Happy New Year! Looking for new drama recommendations? You've come to the right place. Let's take a look at what kind of dramas we can expect in January 2019. Please bear in mind that many dramas are complex genre-wise and it is difficult to label them into only one category, but I'll try my best to choose the best representative genre of each drama.
Note: drama specials and sequels have been excluded on purpose. Drama synopsis have been taken from MDL respectively. The article does not guarantee accuracy since the info regarding these dramas can change in the future.
(office romance, rich male lead, older female lead)
(food, restaurant love)
Chang Ke Ai and Yang Zi Hao made a bet in high school. If they are admitted to the same university, she will carry his schoolbag for an entire year! Unexpectedly she had to give up her dreams of university to pay off a family debt. Ten years later, they are just across the street, but in two different worlds.
(high school to college, rivals to lovers, opposites attract)
Media student Bu Xiao Gu has a dream: she is determined to become an outstanding producer. Her idol is Chun Yu Qiao, who is a top-notch producer at Xintian production company, and Xiao Gu manages to enter the company as an intern.
(slow burn love, office love)
A guy who falls in love with a masseuse, he invests everything into her and tries to give her a better life, but she still wants to be a masseuse.
(submissive male lead, female prostitute)
Kaori works as an interior designer for a housing manufacturer. She has been in a secret affair with her married boss Fuyuki for years. One day Haruto, a young interior designer who just transferred from the New York office, witnesses their affair. Meanwhile, Kaori and Haruto begin to work together as partners at work. Through meeting Haruto, Kaori's fate begins to change.
(love triangle, office affair)
Mayu and Takuma are childhood friends. At age 8 they learn that Takuma will die from a terminal illness before he turns 20. Despite knowing this, the two grow older and fall in love. Mayu stays loyal to Takuma even as he tries to push her away. Suddenly new people enter into their lives, and Mayu and Takuma begin to question their feelings for each other.
(childhood friends to lovers, school, terminal illness)
Junko Harumi was once a model student during her middle school and high school days. Now, at the age of 31, she works as a teacher at a private institute. 3 men, who vary in type, appear in front of her. Masashi Yakumo is her cousin but smart, Kyohei Yuri is a disorderly high school student and Kazuma Yamashita was Kyohei ’s teacher in high school.
(reverse harem, older female lead)
The story centers around Powder, who has been enjoying the world of Dragon Quest X and spends every day playing with party members online. One day, Powder unexpectedly has to share a room in real life with a teammate named Gorō. They discover that their real-life personas are not quite the same as their game personas.
(gamers, geek love)
Lee Soo Ho and Oh San Ha are deeply in love. They have their wedding and go on a honeymoon. During their honeymoon, Soo Ho has an accident and loses his memory.
Two best friends's relationship is strained when they fall in love with the same man.
(love triangle, drama)
An adult romance between a psychiatrist with a big secret and a woman who falls in love.
(mature love, drama)
This drama is a romantic comedy set in the reign of Rama 5 about a pharmacist.
it is a story about a writer, named Daniel, who was adopted to the US when he was 10 years old, coming back to Korea after becoming a world-class novelist. He meets Yeo Jin, the editor helping Daniel with the publication of his book in Korea and the two soon realize some undeniable chemistry between them. (writer)
The story follows a married couple who are about to get a divorce after only one week of being married (and after having known each other for only a week before that) because the husband is still seeing his ex. The wife wants to come to terms with the situation and hires a lawyer.
(married couple, divorce)
Ordinary high school student Yan Ze is secretly in love with her desk-mate Ji Xiaowho is not only the most handsome boy in school but also a top student. But Yan Ze is neither beautiful nor does she have a particularly good figure, and her grades are only so-so as well.
Bei Er Duo, a girl from an ordinary family, dreams about studying in Japan to be a professional voiceover. In her desperation to raise funds for studying overseas as well as helping her best friend Tang Li out of a crisis, Bei Er Duo joins a couple reality programme, encountering top violin maker Ye Shu Wei.
While attempting to take her predecessor’s Wanjun Sword, Lu Zhao Yao is ambushed by the ten immortal sects and mistakenly believes Li Chen Lan is related to the incident after he is revealed to be the previous cult leader’s son.
