Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Drama Prospectus Winter 2007

I have been doing drama prospecti for a while on my private LJ, but what the hell? If I'm going to wade through a bunch of Touching Family Dramas and get right to the good stuff (well, good on paper at least), my toil should at least be able to save you a lot of hassle/perhaps tip you off to the undiscovered gem of the season. Remember, this isn't a complete list by any means, this is just a list of dramas that will most likely pique your interest, meaning I left out the dramas that are obviously for octogenarians.

Without further ado, both of us present...


Tokyo Tower 2007

Synopsis: A realistic portrayal of the love between parent and child."
Translation: Wake me up when Moco takes off his shirt.
Notable Actors: Hayami Mocomichi
Yao: I understand that the original book was widely acclaimed but I can really only take so many family dramas. Normally, I would toss this aside along with the NHK dramas but this is supposedly Moco's first "MON-9" (aka prime time) drama so I'll watch the pilot just in case.
Veronica: I'm gonna be real-- Moco is old meme until he either a. gets naked, or b. fucking does something interesting. I mean, I know, I know, he's only alive for us to stare at his tan and taut skin, but jesus, if I don't see some ass or fucking or both soon, it's on to a new man. Also, I don't like his orange hair.

Haikei, Chichiue-sama (Dear Father,)

Synopsis: Set in the traditional quarters of Kagurazaka, the story revolves around a traditional Japanese restaurant "Sakashita." The chef is Ippei (Ninomiya), who is trying to search for his father. His mother is a former geisha. Ippei's junior is Nakagawa (Yokoyama). - rough translation from official site.
Translation: It's hard to go wrong with food related comedies. Unless you're Teppan Shoujo Akane.
Notable Actors: Ninomiya Kazunari, Yokoyama Yu
Yao: It's supposed to be a comedy guys, despite the fact that the writer is the guy who did Yasashii Jikan. This is Nino's first role in a comedy since Stand Up!!, and just when I thought he'd leave forever into "i'm too much of a serious actor for dramas" land, he comes back with this. Do I sense the Nino+Yasashii Jikan writer relationship the new Kusanagi Tsuyoshi+Boku no Aruku Michi writer?
Veronica: This had better be funny, or else they are wasting two of the funniest males in JE. Seriously, if Yao and I could write for Nino and Yoko as leads, they would live in space, have super powers and share a room with Former President Andrew Jackson. But no, they're gonna be whining about familiar relations for 9 episodes and then one of them will die. Yawn.

Himitsu no Hanazono (Secret Garden)

Synopsis: Sonoda Natsuyo is a bumbling editor who is transferred to the shojo manga editorial department after the publication of her fashion magazine is discontinued. She is put in charge of popular manga writer Hanazono Yuriko, but later discovers that Hanazono is truly the creative effort of four weird brothers. - dramawiki
Translation: Let's guess which guy she's going to fall for! Hint: Probably not the 16 year old.
Notable Actors: Kaname Jun, Shaku Yumiko
Yao: If you google the name of the drama all you get is hentai?
Veronica: Kaname Jun is pretty hot. I may watch 1 episode of this just to see if that girl's head is as plasticky looking as it is in that picture. Oh, also, this reminds me of that stupid manga Fruits Basket where that developmentally disabled girl started living with some animals that were actually human brothers or something so she wouldn't die in a tent. Yao knows more about this because she is an otaku.

Konshuu, Tsuma ga Uwaki shimasu (This Week, My Wife Will Have An Affair)
Synopsis: Yusuke Santamaria plays a cuckolded husband to Ishida Yuriko's character, a career woman with an apparel company. - Dramawiki
Translation: Domestic violence, female empowerment, hot fashion.
Notable Actors: Yuusuke Santamaria, Ishida Yuriko
Yao: I enjoyed Yuusuke Santamaria back in Odoru Daisosasen and I do enjoy my DV dramas, but then again I'm not in my mid-thirties aka the target audience of this drama.
Veronica: Wahgnt.

