Recommended Japanese Dramas

My Japanese drama recommendations.:)
rad_lisette May 26, 2017
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  • #Remolove: Futsuu no Koi wa Jado

    1. #Remolove: Futsuu no Koi wa Jado

    Japanese Drama - 2020, 10 episodes


    A funny and refreshing look at relationships during the covid-19 pandemic. Haru shines as the relatable and quirky female lead who seeks to move a relationship from virtual into real life. Lots of heart and laughs.

  • 0.5 no Otoko

    2. 0.5 no Otoko

    Japanese Drama - 2023, 5 episodes


    A slice-of-life style family drama that is simple and heartwarming. 

    The main character who had isolated himself for so long begins to interact with people again as his family transitions into a multi-generational home. I especially loved the interactions the male lead had with his niece and nephew - so sweet!

  • 1 Litre no Namida

    3. 1 Litre no Namida

    Japanese Drama - 2005, 11 episodes


    This tear-jerker of a drama is based on the story/book of a real young woman grappling with a terminal illness. Erika Sawajiri gives a performance to remember as the main female lead. This drama 'stays' with me for its emotional impact and stirring OST. 

  • 11 Nin mo Iru!

    4. 11 Nin mo Iru!

    Japanese Drama - 2011, 9 episodes


    A Japanese drama that features a large family. The narrator is the youngest with the big imagination and his communication with a ghost are intersesting. Tons of heart with the loving family.

  • Aikurushii

    5. Aikurushii

    Japanese Drama - 2005, 11 episodes

  • Aoi Honoo

    6. Aoi Honoo

    Japanese Drama - 2014, 11 episodes


    Set in a college with a set of unique and quirky characters. Lots of laughs and shows the workings of being a creative.

  • Atami no Sousakan

    7. Atami no Sousakan

    Japanese Drama - 2010, 8 episodes


    One of my favorite pairings - Odagiri Joe and Kuriyama Chiaki, as two investigators  tasked with finding the truth behind the disappearance of 4 high school students and end up in a eerie town. Lots of hidden symbolism and quirkiness is incorporated into this drama. 


    8. BORDER

    Japanese Drama - 2014, 9 episodes


    Oguri Shun shines in this detective drama in which he can talk to the dead and get to the bottom of cases at hand. This drama stands above the rest for its heart and its ending twist is one that stays with you. 

  • Brother Beat

    9. Brother Beat

    Japanese Drama - 2005, 11 episodes


    A family drama centered on an unconventional mother and her three sons. All 4 characters arae charming as they face the ups and downs of life together. 

  • Dakara Koya

    10. Dakara Koya

    Japanese Drama - 2015, 8 episodes


    Suzuki Kyoka shines in this drama in which a housewife goes on a journey of self-discovery and interacts with all sorts of interesting characters along the way. 

  • Date - Koi to wa Donna Mono Kashira

    11. Date - Koi to wa Donna Mono Kashira

    Japanese Drama - 2015, 10 episodes


    A rom-com that features two eccentric leads. There are tons of hijinks that induce laughter. Yes, even weird people deserve companionship and even love.

  • Freeter, Ie o Kau.

    12. Freeter, Ie o Kau.

    Japanese Drama - 2010, 10 episodes


    Freeter, Ie o Kau is a story that tackles the growth of a young adult who is struggling to find a career and his relationship with his family. Really relevant and moving portrayal.

  • Gegege no Nyobo

    13. Gegege no Nyobo

    Japanese Drama - 2010, 156 episodes


    A brilliantly written asadora that shows how imagination and being creative helps people get through difficult times and relationships. Lots of heart here.

  • Gonzo

    14. Gonzo

    Japanese Drama - 2008, 10 episodes


    A detective drama with quite an impact. Uchino Seiyou displays his acting chops once again.

