It’s been a while since I sat down with a J-drama. In fact, it’s been a while since I even checked to see what was on. But recently, I looked on the jdramas blog to see when the next series of Cold Case is coming out (in the fall, apparently) and while I was there I decided to find out what new dramas are coming out in the next few weeks.
Out of these, I put together a list of what seems interesting to me. I’ll never watch them all, but I’ll try to keep an eye out for them.
Hanbun Aoi (starts: 2 April, NHK)
The only reason this caught my eye was because the main character was born in the same year that I was: 1971. It seems like one of those slice-of-life dramas: a single mother returns to her home town after life in Tokyo. Could be interesting. Unfortunately, it’s an asadora, which means a 15-minute episode every day. I never could get the hang of that kind of schedule.
Kodok no Gurume 7 (7 April, TV Tokyo)
Seven?! I haven’t watched this since season two. Luckily, there’s little in the way of storyline, as I recall, as a man goes to different establishments and eats food.
The Confidence Man JP (9 April, Fuji TV)
Well, it’s got a good cast (judging by the poster, mostly Nagasawa Masami's legs) and I usually enjoy scripts based around confidence tricks and betrayal, so those are two things it’s got going for it. Plus, it's from the writer of Suzuki Sensei, so fingers crossed for this one.
Signal – Chouki Mikaiketsu Jiken Sousahan (10 April, Fuji TV)
I’ve already watched, finished and thoroughly enjoyed the Korean original so I know this drama has a solid base to start from. And I do enjoy a story that plays around with time. If done properly, they can be a lot of fun. I’m kind of hoping, though, that the story of the Japanese version isn’t the same as the Korean one, otherwise there won’t be much reason for me to watch.
Mikaikestu no Onna – Keishichou Bunsho Sousakan (19 April)
I do enjoy police dramas, especially those that involve crimes that haven’t been solved in years. In fact, I’ve already mentioned two (Cold Case and Signal) so maybe a third is pushing it. Plus, in this series the unsolved crimes department is in a basement. Are all unsolved crimes departments in basements in Japan? Seems very unfair.
Yami no Bansosha Season 2 – Henshuuchou no Jouken (31 March, WOWOW)
Well, I was not expecting this. Three years after the first series, a second is finally released. Very happy to see Matsushita Nao and Furuta Arata back together again. Can they solve a murder where the only clue is an unpublished manga manuscript? I’m looking forward to this one.
Miss Sherlock (27 April, Hulu & HBO Asia)
The recent BBC version completely ran out of steam by the end of its fourth series, so a new angle on the old Sherlock might be nice. Then again, it might not.
Kuroidogoroshi (14 April, Fuji TV)
Just a one-off special, but I thought I’d mention it here. The writer, Mitani Kouki, is one of the greats of Japanese TV but even I have to admit it’s been a long time since his stuff has been essential viewing. However, this is a sequel to his adaptation of Murder On The Orient Express and this means a repeat performance from Nomura Mansai. Last time out, he stole the show.
Let’s hope someone has reigned in Mitani Kouki’s self-indulgent side and kept the script to what he does best: witty dialogue and murders.
And so, to recap...
Most likely to begin with a helicopter shot of Tokyo: Confidence Man JP
Most likely to contain a scene where footsteps echo ominously as someone approaches: Confidence Man JP
Will almost certainly not be as good as the original: Miss Sherlock
Will probably include an old couple who run a sweet shop: Hanbun Aoi
Will have excessive use of flashbacks: Hanbun Aoi
Will include a sympathetic murderer: Mikaikestu no Onna
The two main characters do not get on at first but learn to respect each other: possibly all of them