This upcoming marriage Japanese dorama calledRikokatsu (2021) gained my attention because of the older than usual cast in these marriage dramas. Nagayama Eita, who starred in another troubled marriage drama Saikou no Rikon, plays the hubby and Kitagawa Keiko (Tantei no Tantei ) is his not so adoring wife. Both actors are well known, and I’ve watched them both and look forward to watching them again in this dorama. It starts airing April 16, 2021 on TBS, and a subbing group will English sub it.
Synopsis: Mizuguchi Saki is an outstanding fashion magazine editor who grew up in a modern and liberal family. She meets Obara Koichi who is the ace of the Air Rescue Wing of the Air Self Defence Force. He grew up in a strict military family and is the classic straight-laced guy.
Although Saki and Koichi are polar opposites, the two of them quickly get married without dating, believing that they would start a happy life as newly weds after a lavish wedding ceremony. However, as they begin living together in the same house, their differences in lifestyles and values result in differences in opinions and huge fights. Saki and Koichi soon decide to get a divorce.
But the couple have difficulty breaking the news of their decision to their families, colleagues and friends who celebrated their marriage and looked forward to the future. They thus start activities behind the scenes to prepare for their divorce. (Source: jdramas.wordpress.com)
There’s a rather intriguing upcoming mystery Japanese dorama coming soon called Borderless (2021). I really love the mood and lighting in the teaser and the whole aesthetics of the dorama and even the cover poster. With 4 separate stories that are somehow connected to each other, this is very much a girl centered drama, look at this main cast list: Morita Hikaru, Hayakawa Seira, Watanabe Risa, Hamagishi Hiyori, Endo Sakura, and Saito Kyoko. The dorama starts airing March 7, 2021 on dTV, and hopefully someone will English sub it.
Synopsis: Nao, a high school girl living a self-proclaimed “normal” life, is one day approached by her mysterious classmate Kiri in the school library. Kiri invites Nao to come with her to visit a scene of a murder in Kiri’s neighborhood which she’s using as inspiration to write a novel.
Meanwhile, sisters Baeru and Kei, witness their father being beaten by someone on their mountain cottage. The sister flee, only to be chased by the attacker.
Kotone, works at a coffee shop run by her father, after failing the entrance exam for music college. She works with her childhood friend Kazushi, and the atmosphere iw pleasant. Her younger sister Kanon, is worried about Kotone, but spends her days devoted to her band.
A mysterious girl stands on her balcony in the rain. What is beyond the gate that looks at? These four stories will intersect, as the boundaries between each girl gradually become borderless… ~~ Adapted from the novel “Borderless” by Tetsuya Honda
I’m definitely in the mood for something light hearted and fun and this Japanese dorama about a tomboy dressing up as a cute cafe maid may just fit the bill. Himitsu no Ai-chan (2021) is based on a manga and stars Taira Yuna (I’m Underage But I’m Not a Child (2017) – cute film by the way) and Sato Kanta (Sweet Tai Chi). This romantic comedy already started airing on Fuji Tv on February 20, 2021 once a week, 10 episodes as usual. Hopefully, some fan will English sub this dorama.
Synopsis: Kasumi “Ai” Aiko is an athletic, tomboyish member of her school’s basketball club. She is very popular among the girls and can even outplay the boys’ team, with the exception of one person—Amano Reo. His skills on the court are only matched by one thing: his popularity. Envious, Ai proclaims him as her rival, and every day after practice, they compare the number of love letters they each received, which always results in her loss. In need of workers, Ai’s brother employs her at his maid cafe called “Spica.” Since she does not appear girlish enough, her appearance is changed with a wig and some makeup.
One day, Reo visits the cafe with other members of the boys’ team. Worried that they will see through her disguise, she tries to hide, inadvertently spilling drinks on Reo. As she is cleaning up after her mistake, suddenly, Reo asks to go on a date with her. After thinking about it, she eagerly comes up with a plan for revenge—she will make him fall in love with her and then dump him. (Source: MyAnimeList) ~~ Adapted from the manga of the same name by Kaori.
