Hello, everyone! :)
So we all know it; life isn't easy, everything seems greener on the other side, and sometimes we just want to give up and forget about everything. In those moments, life doesn't seem to be worth it, but here I want to recommend some dramas that will encourage you and show you that life, despite all the struggles, is worth it after all.
The dramas I'm going to recommend have one thing in common. They all have leads and side characters who struggle with life in one way or another, so the dramas may be more or less dark, but that doesn't mean that they're less encouraging or positive. They show that even in the darkest times there's still hope and a chance to change for the better.
So let's start:
This drama has a first season but both seasons are not connected so you can go ahead and watch this season without missing anything. AND another thing I want to mention here is that this drama may seem boring due to its title and the theme of a quiz show, but let me tell you that this is one of the darkest dramas I've watched. I never expected the twists and the dark secrets of the TV show's host and crew.
The drama centers around a quiz show, each episode with a new contestant, but you can't watch them randomly because the main story unfolds with each episode.
So each week a person has the chance to be a contestant on the show. What they don't know is that they aren't picked without a reason; each one of them has a dark secret, and in order for them to win the quiz and make their biggest wish come true, they'd have to shed light on their secrets. What they also don't know is that the TV show host knows everything about them, including their secrets.
BUT even though the TV show host knows everything about his contestants, he knows nothing about himself and the real purpose of this dark quiz show.
This drama consists of four short different stories. You can watch them in whichever order you want since they're not connected to each other. In each of these stories, the female lead faces different struggles and eventually finds a way to overcome them and see good in life.
Each episode is only about half an hour so it's a quick watch, but I thought it's the perfect length for quick encouragement plus all of the main actresses are pretty well known and do a good job acting wise.
I can't really say I liked one story better than the other because they really differ. But what I can say is that each story was entertaining to watch, so give it a try.
The first episode features Ueto Aya who thinks that money equals happiness and she tries to buy a little happiness each week with money. Once a week she feels like a celebrity. For this happiness she goes as far as to sleep with men for money and then goes on to spend it for a little self-worth. Then she meets a girl who seemingly has everything.
The second episode features Horikita Maki, a girl with sociophobia. Not being able to face other people ,she tries online chatting. However, there she meets a boy who changes her views.
The third episode features Yamada Yu who wants to become an actress. She goes to Tokyo to fulfill her dream only to find out that it's more difficult than she imagined. Now, she works as a hostess and is on the verge of giving up on her dreams as she gets deceived into doing something she regrets.
The fourth episode features Ueno Juri. Everyone always leaves her. Nevertheless, she tries to hold on to each of them and gets used. But another one of her boyfriends disappears and leaves a boy in her care, and they have more in common than she first thought.
This is the second season of the drama above, again four short different stories, with the same concept of four girls/women and their struggles. I personally liked this season's stories better because they were more relatable and realistic plus they had some subtle cute romance.
The one I liked the most was the first episode with Ishihara Satomi. She really depicted her character well and there was an unexpected twist to it.
To be honest there were actually twists to all of them, so it made this season more enjoyable and interesting.
The first episode features Ishihara Satomi. She's pretty much on the verge of giving up on her life. Every day she goes far up on a building to decide whether she wants to live or to die, then one day she meets a guy.
The second episode features Toda Erika who pretends she's someone she's not and swindles men out of their money. She doesn't feel bad about it because she thinks people who get swindled deserve it for being naive. Then she meets a handsome stranger, but she can't stop lying even to him.
The third episode features Kato Rosa who is rushing through life because there's no time to waste. Competition is hard though and many things take time. It frustrates her and she does some questionable things.
The fourth episode features Karina, for whom being beautiful is everything. After having plastic surgery, she cast away her old identity completely. Now, she's admired for her beauty and money but then she comes across a poor pet shop owner.
This drama really did encourage me. It made me think about life in a different, positive way. While I was searching for a romance drama I came across this, and while it is a romance drama, it is so much more.
I really loved the female lead played by Ueto Aya, she's one of those rare female leads who isn't a naive, annoying Mary Sue. I also really loved the aquarium scenery and the side characters were really likable too.
Takenouchi Yutaka plays Kengo, who seems ordinary at first glance but actually possesses a secret that he would sacrifice everything in order to protect. Meanwhile, Ueto plays Risa, a young woman working in the sex trade in order to pay off her brother's debt, though her situation has led her to contemplate suicide.
These two characters, both full of despair, meet each other and end up entering a contract marriage purely for its benefits.
So this drama is really complex and dark with the themes of bullying, family falling apart, being burdened by expectations and a dark secret of the cheerful male lead.
I feel like the casting of Sakurai Sho as the male lead was perfect. He could really pull off all these emotions, from being cheerful to scary to being full of despair. It was really acted out well.
The themes depicted in this drama were real and relatable which made this drama one of my all time favourites.
It's about a seemingly ordinary family. One day, they hire a tutor for their son, not knowing that this tutor will break their family apart. Each of the family members has their own dark little secrets and for some reason, the tutor can look right through them, BUT the tutor possesses a secret on his own which is even darker.
So that's it for me, hope you liked them and give some of them a try. They really are worth watching :D These are my five recommendations, of course, there are tons more out there that I didn't mention here, so comment below on what you think about the ones I've mentioned. Did you watch any of them? How did you like them? And which ones would you personally recommend?