Haken no Hinkaku (The Dignity of a Temporary Worker)

Synopsis: Haruko is a responsible and capable OL who earns 3,000 yen an hour and has 28 people under her charge. She, however, never cracks a smile, is cold, never minces her words and leaves the office on the dot. Haken no Hinkaku is a timely drama that examines the differences in the treatment of an OL dispatched by a food manufacturer to a supermarket and regular employees, and the ways to overcome frictions in interpersonal relationships. It follows in the wake of an October report on labor conditions by the Labor Ministry, which showed that the proportion of regular employees to OLs had doubled compared to that eight years ago, after a relaxation of regulations. - Dramawiki
Translation: Two parts Damensu Walker mixed with a little bit of Kimi wa Pet, minus the pet.
Notable Actors: Shinohara Ryoko, Kato Ai, EX-PRIME MINISTER KOIZUMI'S HOT SON
Yao: Ex-PM Koizumi's son is so hot. Yeah, I guess this means I'm watching this too.
Veronica: Wait, so they're making a show about labor conditions? "RIPPED FROM THE HEADLINES-- a very special LABOR CONDITIONS-RELATED 'LAW AND ORDER'." And PM Koizumi's son had better be a damn good actor, because he's not THAT hot.

Erai Tokoro ni Yomeide Shimatta! (I've Been Married Off to A Terribly Good Place!)
Synposis: Kimiko is an unfeminine, sloppy wife who is a bad cook and housekeeper but is somehow mistaken for a "good wife" by her meddlesome, tradition-bound mother-in-law, Shimako. Isojiro is a good looking man who tries to please everybody around him. - Dramawiki
Translation: ...........
Notable Actors: Nakama Yukie, Tanihara Shosuke
Yao: And just when you thought Nakama Yukie was done with dramas where she plays some sort of bumbling character, here she is again. Don't get me wrong, I think Nakama is lovely (except for that horrid single she put out for KDDI AU, yuck) but I'm watching this for Tanihara Shosuke, who I've been in love with ever since he was in Ooku.
Veronica: I'm trying to be negative about this, but I have a feeling this will be hilarious and heartwarming. I have nothing to back this up but female intuition. (You're singing that song in your head right now, aren't you.)

Warui Yatsura (Bad Folks)
Synopsis: The last in a three-part adaptation of Matsumoto Seicho's works. Yonekura Ryoko plays a nurse who turns into a stalker (and murderer). In a slight deviation from the original storyline, the drama starts off with a nurse in love with a doctor, played by Kamikawa Takaya, and proceeds its depiction as her life spirals out of control. - Dramawiki
Translation: It's like a Kiraware Matsuko no Issho except not as good.
Notable Actors: Yonekura Ryoko aka the busted looking girl in our header.
Yao: I love dramas about how someone's life gets ruined.
Veronica: This is going to be hilarious to me. Unless it's really boring like Byakuyakou where they just wax poetic about love while killing people and stealing. Sigh. Just break the law so I can be entertained! I don't need your fake Bonnie and Clyde bullshit. The Japanese are almost more obsessed with Schadenfreude than us Americans!

Hana Yori Dango 2 (Very difficult to translate, a pun on "Pudding Before Praise")

Synopsis: Do we even need one? The continuation of ridiculously rich Domyoji Tsukasa's romancing of Makino Tsukushi.
Notable Actors: Matsumoto Jun, Inoue Mao, Oguri Shun, Matsuda Shota
Yao: If this sequel sucks, I am personally going to put glue in someone's drink. This is basically the most talked about drama, with random arashi fans tripping balls over it back in March or something.
Veronica: Okay, I'm going to be completely real with you. When the first Hana Yori Dango was announced I cried in the middle of my college's computer lab. Listen, shut up, I was hormonal and I had just gotten into Arashi. I pretty much memorized every episode of the anime and read all of the manga in like 7th grade. (this is the part where my friend Justin goes "NNNERD!") I mean, come on, think about this. Clearly Doumyoji Tsukasa and I are meant to be together. He is almost as badass as I am. Wait, what was I talking about again? Oh, right. This sequel is gonna be the jam. I don't know why Yao is being pessimistic; IKUTA FUCKING TOMA is in the very first episode playing this dude who almost rapes Tsukushi and then beats Domyouji's ass instead. I promise you it is almost as erotic as that time Tsukushi got dragged behind a car for cheating on him.

I don't even know why I wasted my breath on this-- you motherfuckers will watch anything with MJ in it.

Tokumei Kakarichou Tadano Hitoshi 3 (Hitoshi Tadano, the Extraordinary Undercover Detective 3)

Synposis: An incompetent and invisible “Mr. Nobody” at work, but turns into a sexy, handsome, and intelligent savior at night! A new type of super hero is here to stamp out social evil!
A new type of super hero is here! Tadano Hitoshi is an assistant manager of an advertisement company who seems to be nothing but a dull and incapable “nobody”. While most of the employees wonder why such a passive and incompetent person like Hitoshi is yet to be laid off, there is just one person who heavily relies on him as a “savior” to the company, the CEO. In fact, the “Mr. Nobody” is simply a disguise from the real Hitoshi, as he is under various special missions of the CEO to quietly carry on his “extraordinary ” task to fight against the corruption of the company. Originally from a big hit comic book!

