Japanese Comedy Doramas – Part 2
Greeting everyone. Here I am back for the promised second part, about memorable Japanese Comedy Dramas. In this part, I will talk about the Japanese comedies I have seen in recent years, that have managed to be distinctive in their own way. It just proves the Japanese haven’t lost their magic yet, and when given the chance can come up with the most unique ideas yet. They have a way of making me smile like an idiot throughout the whole run of a drama, and make me laugh out loud many times meanwhile creating endearing character that occupy a place in my heart, eternally.
Enough babbling, here we go
Where do I start with this one? This drama is hilarity itself. It is a coming of age, fictionalized story of Kazuhiko Shimamoto during his time at the Osaka University of Arts. In the most extreme over the top comedy, it provides a commentary about the generation growing up in the 70s and 80s and expectations of that time. We start the story with our protagonist, Moyuru Honoo, on his first day of university. He thinks he's destined for greatness, and everyone else is beneath his capabilities. The amusement comes the questionable basis of his belief, as his experience all the ups and downs of such a career. The comedy is very manga-like, and the soundtrack recalls the music of anime of that time that feels so nostalgic for us today. I have to add that this drama wouldn’t have been the same without such great casting. Yuya Yagira had every inch of his body and soul act out the character. Having such expressive eyes, he managed to cleverly use it to his advantage.
When we lose hope of getting a good romantic comedy from Japan, they bring us an exceptional rom-com about the most odd couple romancing each other. I just have to warn to set the expectations right, it’s mostly comedy rather than romance, but the leads have such great chemistry just having them on screen together brings out all the fun and excitement. The premise can be a bit hard to swallow. A rigid woman who never fell in love wants to get married and a hikikomori is looking for another woman to leach off because his mother is getting older. They may be peculiar but there are similar people of exist in this world and this drama explores deeply their personalities and past wounds. We don’t get any excuses or tragic story, just pains we are all too familiar with. There is also an exploration of the meaning of love and marriage, what it meant for the leads in the beginning, and what it will mean for them as they get to know one another better.
THIS is the type of drama only seen in Japan. Calling itself a “low budget adventure story”, it is a parody of your typical heroic video game. It is bold, stupid and fun. The predictable story lines and cheesy dialog are used purposely. When the protagonists are acting like goody-two shoes video game characters, the characters surrounding them usually have practical reaction which totally kills their moment. I found totally hysterical! I'm not into video games myself but from the bit that I've seen of it I got to appreciate some details here, like the “fighting style”, among others, that I would've otherwise found weird. It is a perfect watch after a long stress of work, and gives good laughs. Scenes like this one is what makes this drama and Japanese sense of humor priceless.
Once you're done this dorama, and still want to watch more, nothing to worry about since there is a second season that follows.
It is a sequel to a movie featuring the same characters, and also got a second movie that takes place afterwards. Unlike the movies, which explore our two protagonists’ past wounds, fears and dreams, the drama takes a lighter tone, and explores the stories of their clienteles. The main attraction is Eita and Matsuda Ryuhei’s chemistry, Tada and gyoten’s relationship and interaction, and the overall atmosphere. The setting is similar to our heroes’ characters, messy and moody. I cannot say more because it will not give justice to the drama. All I can say is I'm eagerly waiting for another season. I cannot recommend it enough!
A black president is a president of a company that exploits his employees for profit without caring about their well-being. Mitamura Yukio, the founder of a company, is often accused of such a term because of his unsubtle obsession with profit. He often tries to disperse such accusation but in the end cannot help but be true to himself. When he decides to go back to school and finish his education, he throws his employees for a loop. The real reason behind his return to school is to take out his stress on stupid, inexperienced students. And teachers. The perfect blend of comedy, business and youth, this drama offers a view of the world through scholarly versus real life experience. This central appeal of this drama is Sawamura Ikki with his energy and piercing look in his eyes. You just can’t turn away.
Meaning "The Greatest Divorce" the title indicates the tone of the drama. Lead by stellar cast, this drama addresses a delicate subject of divorce in a funny and practical way. What I loved most about it is that it did not try to make its characters likeable. What they did is present characters in a very realistic way, and letting us decide how much we approve on each and every one of them. It takes an honest look at relationships, highlights how things can start going awry. A lot of the appeal rests on the talent of the cast. They brought the comedy out in the drama. I cannot imagine how the show would have been if Hamasaki (with an S! :P) was played by anyone other than Eita. He was such a nag and annoying, and turning those trait into an endearing laugh out loud comedy is a talent of its own. Another thing I need to mention is the witty dialogs. They were so raw and honest!
Honorary mention - just because!
Finally, I wanted to add this list is completely subjective, based of what I have watched and my taste. I wanted to highlight those dramas, and Japanese comedies in general, because I find it to be very underrated. There are gems I believe many will enjoy, when given the chance and made aware of their existence. Thanks to the comment section of the previous part, I got some interesting recommendations of dramas I’ve missed out upon over the years. What I found funny is how some of my MDL friends already predicted the dramas I was about to put on this list. I thought "you know me all too well my friends!" I love you all and love this place :D