Skye-N-Rain is the Creator and co-admin of MyDramaList.Com. Together with Ji-n, they are actively improving MyDramaList day by day and hope to one day make it the biggest and most awesomest drama site on the web. Skye also apparently likes to talk in the third person.
Everyday I see drama fans raving over the most recent currently popular drama. The fans swear its the best drama since You’re Beautiful, until they hit the last episode (Yeah, that’s means you Big and Fashion King). Yet, there are a lot of dramas that i’ve seen and LOVED that most people haven’t even heard about. Since i watch more Jdramas than Kdramas, my list is composed entirely of Jdramas so apologies to the Kdrama fans (plus Kdramas are generally more popular than Jdramas for whatever reason).
So let it begin....
#1 Shiroi Haru (2009)
Drama Description: Haruo is finally released from prison after completing his sentence. With nine years worth of prison gratuities in hand, he stops at a restaurant to enjoy a good meal, but all of his money ends up being stolen. With nothing left, he spends the night at a net cafe, and he manages to look up his old friend from his yakuza days. When Haruo visits the next day, he learns that his old girlfriend Mariko was living with another man, but later died of illness. Haruo, who had committed murder 9 years earlier to earn the money for Mariko's medical treatment, is shocked and angered. He decides to track down that other man, who runs a bakery with his wife and daughter Sachi. Haruo later runs into Sachi at the park, but he has yet to find out the truth about her.
This drama isn’t your average action packed or even romance packed drama. Instead it’s about family, and how far a person would go to make the person they love (and I don’t necessarily mean romance since there are OTHER types of love) happy. I remember when it came out, I was eagerly looking forward to the moment it was subbed each week. It stars Hiroshi Abe, one of the older yet still quite popular actors. However, not many people have seen it or even heard about it unfortunately.
#2 Bara no Nai Hanaya (2008)
Drama Description: Shiomi Eiji is a florist. He is a single man with a young daughter named Shizuku. One day, he invites a blind woman seeking shelter under his shop awning to come in out of the rain. A surprising tale gradually unfolds as the story of their budding love transforms into a complex web of lies and dark motives. Nothing is as it seems at first, and each of the characters is burdened with their own painful secrets.
This drama is one of the rare dramas that actually gets you SUCKED into the drama. I first watched it in 2009 and since then it’s still remained at the top of my favorite list. It’ll have moments where you’ll be smiling and laughing, and then your smile will freeze and you’ll be left with a shocked look similar to that of a dumbstruck Kdrama second lead when he finds the main lead and the girl of his dreams locking lips. Another good reason to watch it, SMAP’s Katori Shingo stars in it!
#3 At Home Dad (2004)
Drama Description: Kazuyuki Yamamura works at a major advertising agency, and is the breadwinner of his family, which consists of himself, wife Miki, and daughter Rie. He purchases a house, and is proud of being at the pinnacle of his career. Kazuyuki's neighbor, Yusuke Sugio, however, leads a completely different life. The breadwinner of his family is his wife Shoko, who runs her own company. Yusuke is a so-called "at-home dad", and because of this, Kazuyuki considers him miserable and helpless. Suddenly one day, Kazuyuki is forced to quit his company. At the same time, his wife receives a call from her former employer saying he wants her to come back to work. Consequently, Kazuyuki has no other choice but to stay at home while Miki works. Kazuyuki reluctantly starts his new life as a household husband , the last thing he wanted to do.
Yep, yet another HIroshi Abe drama. And this is me trying to be an unbiased as possible.
This drama is one of the first Jdramas I ever watched and yet, it’s still so flippin amazing. It’s a family based drama with minimal romance, so if you’re looking for a romance drama, this is NOT it. However, if you’re a fan of the comedy genre, as well as the family genre this is the drama for you.
#4 Dare Yori mo Mama wo Aisu (2006)
Drama Description: A heartwarming home drama told from the perspective of 11-year-old Kaoru (Nagashima), who says his family is often called weird/unusual. It revolves around the lives of stay-at-home dad (Tamura), lawyer and breadwinner mother (Ito), tomboyish oldest daughter (Uchida) and SNAG oldest son (Tamayama). A mysterious neighbor (Kobayashi) also gets involved.
This drama is one that has left a lasting impression on me. I haven’t seen a single Asian drama like this. It’s a family based drama where every single member of the family is important to the story. It felt sort of like the American Tv show the Brady Bunch, but instead of focusing on just the kids it focuses on everybody. It’s truly a remarkable drama and there is very little I dislike about this drama.
#5: Ninkyo Helpers (2009)
Drama Description: Tsubasa Hikoichi is a yakuza underling who runs a loan shark operation in Roppongi. Hikoichi is brutal and efficient, and has no compunction about cheating the weak and poor out of their hard-earned money. When Hikoichi's boss dies, his replacement, Takayama Gensuke, wants the young hood to prepare himself for an executive position, and orders Hikoichi, along with other subordinate bosses, to get a job in an elderly care facility. Suffice it to say, the position isn't what Hikoichi expected it to be...
One of the reasons why this is 5th on my list is that when it was airing, this show was rather popular. It has action (well some), romance (some again), but mainly it’s just a drama about a gangster being forced to help out at an elderly facility (imagine the comedy and the laughs). This drama is also one of the more popular dramas on my list since it stars a bunch of bishies/ikemen (handsome guys)! It also stars the amazing Kuroki Meisa.
And that concludes my list. Feel free to let me know what you think of these dramas in the comments below or even on the comment section in my profile!