Translation: How many boobs can we see in a half-hour?
Notable Actors: nobody actually but that doesn't matter
Yao: What the synopsis doesn't tell you is that this shows late and night and the protagonist makes women have orgasms just by looking at them. You wish I were kidding.
Veronica: I'm gonna watch it, but I'm a pervert.

Karei naru Ichizoku (The Magnificent Family)

Synopsis: Originally a novel by Yamasaki Toyoko, and later a 1974 movie. Manpyo Teppei is an executive managing director of a steel firm. The book depicts the conflicts within the Manpyo family, which is famous in Kansai's financial circles, amidst the tumultuous reorganisation of the financial industry of 1970s. Unlike the book, the eldest son, Teppei, and not the father, Daisuke, will be the central character of the story.
Translations: The problems of the rich and good looking!
Notable Actors: Kimura Takuya, Yamada Yu, Narimiya Hiroki, Yanagiba Toshiro
Yao: Let's all say it in unison: Kimutaku Drama. At long last. This and HYD2 are the reasons why they had to scrape the bottom of the actor barrel for everything else.
Veronica: Here's how this drama is gonna go-- Kimutaku rides in to town on motorcycle. He is wearing a leather jacket and tight designer khakis and his hair is blowing in the wind. He stops to give a little child some candy he has in his pocket, while remarking to himself that "he hopes he never has to chase around any damn rugrats of his own!" Oh he's a renegade, alright. As he lopes to his parents' humble house, he wonders how they will react when he tells them that he has decided to not take over the Family Business so he can follow his childhood dream 0f being a Shark Hunter. His mother weeps, his father threatens to cut him off, but Kimura-kun has heard it all before! He's gonna do whatever it takes to be the best Shark Hunter there is! That is, until his father's beautiful yet sassy gardener marches in, slaps him, and tells him he should respect his parents instead of being selfish. She tells him that when she was 8 her parents were eaten by bears as she watched helplessly, tied up by the rapist who was also attacking her in the same forest. Kimutaku is touched, and tries to hide his feelings for like nine fucking episodes, until the end when he gets his arm bitten off by a Shark off the coast of Chiba. Sitting in a hospital room, he realizes he will be alone forever, because the only woman he wants won't see him for some reason they never quite explain. But then! She shows up! With brownies! Incensed by her visage, he leaps out of bed, confesses his undying love, carries her to his motorcycle, and uses his stump to steer them into the sunset, this time with two heads of hair blowing in the wind.

Damn, I can't wait!

Enka no Joou (Enka Queen)

Synopsis: Himawari is an unsuccessful 39-year-old enka singer. She has bad luck with men and money. Born in an Osaka takoyaki shop, the young Himawari was inspired by her father's words to immerse herself in Japanese enka. However, when she was 13, her father disappeared. Her mother who'd remarried, treated her harshly. After graduating from high school, Himawari heads to Tokyo and makes her debut as an enka singer. - dramawiki
Translation: LOL.
Notable Actors: The lady from Joou no Kyoushitsu
Yao: I personally don't have enough patience for this, but if you dig enka then by all means be my guest.
Veronica: I'm too worn out from the last paragraph to write about this. Probably boring.

Kirakira Kenshuui (Sparking Doctor-in-Training)
Synopsis: The main character is Oda Usako, who is a new graduate from medical school who is in training in a local hospital. She's a bit of a klutz and causes some problems but she works with all her might and does her best!!! - rough trans from official site
Notable Actors: Konishi Manami, Eiji Wentz
Yao: What are they trying to do here? It's everything I hate: an episodic GANBARU! drama with the girl who sucked from Orange Days and a WaT member. I mean can I be real here? It's like they wanted to make a less sexist N's Aoi except they didn't have enough money for a reject JE member.
Veronica: Eiji Wentz is an example of Mixed Race Gone Wrong. I am at the other end of the spectrum, so I don't associate with flawed hybrids like him. And why is he so damn earnest?

