Monday, June 17, 2013


Now that Tsumi to Batsu has been subbed and I've tried everything I want to watch, its time to look back at the best and worst doramas that came out in 2012. Not really a memorable year because nothing that was an absolute classic came out and it was more a year of doramas that could have been. Actually 2012 is the year many great 1st episodes which are followed by crap.


I can't believe Hancho has been around for 7 seasons and averages 11% rating.

I can't believe Fuji TV expected Going My Home to get good ratings.

I can't believe all the I.T. and business bullcrap in Rich Man, Poor Woman. Now I understand characters in the old trendy doramas always worked in advertising.

I can't believe someone tried to remake perfection. (GTO)

I can't believe the producer of Renai Dekinai still has a job.

I can't believe Ishihara Satomi's lips won best actress for pouting through 10 episodes.

I can't believe the scripts for Suitei Yuuzai and Magma were so bad after great episodes.  Surely someone with common sense must have read the scripts first?

I can't believe I never really called out Nagasawa Masami's lack of acting ability until Bunshin.

I can't believe there's a second season of Legal High.

I can't believe I'm still spending so much time watching jdoramas.


Kaho - Hitori Shizuka. She has gone from child actress to showing that she can be the main actor.

Honourable mentions -
Koizumi Kyoko - Shukuzai and Saigo Kara Nibanme no Koi.
Kimura Yoshino - Hatsukoi. The first time I can remember being impressed by her acting.
Nakatani Miki - Seinaru no Kaibutsutachi. Its a horrible, unwatchable dorama but she kept me in it for 6 episodes. An actress of her caliber deserves better scripts.
Matsu Takako - Unmei no Hito


Abe Hiroshi - Going My Home. Its always Abe's award to lose.

Honourable mentions -
Nakai Kiichi - Saga Kara Nibanme no Koi
Masahiro Motoki - Unmei no Hito
Kora Kengo - Tsumi to Batsu
Tanihara Sosuke - Tsugunai


5. Nemureru Mori no Jukujo.

4. Unmei no Hito

3. Shokuzai

2. Hatsukoi

1. Hotori Shizuka


1. Double Face (dorama SP)
2. Saigo Kara Nibanme no Koi
3. Going My Home
4. Tsumi to Batsu
5. Kodoku no Gurume (1st season)
6. Tsugunai
7. Spec Sho (dorama SP)


Anonymous said...

Your 'can't believe awards' cracked me up! You seem to have been severely traumatised by that drama lol

But I definitely agree with your first pick for 2012! I really liked whoever did the casting for Hitori and I just liked how it NEVER compromised. Her mum's literally got no redeeming quailities to resurrect her sins and that's what I need more from jdramas.

I just don't like how no matter how dark/ realistic jdramas of that sort tend to be, they still end up compromising at the end so it would sit better with the japanese audience and to ensure there would be no criticisms about the particular drama and its message/ direction. I think if you're gonna make it dark, then stay dark. Some people just have tough lives and some people just CAN'T be redeemed/saved.

I wouldn't say I have watched the most jdramas ever, but I could count with one hand the amount of scenarios about normal people (parents especially) just being/staying baddies/unredeemable. There's Kimutaku's mum. She didn't come back for a reunion in Pride, just literally for money. Give me more of that realism! Gokusen's 3 main guys dad. He's a face-retainer, and at the end of the day, he's still that. (no stupid scene later showing that even though he cares about status and whatnot, he still loves his son). Soredemo is a good one. Yes they tried to let us get into the murderer's headspace a little bit, but they NEVER at any point tried to justify/ give us a tragic story about WHY he did what he did because ultimately, it was a malice act.

Anyway sorry about the rant on unrealistic character changes in jdramas, but I loved Hitori because it is one of the rare few dramas that actually has consistency and Kaho was really able to portray her character with the substance that it needed. well-made for a short late-night drama.

Anonymous said...

Rootabega here:

A very well considered ranking, Akiramike. Well done!
Did you ever get a peek at Saratobu Sansei? It was on when I was in Japan, but it was hard to hog the television where I was staying (Going My Home was absolutely priority #1). Here's the link:
I'm a sucker for po-mo jidaigeki.

Anonymous said...

Oh, crap, I meant "sarutobi". Anyways, thanks for putting 2012 in such an entertaining nutshell.

Anonymous said...

Saying goodbye to 2012, I'm holding my hopes up for 2013. Last season gave us Saikou no Rikon and the next season I'm looking forward to Woman. The current season hardly gave us anything watchable, but I've been really enjoying Kazoku Game so far. I'd recommend it if you're looking for something to watch in the current season.

Akiramike said...

Anon, you said it.

I avoided Soratobu Sansei cause of Densha. Is it good?

Antspace said...

As expected, I agree almost entirely with your list. I would rank Saigo Nibanme no Koi and Going My home on 4 and 5 in the first list. I had so much fun watching those. Haven't seen Nemureru Mori no Jukujo though.
Series I liked and are not on your list: 1) Tokyo Zenryoku Shoujo in the best of the rest list. It's not genius, but fun and well made. It's the only series in which I saw Takei Emi act well, which I found surprising. 2) Kazoku no Uta I really liked Odagiri Jo acting as a big child. 3) Osozaki no Himawari for Maki Yoko and the lovely landscapes I would probably add those 3 to your best of the rest list.
But: Hitori Shizuka is undisputed the greatest series of 2012!

Sonnaaaaa~ said...

I love Saigo Kara. I re-watched it earlier this year before I had a job. It's such an amazing drama.

Nagasawa Nice Legs I noticed her bad acting a while ago. I can't watch anything with her in it now.

And not very excited about most of the summer dramas, but I rarely see a summer drama that I REALLY like.

Anonymous said...

Rootabega again: Sarutobu might be worth a look as an almost made the shortlist contender. I totally hear what your saying about Densha, but I was stuck in a guesthouse with limited channels, and I remember this being my second favourite thing after Going My Home (which was available for free because the local TV station had originally commissioned it).

jt said...

wow! way too dark bro. where's all the popcorn jdramas? i guess spec sho is one of them.. 12/12/12

xaxa said...

Witty and funny post and I agree on most of the things, except few.

2013 was actually pretty good. 3 amazing dramas (10/10) - Hitori Shizuka, Going My Home and Kazoku no Uta are already good enough to cover a whole year, but there were a few very good as well (9/10): Osozaki no Himawari, Cleopatra na Onnatachi, 37-sai de Isha ni Natta Boku, Legal High. More than enough for me, especially considering that in 2011 only one drama had a 9 from me!

And a second season of Legal High was too predictable. Good drama with good ratings and open ending - almost 100% guarantee of sequel these days.

Anonymous said...

Late to comment - but those Top 5 I will check out. #5 is something I was intrigued about but dismissed but now I'm tempted.
I'm still on a high from Double Face even a year later - it was just that damn sublime! Doesn't help that it's now spawned a brilliant little Korean cable drama that is a roundabout IA tribute, too. It's not quite Double Face but near enough.
Agree with Nakai Kiichi in SKNNK. Even when the drama began to dither he was still golden. But alas Abe is just Abe.

I'm wondering how Makete, Katsu would've fared on a list like this, had it been more accessible/subbed and the like, it was a class act. Just that I barely understood a word of it.

Akiramike said...

JT - Forgot about Spec Sho. The movie left a bad taste in my mouth.

The popcorn ones that xaxa mentions just weren't that good for me.

suvlovesdrama - Double Face would have been no.1 if it were an original dorama. Nemureru Mori no Jukujo was the most surprising dorama of 2012.