dangermousie: (Aishiteiru)
[personal profile] dangermousie
One of my flisties asked for romantic jdrama recs and so I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to make a list of my favorite romantic jdramas. When they do it right, nobody is as good.




Pride - my favorite jdrama (well, either this is or the next drama on the list(. He's a hockey player with major attachment issues, she is an office lady waiting for a faithless fiance, together amazingness happens.




Aishiteiru to Itte Kure - The only drama that can claim 'most favorite title' away from Pride. She is an aspiring actress, he is a deaf/mute painter. Their interactions are both utterly romantic and feel so real that I feel I am peeking.



Tatta Hitotsu No Koi - he is a poor guy, she is the sheltered daughter of a rich family (sheltered due to having had leukemia in childhood). Obstacles galore. This is pretty much a kdrama despite being Japanese. I adore it. It's probably the ultimate romantic jdrama.



Forbidden Love/Majo No Jouken - he's a student and she is a teacher. You can imagine the taboo and the trouble. I would normally never go for this but the drama does this amazing job in showing me how these broken lost souls make each other better and how they can never be with anyone else.



Itoshi Kimi E - he is a photographer going blind, she is a pediatrician in love with him. So perfect and gorgeous and Fujiki Naohito is gorgeousness in human form.



Hana Yori Dango seasons 1 and 2 - my first jdrama and one I still adore like a madwoman. If you've been living under a rock and don't know the plot, it's about a strong poor girl who gets violent, oddball Domyouji, the leader of the F4, the bullying rich gang in her school, to fall for her and he slowly turns into a human being. SO FRELLING GOOD AND ADDICTIVE. My desert island drama.



Buzzer Beat - he is a struggling basketball player, she is an aspiring musician. Adorableness galore:




Smile - he is a half-Filipino, looked down upon and outcast due to his ethnicity, she is a girl mute from past trauma. This one made me bawl and bawl but by the end I was crying from happiness.



Taiyu no Uta - she has a rare disease that makes her averse to the sun, he's a struggling young man who has given up on hope. Together they find hope and love. This made me bawl. Perfect tragic romance.



Yi Ai Ni Yukimasu - A grieving young widower with a small son finds his wife again but she has no memories of the past. Before she died, she promised to come back for six weeks, exactly a year after her death. The ultimate tearjerker, if a bit slow.



Kingyo Club - school romance where she is the bullied girl and he's her knight in shining armor. It feels like a darker version of some perfect shoujo.



Kamisama Mou Sukoshi Dake - this is pretty much perfect shippiness. He is a haunted musician and she is a young girl who got AIDS during a 'paid date' to get money for tickets to his concert. Angst, true love, and a lot of kissing ensues. Shippiest thing ever. Below is not a MV but my fave scene from the drama:



Ice World/Koori No Sekai - a detective is investigating a woman whose previous fiances died under sinister circumstances but ends up falling for her:




Tokyo Wankei, about a Korean Japanese woman falls for a Japanese man to the disapproval of her family, is probably going on the list once I finish it.

And now if you excuse me, I have some romantic jdramas to rewatch.

Date: 2012-07-23 02:48 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Do you know where to watch any of these dramas? I need a Jdrama in my life but Is so hard to find them. I don't mind streaming btw, I just wanted them complete.

Last time I tried to watch Pride I couldn't find good quality (just 240p) and the subtitles were off... I ended watching it in spanish on YT because spanish subtitles videos have the best quality

Date: 2012-07-23 02:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dangermousie.livejournal.com
If you are a LJ member, there are comms but they are members only. I end up buying a lot of dramas from various reputable sellers as well.

For streaming, I think dramacrazy is your best bet, but I don't stream much so I am not a connoseur.

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Date: 2012-07-23 02:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] elanatothemax.livejournal.com
I just discovered this website: http://www.seriesbrowser.com/. It seems to have more jdramas than the average bear (er...streaming website), and of a slightly higher quality than what I've encountered.

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Date: 2012-07-23 05:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladysaotome.livejournal.com
Do you torrent? I got the JTV fansubs from d-addicts years ago and they were excellent quality & even karaoke subs for the opening & closing credits.

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Date: 2012-07-23 03:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cocori.livejournal.com
Mine is Kimi ga Oshiete kureta koto. It's kind of what they call a "human" drama but there are romantic aspects to it. My fave all time drama. :D

Oh and if you like effed up romantic dramas, Kono Yo no Hate is a must see.