INVESTIGATION / DETECTIVE
Reiji Mano is a forensic science researcher at the Scientific Research Laboratory in the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department. He is good at his job, possessing a vast amount of knowledge and having excellent technique. However, he is a lone wolf who does not cooperate with others.
(Chinese mafia, face recognition ability)
Rekihiko Tokiya is an excellent detective in Kyoto. While chasing a suspect, Rekihiko Tokiya falls into a water storage pool at an abandoned factory. He wakes up in a hospital room, stunned that he cannot remember anything from the last 20 years.
Makino Hiyori is a rookie detective who is passionate about her work. One day, a video clip depicting a person being burned alive, is posted on the internet. Investigators believe this is a copycat crime of a murder that took place 5 years ago.
(female detective, serial killer)
Alessandro Valignano is an Italian Jesuit missionary who wants to spread Catholicism in Japan. He comes up with an idea to build seminaries all around Japan and to select excellent students from the seminaries to meet the Pope in Vatican City.
Joseon is in a state of disorder due to uprisings and a power struggle surrounding King Yi Heon. To avoid assassination, a clown named Ha Sun is brought to the palace to take the place of King Yi Heon. Ha Sun looks almost identical to King Lee Hun.
(court affairs, identity swap)
The story revolves around a young wanderer with an extraordinary business sense and the masked hero who saves her which ultimately results in them falling in love.
(wuxia, princess, deception)
The fights between the Qin and the Zhao state towards the end of the Warring States period. After Zhao’s imperial censor Li He gets caught in a trap and goes bankrupt, his daughter Li Hao Lan is sold to Lü Bu Wei.
Young Blood Agency is an investigative agency during the Republican era that is dedicated to solving mysterious cases.
Follows up the story of 52 years and covers three editions of the 1912 Stockholm Olympics, 1936 Berlin Olympics and 1964 Tokyo Olympics.
(sports, Olympics, based on true story)
In the spring of 1931, after The Communist Party successfully sets up many communication stations in China, they set their sight on Western Europe and assign 2 of their agents ''Asthray'" and "Porcelain" to Paris.
A story of a girl who is a witch.
Ayaka Nakagawa, Riko Kihara and Yoshie Minamoto are three women who look very different, but share the fact that they are all failures in love. A Love God then appears and helps them become successes in love.
(comedy, love god, friendship)
Hasumi Kyoko is a former lawyer who quit her job when she became a mother. Her husband is charged with corruption and gets arrested. A scandal with another woman is also revealed. Kyoko's life as a "good wife" begins to change. To protect her children, she decides to work again as a lawyer.
(remake, strong female lead)
Taku Kurokawa challenges reversal play with weapons, passion, and science as a weapon to cause "miracle" to clear false charges.
(lawyer for false accusation cases)
A prosecutor who started out as a newspaper reporter, whose personality is described as fiery and hot-tempered. When he finds out that his father’s bankruptcy and death are connected to a conglomerate, he begins his mission to uncover the truth and get revenge.
(revenge, hot-tempered male lead)
A lawyer who helps her clients who have fallen because of scandal with 99.9% of probability.
(strong female lead, scandal cases)
COMEDY / FAMILY
A rivalry between a woman's father and her successful boyfriend.
The story centers on Kano Nakamura, a 26-year-old office worker seen as highly desirable in her workplace, but is in truth a tokusatsu (special effects shows) geek. (geek)
Poong Sang took care of his 4 younger siblings and supported them financially because his parents did not support them. Poong Sang is now middle-aged, but he has never lived his life for himself. (siblings drama)
Hikari Ichinose has difficult times at her job. One day, she sees Oji-san who introduces himself as a fairy. Nobody can see or hear Oji-san except for Hikari Ichinose.
(fiery, office love)
30-year-old Takao Matsumoto is single and is a salary man. He loves rock music. Due to Takao Matsumoto's spendthrift ways, his girlfriend dumps him. In hopes of getting her back, Takao Matsumoto begins to economize on everything like food and his electricity bill, but Kota Inaba approaches Makiko.
