Kmuse’s Musings: Romantic Japanese Drama Edition

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I have been sucked into multiple Jdramas lately.  Mostly because I see promotions for them on various sites and can’t help but click the link to read the synopsis.  Next thing I know I am down yet another drama rabbit hole.  It just so happens that a bunch of these dramas happens to be Japanese this month.  Hence I decided to do a pros and cons list of several dramas so you can decide if you want to check them out.

Hapimari: Happy Marriage!?

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Watching Status: Episode 5

*SYNOPSIS: Takanashi Chiwa is an office lady who works part-time at a club because she is in debt. One day, she gets into a quarrel with a wealthy and handsome customer who came to the club and is fired. The next day, a depressed Chiwa is summoned by her boss and finds the rude man from the day before down there. His name is Mamiya Hokuto. Hokuto suddenly proposes a contract marriage with Chiaki. Although she is initially resistant to the idea, she has no choice but to accept. The two of them overcome all sorts of troubles and become a real couple.

PROS:

  • Cohabitation (One of my favorite drama tropes)
  • Fujioka Dean is crazy hot.  I am talking full all out steamy, take my breath away, attractive.  I have to admit that he is my #1 reason for watching this drama.
  • 2nd lead Shirasu Jin isn’t too shabby either.  I wouldn’t mind seeing him in a lead role someday soon.1ad1sa2alh3asauh0

CONS:

  • Annoying family members. I don’t think anyone really enjoys the drama trope of a family that disapproves or is so messed up they always need their kids (the OTP) to clean up after them.  Less family and more OTP for this viewer.

 

Please Love The Useless Me

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Watching Status: Episode 3

*SYNOPSIS: 30-years-old Michio keeps looking for a job after her previous employer went bankrupt, but she is unable to find work. She still supports her younger boyfriend and her savings is almost gone. Then, Michio meets her scary ex-boss Ayumu, who now runs a tearoom handed down by his grandmother. Michio decides to work there part-time, but she gets into various troubles everyday. Ayumu helps Michio, which allows her to see a different side of him that she never noticed before.

PROS:

  • Cohabitation (One of my favorite drama tropes)
  • Michio’s love of meat is just adorkable.  I really enjoy how she will literally agree to anything for a free meal.  It is probably my favorite running plot line.
  • Ayumu can switch between dorky boss and hot tough guy effortlessly.  And his need to take care of Michio is really cute.1ad1sa2alh3asauhd.jpg

CONS:

  •  I don’t really relate to a lot of Michio’s issues.  It isn’t that they don’t make sense, but her inability to stand up for herself makes me lose interest.
  • The use of the yakuza members in the show doesn’t work for me because they are so extreme.  I understand that this is a manga adaptation.  And while in that sense it works, the main characters don’t fit the manga OTP feel.  Combining the two just gives me a bit of whiplash.  But that happens sometimes when making a manga live version drama so I can deal with it even if I don’t like it.1ad1sa2alh3asauhd2.jpg

Good Morning Call

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Watching Status: COMPLETED!

*SYNOPSIS: Yoshikawa Nao stays behind to live by herself when her parents leave to inherit her grandpa’s farm in the country. On the day she moves into her new apartment, she discovers that it was rented also to Uehara Hisashi; a cute, super-cool, popular guy from her school. Not only did their housing agency unexpectedly close down, the landlord of the apartment tells them that they had to pay more for their apartment than they had expected. With no money and no home to return to, Nao and Hisashi decide to live together as flatmates.

PROS:

  • Cohabitation (One of my favorite drama tropes)
  • This drama is perfect if you are a big fan of Shōujo stories.  Think Hana Kimi, Skip Beat, Boys over Flowers…
  • This reminds me of the shows that first hooked me into dramas.  It was a very nostalgic watch for me.1ad1sa2alh3asa.jpg

CONS:

  • The story drags a bit in the last 1/3rd of the drama.  Personally, the narrative felt like it should have ended after Hisashi meets the parents.  What followed just felt like random story filler.  Thankfully I overcame my annoyance with the show dragging at the last episode.  The story ended really solid which is always a plus.
  • Nao could be a bit too dense and needy for my liking.  But that is my personal preference.  I might have had to remind myself that she is only a simple high school girl one to many times.  It took me out of the story which is why I added it to the con list.

