2021’s Hidden Gems? Part 1

So I was scrolling through mydramalist to find something to watch and I came across a Japanese dorama about a hitman falling for his target. Not that new, only in this case, this being a Japanese dorama (😂), the hitman completely messes up his timing and ends up protecting his love. That got me thinking, I usually do an end of the year post about dramas that sound interesting, have great reviews, but haven’t gotten the attention they deserve. So this year I decided to start part 1 now for the 1st part of 2021 and part 2 will be the last part of 2021. Brilliant, yah? Er, maybe not, but I need more drama in my life!

Boku no Satsui ga Koi wo Shita (2021)

Synopsis: Onotora Shu does not know that his foster father is a legendary professional killer. However, his daily life dramatically changes after someone murders this professional killer. Onotora decides to take over the family business and become a hitman in order to avenge his foster father. He is well prepared when he approaches Narumiya Mitsuki who is his assassination target. Despite his physical abilities as a hitman, he is not able to kill her because of his terrible timing, no matter how he tries. On the contrary, he ends up protecting her as danger approaches. The two of them who should not fall in love, have an unlikely romance. (Source: jdramas.wordpress.com)

Source: mydramalist.com
Source: Taishi Fanbase ‘s yt channel

The trailer looks fun and I’m intrigued at how this hitman keeps missing his target. Like, how can that happen? Lol. It’s on WeTv.

The Comments (2021)

Synopsis: Papang, student president and outstanding all-around student and perfect in every way, kills herself in the middle of her live stream. She is copying Gina, her favourite actress, the second female idol to be cyberbullied to the extent of committing suicide in the middle of her live stream.

Her brother Khan wants to investigate the reason behind her decision. He enlists the help of Phat, the young assistant-teacher to Ms Wimol, Papang’s homeroom teacher. Hoping to learn the truth, Khan and Phat speak to the following students: Nan, the social media addict who feels she is inferior to Papang in every way; Toon, the straight-A student who wants to be the student president to complement her grades; and Pok, the young man who had a crush on Papang, whom she brutally rejected. Next, they spoke to her mother, Pimpa, that Papang had long-standing issues regarding her relationship with Wittaya, a man already with a family. Pimpa seemed to be hiding something.

The more they search, the more Khan and Phat become suspicious about the clues behind Papang’s seemingly perfect world. She was suffering from defamation and bullying. At the end, who made Papang commit suicide? (Source: GMMTV YouTube; MyDramaList)

Source: mydramalist.com
Source: GMMTV’s channel

At only five episodes long, 45 min each, this seems like a no brainer to watch. The comments section is full of praise and it’s available to watch on GMM, so this is definitely going on my list.

You Are My Hero (2021)

Synopsis: As a new resident at the bustling metropolitan hospital, Mi Ka’s life is far from boring. With a steady stream of patients to see and a variety of training exercises to complete, Mi Ka has little time for anything other than work, but she doesn’t mind. The chance to help people and save lives is all she has ever wanted and she’s happy she has finally found a way to make that dream come true. Ever one to volunteer when a new opportunity to help others arises, Mi Ka joins in a joint emergency rescue training exercise between the hospital and the police SWAT team, a decision that will change her life forever.

When a deadly earthquake shakes the very foundations of the world, Mi Ka is part of the team ordered to the epicenter of the quake to help with rescue operations. Joined by a team of military personnel, including Xing Ke Lei, a special ops agent who first met Mi Ka through a series of misunderstandings that left them both with a less-than-favorable impression of each other, Mi Ka and her medical team set out on a mission fraught with danger. Despite their initial misgivings, Xing Ke Lei and Mi Ka have no choice but to put aside their differences to help those hit hardest by the recent earthquake. Working side-by-side, their feelings towards each other gradually begin to soften as they observe how tirelessly each works to save lives.

When the nation in which they’re working is thrown into turmoil, Mi Ka and the rest of the medical team find themselves in very real danger. Putting his life on the line, Xing Ke Lei is determined to come to their rescue, but will he be able to get to them in time? (Source: Viki) ~~ Adapted from the novel of the same name by the writer Mu Qing Yu.

Source: mydramalist.com
Source: Croton Megahit channel

Some people have compared it to Descendants of the Sun (2016), but this is based on a novel that came out before the drama, and is more about 3 couples and their relationships in the midst of a terrible natural disaster. Lots of good reviews about how natural the couples are and how good the writer is. I’m intrigued. This is on Viki and youtube.

Tuesday’s Teaser: Borderless (2021)

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.

Source: ひかりTV’s YT channel

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

(Source: mydramalist.com)

There’s a long trailer here as well.

Source: modelpress’s YT channel

Credits: mydramalist.com, asianfuse.net, asianfuse.wiki

What’s Next? Himitsu no Ai-chan (2021)

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.

(Source: mydramalist.com)
Source: 神はサイコロを振らない’s channels

Credits: mydramalist.com, asianfuse.net, asianfuse.wiki

Tuesday’s Teaser: Mairunovich (2021)

Upcoming Japanese dorama Mairunovich (2021) may be just the ticket for those already missing the recent Korean drama True 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.

(Source: mydramalist.com)
Source: HuluJapan’s YT channel

Credits: mydramalist.com, asianfuse.net, asianfuse.wiki

Tuesday’s Teaser: A Love So Beautiful (2020)

A remake of a popular 2017 Chinese drama, A Love So Beautiful (2020) is the Korean version of the youth romantic drama. Kim Yo Han‘s first starring drama role pairs him with
So Ju Yeon (Dr. Romantic 2 (2020) and 2nd male lead Yeo Hoe Hyun. For those not familiar with the original, this is a familiar story of a young girl who confesses to the cold, brainy student. A Love So Beautiful (2020) airs December 28 on Netflix.

