Editors Note: This article is a preview of upcoming (though at the time of publication, some of these may have started to air) dramas through the eyes of three Drama fans: NinaJade82(aka JADEEYES), Sleepninja, and Crazy4You. Together, the trio run the blog http://ddramatards.wordpress.com/ so visit it to support them ^_^
I watched the first season and loved it. It was well acted and written. I’m a sucker for vampires and was really interested to see how Korea would incorporate this myth to their culture, and it was not a letdown. I’m eager for Season 2. - JADEEYES
Title: 다 손락 / The Piano Forest / Five Fingers (Korean)
Genre: Music, Melodrama
Synopsis: Five Fingers is about young people who each have their own tragedies to overcome and achieve their dreams. A pianist (Joo Ji Hoon) has extraordinary talent but must overcome his family's tragic history.
If I were sure that by using just three words, I would be fully understood at how much I have waited for this drama, then I would have to say: Joo Ji Hoon.
But, as I rarely say only three words when talking about something I like, I have to add the plot seems highly interesting. When a pianist is involved, I’m already hooked. There is also a complicated past and a bitter rivalry with a corporate man. Not so different from 70% of the Korean dramas out there, but after a so many with fantasy, soul switching, and time travelers I welcome the melodrama. - JADEEYES
Before I even realized this drama had Joo Ji Hoon in it I wanted to watch it. Any drama revolving around a pianist is enough to pull me in. I'm not a fan of classical music but I love watching dramas with musicians, whether it's classical or pop, etc. Tragic pasts makes it sound intriguing, too.- Crazy4you
Title: 판양 고도 / Panda and Hedgehog (Korean)
Genre: Romance, Comedy
Episodes: (To Be Announced)
Synopsis: Pan Da Yang (Yoon Seung Ah) is a bright young woman and the owner of a not so popular cake shop. She becomes involved in a love triangle with Ko Seung Ji (Lee Dong Hae), a gifted pâtissier with a rough personality, and Choi Won Il (Choi Jin Hyeok), a wealthy man who loves Pan Da Yang.
As soon as I heard about Donghae being listed under the cast I was interested in this drama. It sounds like your typical Kdrama, love triangles and food. Plus a guy who sounds arrogant versus a wealthy man? It does sound a bit predictable but I'm interested enough to give it a try and see what they do with it! - Crazy4you
First of all, Lee Donghae!!!
Okay moving on…this drama is not that hard to figure out, it’s a food drama with romance. Although the synopsis does not say, perhaps it might have some cooking competitions with pretty little desserts, so that is always a must in my watch list unless the plot turns boring. However, withGourmet on my top list of food dramas, I can only hope for this one to be at least refreshing and fun! Who knows? I might be surprised. ^^ -JADEEYES
It sounds completely adorable. The title alone makes me want to see it. I love dramas involving food and chefs. I have never seen a drama with Donghae in it. Maybe this one will be my first. - Sleepninja
Title: 세 어에 없 차남/Innocent Man (Korean)
Genre: Melodrama, Romance
Synopsis: Kang Ma Roo (Song Joong Ki) and Han Jae Hee (Park Shi Yeon) are lovers. Ma Roo is a third-year medical school student, Jae Hee is a reporter. Seo Eun Gi (Moon Chae Won) is a woman with a weak disposition who faints frequently. One day, Jae Hee kills a middle-aged man in a motel. Ma Roo takes the fall for it and goes to prison. During the time he’s incarcerated, Jae Hae becomes a wealthy woman by being with Chairman Seo (Kim Yeong Cheol), who is Eun Gi’s father. She has a young child with him, but is not married nor have they gone public with their relationship. Ma Roo gets out of prison 5 years later. He’s so devastatingly charming that no woman could resist him. Jae Hee hates herself for her shady past so she wants to use Chairman Seo to raise her status and give herself a new identity. Eun Gi and Jae Hee intensely dislike each other. Eun Gi works at her father’s company. Ma Roo and Eun Gi meet for the first time on a flight from Japan back to Korea, because she faints during the flight. This is also the first time Ma Roo sees Jae Hee again after he gets out of prison.
