So I haven’t done a review on every J-drama that I’ve watched so far, but I’d still like to leave a short comment about what I thought! The drama titles with hyperlinks have full reviews written for them. Please don’t let a negative rating or comment stop you from watching though, because taste is so subjective! Just for fun 🙂
Ratings out of 5 stars
In Alphabetical Order:
From Five to Nine (5ji Kara 9ji Made) 4/5 – An english teacher and a creepy stalker monk, what could go wrong? Character motivations were incomprehensible towards the beginning, but had me fully invested (and in tears) by the end. Flawed but fun.
Hana Yori Dango 1 & 2 (Boys Over Flowers) 4/5 – My first drama and always #1 in my heart. Overhyped to hell and back, but worth it. You’ll ship the main OTP for the rest of your life (even if second lead has you questioning your ship). Better than the Korean version 😛
Hanazakari no Kimitachi E (Hana Kimi/For You in Full Blossom) 3/5 – Didn’t live up to the hype for me. Bland main pairing, but definitely swooned for the second lead. Secondary character antics were funny. (AND IN WHAT UNIVERSE DOES HORIKITA MAKI LOOK/SOUND/ACT LIKE A MAN?)
Hotaru no Hikari 1 & 2 (Glow of Fireflies) 4/5 – Always special in my heart. Easily relateable female lead, even if one of the main conflicts is lost in cultural translation. OTP relationship build is slow, but strong. Opposites attract!
Ikemen Desu Ne (You’re Beautiful) 3/5 – Adapted from K-drama “You’re Beautiful”. Gender-bending teen love story about an idol group. Nothing could beat the Korean version for me. I was biased against this from the start, but still had fun.
Itazura na Kiss: Love in Tokyo 1 & 2 4/5 – I wasn’t supposed to like this as much as I did. A cold guy/nice girl pairing that will have you tearing your hair out. As frustrated as I was with the leads, the enventual emotional pay-off was great. Fell for this OTP hard (despite the disturbing age difference between the main actors).
Kimi wa Petto (You’re my Pet) 4/5 – A career woman keeps a young man as a pet and tries to hide it from everyone, including her love interest. Takes a very disturbing premise and manages to make it somehow heartwarming. And ofc MatsuJun.
Love Shuffle 5/5 – A group of couples agree to play the Love Shuffle game by continuously switching partners after a set amount of time. Who will end up with who by the end and what other secrets will be revealed along the way? One of my absolute favorites. A refreshing treat and a break from typical rom-coms.
Nagareboshi (Shooting Star) 4/5 – A family drama that stresses the importance of love over bloodline. Slow-moving plot, but a touching story that I really enjoyed.
Nigeru Wa Haji Da Ga Yaku ni Tatsu ( We Married as a Job) 4/5 – Yes, another contract marriage, but this one really does it right. Fun and smart cast of characters and great pop culture references that you’ll enjoy even if you’re not Japanese.
Nodame Cantabile 3/5 – An untouchable classic for many, but used anime/manga elements that just didn’t work on screen for me (a personal pet peeve of mine). Great music! Planning a rewatch of this soon with a review to go along with it.
Ohitorisama 3/5 – 33 year-old high school teacher Akiyama Satomi is enjoying the single life until a young substitute teacher that starts working at her school catches her eye. Another opposites attract. Slow, but interesting look at Japanese school culture.
Orange Days 4/5 – College drama about a man who falls in love with a genius musician who has lost her hearing. Can’t recall exactly how I felt about this one, but I did enjoy it.
Ouran High School Host Club 2/5 – A poor student attending a prestigious high school on a scholarship accidentally knocks over an expensive vase. She must work as a host in the school’s host club to pay it back, while keeping her gender concealed. Completely failed to live up to the anime.
Rich Man, Poor Woman 4/5 – Cold-hearted, rich male lead + optimistic, poor female lead. This has been rehashed forever and a day, but the main plot is compelling and the couple is insanely adorable.
Shitsuren Chocolatier (Heartbroken Chocolatier) 3/5 – Completely unconventional plot for a romantic comedy. Frustrating for sure. Started watching for MatsuJun, Satomi & Kiko, stayed for the chocolately goodness and the wild ride. Unique and a feast for your eyes.
Zettai Kareshi (Absolute Boyfriend) 4/5 – Really fun premise! Night is the most captivating robot you’ll ever see!
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