  • Grace no Rireki

    15. Grace no Rireki

    Japanese Drama - 2023, 8 episodes

  • Hajimete Koi wo Shita Hi ni Yomu Hanashi

    16. Hajimete Koi wo Shita Hi ni Yomu Hanashi

    Japanese Drama - 2019, 10 episodes

  • Hanazakari no Kimitachi e

    17. Hanazakari no Kimitachi e

    Japanese Drama - 2007, 12 episodes


    An epic, hilarious manga adaptaton come to life. Definitely my favorite version for its laughs and zany characters. To me the standout stars are Ikuta Toma as Nakatsu as well as all of the weird dorm members.

  • Hitorishizuka

    18. Hitorishizuka

    Japanese Drama - 2012, 6 episodes


    A stunning showcase of Kaho's acting ability as the main character, the mysterious Shizuka.  Plenty of twists and turns. 

  • Ikebukuro West Gate Park

    19. Ikebukuro West Gate Park

    Japanese Drama - 2000, 11 episodes


    This drama holds a special place in my heart for being among my first Japanese dramas. Nagase Tomoya also captured my heart (I couldn't believe he was from Johnny's Entertainment?!) as the male lead. Nice cast of supporting characters and an interesting look at youth delinquency in early 2000s Tokyo.

  • Ikiru Toka Shinu Toka Chichioya Toka

    20. Ikiru Toka Shinu Toka Chichioya Toka

    Japanese Drama - 2021, 12 episodes


    This drama is very slice-of-life and touches on family and women's issues in a lovely way. I like how the female lead is an older woman who is reflecting on her life and her choices. 

  • Kageri Yuku Natsu

    21. Kageri Yuku Natsu

    Japanese Drama - 2015, 5 episodes

  • Kekkon Dekinai Otoko

    22. Kekkon Dekinai Otoko

    Japanese Drama - 2006, 12 episodes


    A refreshing, quirky male lead played to perfection by Abe Hiroshi and his interactions with the people around him.

  • Kogure Shashinkan

    23. Kogure Shashinkan

    Japanese Drama - 2013, 4 episodes


    A short and moving family drama that focuses on moving forward after the death of a young child/sibling.  Emotional and heartwarming.

  • Koi no Sanriku

    24. Koi no Sanriku

    Japanese Special - 2016, 3 episodes

  • Kono Sekai no Katasumi ni

    25. Kono Sekai no Katasumi ni

    Japanese Drama - 2018, 9 episodes


    A moving story of family and love set during World War II.  Very bittersweet and with plenty of great acting all round.

  • Mr. Nietzsche in the Convenience Store

    26. Mr. Nietzsche in the Convenience Store

    Japanese Drama - 2016, 10 episodes


    Funny and quirky instances in this comedy set in a convenience store. It is laugh-out-loud funny!

  • Nagi no Oitoma

    27. Nagi no Oitoma

    Japanese Drama - 2019, 10 episodes


    A coming-of-age story for the title character Nagi. Nagi moves to the suburbs for the summer after a traumatic experience with her boyfriend and resigning from her job. The drama takes us on Nagi's journey of personal growth as she learns to stand up for herself and learning to love herself (and her fabulous curly hair!). This drama also stands out because the characters are all flawed in their own ways. Takahashi Issei delivers a compelling performance as the ex-boyfriend.

  • Nobuta wo Produce

    28. Nobuta wo Produce

    Japanese Drama - 2005, 10 episodes


    One of my favorite youth dramas for: a) the main female character has a makeover that has to do with her personality/approach rather than her appearance and b) the bromance between Yamapi and Kamenashi. Also Kamenashi's character is unique as a male lead who has these fascinating internal monologues. 

  • Oi Handsome!

    29. Oi Handsome!

    Japanese Drama - 2022, 8 episodes


    A comedic and moving look at a family with 3 adult daughters and their interactions with their father.  Lots of laughs and heart. And food!