I've yet to see a drama with Song Joong Ki and I've been wanting to watch one for awhile! I added this drama to my list a while ago and I think it's going to be really good (or so I'm hoping)! The story sounds really interesting as well. I've seen Moon Chae Won in two previous dramas and I'm looking forward to seeing her act out in this one. - Crazy4you
Title: 마 / Horse Doctor (Korean)
Genre: Period drama, Medical drama
Synopsis: MBC anniversary drama about the life of a Joseon-era low-class veterinarian who specialized in the treatment of horses who rises to become the royal physician in charge of the King's health. (Wikipedia)
This one just does not catch my interest at all. I like horses and the occasional medical drama, but this synopsis just is not interesting enough. One word came to mind after reading it: bland. I just don't believe that it's worth sitting through 60 episodes of this drama. - Sleepninja
I have been intrigued by a few medical dramas before, none were historical, but I also like the historical genre. Although 60 episodes seem like more than I would go for, it still is not as much as 100 and this drama has a good cast and the director and writer worked together in two other very successful historical dramas, so I’m curious how this one will go. - JADEEYES
Title: 천째 남 / The Thousandth Man (Korean)
Synopsis: A fox with nine tails has devoured the liver from 999 men. She tries to get one more man's liver, who really likes the fox with nine tails.
I would have watched this drama if it had come at a time in which all the other dramas were focusing on melodramatic plots but, as it has been one fantasy story after the other, I will have to pass on this one for the moment. Plus the nine-tailed story has been done several times now. - JADEEYES
I've seen one drama with the Gumiho theme and I'd be interested in watching this one to see a different take on the story. I like watching fantasy themed dramas from time to time, this one might be worth it. - Crazy4you
Title: 마이/ Ma Boy (Korean)
Genre: Romance, Comedy
Synopsis: Geu Rim ( Kim So Hyun) is a student at an arts high school who dreams of becoming a pop singer. At school, she gets a new roommate, Irene ( Sun Woong) who’s actually a boy. Irena’s persona is a pretty female CF star and his actual name is Hyun Woo.
This drama looks so funny! I am a sucker for gender bender dramas and this one looks like it’s going to be good. Based on the trailer, I can really see how he could pass for a girl. A lot of time, it’s obvious the moment you look at them but, he does have that androgynous appearance. Plus, it’s only three episodes. How can I say no to that? - Sleepninja
Title: 유가/ Glass Mask (Korean)
Episodes: 100+ (To Be Confirmed)
Synopsis: This drama tells the story of a woman whose father is a murderer (false accusation). She has to survive in difficult life and also plan her revenge.
It’s makjang time! Everything about this, from the synopsis about a revenge driven woman to the over-dramatic teasers, screams makjang. I cannot resist! It is pulling me in. 100+ episodes? Ha! Ha! Challenge accepted. - Sleepninja
This one sounds right up my alley, with murder and revenge being at the center of the plot. However, it's 100 episodes and I just cannot invest all that time in one drama. I'll get tired by the 50th episode. - JADEEYES
Title: 悪ちん / Nightmare Chan (Japanese)
Synopsis: A somewhat strange girl named Yuiko Koto (Kimura Manatsu) transfers to the class taught by Ayami Mutoi (Kitagawa Keiko). Yuiko Koto has the special ability to make her dreams come true, but the outcome is usually a disaster. Ayami Mutoi doesn't want to become involved, but it soon affects her...
This drama is based on the book “Yumechigae” by Riku Onda. There isn’t a lot of information to be found about this drama. The synopsis leads me to believe that this will be a cute fantasy drama with an element of humor to it. It brings to mind the old saying, “be careful what you wish for” Your wish may come true, but you might immediately regret it. I am curious to see just how badly her attempts at wish granting go wrong. - Crazy4You
This drama has Gackt as a co-star and I cannot pass up something he’s associated with. I even own that little-known video game he came out with. I’m also intrigued by the lead actress. I have never come across a Japanese drama with an eleven-year-old girl as the leading lady. I want to see how talented she is. Surely she must be impressive to have landed the main role. I wish to see just how good she is. Oh, my! Do you think she will grant my wish? - Sleepninja
Title: Priceless (Japanese)
Synopsis: Originally a mid-level manager (Kimura Takuya) with a promising future in a big corporation, the life of this elite employee changes dramatically one day. Having attracted the attention of his superiors for some reason, he is framed for a crime which he knows nothing of and forced out of the workplace. Even after that, he is assailed by a series of surprises and in one day, he loses his house, wealth, and handphone until he is without a cent to his name. At his wit’s end, he comes to a park where he encounters two children. Learning from them how to survive even if he does not have money, he somehow weathers this crisis and discovers the truly important and priceless things in life.