Upcoming Japanese dorama Mairunovich (2021) may be just the ticket for those already missing the recent Korean dramaTrue Beauty (2020). This Japanese dorama is another ugly duckling makeover tale which stars Sakurai Hinako as the ugly duckling Mairu who becomes a swan thanks to Kumada Tenyu, played by Kamio Fuju. The dorama starts airing February 12, 2021. This will air on Hulu, at least on Hulu Japan and hopefully elsewhere as well.
Synopsis: Kinoshita Mairu, is an unpopular high school student, who thinks she’s ugly and plain. She is quickly transformed into a cute girl by the handsome and cool boy, Kumada Tenyu. She will search for real love while using her inner strength to change herself. (Source: Translated of Hulu’s official webpage) ~~ Adapted from a manga by Sato Zakuri.
More drama remakes on the way from Japan, this time it’s Cinderella is Online (2021), a remake of Chinese drama megahitLove O2O (2016). This Japanese dorama stars Seto Toshiki (Marry Me!2020) and Nakamura Riho (Shanai Marriage Honey) as college students who fall in love thanks in part to a video game they both play. The dorama starts airing January 12, 2021 on Fuji tv. Definitely expect this to be English subbed.
Synopsis: Arisawa Ichika, a second year college student who attends a prestigious university is indifferent to romance and crazy about online game ‘Tenkyo’. Her avatar Vivi gets into a virtual relationship with top player Leon. After they meet in person, she finds out he is her senior and the campus prince, Onoda Asahi who is popular, athletic and owns a gaming company. The two are attracted to each other and started dating. However a co-worker and the campus belle enters the picture. Arisawa also gets attacked by slander from those who are jealous of her. source: 38jiejie, fujitv
I like the fact thatCinderella is Online (2021) is only 10 episodes long, as the originalLove O2O (2016) was 30 episodes long, 45 min each. It wasn’t that draggy, but I definitely felt the story could use some trimming. Outside of that and the lame kisses, I enjoyed the cute love story at the heart of Love O2O (2016) and I’m looking forward to watching this dorama. Only one episode a week, so it might be wise to wait until it’s subbed.
Second chances. One thing I love about remakes is that they give you a second chance to try to enjoy a drama. In the case of upcoming Japanese dorama Shitteru Waifu (2021), it’s a remake of Korean 2018 hitFamiliar Wife (2018). This Japanese dorama stars Ohkura Tadayoshi and Hirose Alice as the married couple who get a second chance and Shitteru Waifu (2021) starts airing January 7, 2021 on Fuji tv. No word yet on whether someone will English sub this dorama, but it should be English subbed as the original drama was popular.
Synopsis: Unhappily married, Motoharu, travels back in time, only to learn that he is married to another woman. (Source: MyDramaList)
I liked the plot ofFamiliar Wife (2018), basically about a married man learning to revalue his family, but when I tried to watch, I found it more cloying and unrealistic then meaningful or heartwarming. The overblown comedy is still present in the teaser, but this dorama will probably be 11 episodes less than an hour each and that might make for more tighter, cohesive storytelling. Or not. Time will tell, but I’m looking forward to watching this dorama.
Synopsis: Arisu—a listless, jobless and video-game-obsessed young man—suddenly finds himself in a strange, emptied-out version of Tokyo in which he and his friends must compete in dangerous games in order to survive. In this strange world, Arisu meets Usagi, a young woman who’s navigating the games alone. Together, they set out to unravel one mystery after another as they risk their lives and confront what it means to live. (Source: Netflix) ~~ Adapted from the manga series “Imawa no Kuni no Alice” by Haro Aso.
The death game or survival game genre is not new, look at the hugely popular Death Note (2006) which has spawned numerous reiterations or the iconicBattle Royale (2000), so it will be interesting to see how Imawa no Kuni no Alice (2020) puts a fresh spin on the genre. I can also see this dorama, depending on its success, as having multiple seasons as well. Regardless, December is already promising to be a good drama month.
I’ve a number of dramas I’m interested in that I haven’t talked about because my time is limited, but I wanted to promote these dramas, not sure if they’re good or not, one hasn’t come out yet, but I wanted to at least talk about them a little bit. Except for the 1st drama, these dramas are light on romance, so read on if you’re still interested.