Drama Special: Byakkotai

Synopsis: A re-make of the 1986 hit, which scored 80-percent in the Aizu district of Fukushima prefecture.
"Byakkotai" seems to be a story by which the content of the drama visits Byakkotai Memorial Hall by a modern young person who is the descendant of a Byakkotai samurai, and traces the history of the tragedy of the Byakkotai in the force organized by about 340 boys of 16 years old and 17 years old at Boshin War (Aizu war). Yamashita performs two roles (a Byakkotai samurai in the old days and the descendant's Shintaro Sakai)
- dramawiki
Translation: How do we get 14 year old girls into Japanese history? Let's call JE.
Notable Actors: Yamashita Tomohisa, Tanaka Koki, Overly Tan guy from some jrs. group, Higashiyama Noriyuki.
Yao: And this is the obligatory "let's endear the younger JE stars to the old folks" drama. I'm going to watch this for Higashiyama but how much you want to be he's going to be there for five seconds and the rest of the SP will just be YamaP running around in the forest giving speeches about how everything is a TEST OF THE HEART!!!
Veronica: Sounds gay. Literally. They are going to write a million fanfics about this.

Well, it seems like it's a chick drama season.


imolestjyanniz said...

Yusuke Santamaria?? What kind of name is that?

Thanks for the summaries. You saved from me from sifting through 59 pages worth of drama threads that say nothing but "Yamapi's SO HOT".

Laura said...

Thanks for enabling my laziness. Now I don't have to look anywhere else to find drama info.

It rather sucks that Higashiyama won't have much of a role, but I'm going to watch that anyway. Maybe we'll at least get to see Yamapi die in it

F said...

I'll probably only follow HYD2, the Kimura Takuya one, and if it's good, Tokyo Tower. Other than that, nothing looks that exciting.

emma said...

I'm also in love with Tanihara Shosuke. He's so dignified, even as Takeuchi Yuko's kinda abusive boyfriend in Pride.

I agree with Veronica about Eiji Wentz. You look at him and wonder why he looks so... off. He'll never get a weird guy with an Oriental fetish to compliment his "round Asian face" or maybe that just happens to me (I'm sure it doesn't).

Overly Tan guy from some jrs. group and I have the same birthday. Still not gonna watch his drama though. I'm going to have to shop around next season for sure.

Kimmi said...

Thank you for the summaries and lovely commentary. I can now get all my drama info and my laughs all in one place. :D

People honestly do jump on MatsuJun stuff like flies on raw meat these days. Though I can't blame them... :x

The KimuTaku drama summary was lovely, Veronica. :3 I don't think I'll need to watch it anymore, thanks for saving me all that time~

Anonymous said...

I'm going to watch Haikei, Chihiue-sama, HYD2, and Byakkotai because I'm a JE whore and I don't give a shit about anything else no matter how good or bad it is.

You 2 are baddasses btw <3

v said...

Nino+Yoko= my new dream team
thanks for the previews

Bobula said...

wtf, that guy is Koizumi's son!! I had no idea. He is kind of hot, but definitely not leading man material.

I think Tanihara Shosuke is hot, too. Hot for an old (ha) guy, at least. I saw him in whichever of the Gokusens he was in and it was an instant "mmph" response. Fuck Nakama Yukie (and Wentz), though. Her eyes are whacked looking and she plays shitty characters. And then there is the whole "Koi no Download" BS.

Loved HYD as a manga, but the drama was so much lame ass shit that I didn't even finish it. Maybe the second one will be better. I had no problem with MJ's acting; the show was just ugh on the whole. And Oguri Shun's mouth is just getting worse and worse. Soon it will reverse and swallow his whole head. Can he even talk any more??

I read the synopsis for the Salaryman Kintaro guy's new one and wasn't going to watch it but thanks to the heads up on boobs and orgasms and being a late night show I will definitely have to check it out.

Kimutaku drama: uhh no. I'm tired of seeing him play the persona he's created for his dramas over and over again.

KendoYuki said...

ROFLLLL Veronica's "quack" soundfile cracked me up. Definitely was not expecting that xD

And yayy cannot wait for HYD2! <3 It better not suck!

DJ said...

I can hardly wait to see dear Koki as a serious samurai. " Yo, whazz up you ghei bastards, I'm gonna come and rap you into pieces." Who could resist him.

Anonymous said...

Isn't Tsukasa (NO NOT JUN I REALLY DO MEAN THE CHARACTER) the perfect guy?? Sure, he's a psychopath, but that's one of the things that's so damn lovable about him.

Anyways, since I'm also an HYD otaku and also have the hots for MJ, definetely gonna watched season2. Also maybe Nino's, but that Yoko dude is a turnoff.

And why is a Tokyo Tower drama being made? I hated the movie and don't think the drama will be any better. Of course Mokomichi is a huge draw, but I've heard he's not selling well these days, after Regatta tanked.

Victoria said...

HYD2 is going to be fucking amazing. better be. HYD is my favorite drama of all time, so I'm definitely watching that. The only other one I'm watching is Byakkotai, yup, you guessed it, just for Yamapi. :]


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