(harem, actor in disguise)
DRAMA / LIFE
Ibuki Hiiragi works as an art teacher. He began teaching at his current high school two years ago. He is the homeroom teacher of 3rd Grade A Class. 10 days before graduation day, Ibuki Hiiragi stands in front of his 29 students, and tells them "From now on, you are hostages."
Three stories about an astronaut who returns from a mission as a dark matter, a transgender man and a pizza worker.
ADVENTURE / ACTION
5 people with 25 missions to hunt for strangers across Asia.
Con artist Kent Cheng is imprisoned after being set up by Chinese detective Kent Tong and his senior Paul Chun. Kent T. even steals his girlfriend. Five years later, Kent C. has become a renowned film producer.
Haruka Shinomiya inherits a management company after her father. The management company only has the 48-year-old, unpopular singer Ryuji Sakuraba under contract. In order to to sell Sakuraba’s CD, the two of them go on a tour. They stay at inns in various regions of Japan.
After the company has gone out of business, Sakita returns to his hometown for a second start as the head of a call-girl business, "Fruits Delivery Service," a group of women who, being poor and faced with a variety of life situations, have no alternative but to work at that service.
SUPERNATURAL / ZOMBIES
21-year-old Ataru Matoba begins work for an event company as a dispatched worker. This is her first real job, she also has a special ability. When she makes eye contact with someone, she can see that person's troubles or indelible memory.
After the school bus breaks the Freesia Academy students end up spending the night in a village in the middle of nowhere, back to school sinister things begin to happen. "In 7 days, we wil be gone from this world"
In the late 1980s when organ transplantation was viewed as a taboo, a surgeon, Tetsuhiko Toma, who graduated in the medical field in the advanced country America, has been assigned to a local private hospital.
Tsukumo Katsumi is a surgeon who lost his job after causing the death of a patient in a medical mishap. He comes to work for Miki Clinic on the recommendation of Professor Mimori whom he studied under. The clinic’s director Miki Shoichiro opened the practice for VIPs who want to receive medical treatment in secret. Together with the other doctors of the clinic, Tsukumo takes on patients’ off-the-wall requests.
Inspector Chanathip has to go undercover to investigate a drug dealer gang disguised as the manager of superstar Nubdao, after she got shot by someone for being in possession of a memory card that has a client list of an International Drug Dealer Organization.
The story about Kom, a young girl who grew up with her mother Kae, who has amnesia. Kae entrusts Kom in his hands before she dies. Once they are done with her funeral Pit takes Kom to Bangkok and entrusts her with a friend named Rangsan Rattanadechakorn to take care of and give her an education equal to his daughters, but in truth Rangsan and Bunga his wife doesn’t like Kom and treats her as a servant.
Kwanuma is a famous actress who accepted a role in the drama ''Roy Adeed'', based on a novel by a writer who died a long time ago. She's not happy after reading the script but she vaguely remembers something while reading it. She decides to buy the original novel and meets Theeratch accidentally. He's part of the crew in the lakorn. They feel attracted to each other, as if the novel's story is their story...
Pangrum is a 7 year old girl who only talks to a doll named Wawa, which her father bought for her. He later killed himself in front of her and Nuanthip, her mother, remarried. After Nuanthip dies accidentally, Pangrum is adopted by relatives. The power of the Jade doll attracts Nuanthip's spirit and other spirits around there.
The love story of a superstar nang rai (female antagonist) in the entertainment business, although she is a superstar, her real story is very different. Her love is separated by status as she is basically a princess who fell from grace. Will she be able to overcome it all and find love with rising pra'ek and the heir of a big entertainment mogul?
A woman finds herself becoming a mistress to an abusive man to protect her parents. Later she becomes the mistress of a powerful man, who's old enough to be her grandfather. She finds love, but it will not be easy. The man she loves is related to the man she currently serves.
A young, great policeman moved to the frontier as the new Police Chief Inspector. He tries to solve crimes and be a good role model for other policemen. He has a beautiful wife who's always supporting him.
A clash of gangsters and villagers in a small Thai village.
Aroonchai gets raped by a bad man and the drama follows how this affects both her future relationships with men and her mother.