I love watching Japanese drama! It's a great way of improving Japanese listening skills while being entertained!
My vocabulary has expanded a lot through watching J-drama, even if it is a slow process sometimes as I keep pausing play while I search up a word on Jisho! :)
I like going back to favourite dramas too - it's a really nice surprise when I can understand even more.
These are the best dramas that I've watched recently. You'll understand why I'm starting off with a comedy drama about my favourite, Hikaru Genji!
I hope you love these dramas too - let me know what you think :)
Liked! Hikari Genji kun
Iine Hikaru Genji-kun
The Tale of Genji is a novel I adore, and this show is a gentle parody, and it's a lot of fun!
When fictional charming prince Hikaru Genji is banished from 10th century Kyoto, instead of travelling to his life of misery on the Suma coast he unexpectedly timeslips into the apartment of a modern-day Tokyo girl!
Sairi Ito stars as the long-suffering protector and secret admirer of naive and out-of-place prince Genji, who is played magically by Yudai Chiba.
It's a real treat to see Genji (and his friend and rival To no Chujo - spoiler!) brought to life, with all of their fine courtly manners and robes. I love how classic Heian characteristics are brought to life with such fun by these two - my favourite is when prince Genji stands up in a busy Tokyo cafe and solemnly chants a waka poem to the glory of a matcha latte!
If you watch the two series right through to the end, you'll see beautiful recreations of Heian court life too.
On a Starry Night
Hoshi Furu Yoru ni
This is a gentle drama series about love and loss, centred around a small seaside town's obstetrics and gynaecology clinic. Yuriko Yoshitaka plays doctor Suzu Yukimiya, and the show explores her relationship with a young man with hearing disabilities called Issei (played by Takumi Kitamura).
Doctor Suzu is well-regarded, but emotionally burnt out following a court battle. She is supported by the warmth of her friends, many of whom are quietly struggling too. Dean Fujioka's character (Shinya Sasaki) will have you weeping!
It's wonderful to see our prince Genji from the previous show, here playing Issei's best friend and work colleague.
This is a crazy and fun show about characters who cannot get past their obsession with their ex-partners!
And like many Japanese dramas and anime, this show has a great theme song which is totally uplifting!
Yurika Namba (Yuko Araki) is in her late twenties, and she is in despair over her inability to move on with her life, following her self-initiated split from her boyfriend Saito Makochi (Kengo Kora) five years earlier.
Her life appears to take an upturn when she lands a new job with supportive colleagues at a real estate agency, only to discover that her obsessive crush Makochi works there too!
Makochi lives with the writer of a popular series of short novels about the reality of love, which is based on her own motokare mania. It's an interesting twist to see her own love narrative underpinning the story.
We also meet another ex-enthusiast, kind Yamashita san, who is still in love with his ex, an Hokkaido local radio presenter... How will these love relationships work out?
Tonari no Kazoku wa Aoku Mieru
Nana (Kyoko Fukuda) is married to adorable Daiki (Kenichi Matsuyama) in this heart rending drama about a young couple trying to have a baby. We see Sairi Ito again as a struggling young mother, sister to Daiki and part of a close-knit loving family. This drama puns on its title, because it is complex - it covers a lot of ground regarding relationship issues for a light drama.
In a smart Tokyo residential complex, four couples come together sharing a communal outdoor garden space and inevitably their lives; facades drop and the real lives of the residents are exposed, incorporating a lot of growth and change.
I hope you enjoy watching these Japanese dramas too! Do share your recommendations - it's great to have good drama to watch while consolidating Japanese language skills! :)
Thank you for reading, see you next time!
Iine Hikaru Genji-kun: Asian Wiki; My Drama List; Petite Diaries
On a Starry Night: Viki
Motokare Mania: Asian Wiki
Residential Complex: Amino Apps