My All Time Favorite Dorama (ドラマ) – Japanese TV Series

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The original plan was to either write about my top 5 male voice or top 5 American Band. I couldn’t decide which one to write first…however, when Nat remind us that this November Hello Japan Mini Challenge is about top 5 of anything from Japan, I came to a decision that I will do a top 5 Japan related post. The other two top 5 will have to wait till next month.

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I know exactly what I want to write for my top 5 from Japan…it’s my favorite Japanese Dorama of all time. I know that this topic probably won’t get many comments sharing their version of top 5 as not many people watch Dorama like I do.

Dorama (ドラマ) actually comes from the word Drama. You can also call it as TV series. Some call it as Japanese Soap Opera, but I refuse to call Dorama as Soap Opera because Dorama never extend to LOOOOOONG episodes like soap opera. Unlike other Asian TV series, such as from Korea or Taiwan, Japanese Dorama rarely extends to more than 12 episodes. There are few Dorama that have more episodes but mostly only until 12 episodes. That short episode is one of the reasons I like Dorama. The other reason is the story, Dorama has wide variety of stories…not merely about love and family conflicts.

My favorites are never about love 😉 It is really difficult to choose as I like most Dorama I have seen.

Let’s move on to the list, shall we 🙂

#5 Waterboys (ウォーターボーイズ)

Out of all school related dorama, Waterboys 1 is my all time favorite. The story is about 5 boys trying to do synchronize swimming in all boys’ school. This sport belongs to female, but these 5 boys wanted do it so bad. Each has different reasons for doing it. The problem comes when some teachers wanted to make their dream difficult to come true. This dorama is hilarious. It is the sequel of the movie version I had reviewed earlier this year. I love seeing high school students trying hard to gain their last dream in school, trying to make their time at school as something memorable. Plus, their synchronize swimming is really nice to see 🙂

Starring: Yamada Takayuki, Moriyama Mirai, Eita, Ishigaki Yuma, and Ishii Tomoya.
Broadcast: July 01 – September 09, 2003
Episodes: 11

#4 1 litre of tears (1 リテルの涙)

Out of  all based on true story dorama,1 litre of tears is definitely the most heartbreaking one. I plan to review this dorama soon. 1 litre of tears is based on the life of Aya Kitou (木藤亜也) , they changed her name into Aya Ikeuchi. Aya has a rare incurable disease called Spinocerebellar Degeneration Disease, she was doomed to die young. She wrote poems that reflect her condition. Those poems were later turned into book and this dorama is based on that book. The title really represent the story, you need lots of tissue while watching this dorama because you wills shed 1 litre of tears. I admire the strength of Aya’s heart and her family. I have just finished watching it for the second time and I still need tissue to wipe my tears.

Starring: Sawajiri Erika, Yakushimaru Hiroko, Nishikido Ryo, Jinnai Takanori, Narumi Riko, and Fujiki Naohito.
Broadcast: October 11 – December 20, 2005
Episodes: 11

I found this wonderful video in youtube:

#3 Trick (トリック)

Out of all investigation related dorama, Trick is the one I love the most. It is funny, entertaining and smart. Trick is a dorama about a woman named Naoko Yamada and a man named Jiro Ueda. Naoko was a failed magician, she was actually really smart. Jiro was a professor who was not really brilliant, he was using Naoko to solve mysteries and claimed as his effort. Their relationship was really funny and the cases were always interesting. It’s like X Files in comedy version. I have all three seasons and special episodes of this dorama.

Starring: Yukie Nakama and Abe Hiroshi
Broadcast: 2000 (Season 1), 2002 (Season 2), 2003 (Season 3)
Episodes:  10 (Season 1), 12 (Season 2), 10 (Season 3)

#2 Orthros Dog (オルトロス の 犬)

I love love love this dorama so much!!!I almost put it in my number one list. I am planning to re-watch it soon. The story is so my kind of story. The story is about the kind-hearted Ryousuke Aoi who had a touch that can kill anyone and the convicted murder Shinji Ryuzaki who had a healing hand. This two opposite characters create such interesting story.

To know more about this dorama, just read my review here.

Starring: Takizawa Hideaki, Nishikido Ryo, and Mizukawa Asami
Broadcast: July 24 – September 25, 2009
Episodes: 9

#1 Gokusen (ごくせん) and GTO (グレート ティーチャー オニヅカ)

I really can’t decide which one I like most out of these 2 teacher related dorama. Both GTO and Gokusen have interesting story to tell. Both are my inspiration as teacher. I love them both equally.

Gokusen is about a teacher named Yamaguchi Kumiko, her students called her Yankumi. She was related to a Yakuza family and it was almost impossible for Yakuza family to be a teacher. Yankumi showed her troubled class that they can trust her as place for them to lean on.

Starring: Yukie Nakama, Matsujun, Ogori Shun
Broadcast: April 01 – July 03, 2002
Episodes: 12
Review: here

GTO (Great Teacher Onizuka) is about a teacher named Onizuka who used to a really naughty student. He hated when other teachers called their students as trash. All students were special in his eyes. He had to face students who had lost trust on teachers and grown-ups. He had to make them  start trusting grown-ups again.

Starring: Sorimachi Takashi, Matsushima  Nanako, Kubozuka Yosuke,  Ogori Shun, and Kirari.
Broadcast: July 07 – September 22, 1998
Episodes: 12
Review: here



Those are my favorite dorama 🙂

As I said before,I love most dorama I have seen, and here are my honorable mention: Mr. Brain, Dragon Zakura, My Boss My Hero, Nobuta Wo Produce, Nodame Cantabile, and Hana Yori Dango.

If you like dorama too…please share your list 🙂

If not…tell me what you think of these dorama based on my brief description 🙂

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