Thursday, March 25, 2010

Hamsapsukebe jdorama awards 2009

Really wanted to wait for the subbing of Soratobu Taiya to finish before looking back at 2009 but at this rate, we're going to have to wait til the 2nd half of 2K10. 2K9 was an ok year but I'll probably remember it more for the really atrocious doramas of Arifureta Kiseki, Mr Brain, Zeni Geba Code Blue, Triangle, Boss, Boku no Imoto, Buzzer Beater and Tokyo Dogs. So much potential and money wasted. The biggest disappointment was Triangle. They had the acting talent but they couldn't even produce a generic thriller script to for it. 2K9 for me was the year where writing overtook acting as jdorama's biggest weakness.

Only jdoramas that aired in 2009 are counted, not jdoramas that were subbed. If not Manhattan Love Story and Ningen no Shoumei wouldbe strong contenders.


Sora Aoi in Jyouou Virgin. A picture can speak a thousand words


Nakatani Miki as Nokaze in Jin

Lots of actresses can probably pull off the prostitute with the heart of gold but few can do it with class and heart.

Honourable mention:

Natsukawa Yui as Hatori Akira in Ninkyo Helper.

Shiraishi Miho as Kanako in Shiroi Haru.


Uchino Masaaki as Sakamoto Ryoma in Jin

Jin maybe the main character but he is the heart of this show.

Honourable mentions:

Endo Kenichi as the baker in Shiroi Haru and Samejima in Fumo Chitai. Truly a great actor with ability to play two very distinct characters.

Yanagiba Toshiro as Kawamata Isao in Fumo Chitai. He did his usual Muroi Shinji stone faced acting but it was very effective.

Nakai Kiichi as the lawyer in Smile. Gah, if only Matsumoto Jun weren't in it.


Ayase Haruka as Saki in Jin

Nope, this screencap is not from Jin. I just couldn't resist using it again.

Honourable mentions

Karina as Aizawa Airu in Love Shuffle. Was going to give it to Karina except it was more her chemistry Tamaki Hiroshi rather then her acting. Its basically a coin toss between the two of them.

Minamisawa Nao as Takemiya Mei in Akai Ito.

Kanno Miho as Kiina. She's good in anything she does.


Abe Hiroshi as Haruo in Shiroi Haru
I should just call this the Abe Hiroshi/Uchino Masaaki award. No other jdorama actor is as good as those two. Abe was fucking awesome in Shiroi Haru. It could have been a KDO level dorama if not for the amateurish directing. Imagine if they had cast Abe as Iki in Fumo Chitai and Shiraishi Miho as Chisato in Fumo Chitai...

Honourable mention:

Tamaki Hiroshi as Usami Kei in Rabusha. With Nodame, Shitaotoko and Rabusha, he's got three must watch doramas on his resume with him as the main actor. It remains to be seen whether he has the ability to elevate the mediocre to good.


Kiina: barely watchable and only for Kano Miho.

Rinjo: Wow. A police show where its actually about procedures in solving crimes instead of characters trying to look cool. Actually, when compared to all the other so called police jdoramas, it should be considered must watch.

Akai Ito: A lot better than what it was suppose to be. Probably the biggest surprise of 2K9 for me.

Majo Saiban: pretty fun show about jury tampering.

Futatsu no spica: Not as good as Akai Ito but still a decent high school dorama. Sakuraba Nanami shows promise.

Ninkyo Helper: Just wished they went a bit darker. A bit of a stretch to accept some of the characters as yakuza. The 'All My Soul' song really saved this show IMO.

Liar Game: Without the ending it just feels too incomplete to be a must watch.

Saru Lock: fanservice + laughs. What more can one ask for?


5) Jyouou Virgin. Obviously this recommendation has nothing to do with storyline or acting. As a midnight dorama, it is the best at what it is suppose to be, next to Tadano Hitoshi.

4) Fumo Chitai. The 1st part of the series was truly an awesome story arc.

3) Shiroi Haru. Actually, I consider Shiroi Haru the best acted show although Jin won 3 of the acting awards. That's probably because all the other actors in Jin really saved the show IMO whereas the supporting actors in Shiroi Haru complimented Abe's acting. I guess I'm penalising the supporting actors in Shiroi Haru for not overstepping their boundaries. Abe is so good in this that this is the one show from last year worth rewatching.

2) Jin. Great concept, a bit contrived at times but great performance from the supporting players.

1) Love Shuffle

Best show of 2K9. Because it more an ensemble show and a dramedy, the chemistry between the actors stood out more than the acting. Awesome script from one of the best jdorama writers ever.


Anonymous said...

I would say I agree with your 2009 round up, but "Boss" should have been on the list and certainly was more entertaining than Kiina. I'll have to check out "Love Shuffle".

Thanks as always!

Anonymous said...

Great blog post save for one glaring ommission: Yamashita Tomohisa. He deserves an award in any show where he does not play a flaming homo. It must be superhumanly difficult for him to act against his true desires, and double bonus points if he has to kiss a girl in the lips - I don't know where he gets the stength to suppress what must be a powerful urge to vomit when he is compelled to such sacrifice for his craft.