Date: 2012-07-23 03:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dangermousie.livejournal.com
I like effed up but how effed up are we talking? Jdramas have no limits and I am out if it's actual incest or murder...

Date: 2012-07-23 04:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] elanatothemax.livejournal.com
Yaay, thank you!! From the descriptions, it seems like a lot of romantic jdramas are angst central! I usually have a limited capacity for angst, but I am loving Rich Man, Poor Woman so much that I will definitely give these a shot.

Date: 2012-07-23 07:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] algelic.livejournal.com
Jdrama angst is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay less dramatic than Kdrama angst! You should definitely check out all these titles!

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Date: 2012-07-23 01:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dangermousie.livejournal.com
Actually, most jdramas are a lot lighter on angst than kdramas. Out of the batch I just recced, the only truly angsty ones are Kamisama, Forbidden Love, possibly Smile, Ima Ai and Taiyu no Uta. And even out of that list, two have a happy ending and one a very uplifting one.

I have more recs if you want...

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Date: 2012-07-23 04:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scanky-chops.livejournal.com
It's been ages since I watched jdramas but I saw your posts on RMPW and now I'm hooked lol! In a way it's a good thing I stopped because now I can go through all the previous seasons and watch things without having to wait for new episodes.

I love how your list of favourite jdramas are golden oldies. Nowadays they're... so varied and while I know you're not a fan of some of the genres there are some which are amazing.

If you liked Koori no Sekai you'd DEFINITELY love Guilty with Kanno Miho and Tamaki Hiroshi. It was AMAZING with the story and the acting and I cried bucketloads. I'm pretty sure you started the drama but idk if you finished it.

I forgot to add I'm glad you've discovered Satomi Ishihara. She's been one of my favourite actresses in jdramas and part of it is down to her amazing comedy acting.
Edited Date: 2012-07-23 04:21 am (UTC)

Date: 2012-07-23 01:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dangermousie.livejournal.com
I got sidetracked with Guilty. I should probably go back...

The thing is, variety is good and I don't begrudge anyone a procedural or dozen, I just wish they still made romances - I mean, RMPW has got my flist excited precisely because how rare this type of drama is by now.

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From: [identity profile] scanky-chops.livejournal.com - Date: 2012-07-24 12:37 am (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2012-07-23 06:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sisterjune.livejournal.com
I havent seen most of these since they are a bit too weepy and serious for my tastes, I like romances with more spark and bite and humor. HYD and Love Shuffle are prob my fave romantic jdramas but Kimi wa petto is a favorite of mine too, I just loved their relationship. and I didnt expect to like Pride but I ended up liking it alot. Thank god there was very little hockey because wow that is a sport I couldnt give less of a shit about. (now if it was a soccer drama romance...) I'm also tryiiing to watch Kingyo Club but its a bit slow and dour. like Gaksital may be really serious and dark but its also really exciting so....
tbh while it didnt have a romance one of my fave dramas where bullying was a major theme was LIFE. It was pretty much all about girls and their relationships with each other and it had one of the most chilling villains I've seen in a drama and she wore a giant pink bow. and Then also one of the most amazing heroines ever. I think I kept comparing it to kingyo club unfairly but also I hated how the male protagonist was so consumed with his own angst and issues while from where I am standing he was just being a big baby/brat. Like I just didnt get what his deal was. That said I'll prob continue it at some point. (You know this post also reminds me, I got mid way through Majo no Jouken and never finished it. and that was years and years ago. Now I wonder how it ended)

Date: 2012-07-23 07:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] algelic.livejournal.com
You'd probably like "Hotaru no Hikari".

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Date: 2012-07-23 01:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dangermousie.livejournal.com
I hated KwP (despite liking the manga) because it just came across as too creepy for me.

Majo No Jouken - I can spoil :)

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Date: 2012-07-23 07:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] elizabennet69.livejournal.com
Pride is my favorite J Dorama too.

Another J-drama not mentioned yet but very romantic - to me that is - is called Beautiful Life. He is the son of a rich hospital family choosing to become a hairstylist, she is a financially poor handicapped librarian in a wheelchair.

