The first episode of Signal (the Japanese remake of the Korean drama) is out which means it is time for another Original vs. Remake where I compare and contrast the two versions to see who tells the story better. Let me help you decide whether it is worth watching the newer version or if you should just settle in for a rewatch of the original. Continue reading
Ryoma-den, as it is sometimes spelled, or The Story of Ryoma, is about the life of Sakamoto Ryoma. It encompasses his childhood, his kendo training in Edo, seeing American steamships arrive, and getting mixed up in efforts to protect Japan from the foreigners. He was a real person and one of Japan’s most famous national heroes (who I had never heard of before). Can a westerner who doesn’t know much about Japanese history enjoy a taiga drama? Let’s find out.
Japanese Title: Final Fantasy XIV: Hikari no Otousan
With this title you would naturally think that it is a drama heavily about playing video games, but it is not. It is about a son using the game to reconnect to his uncommunicative father, and although there are scenes that take place inside the game, the main story is about their family in real life. It is in fact, based on a true story that Ichigeki Kakusatsu related on his blog between 2014 and 2016, and later wrote up in a book that he titled Hikari no Otousan.
Japanese dramas are usually not on my radar as much as Chinese or Korean. But every now and then something just catches my eye and I have to give it a try. OK, I’ll admit that I am watching this because the leading man looks really really hot in this poster. Luckily, the drama turned out to be top notch and I can’t get enough of Todome no Kiss. Come find out why I think you should join me for this fun and quirky descent into smooch induced time leaps. Continue reading
I Am Reiko Shiratori! is a fun show to watch with kids. It’s about Reiko, a nineteen-year-old girl who has unlimited money, can talk her parents into anything, and whose only problem is that she told the boy she likes that she won’t go out with him. It was adapted from a manga that was written for teen and pre-teen girls, and is really targeted to that age. It retains many of the qualities of a comic book, with a lot of magical-looking special effects. Just expect it to be silly!
Are you ready for my unfiltered thoughts on Kai’s latest acting endeavor? It seems SM is determined to get this boy’s resume full of dramas whether he can act or not. And I have to say that it may be just what he needs to grow into his “skills”. Continue reading
I have been looking for light and fun Japanese dramas to watch on the legal sites while avoiding the overacted slapsticky ones – of which there are a lot! What I found recently was Atelier (pronounced a-tel-yay) which was a new one to me. It is like an office drama only set in a lingerie company. The twist is that they added in the mean boss lady from The Devil Wears Prada.
Are you in the mood for atmospheric winter shots that make you want to grab an extra blanket? Child Serial Killers with HORRID beards? A cast full of talented and adorable kids who may have done a better job than the adults? If you want any of those things, Erased is the right drama for you. Continue reading
Thanks to suggestions from Dramas With a Side of Kimchi reader Junny, I have been watching some classic older Japanese dramas lately. Today I am talking about Hero, which aired in 2001 and was so popular it spawned a special, a second season, and two movies. It stars Takuya Kimura and Takako Matsu, who had already been together in two dramas (including Long Vacation) and had an established chemistry. It is a humorous view of a young prosecutor who had been a high school delinquent, and his unorthodox way of investigating cases. Let’s look at it and see why people loved it so much!
If you watch Japanese dramas you will soon discover Takuya Kimura, one of their most famous actors. He’s been in A LOT of tv shows. I’m going to talk here about Long Vacation, his first starring role. He was informal and appealing and had a Mane of Glory before it was a thing.