Looking for something that’s fun and not too tense that you could watch with your family? We’ve got you covered with two Japanese mini-dramas!
Takane and Hana
Takane and Hana has eight 25-minute episodes. It’s about Hana, a high school girl, who takes the place of her older sister at an arranged marriage meeting. Her sister refuses to go, so their dad ropes Hana into it because the meeting is with his boss’ family.
They meet at a traditional restaurant where you sit on the floor at a low table. The boss’ grandson, Takane, turns out to be your standard arrogant rich guy. Not that he isn’t a jerk, but he is selfish without being vindictive, so really he is Rich Guy Lite. He is alternately irritating and likable.
Hana loses patience with him, stomps her foot on the table, and tells him off. The next day he meets her after school with a bouquet of roses. She’s the first girl he’s met who didn’t pander to him because of his money, and he’s intrigued.
There are a fair amount of tropes, but they end up differently than you expect. In the first episode, Takane pushes Hana against the wall and slams his hand by her face. The next time they meet she returns the favor, and I was sucked in. There is also a second lead guy who likes Hana, and a relative of Takane’s who makes trouble. The whole thing is well done and has a lot of energy.
When One Day I Will Sleep
This one is quieter and more thoughtful. When One Day I Will Sleep has six episodes of 25 minutes each. It is about Hotaru, a high school girl who is in a bus crash on a school trip. She meets a Grim Reaper who tells her she has to resolve her regrets about three people before passing on.
We get flashbacks of Hotaru showing her as a good student, shy, and with a strong tendency to put other people’s needs first. We see her with two particular friends.
The first is Ren, a guy she has a secret crush on. She has known him since middle school and he always teases her and rumples her hair. Is that a thing, because we saw that in the other drama, too?
The second is Shiori, a friend whose feelings she had hurt, and didn’t quite know what she should have done. The third is her grandmother. Of course, there are difficulties along the way, and a problematic ghost or two.
There are some ghostly special effects, like Hotaru trying to hug her mother and passing right through her. The Reaper explains that she can touch objects but not people, which is why she doesn’t fall through the floor. It’s nice to get these things explained! In the last episode, there is a surprise that makes us see the whole story in another light. This is the best part, and you can’t help but talk about it!
There you go! If you like stories with strong female leads, or if you like Reaper stories, you should enjoy these. Happy watching!
Dramas With a Side of Kimchi