Fall 2016 Japanese Dramas Preview
Fall is already in full swing in parts of the world, and Japan is preparing for the October-December drama season. We have many investigation/detective dramas this fall, along with another (crazy?) season of Yuusha Yoshihiko. Popular actors and actresses Takei Emi, Abe Hiroshi, Tamaki Hiroshi, Ishihara Satomi, Aibu Saki, Kuroki Meisa and more will also grace our screens. There’s bound to be something for everyone.
Are you ready for these upcoming dramas?
Start: September 23 on NHK
During their childhood, a little girl and a boy made a pledge to meet again. Now at the age of 45, the girl, Kasumi (Harada), is a divorced mother of a son of high school age. She works at a laundry delivery shop in order to make a living. One day, she encounters a young male designer, Yuri (Saito). He is somehow far too familiar with her and pokes his nose into her affairs. These two people with different backgrounds fall in love. Why did Yuri appear before her? Could he be the boy from that time?
Start: September 24 on NHK
Kiyo (Takei) is a lady-in-waiting of the Asano family. She is in love with Isogai Jurozaiemon (Fukushi), an Ako samurai. Kiyo sets her mind to overcome the difference in social status and live for love. But bloodshed occurs when Asano Naganori of the Ako domain attacks Kira Yoshinaka. Kiyo’s destiny is set in motion as the 48th “loyal vassal” unable to participate in the raid with Jurozaemon and the rest of the 47 lordless Ako samurai. After they pull off the raid on Kira’s residence, Kiyo’s second life begins. She gets close to a family positioned to accede to the shogunate and eventually enters the inner palace of Edo Castle with the aim of restoring the Asano family.
Start: October 3 on NHK
Cast: Yoshine Kyoko
This daily drama with 151 episodes is about Bando Sumire (Yoshine), who gives birth to her first child while her husband is fighting in WWII. She loses her property during an air raid. While waiting for her husband to come home, she decides to make clothing for children.
Start: October 5 on NTV
Fashion-loving Kono Etsuko (Ishihara) dreams of becoming a fashion editor. She gets a job at a publishing company - not in the editorial department like she wanted, but in the very plain proofreading department. Moreover, her junior from high school is working in the editorial department. That same junior is ordered to look for a handsome model and finds university student Orihara Yukito (Suda). Etsuko happens to meet Yukito at the same time and falls in love at first sight.
(Based on a novel)
Start: October 8 on TV Tokyo
The third season of Yuusha Yoshihiko is set several hundred years after Yoshihiko (Yamada) defeated the dark spirit Deathtark in a fierce battle and saved the world. Now the world is once again plunged in darkness. Resurrected by the power of Buddha, Yoshihiko and his party set off on a journey around the world. Will they be able to save the world again?
Start: October 8 on NTV
The Last Cop originally aired as a 5 episode drama in 2015, and is now back. Kyogoku Kosuke (Karasawa) was a young police officer. He went after the dangerous criminal Kagura, but had an accident and fell into a coma. Now, 30 years later, Kosuke wakes up from his coma. He is now in his 50's and the world has completely changed. He begins to work again as a cop and partners with young detective Ryota (Kubota). Ryota is geeky and timid, while Kosuke is brash and aggressive. Their new story begins.
(Remake of German TV series "Der letzte Bulle")
Toge Shoushimin Kuranaga Haruyuki no Gyakushu (Thorn: Petit Bourgeois Haruyuki Kuranaga's Counterattack)
Start: October 8 on Fuji TV
Cast: Tanabe Seiichi
Kuranaga Haruyuki (Tanabe) works for a citizen consultation center. In the three years since his transfer, he has been leading a stressful life. His personality gets him sandwiched between his subordinates, boss, and the citizens who come with impossible demands and complaints. His only outlet is griping to his pet fish as he drinks beer. He eventually erupts one day due to an emergency situation. This awakens his sense of justice and he starts to fight problems in the workplace.
Start: October 8 on TV Tokyo
Cast: Nakamura Aoi
Rookie detective Tatsuya’s (Nakamura) first job is to form an idol group, Deka Dance, to investigate cases in the entertainment industry. The hastily formed group includes members like a former swindler and a stay-at-home with communication problems. And while solving cases, Deka Dance somehow becomes popular.
Start: October 9 on Fuji TV
Elite police officer Toyama Kinshiro (Tamaki) is the new chief of a police precinct. He is an eccentric but compassionate man who saves citizens who have no voice, regardless of the type and size of the cases. He believes the police should be close to the citizens and make the streets crime-free. When he is interested in a case, he visits the crime scene and picks out clues to solve the case from seemingly irrelevant, unexpected things. However, his style of investigation is not welcomed by his investigators and their antagonism only gets deeper.
Start: October 9 on NTV
Akenabe Yugo (Sawamura) is a “rental saviour”. He shows up to handle any kind of impossible demand for a limited time only. This is a peculiar, innovative rental service which has appeared as a result of a movement in the rental industry. Akenabe is a very good-natured middle-aged man who is forced to be one as a way to make supplementary income through this service, because he has a huge debt and a wife and child. On the other hand Aoi Denjiro (Fujii), who is a “rental saviour” together with Akenabe, is a big show-off who loves attention.