Synopsis: When Momoko Adachi was in high school, her parents died in an accident. She was left with her 3 younger siblings. To support her family, Momoko Adachi gave up on going to a university and picked up a job at a hardware store. 9 years later, she is now 27-years-old. Her 3 younger siblings are 20, 17, and 14-years-old. Momoko Adachi places her sibling’s happiness before anything else. One day, she meets Yoshioka-san at work. She is attracted to Yoshioka-san, who smiles all the time, but he has a secret. (Source: AsianWiki)
I find the plot appealing and I’ve been watching for a Japanese dorama to watch. This started airing October 27, 2020 and only airs 1 day a week. Arimura Kasumi stars as the female lead who meets and has a romance with Yoshioka-san, played by Hayashi Kento. This is being played on Fuji TV and hopefully some kind soul will English sub this.
Synopsis: The police are investigating a case that involves a death directly caused by a rare bug known as the bullet ant. In order to clear his name, Tan Jingtian, an Insect toxicology graduate becomes involved in the bizarre investigation and collaborates with forensic doctor Jin Ling. As they dig deeper, they uncover the mystery behind his own identity. Along with police captain Chen Han and the other detectives, they trace every clue as they solve one case at a time to uncover the murderer that has been in hiding for many years. (Source: Chinesedrama.info)
Okay, insects creep me out a little, but still or because of that, the title of this Chinese drama caught my eye, Insect Detective (2020). Insect Detective (2020) started airing November 3 and airs three days a week on Youku so there is a possibly that it might be English subbed. The trailer is intriguing enough so I might have to overcome my natural aversion to insects and give it a try.
Synopsis: Jiao Jia Ren was saved by pediatrician Gu Li Feng as a child and followed in his footsteps as a young adult. Aware of her talent and potential, Gu Li Feng, now the director of the top children’s hospital in the city, bends the rules to take her in as a registrar.
Surrounded by a group of elite specialists at her new workplace, Jiao Jia Ren is no longer the cream of the crop and works extra hard to make up for the gap in skill level. Jiao Jiaren and her colleagues Deng Ziang, Gu Jiaren, and Wang Hang goes through many challenges.
They not only have to fight the disease on the front line of the clinic, but also face various difficulties in life. They learn and mature and grow into competent specialists to protect and serve children wholeheartedly. (Source: Weibo, baidu)
Healer of Children (2020) caught my attention as well because of the title and the poster. It stars Chen Xiao (Above the Clouds) and Wang Zi Wen (When a Snail Falls in Love) and this is touted as more of a slice of life drama, so I wonder if romance will play a part. This starts airing on November 30, 2020.
It seems like more and more dramas are being made from manga, webcomics, and novels in Japan and elsewhere. Not a bad thing, but this particular Japanese drama or dorama also has a marriage without love plot, so of course it’s going on my to watch list 😉. Shanai Marriage Honey (2020) stars Itagaki Mizuki (Sixteen Shoukougun (2020)) and Matsui Airi from the 2020 dorama Kono Otoko wa Jinsei Saidai no Ayamachidesu. It airs November 12, 2020 on MBS. It should be a short dorama with only 7 episodes at 30min each and will be English subbed.
Synopsis: A young couple got married almost immediately after meeting each other through a dating app and did not realised that they were working for the same company. They decided to keep their marriage a secret from their company and friends. At first, both parties thought it’s okay to get married without love but they gradually got attracted to each other. (Source: DramaWiki) ~~ Based on manga of the same name by Fujiwara Emi.
I’ve been wanting to watch more Japanese doramas as I usually watch at least 5 doramas a year, but this year I’ve only watched 3. So Marry Me! (2020) caught my eye. The dorama starts airing October 3, 2020 and features Kumada Rinka as the female lead and Seto Toshiki (Anata no Ban Desu). Hoping for a sweet romantic comedy and that it will be English subbed.
Synopsis: The story follows 28-year-old civil servant Akiyasu Shin as he’s chosen to take part in a new government program under the so-called “NEET protection law”. This project pairs government employees with NEETs, as a means to rehabilitate them and re-introduce them into society. Problem is, his chosen partner, Sawamoto Himari, was signed up without her knowledge! Will Akiyasu Shin end up winning her over? Or will this arranged marriage be a bust!? (Source: MangaDex) ~~ Based on webcomic “Marry Me!” by Miku Yuki.