Rikuoh - 陸王, based on Ikeido Jun's novel of the same title, is at the forefront of a nationwide effort to promote sports. The 2020 Olympics also known as Tokyo 2020 is 33 months away, yet Japan is already anticipating the huge event by introducing sports-themed movies and drama.

Rikuoh - Drama Review/Recap

Furuzawa Katsuo, known for his grandiose epic-scale drama such as Hanzawa Naoki, Roosevelt Game, and Shitamachi Rocket, is a TBS regular and is an obvious choice to direct Rikuoh. Is the storyline up to the director's liking? I would think so...

Tamamori Yuta's detective-comedy series, Juyo Sankounin Tantei - 重要参考人探偵 - is getting to be a bit on the serious side. Among the younger generations of Johnny's, it's always Tamamori Yuta that I'm curious about. Maybe because I had some pretty good impressions of him as an actor, plus he is always cast with Shida Mirai (remember Nobunaga no Shiifu?).

Important Witness, Private Detective - 重要参考人探偵 | TV Asahi (Fridays)

Episode 2 of Juyo Sankounin Tantei is especially interesting since they have two guest stars which are, in fact, a double reunion: Shida and Tamamori's co-star in Pin To Kona, Nakayama Yuma.

One of the leading drama stars on Japanese TV, Inoue Mao (30), remains a respected and most sought-after actress in an industry that values appearance, popularity, and connection. In a series of articles, she reflects on her acting career amidst personal challenges and the hype on ratings. This article partakes Inoue's acting journey from such interviews and this author's particular (and biased) interpretation.

Inoue Mao in a scene from the drama Tomorrow's Promise (Japanese Fall 2017)

Looking back, it was about 12 years ago when she plays the role of Makino Tsukushi in the Asian phenomenon known as Boys Over Flowers. Inoue has accomplished a few acting milestones right after: an asadora Ohisama (NHK / 2011), a taiga drama Hanamoyu (NHK / 2015), a Best Actress trophy for Rebirth - Youkame no Semi (2011), a Best Actress nom for The Snow White Murder Case (2014), and a venture into voice acting. 

I think it's about time to make a recap post on Fall 2017 Japanese drama season. Let's cut to the chase and go straight to the reviews, shall we? This is part 1 of my recap, with plenty more coming up, including interviews (and analyzing them).

Ashi Girl - Japanese Drama Fall 2017

Japanese historical drama, in any form, is always a welcome news for me. In Ashi Girl, Kuroshima Yuina takes the role of an unsuspecting girl who can do time travel (she did the same in The Girl Who Leapt Through Time). In her first time leap, she arrives in the Sengoku period and is destined to protect a young lord (Kentaro) in the battlefields.

It seems Tamamori Yuta is heavily investing his future by acting in doramas. His previous projects including the two-season historical-drama Nobunaga no Shiifu, kabuki-themed Pin to Kona, and thriller Reverse are well-received by drama fans. In Juyo Sankounin Tantei, he plays a fashion model cum amateur sleuth who investigates murder cases. 

 Important Witness, Private Detective - 重要参考人探偵 | TV Asahi (Fridays)

The premise is that he is cursed with the bad luck of being on murder scenes for no apparent reason. Asian investigation/procedural dramas, in my opinion, remain a level below some canned US-based detective shows when it comes to 'explaining' criminal phenomenon.

Subcategories

Death Note drama is an 11-episode series produced by NTV starring Masataka Kubota and Kento Yamazaki, directed by Ryuichi Inomata and Ryo Nishimura. It was written for television by Yoshihiro Izumi. The show is based on the best-selling supernatural action mystery manga series "Death Note" written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata (published from December 2003 to May 2006 in Weekly Shonen Jump).

The drama was broadcasted on July 5 - September 13, 2015. It's the fourth live-action adaptation of the manga, after three full-length films, namely Death Note (2006), Death Note: The Last Name (2006) and L: Change the World (2008). A fourth movie is under production entitled Death Note: Light Up The New World (2016).

xxxHOLiC is a WOWOW produced supernatural thriller/ coming of age drama based on the manga "xxxHOLiC" by Clamp (published from 2003 to February 9, 2011, by Kodansha).

It stars Shota Sometani, Anne Watanabe (Higashide), Masahiro Higashide, and Karen Miyazaki. The drama is directed by Keisuke Toyoshima, based on the script by Jun Tsugita.

Woman is an intense drama series from director Nobuo Mizuta and screenwriter Yuji Sakamoto. They previously collaborated on another award-winning Tv series entitled Mother. Woman stars Hikari Mitsushima as a single mother who struggles to support her family of three. With the death of her husband, she was forced to live with her estranged mother and discovered the tragic events that led to her spouse's death.  The series also stars Yuko Tanaka (as Mitsushima's mom), Fumi Nikaido, Shun Oguri, Rio Suzuki, and Kaoru Kobayashi.

NTV broadcasted the show from July 3 - September 11, 2013.

It also won for Mitsushima Best Actress trophy for her excellent performance.

Wakamonotachi (All About My Siblings) is the remake of 1966 Fuji TV drama "Wakamono Tachi." The series is made to celebrate the 55th anniversary of Fuji TV.

The drama is all about five siblings who live together, share their sentiments, argues and fight with each other, but in the end tries to support one another in their personal trials on life, love, career, and relationships. Satoshi Tsumabuki plays the eldest of the five siblings with Eita as the black sheep; Hikari Mitsushima is the only female, Tesuku Emoto, and Shuhei Nomura made up the two remaining members. The series also stars Yu Aoi, Masami Nagasawa, and Ai Hashimoto playing important roles that relate directly to the five siblings. 

Fuji TV broadcasted the show from July 9 - September 24, 2014.

Review of TV drama Miss Pilot - ミス・パイロット, starring Maki Horikita, Takumi Saitoh, Saki Aibu, Shotaro Mamiya