Jung said...

Very generous awards Indeed 2009 was the year mediocrity. Maybe producers were adversely impacted by the global economic crisis. Hopefully things would be better in 2010... though we're off to a really really really bad start this season.

Except for Jyouou Virgin which I never watched, I could not even finish any shows from your best 5. I'm not saying any of the shows were bad in any way, but they couldn't hold my interest past few episodes.

Maybe I've turned into a junkie that craves a dorama equivalent of heroine.

Usually when I try to determine which doramas were best for a given year, I just look at what I bothered to archive. For 2009, they are:

- Flying Tire
- Akai Ito
- Shinya Shokudo (I just like cooking shows. WE NEED MORE COOKING SHOWS!!!)

Occasionally I archive videos, and regret doing so. They are:
- Buzzer Beat.
- Zeni Geba (I have a thing for Mimura...)

If there's one drama people should watch from 2009, it's hands down Flying Tire. It's a good adult fun.

Anonymous said...

Zeni Geba deserves praise for its ending

The main character of Zeni Geba was such an absolutely atrocious asshole of a person, but then there was that ending... It seemed like he could've been redeemed if things had been better for him in his life, etc. and I almost believed that his character had come to regret everything he'd done, etc.

But then, THE TWEEST at the very end.

Anonymous said...

"Love Shuffle" was really good and "Kiina" really was barely watchable. "Majo Saiban" was good up until the last 3 or 4 episodes and as a recall it really didn't have a suitable ending. Another show that I thought was good until the conclusion was "Triangle". The conclusion was a let down.
@Jung--despite how slow it was "Shinya Shokudo" was surprisingly good.

Akiramike said...

1)Boss was an unfunny sitcom posing as a cop show, had a real good ending and then they ruined it.

2) Did you see the clothes Yamapi was wearing in Buzzer Beat? No basketball player wears sissy clothes like that.

3) Jung, can't believe you didn't enjoy my top 5! Jyouou Virgin is in the its so bad its good category so its an acquired taste.

4)Zeni Geba was so uneven that I skip-watched the whole thing and deleted it.

Anonymous said...

i agree that the dramas of 2009 weren't that great. i used to watch tons of dramas. probably 2-3 each season but last year i think i only finished watching 5 the entire year. probably started around 15 but never got around to finishing even just the first ep. Of course love shuffle and shiroi haru were in the list. Those two i agree are probably among the best of the year. but for eye candy i definitely enjoyed samurai high school, mr brain, and mei chan no shitsuji as well. haha.
but i should add that even my obsession with yamapi could not get me to even download buzzer beat. him + ugly curly hair + gay basketball jersey = trainwreck. and this is coming from a fan.

Anonymous said...

So I'm watching Love Shuffle. Finished 5 episodes so far, and it is really good. I don't think I have ever seen a show with a similar plot. I don't know how I missed it. I guess when I first saw the synopsis it seemed like a total chick show.

- D

bughater said...

I find it funny that people like to appear as anonymous when they comment on your blog. It's like, I want to agree with someone but they're all anonymous, haha...

I really have go to watch Love Shuffle at this rate...

Anonymous said...

Check out gyne.

It came out in 2009 and it's better than monster and mother. I was bored by mother.

Anonymous said...

hmm I checked out love shuffle and finished watching it because i heard good stuff from you and other people but it was just so-so with me. The drama was just luke-warm to me with the characters and story especially the characters... it's one of those dramas where the cast is amazing (I adore all the actors) but then the characters are just... there's not enough chemistry or something from the story itself or the characters themselves? My tip to other people would be to check out the first 2 eps to gauge your compatibility with the drama... like i was sorta hoping it would get good and whatnot since people are raving about it but it didn't really grow on me that much. maybe a little so i would say first 2 eps would be a good gauge. I thought JIN Was amzing and MUST-watch.... it's so well-done from so many different aspects from the acting, the costumes, the background music, the theme music, the setting (they traveled all over f'in japan for this drama to shoot even the shortest scenes. maybe it's an exaggeration but i do know they did do that for one of the scenes at least.) , the acting (omg have you seen the video of them interviewing cast including uchino. while watcing I was thinking " wow ryoma is talking normal" lol because his acting is so good and amazing). there's just somtehing about jin that just is var special, well-done, and amazing. I do agree with your statement that it can be contrived at times but for me this drama is on a completely different level compared to love shuffle (JIN is like 9/10 for me and love shuffleis like 6/10 or something). jin was so engaging while for love shuffle it was juts luke-warm. for me it was like average j-rdama or a little above average since i guess the average j-drama is sorta shitty with the cliches and stuff they do do death that leadsto awesome drinking games and whatnot?

nonetheless thank you for watching all these dramas and writing up all theses posts and awards etc.. it's very helpful guide though sometimes i don't feel the same way about the dramas that you love but for the most part our tastes are similar?

Akiramike said...

I would have thought Love Shuffle would be one of those criticism proof doramas.

That said, the average jdorama does not even come close to the wittiness of Nojima Shinji's dialogue. Shows like Love Shuffle are actually quite rare.

Thanks for reading my ramblings.