Powerhouse Women

Dramas and movies that center on female leads who are complex, interesting, well-written and where girls support girls. 

Luly Jan 13, 2018
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  • Mondai no Aru Restaurant
    1. Mondai no Aru Restaurant

    Japanese Drama - 2015, 10 episodes

    10

    A team of powerhouse women from different walks of life (a successful business woman, a recently divorced housewife, a trans woman with amazing cooking skills, a hikkikomori with social anxiety, an overachiever with trust issues, a mysterious wise lady whose previous work remains to be known and a girl who is victim of male abuse) get together to create a restaurant to fight patriarchy, avenge a friend and be awesome together. 

  • Underwear
    2. Underwear

    Japanese Drama - 2015, 13 episodes

    9.0

    Two women who view and explore the limits of fashion, female beauty and what a career for women in society implies, from two different perspectives and generations. 

  • Mother Game
    3. Mother Game

    Japanese Drama - 2015, 10 episodes

    8.5

    A mother whose son enters a very prestigious school maker her way into the lives of uptight high class women and shakes things up with her unique brand of humility, empathy and wisdom. 

  • Hanawake no Yon Shimai
    4. Hanawake no Yon Shimai

    Japanese Drama - 2011, 11 episodes

    9.5

    Four extremely different sisters showing radically different ways of coping with life and breaking stereotypes along the way. It may include some frustrating romantic outcomes for some of them, though. 

  • Miss Sherlock
    5. Miss Sherlock

    Japanese Drama - 2018, 8 episodes

    9.0

    I'm currently watching it but female Sherlock and Watson are kicking butt so far. 

  • Kamikaze Girls
    6. Kamikaze Girls

    Japanese Movie - 2004

    9.5

    Amazing movie classic with two powerhouse actresses on their own right: Kyoko Fukada and Anna Tsuchiya. One is a Lolita fashion enthusiast with a lot of resentment kept inside, the other is a tough Bosozoku with a deep heart and both together are amazing. 

  • Joshi-teki Seikatsu
    7. Joshi-teki Seikatsu

    Japanese Drama - 2018, 4 episodes

    9.0

    Currently watching but so far I can say: Miki is a trans woman crusading Japanese society and living her truth with wisdom and an impeccable fashion sense. She's also a no-nonsense kind of girl ready to fight back whenever she has to. 

  • Kirawareru Yuuki
    8. Kirawareru Yuuki

    Japanese Drama - 2017, 10 episodes

    7.0

    This drama is based on a book that explores Adler's psychology to talk about what it'd be like if people cared less about what others thought, if they had the bravery to be hated. This concept is used to conceptualize the female lead, an awesome detective who is stellar at her job and does not care what the men around her think about that. Also, Karina is the lead. 

  • Gokusen
    9. Gokusen

    Japanese Drama - 2002, 12 episodes

    8.0

    The school drama that started it all, what happens when the granddaughter of a yakuza boss becomes a teacher and has to put problematic students in their place? This masterpiece ensues. 

  • Five Star Tourist
    10. Five Star Tourist

    Japanese Drama - 2015, 12 episodes

    9.0

    Naomi Watanabe being The Best tourist agent, finding people their happiness and being awesome. She's hiding behind dull clothes and a terrible wig, though, which is a pity, considering Naomi's style is flawless in real life. 

  • 37.5°C no Namida
    11. 37.5°C no Namida

    Japanese Drama - 2015, 10 episodes

    8.5

    Renbutsu Misako is a carer from a nursing system that takes care of sick kids when their parents can't. She has to deal with a lot of family issues and comes from an abusive background but she proves that strong characters aren't just the ones who fight with violence. 

  • Ito-kun A to E
    12. Ito-kun A to E

    Japanese Drama - 2017, 8 episodes

    8.0

    A very meta drama with female characters that attempt to be cliches but escape the definitions, a lead who is a mystery we learn to unsolved throughout and a very annoying guy behind all that.  A very complex drama to follow but it's worth the anger the guy makes you feel. 

  • Lunch no Akko-chan
    13. Lunch no Akko-chan

    Japanese Drama - 2015, 8 episodes

    7.5

    Another drama of two generations colliding, this time learning life through food. A very heart-warming and cute story with two very different female leads. 

  • Nana
    14. Nana

    Japanese Movie - 2005

    8.0

    Ai Yazawa's masterpiece was adapted into two movies, even if the manga is always better than the adaptation, the movies did justice to part of the amazing story of these two girls named Nana, very different in personality but who find in each other a home. 

  • Nana 2
    15. Nana 2

    Japanese Movie - 2006

    8.0
  • Dame na Watashi ni Koishite Kudasai
    16. Dame na Watashi ni Koishite Kudasai

    Japanese Drama - 2016, 10 episodes

    8.0

    Unexpectedly well balanced love triangle sort of drama in which the lead is clumsy but not too annoying and in which she doesn't turn into animosity against other female characters but learns to create relationships with them as well.  A bit cliche at times but worth the inclusion. 

  • Deka Wanko
    17. Deka Wanko

    Japanese Drama - 2011, 10 episodes

    7.0

    A lolita style detective with an amazing sense of smell, cute charms in her handgun and a great combination of action and adorableness. 

  • Misaki Number One!!
    18. Misaki Number One!!

    Japanese Drama - 2011, 10 episodes

    7.5

    Like Gokusen but with a hostess lead played by Karina. The plot might not be as good as Gokusen's but Misaki deserves a spot. 

  • Kanna-san
    19. Kanna-san

    Japanese Drama - 2017, 10 episodes

    Oh boy ok. I'm including this here because a) Naomi Watanabe plays an amazing female lead who is awesome and stylish and great even when things are against her and b) she's able to form good relationships with other female characters throughout the series, even if some start against her. The bad part is that the male lead is absolutely awful and he deserves to be gone. The ending is...questionable. But I couldn't not put Kanna in this, just for her. 

  • Strawberry Night
    20. Strawberry Night

    Japanese Drama - 2012, 11 episodes

    I haven't watch it yet but I've heard Yuko Takeuchi is amazing in it and a great lead so I'm hoping it'll stay on this list after I watch. 

  • Ando Natsu
    21. Ando Natsu

    Japanese Drama - 2008, 12 episodes

    I haven't finished it yet but so far my darling Shihori has not forsaken me and the drama is super cute, focused on her work as an amazing patisserie professional. 

  • Nanase Futatabi
    22. Nanase Futatabi

    Japanese Drama - 2008, 10 episodes

    7.5

    Misako Renbutsu plays a girl with the ability to read people's minds. The story is bitersweet and the ending is sad but she's a cool female character. 

  • Kasuka na Kanojo
    23. Kasuka na Kanojo

    Japanese Drama - 2013, 11 episodes

    9.0

    Anne Watanabe is a the ghost of a teacher and she's also really cool in this.