Reading the summaries for the dramas starting in January doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. There are a lot of brilliant but unconventional characters who annoy their colleagues but, in time, they grow to respect each other. The other recurring theme is that a death in the family prompts a career change. Either way, it’s pretty grim out there, with only WOWOW seemingly making an effort. Nevertheless, here are the shows which, at the moment, I’m looking forward to.
Number one on my list of things to watch is this series. An interesting storyline and a very strong cast have caught my attention. The story is about four women who, as children, witnessed a murder but couldn’t remember the man’s face. The mother of the murder victim blamed them for the murderer never being found and now, years later, those events are about to have their consequences...
I’m paraphrasing, but it’s something like that. Aio Yu (Camouflage and lots more besides) and Sakura Ando (Love Exposure, Soredemo Ikite Yuku) head the cast. I’m excited by this. It begins on the 8th.
Eita and Matsumoto Jun star in this detective series. Again, the overall theme of the show appears to be a clash in styles of two very different detectives. But the two strong leads (and Naka Riisa too) give me some hope for this.
Honjitsu wa Taian Nari
Of January’s new dramas, this has the best storyline, at first glance. Five wedding ceremonies are to be held at the same venue on the same day. A message arrives demanding that they all be cancelled or receive “punishment from heaven.” Who sent the message and why?
This seems to be a slightly different take on a mystery theme. I shall keep an eye out for this.
Suugaku Joshi Gakuen
A male student with no interest in maths accidentally enrols in a maths class with some high-flying female maths students. I’m being very optimistic by recommending this one. It looks like one of those terrible romances where different women take turns in falling for the male lead, but perhaps there’ll be some maths in there too? I know, it’s crazy, but Liar Game was a success so maybe they'll try and tap that market. I’ll give this one episode to persuade me.
This Japanese/Korean/Chinese production revolves around three agencies trying to stop a terrorist attack. It’s by WOWOW so hopefully it’ll be more sensible than Bloody Monday.
There are also new dramas for Nakatani Miki and Nagasawa Masami which I’m kind of interested in, but not especially. Nakatani Miki stars in Seinaru Kaibutsutachi a new hospital drama, and I don’t enjoy those due to them usually being staffed entirely by doctors who have piercing eyes and a habit of demanding that they save someone’s life, even if it breaks every rule in the book.
Nagasaw Masami’s drama, Bunshin, has the weakest storyline as far as I can tell. A woman sees another woman on TV who looks just like her. And so begins her journey into her family's murky past. That could go anywhere. It could be brilliant, it could be daft.