Date: 2012-07-23 01:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dangermousie.livejournal.com
OMG, how did I forget BL? I loved it so much and cried about a ton of tears...

I should make a list of all the dramas I left out - I mean, how could I leave out BL?

Date: 2012-07-23 07:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] algelic.livejournal.com
I wouldn't recommend "Koori no Sekai". I was disappointed in it. It was all teasing/flirting and no actual romance.

If it were me, I'd replace "Koori no Sekai" with "Byakuyako". DOOMED LOVERS!

I'd also add:
- Bara no nai Hanaya
- One Litre of Tears
- Love Revolution

Great post Mousie! Seriously, nowadays I can't get the youngest Asian Drama fans to watch Jdramas at all (I'm part of a club). They're just obsessed with Kdramas and don't believe me when I say "The more modern dramas are pretty boring, specially if you're into the romance genre, but older ones are amazing. One excellent old romance Jdrama will top 100 kdramas anyday". They don't know what they're missing!

Date: 2012-07-23 08:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dangermousie.livejournal.com
Edited out die to insane phone spelling errors
Edited Date: 2012-07-23 08:33 am (UTC)

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Date: 2012-07-23 08:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] iheartkleenex.livejournal.com
Aishiteiru to Itte Kure is beyond perfection. They relationship is so intense and complex, especially in the later part of the drama. It's definitely my favourite jdrama as well.

Date: 2012-07-23 01:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dangermousie.livejournal.com
I chewed my hands down to my elbows wanting to see them work it out.

Date: 2012-07-23 08:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] usisblog.livejournal.com
My favourites are With Love, Seikei Bijin, PGSM (I can't help it even when it is pretty silly and Kitagawa is the only one who can act) and HYD. I also liked the Nodame series even when it was that kind of too much silly comedy but the actors did an amazing job. But the movies I hated with passion :D.

Date: 2012-07-23 01:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dangermousie.livejournal.com
I need to check the ones you recced out.

I couldn't get into Nodame because of the comedy. I rare share the jdrama sense of humor.

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Date: 2012-07-23 01:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] joonni.livejournal.com
I recently rewatched a bit of THnK and I demand a romantic drama with Kame in it now. Why are they denying us the joy of Kame angsting beautifully on screen?!?

And oh how I wish there was more of those utterly sweet and heartbreaking stories like Itoshi Kimi e.

And kya! Kingyo Club. Such a perfect highschool romance drama of boy who saves a girl. *swoon*

Date: 2012-07-23 02:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dangermousie.livejournal.com
I need to rewatch THnK asap. It's pretty much the perfect romance. I think that's the only romantic drama Kame has done. Grrrrr. Though Sapuri and 9 Pounds no Fukuin had romances (and I adore Sapuri beyond words). I remember being so paranoid the whole of THnK that her leukemia would come back and then when we got that giddy happy ending, I literally ended up screaming in relief.

Kingyo Club is written by my id.

I watched Itoshi Kimi E on the plane - let me tell you, it's hard to not get weird stares when you are trying to unobtrusively sob into your sleeve.

Date: 2012-07-23 02:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cecilialambiel.livejournal.com
Prepare yourself!!! Because teaser 4 of Faith is out!!! Full of new footage!!!

Date: 2012-07-23 03:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dangermousie.livejournal.com
OMG, this looks amazing, thank you!

Date: 2012-07-23 04:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] christysg.livejournal.com
OMO I've watched almost all of these and loved all of these!!

The one with Takeshi Kaneshio was sadly epic and beautiful and I think I've watched it about thrice. I will love everything Kimura does; Beautiful Life (so beautiful), Love Generation, Pride, Hero.

I have to add One Thousand Liter of Tears. I literally cried that amount, even though I knew what would happen. Japanese dramas are so subtle when done well, and soundtracks are an artform on their own as well.

Date: 2012-07-23 04:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] karened.livejournal.com
Oh yes, nearly forgot 1LOT! I was still attending high school then, and I remember watching till the wee hours, ending up with puffy eyes the next day at school. Puffy because of the lack of sleep or the crying, I don't know. But I loaned the discs to a friend, and she ended up the same way as I did lol!

Such a great show, I started crying from ep 1, and the crying continued right till the end. But.....the outside-story kind of left a shadow looming over the show for now....