As it is consistent with me, I mostly pick a drama because I know the actor and have liked him before. Some dramas call to my attention just on the plot alone. However, when a drama does both things, it becomes a highly anticipated drama. Like it is the case with Five Fingers, Priceless is one drama I’m waiting for so that I can connect with the characters in all different levels. - JADEEYES
Title: 眠るの女 / Nemureru Mori no Jukojo / The Woman of the Sleeping Forest (Japanese)
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Life, Romance
Synopsis: Senba Aizawa (Kusakari Tamiyo) is a 46-year-old housewife. Before she married, she worked at a bank but quit her job after her marriage. One day, her husband (Haba Yuichi) asks for a divorce. He met his first love (Moriguchi Yoko) through social network site Facebook and now wants to marry her. The couple is now going through their divorce proceedings. In order to keep custody of her son, Senba Aizawa gets a job at a luxurious hotel. There, she meets Yusuke Takaoka (Seto Koji) who is the handsome heir of the luxurious hotel chain. Senba Aizawa begins to have feelings for the younger Yusuke Takaoka. (Asianwiki)
So this is what I talk about when I say I’m pulled to the drama only by its plot. I don’t know any of the actors, and although I have heard good things about them I can only wait to make my own judgment. However, the plot to this drama is really interesting in that instead of being a mean, spoil brat with a sweet and caring personality in the inside; it’s about a sweet and caring young man, who is really a mean and horrible person on the inside. Too good to pass ^^ - JADEEYES
This drama isn't really pulling me in. I sometimes like your “noona” romances but this one doesn't really sound like one I'd like. I've seen Seto Koji in a few dramas, but I don't think this is going to be added to the list. -Crazy4you
I usually like dramas dealing with age difference relationships. I don't know what it is about this one, but I'm just not feeling it. It sounds a bit on the boring side. - Sleepninja
Title: 大[有・家篇 / Ooku: Arikoto Iemitsu Hen (Japanese)
Synopsis: Ooku is set during the Edo period of Japan, in an alternate history where a mysterious disease that affects only males has resulted in a population where women overwhelmingly outnumber men. As a result, women are the dominant members of society, and due to scarcity, men are valued for their ability to produce offspring. The shogun is female instead of male, and the “ooku” (the inner chambers of the shogun’s castle) consists of a harem of men.
Alternate history? Mysterious disease affecting only males? This whole summary sounds interesting and different. Shogun being female and men being rare. I'm curious as to what would happen in this drama. I saw the movie didn't get too many good ratings, so maybe a drama version would make it even better? I'm willing to check it out and find out for myself! - Crazy4you
Title: 爱闯门 / When Love Walked In / The Prince Who Lost His Castle (Taiwanese)
Synopsis: The drama tells the story of how Qin Yu Jiang (Calvin Chen) was under orders to look for the chairman's long-lost granddaughter, which he found to be Shen Ya Yin (Victoria Song) who is treated like Cinderella in her aunt's home. What happens next is a romantic love story that makes people laugh and cry.