  • Ore no Hanashi wa Nagai

    30. Ore no Hanashi wa Nagai

    Japanese Drama - 2019, 10 episodes


    This is a Japanese family drama with the central character as the talkative, eccentric and jobless Mitsuru. It is subtly moving as it examines the lives of the Kishibe family members as they all live under one roof because of home renovations. Moving and funny. Also, Mitsuru's lack of motivation regarding work and the future is relatable on many levels.

  • Ore no Ie no Hanashi

    31. Ore no Ie no Hanashi

    Japanese Drama - 2021, 10 episodes


    A moving look at family, especially in its many forms and variations. Each of the characters are flawed but lovable. There is a lot of laughs and heart in this drama about a family coming together and fighting each other as their dad ages. 

  • Saikou no Rikon

    32. Saikou no Rikon

    Japanese Drama - 2013, 11 episodes


    This drama focuses on the happenings between two 'messy' couples. The drama manages to switch between comedic and emotional often. Ono Machiko and Eita really shine as their characters in this. 

  • Stand Up!!

    33. Stand Up!!

    Japanese Drama - 2003, 11 episodes


    This fun youth comedy holds a special place in my heart for its lovely portrayal of friendship. It also stars some big name Japanese actors before they got 'big'. 

  • Switched

    34. Switched

    Japanese Drama - 2018, 6 episodes

  • Tonbi

    35. Tonbi

    Japanese Drama - 2013, 10 episodes


    A moving portrayal of the relationship between a father and son over from childhood into adulthood. Both Sato Takeru and Uchino Seiyou bring their acting chops in this heartwarming family drama.



    Japanese Drama - 2010, 12 episodes


    A quirky tale with a motley of odd characters and yet it all works to create a strange and hilarious drama.

  • Tsugunai

    37. Tsugunai

    Japanese Special - 2012, 3 episodes

  • Uchi no Musume wa, Kareshi ga Dekinai!!

    38. Uchi no Musume wa, Kareshi ga Dekinai!!

    Japanese Drama - 2021, 10 episodes


    A refreshing tale of a mother and daughter with lots of heart and laughs. Toyokawa Etsushi may have stolen the show as a secondary character. 

  • Ukiwa: Tomodachi Ijo, Furin Miman

    39. Ukiwa: Tomodachi Ijo, Furin Miman

    Japanese Drama - 2021, 8 episodes


    A bittersweet infidelity story. 

    Infidelity is not my usual cup of tea but  I stuck it out because of the high quality cinematography and the journey that the female lead takes (along with a good ending, in my opinion). 

  • Unmei no Hito

    40. Unmei no Hito

    Japanese Drama - 2012, 10 episodes


    A political drama with some amazing acting across the entire cast, especially by Motoki Masahiro as the main lead. 

    This drama is an interesting look at  the socio-political climate of Okinawa in the 1970s. The drama touches on secret pacts between the US and Japan and involves a lot of scandal, political and otherwise.

  • Woman

    41. Woman

    Japanese Drama - 2013, 11 episodes


    This family drama focuses on a single mother struggling to make ends meet and take care of her two young children. The drama is emotionally heavy hitting with the themes that it addresses. 

  • Yakou Kanransha

    42. Yakou Kanransha

    Japanese Drama - 2013, 10 episodes


    A fascinating dive into the people who live in a neighborhood in the aftermath of a murder. Moving while exploring the lives of multiple characters.

  • Yami no Bansosha

    43. Yami no Bansosha

    Japanese Drama - 2015, 5 episodes


    YAMI NO BANSOSHA is mystery drama that revolves around the world of manga. 

    Investigator Mizuno Yuki frequently butts heads with the quirky Daigo Shinji, a manga expert, as she tries to get to the bottom of a collection of drawings depicting missing women from a 50-year old cold case. 

    What works for the drama is the amazing chemistry between Investigator Mizuno and Daigo. The plot is also well executed. There is something really moving about the emotions that the case evokes.