became a widow because her husband was sentenced to death. Yasube seems so respectful to her.
Watched Takako Matsu in this taiga dorama, I really think she'd be very perfect for the role of a princess^^ She has this elegant and graceful attitude and can look wise, too.
Oh, and is it just me? Or, whatever their roles are, as a couple or NOT as a couple, Kimura and Matsu HAS always such a strong on-screen chemistry whenever they do a scene together?!?O_o

First sight: As soon as I realized, BOTH Kimura & Matsu are in it, I knew I will regret it if I don't buy this one =P

Comments: If only I understand Japanese 100% or at least can read the Chinese subtitle, I'm pretty sure I can really enjoy this all-stars Taiga drama ^_^ There are lots of intenseful scenes, like the first scene where Yasube have to fight a group of people. Plus, lots of well-known actors and actresses! And this Taiga, is pretty different than the other Taiga dramas(which are NHK's) I've watched, I guess FujiTV have their own style in shooting a taiga drama^^ And there are only 3 eps, so it didn't get boring^^ Oh, what's a little awkward is...the ending themesong is an old FRENCH song! O_O

Watched: twice(all eps), bought the VCD

Likes: Kimura as Yasube, Matsu as Aguri, the intenseful scenes, background musics

Dislikes: It's a little too historical for my liking =P

J-Dorama : [A-C] [D-F] [G-I] [J-L] [M-O] [P-R] [S-T] [U-Z]

J-Movie : [A-E] [F-J] [K-O] [P-T] [U-Z]