The 12th Tokyo Drama Awards, part of the International Drama Festival in TOKYO, was held on October 28, 2019. Some of the best Japanese dramas were judged based on their quality and marketability in order to promote this aspect of Japanese culture on a global basis.
Founded in 2008, Tokyo Drama Awards recognizes excellent dramas that Japan is excited to bring overseas. In order to achieve further global exposure of the nominated dramas, the award’s judging criteria places emphasis on “marketability” and “merchantability”, as well as “artistry” and “show quality”.
Best Drama Series
With graduation 10 days away, homeroom teacher Hiiragi gathered all 29 students of class 3-A and proclaims them his hostages. His last lesson regards the death of a student that passed away a few months before. Nobody will be able to graduate until the truth is known.
This drama was also very popular at MDL, achieving a rating of 8.7. It deals with school bullying and the dynamics between teachers and students.
Excellence Awards for Drama Series
Toumei na Yurikago - On her first day at a small OB-GYN clinic, 17-year-old trainee nurse Aoi is thrust into the surgery room, and witnesses an abortion. Here, death is not uncommon, and there is more to the job than beautiful deliveries and welcoming families.
dele - The two young men, whose profession is to delete personal data of a deceased client, find out that in fact their work involves a lot more. Each time, the two tenaciously pursue and find out the buried truth in order to execute their job. ("dele" is a proofreader's mark indicating matters to be deleted)
Don't Forget Me - Nao Kitazawa, 34, leads a busy but fulfilling life as a doctor at a women's clinic and as fiancee to an elite psychiatric physician, Yuchi Ihara. With their wedding day a month off, Nao is preparing to move into a new home when she meets Shinji Mamiya, a struggling writer who works part-time as a mover and falls inexorably in love with him.
What Did You Eat Yesterday? - It is a story about the bittersweet and warm daily life of a couple of men who live together.
Best Drama Special
Keiichi Yoshinaga plays the man who works for a major construction company receives a sudden phone call from his ex-wife, Junko Aoba. She tells Keiichi that their second son, Tsubasa, who lives apart, has been arrested for murdering his classmate. Keiichi immediately meets Tsubasa, but for some reason he keeps silence. Since Tsubasa shows no signs of reflecting upon his conduct, he is possibly going to an open trial. To overcome this situation, Keiichi consults a lawyer Kyoko Kanzaki who has a child of the same age.
Excellence Awards for Drama Specials
Sagi no Ko - Phone Fraud Children is an original drama based on the testimonies of over 20 minors nationwide who were arrested committing phone fraud as "ukeko" (receivers) or "kakeko" (callers).
Mangan - This trilogy is a mystery drama with the main characters undergoing conflicts at life-changing crossroads in an unvarnished style of story-telling.
Les Miserables - This feature drama, produced to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Fuji TV, is an adaptation of Victor Hugo's classic masterpiece Les Miserables set in the 1990s in Japan.
Reviving the Round Rice Cakes - Personal passion and perseverance, a city outsider clashing with provincial pride, tasty traditional confections... This intracultural human drama produced by NHK Nagasaki is based on real events that occurred in Shimabara, an old castle town in southwest Japan.
Nameton'ka: The Story of Yashiki Takajin - Yashiki Takajin, who is known as a "King of High Viewer Ratings" in Kansai Region, and whose concert tickets are always sold out immediately, has been struggling in his early days in Kyoto.