Source: TheSwoon Yt channel

Synopsis: Cha Heon is a student at Chun Ji High School who has both good looks and brains. He appears to be a cold character, but he is actually someone with a warm heart who is awkward at expressing himself well.

Shin Sol Yi is a bright and bubbly 17-year-old who has a crush on Cha Heon. She openly confesses her love to Cha Heon continuously, and she is a clumsy but lovable character.

Woo Dae Sung is a talented swimmer who transfers to Chun Ji High School and falls for Shin Sol Yi. He does not express his feelings for her and quietly stays by her side. (Source: Soompi

(Source: mydramalist.com)

Credits: mydramalist.com, asianfuse.net, asianfuse.wiki

Tuesday’s Teaser – True Beauty (2020)

Not a big fan of love triangles, but this kdrama has an intriguing premise about a girl becoming a beauty overnight. True Beauty (2020) is based on a webtoon and stars Moon Ga Young (Find Me in Your Memory), Cha Eun Woo (Rookie Historian Goo Hae Ryung) and Hwang In Yeob (18 Again). This romantic comedy airs on tvN on Dec 9, and should be English subbed.

Synopsis: It is a romantic comedy about a high school girl Im Ju Gyeong, who rises to pretty girl fame after she masters the art of make-up from YouTube. She turns into a goddess because of her makeup skills, but would rather die than reveal her bare face to anyone. It tells her love story with the only boy that saw her without makeup, Lee Su Ho. Lee is an attractive and handsome boy who appears cold because of his dark past but is actually very caring. They grow when they meet each other sharing their secrets and finding love with each other, but can Su Ho make Ju Gyeong find her true beauty? (Source: Wikipedia) ~~ Adapted from the webtoon “Yeoshingangrim” by Yaongyi.

(Source: mydramalist.com)

True Beauty (2020) has a similar premise to kdrama My ID is Gangnam Beauty (2018), which oddly enough also featured Cha Eun Woo as the male lead 🤔. Lee Shi Eun, who also wrote Top Star Yoo Baek, is the screenwriter here and the director is Kim Sang Hyub (Extraordinary You), so a pretty good team here. The webcomic is still airing, so whom the female lead ends up with remains in the air, but regardless, this is one I’ll check out.

Credits: mydramalist.com, asianfuse.net, asianfuse.wiki

What’s Next – The Gifted: Graduation (2020)?

The lakorn, The Gifted: Graduation (2020), started September 6, 2020, but I thought I’ll bring it up anyway as only one episode has aired so far. This is a sequel of the acclaimed 2018 hit, The Gifted. This should be 13 episodes, 55 mins each and it airs on Sunday. I’m sure this will be English subbed on GMM’s youtube channel just like the first lakorn was.

Synopsis: Two years have passed and the new school year begins again. With it comes the resurrection of the Gifted program, and a hidden threat from the Ministry led by Darin, a new teacher. Time, a promising new student and member of the newest gifted generation, seek change within the school while upholding its hierarchical structure. Filled with danger and more complications than it seems, what will the final battle be like? Who will be victorious? Will Pang and his companions be able to maintain their friendship and ideals? Can they defeat Director Supot?

(Source: mydramalist.com)

It looks like the director, Waasuthep Ketpetch, and most actors have returned in this sequel which is again about a group of students who have special powers. I’ve had the first lakorn on my plan to watch list for a while, and with this airing only once a week, it might be a good time to catch up on this lakorn.

Credits: mydramalist.com, asianfuse.net, asianfuse.wiki

What’s Next – Pop Out Boy! (2020)?

Another teen drama came out recently I haven’t covered that looks cute and short, Pop Out Boy! (2020) and is based on a webtoon series. It aired June 25, 2020, should be only 10 episodes long and 15 minutes each and you can watch it English subbed here.

(Source: PLAYLIST)

Synopsis: Tells the story of a fictional male character from a romance comic who jumps out of the 2-dimensional pages into real life. One day, Chun Nam Wook tears through the pages of the comic book and appear in front of the story’s female lead, Han Sun Nyeo. Right out of the pages of a fictional comic book, Chun Nam Wook may be a heartthrob, but once he opens his mouth he can’t help but make overly cringey, emotional comments at every turn. ~~ Adapted from the webtoon series, ‘Comic Book Boy Girl’.

(Source: allkpop)

Credits: mydramalist.com, asianfuse.net, asianfuse.wiki

Tuesday’s Teaser: TEEN LAKORNS

Since there are a couple of lakorns coming up around the same time, and not much else airing this week, I decided to talk about one of my least favorite genres, teen/young adult lakorns. Hook (2020) airs July 4, followed by The Underclass (2020) which airs July 5. Both will air on GMM25 and will probably be English subbed on youtube.

Credit: yt channel

Hook (2020) synopsis: Despite their fathers’ rivalry, two university students form a friendship at a boxing gym as they tackle family drama, romance, and personal crises. (Source: Netflix)

(Source: Netflix)

The Underclass (2020) synopsis: After getting dropped from an elite program, a student gets tangled in the affairs of a high school gang while trying to find her own identity.

Credit: mydramalist.com

Of the two, I am more interested in The Underclass (2020) which will also be airing on Netflix.

Credits: mydramalist.com, asianfuse.net, asianfuse.wiki