I love Cinderella stories. I have always been a fan of fairy tales and eat up anything that resembles them. This one looks really good. With Zhou Mi (Super Junior M), Calvin Chen (Fahrenheit), and Victoria Song (f(x)) in it, there is plenty of eye-candy to drool over. Of course, this had nothing to do with why I chose it. - Sleepninja
Title: 童二之 / Half a Fairy Tale (Taiwanese)
Genre: Business, Family, Romance
Synopsis: Zhao Ting Yu and Zhao Ting Yuan are twins who were separated at a young age. With their grandfather getting older and older sister Ting Yuan having contracted a serious illness, Ting Yu was brought back to protect the household and take charge of the family business. To stabilize the Zhao family business, the two sisters must overcome their initial estrangement and work together to withstand the scheming Jing Qing Yu. Fighting alongside them are Ting Yuan's fiancé Du Yu Feng and Jing Qing Yu's own son, Jing Wei. In the process, Ting Yu and Ting Yuan realize their own strengths as they taste both the sweetness and bitterness of maturation, but most importantly, they finally experience the true meaning of ‘family’
This drama interests me because of the main actor, Lee Joon Hyuk. I’m looking forward to his performance, and although I know nothing of whether or not he will be dubbed, I still want to give it a try because the plot sounds interesting. I’m always pulled to family plots, and I think this one might be a good one: twin sisters that have to get to know each other and work together for the benefit of the family. I’m sure all kinds of trouble will happen! - JADEEYES
Title: 戀38℃/ Summer Love (Taiwanese)
Synopsis: Summer is the height of tourist season on the island of Kinmen. In one particular summer, national piano champion, Chen Wen Qing, came to the island to spend her summer vacation. Local boy, Lin Ming Kuan, was her tour guide. As their adventures on the island went on, Kuan gradually fell in love with her. Yet, he never revealed his feelings. He didn't think he was good enough for her. He even pushed her away when he discovered that she felt the same way for him. However, her unwavering love finally demolished his defense. They spent the rest of the summer being happily in love. When the summer came to end and Qing must return home, she promised to email him every day and come back the next summer. Next summer came. Qing returned to the island as promised. But, Kuan started to feel there is something different with Qing...
The synopsis to this drama sounds a lot like something I would like. I'm a sucker for a good romance, too. This sounds like romance mixed with a bit of melodrama, and I'd be interested in watching it and find out what happens! - Crazy4you
Title: MONSTERS (Japanese) (Group Pick)
Synopsis: Hiratsuka Heihachi (Katori Shingo) is loud and impolite, but always smiles. He is a strange detective. Unlike Hiratsuka, Saionji Kosuke (Yamashita Tomohisa) is the heir of a wealthy family. He is full of justice, naivete and honest almost to a fault. Saionji Kosuke is then designated to the #1 investigation team, which he has always admired. Unfortunately, his job is to watch over Hiratsuka Heihachi. Up to this point, Hiratsuka Heihachi has been the sole member of his team but, he manages to solve all of his cases one by one. Other detectives are curious about his methods, some even think he may have some mystic powers. This is the primary reason why Saionji is tasked to watch over Hiratsuka. The real reason Hiratsuka is able to solve so many cases is that the criminals hate Hiratsuka the most...
The synopsis sounds very interesting. I have loved every drama I have seen with Yamapi in it, so this one was a no-brainer. Also, Katori Shingo is in it. I cannot wait to see him act in something. I love SMAP and he cracks me up when he does Shingo Mama. - Sleepninja
I always liked Yamapi, but it was not until I watched Ending Planner that I became his fan! So I’m really looking forward to MONSTERS. - JADEEYES
I've seen Yamapi in two dramas already and I loved him in both! The synopsis to MONSTERS is very intriguing and I'm curious to see how Yamapi will act in a crime drama. Mysteries, investigations, and secrets. What doesn't sound interesting about this drama? - Crazy4you
I’m a college student hoping to teach English abroad. I’ve been obsessed with Asian culture since the age of 7. I started watching anime, and then branched out to manga, music, and dramas. I love it all! My favorite genres are fantasy, horror and romance. A year ago my friends and I made a blog to share our obsession. - Sleepninja
"NinaJade82 (aka JADEEYES) grew up watching anime and her first Asian drama was Oshin. But, it was not until much later that the passion for anime and manga expanded to kdramas, fully binding her to the Asian drama world since 2007. Genres that interest her are: mystery/suspense, drama, fantasy/supernatural; some romance and historical if it has a combination of the other five mentioned. She is now the author of a blog with two friends."
I'm a soon to be college student with hopes of becoming a graphic designer. I found my love of asian culture when a friend introduced me to manga when I was thirteen. It grew to a love of anime, music, and dramas. I mostly enjoy watching romantic comedies but I will watch any genre as long as the story line pulls me in. Tearjerkers and dramas about real life situations are also right up my alley. I'm an author on the blog The Dramatards with two friends. - Crazy4you