Start: October 11 on Fuji TV
Neurosurgeon Tachibana Shiho (Yoshida) quits her job to start a new one in a hospital diagnosis department. Stubborn Tachibana doesn’t always get along with the other doctors in the department, but they cooperate to reveal a mysterious malady.
Start: October 11 on TBS
Moriyama Mikuri (Aragaki) is a 25-year-old who has had no luck in the job market after graduating from university. She starts working as a houskeeper for bachelor Tsuzaki Hiramasa (Hoshino). One day he proposes a contract marriage and the two get married in secret.
(Based on a manga)
Start: October 13 on TV Asahi
This is the fourth season of Doctor X. Daimon Michiko (Yonekura) goes up against Hiruma Shigekatsu (Nishida). Hiruma is a new director for the best university hospital in Japan and also bears a deep grudge against Daimon.
Start: October 13 on Fuji TV
Cast: Amami Yuki
Hoshino Mitsuko (Amami) went to culinary school in France, where she also apprenticed at a famous restaurant and won several contests. Back in Japan, she starts work as a chef in a famous French restaurant. It receives three stars and she gains fame. One day she gets into trouble with the restaurant owner and gets fired. She then takes part in a TV show about school meals.
Start: October 14 on TBS
Takano Aki (Kanno) is a happy, ordinary housewife whose family has moved to their dream apartment. Just as they are starting their new life, they encounter an ominous, terrifying neighbor. This neighbor manipulates the dark emotions of pride, vanity, and jealousy of the housewives living in the apartment building, drives Aki into isolation within the building with unexpected methods and eventually causes the break up of her family.
Start: October 14 on TV Tokyo
Cast: Ichikawa Ebizo
During the Azuchi–Momoyama period, Toyotomi Hideyoshi is the ruler. He wields vast power and his vassals gather all the wealth, while ordinary people suffer. The people look up to Ishikawa Goemon (Ichikawa), who breaks into homes of feudal lords or big merchants and steals their valuable items. He then hands them out to the poor. Hideyoshi becomes obsessed with catching Goemon.
(Based on a kabuki play with Ichikawa Ebizo in the lead)
Start: October 16 on TBS
Homonji Sharaku (Oda) is the descendant of an esteemed, scholarly aristocratic family where the line of eldest sons have had high IQ of 246 passed down from generation to generation. The present 89th head of the family, Sharaku pursues nothing but knowledge. One day, Wato Soko (Tsuchiya), a detective of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department, is assigned to the First Investigative Division. She is given the mission to guard Sharaku rather than investigate brutal crimes. It seems that everyone who was assigned resigned within a month.
Start: October 17 on Fuji TV
Takada Yu’s (Yamada) father has always favored Yu’s older brother (Kiritani) and been indifferent to Yu. Yu longs for his father’s love and recognition. Yu meets a woman by chance, and though their first encounter couldn’t have been worse, he slowly starts to develop feelings for her. Ironically, the woman turns out to be his older brother’s girlfriend. His feelings for the woman, as well as for his father and brother, will make him mature as a person.
Start: October 18 on TV Asahi
Kazahaya Kyoko (Shimazaki), the new head of the Nasi Goreng Division of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department, solves cases while never leaving the room to go out and investigate. Enter enthusiastic detective Ishinabe Kanta (Furuta), Kyoko’s new team member. Kanta is full of enthusiasm but even
though he appeals to Kyoko about his strength for legwork, she cuts him off and dismisses hot-blooded idiots as unnecessary.
Start: October 20 on TBS
Kokku Hoshimitsu (Emoto) is a “cook inspector” and his investigation policy is “food doesn’t lie”. In order to understand the victims, he will recreate what they ate and focus on reaching a deduction. Nanase Azumi (Kojima) has fulfilled her long-cherished dream to be a detective. However, she finds herself stressed to the max because of Kokku’s unrestricted investigations and also sandwiched between the high-handed detective Nekota Norio (Enari).
Start: October 21 on TV Asahi
Cast: Matsuoka Masahiro
Mitazono Kaoru (Matsuoka) is a male housekeeper that does all kinds of housework perfectly. But he doesn’t only clean the houses’ filth. He spies at the households he works at to find out and expose their hidden secrets. However, as the families break down, at the same time they get a new start.
Start: October 22 on NHK
Hanaoka Shinichiro (Abe) is a consultant who has a special sense of smell, with which he solves difficult and bizarre cases.
(Remake of Ukrainian TV series The Sniffer)
Start: October 26 on TBS
When Yamashita Kanta (Arai) is laid off from work, he doesn’t tell his wife (Kuroki) in fear of her anger. Kanta starts a B&B business, but it’s faced with problems and then the fact that he was laid off is revealed. Facing a possible divorce, will the business go well?
Which JDrama are you most excited about? What is on your list?