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Sukina Hito Ga Iru Koto

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Watching Status: Episode 2

*SYNOPSIS: Sakurai Misaki is a patissier who dreams of having her own business in the future and has prioritised work to the extent that she has forgotten how to kiss. But one day, she is suddenly dismissed and has difficulty finding a new job. At that moment, Misaki meets Shibasaki Chiaki, her first love in high school. Learning about her situation, Chiaki invites her to live-in and work at the seaside restaurant that he runs in Shonan. Chiaki has two younger brothers. Second brother Kanata is a talented chef while third brother Toma is a waiter at the restaurant. Misaki ends up spending one summer with the three handsome siblings.

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PROS:

  • Cohabitation (One of my favorite drama tropes)
  • All four leads are really cute and likable. And while I already have a favorite brother, I enjoy the other two’s interaction with Misaki as well.  This is an all around fun cast.
  • I also appreciate seeing a Japanese coastal town since most of the Jdramas I have watched have all been filmed in the city.
  • Our heroine’s efforts to enrich her life by doing Instagram is adorable.  Makes me want to go take a photo of myself jumping on a beach.  Hmmm.  Or maybe I will do one more click of what I am eating for lunch.  That is easier.

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CONS:

  • To be honest I don’t really have any negatives for this drama yet.  Maybe those will come with time but so far nada. I might have to come back and update this post after I have watched more.

So you might be asking yourself which drama you should be watching since unlike this blogger, you need to sleep.  So I decided to break it up by categories to give you an idea of which I liked better in various situations.  This way you, the reader, can decide what is most important to you.  If I don’t answer your question, then feel free to ask me in the comments and I will answer.

Best Manga Adaptation:

I think I have to give this one to Good Morning Call.  It has that strong Manga feel all through the show and does not loose focus of its roots.

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Hottest Leading Man:

This one is a tie.  If you are looking for pretty flower boy hotties check out Sukina Hito Ga Iru Koto.  But if you want a more manly and mature feel to your leading man, go with Hapimari: Happy Marriage!?  I did mention that Fujioka Dean is hella hot right?

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Best Skinship:

Hapimari: Happy Marriage!? wins this one hands down.  Our leading man really knows how to turn on the heat.  Sure he doesn’t always follow through (at least not yet), but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy his version of foreplay.

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Coming in second would be Sukina Hito Ga Iru Koto.  One of the brothers has perfected the antagonistic angsty skinship move.  He makes me happy when he tries to fight with our leading lady through an invasion of personal space.  I look forward to seeing more skinship in upcoming episodes.

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Most Likable Leading Lady:

Sukina Hito Ga Iru Koto wins this one as well.  Sakurai Misaki manages to be cute, perky, and hardworking without having that dim and overly innocent leading lady vibe.  I do enjoy all four leading ladies, but she is the one that hasn’t annoyed me at all to date.

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This concludes my very quick review of the current airing Jdrama romances.  Or at least the ones that have snagged my attention.  If there are more out there that I don’t know about (or crime Japanese dramas, since that is my other favorite genre of Jdrama) let me know.  I always seem to find a way to fit one more show into my watching schedule.

Til next time,

Kmuse

*My Drama List

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0 thoughts on “Kmuse’s Musings: Romantic Japanese Drama Edition

  1. We are watching all the same jdramas 😀 My favorite at the moment is HapiMari. Good Morning Call ended well but went on a bit too long for my taste. It was cute though. I hope they put more up on Netflix or Hulu – it’s hard to find them sometimes and subbers don’t always complete projects.

    • It looks like Netflix is making deals with more Asian entertainment companies. They were actually part of the funding for Good Morning Call. I bet we see more in the future.

  2. Ohhh! I was looking for a list like this! I’ve actually read some of the manga for Happy Marriage and I’m excited to watch the drama!!

  3. Hotaru No Hikari (Glow of Fireflies) my favorite j-drama on cohabitation trope till this day. ^^ I’ve dropped Hapi Mari and Good Morning Call but will continue Sukina Hito Ga Iru Koto (A Girl & Three Sweethearts? lol it actually means ’having someone you love’) for heroine she was hilarious in movie No Longer Heroine

  4. Thanks for this. Being on vacation I watched the available episodes of “Sukina Hito Ga Iru Koto”. Ideal summer fare, Though I’m not a fan of the quasi gangsters who look like they’re going to figure more prominently. I can’t see why they’re necessary.

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