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Date: 2012-07-23 04:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] karened.livejournal.com
Yes to Hanadan, Smile, Ima Ai Ni Yukimasu (Gahhh one of my fav tearjerkers. Who man who am I kidding? I love so many a tearjerker!!), Taiyou no Uta (I can never resist a Yamada Takayuki in the boy-next-door type of role, although the female lead...........it's much better if I just see the female character as Kaori, and not Sawajiri-in-the-role-of-Kaori),

AND!!! Majo no Jouken (one of my first Japanese rom drama! I became Matsushima Nanako's fan after this drama, and planted a long-time love for Hideaki! You are always gonna be my love~~~~ hahaha I love how the ending is so open, yet has such a positive note, that regardless of how we may imagine the ending to be, I feel happy for them, for having found their soulmates and themselves. Not a single drama has managed to capture my heart that much, in being so invested in the leads.)

Itoshi Kimi E sounds interesting, will check it out!

No JIN? How about...Long Vacation? Beach Boys? Overtime (I bought and listened to the soundtrack more than a decade before I actually watched this show LOL)?

Date: 2012-07-23 09:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dangermousie.livejournal.com
Majo No Jouken - I was dyiiiing, and then she woke up. I was so happy, because I agree, whatever life they will have, you know that as long as they are together, they will be all right. I would have never thought I'd root for that sort of couple, but I became obsessed. (And I adore Hideaki much too much. He does too few dramas).

Itoshi Kimi E is wonderful. I totally recommend.

JIN is a great drama, but very low on romance. Never saw Beach Boys or Overtime but will seek them out. I am the only person in the world who doesn't like Long Vacation - the heroine drove me nuts.

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Date: 2012-07-24 01:12 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Long Vacation
Music student Minami’s flatmate jilts Sena on their wedding day and she is left penniless, so moves into her fiance’s old room. They are different ages and personalities but struggle together coping with inability to find good work, old flames, pursuing their dreams. She meets a photographer who wants to marry her and he has the chance to win a trip to the US and a place with the Boston symphony orchestra . . . are their opportunities their dreams come true or will everything they’ve shared prove to be the basis of something more fulfilling?

Beautiful Life
Shuji’s a popular fashion hairdresser and Kyoko is a wheelchair bound librarian. They meet at her library and over time it becomes clear he just sees her as a person, not a disabled person. Overcoming public embarrassments and family objections and personal doubts, they form a deep bond and he sticks with her as her illness becomes worse and worse, living by her side until she dies when he fulfils their joint dream in her memory – of running a little hair salon by the sea.

Date: 2012-07-24 02:02 am (UTC)

Date: 2012-07-24 10:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jennyhime.livejournal.com
Aishiteiru to Itte Kure is perfection! I actually think a lot of the older jdorama are far better then the ones today.Of course there are some treasures to be found in modern dorama.
Kamisama, for me the dorama that proved that Fukada Kyoko can really act and Kaneshiro Takeshi being all handsome (I wish he would do another jdorama or movie)
I preferred the movie version to Ima ai ni yukimasu and bawled my eyes out as well.
HYD is great, my all time favorite adaptation and one of my favorite and first jdoramas I ever watched.
And Fujuji Naohito is handsome! seriously! Hotaru no hikaru is also one of my favorites, sure the romance is toned down but Buchou and Hotaru are a great couple (now I want to see the movie, they get married Buchou and Hotaru)
Dekichatta kekkon is also one of my favorites, it's a romcom with Takenouchi Yutaka and Hirosue Ryoko.

Date: 2012-07-25 09:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dangermousie.livejournal.com
Oooooh, I need to check out DK - it sounds up my alley.

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Date: 2012-08-02 01:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] manwevaire.livejournal.com
I remember following your liveblogging during Hanadan, those were treasured times :) nothing beats watching an episode and then going online to see that everyone feels the same way as you do while watching <3 I never got to say thank you for those liveblogs... thank you and hugggss! :)

I can't believe I stumbled upon your lj after all this time... :)) thank you for this list... and thank you for including Smile... it's seriously the most underrated drama of its year.

this seriously makes me want to do a re-watch of my own fave j-dramas. Should I or should I not make my own list? hahah!

Date: 2012-08-02 11:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dangermousie.livejournal.com
OMG, Hanadan2 - I remember the good times!

Smile is amazing and deserves more love.

I'd love to see your list!

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