24 June 2015


There was a time when I thought I was watching too many dramas (Disclaimer: I don't think you can ever watch too many dramas. Hahaha!). Alas, with two kids to care for, those days are long gone. But aside from reading books, watching dramas will always be one of the perfect ways to escape reality. Their absurd, over-the-top, out-of-this world plots force you to suspend reality and simply enjoy the moment.

Sharing with you my top ten all-time picks:

1.    Kami Sama Mou Sukoshi Dake
The drama that started it all (for me, at least). I think this was shown in the Philippines a few years back. I was in Davao for a friend’s wedding and bonded with her dad over the last two episodes. Interested in the story? Read my review here 

2.    Hana Yori Dango (Boys Over Flowers)
If you haven’t heard of this drama, you really need to make time and watch it. The drama was based on the shojo manga written by Kamio Tuko. Wasn't into this much at first, but after the first episode, I was totally hooked. Loved how Inoue Mao and Matsumoto Jun were perfect for the lead roles!

3.    Hanazakari no Kimitachi e (Hana Kimi)
A school full of ikemen? Count me in! Read my full review here 

4.    Seigi no Mikata
Literally, “An Ally of Justice,” this is a hilarious story of two sisters and how their relationship survives the challenges of everyday life. If you've a love-hate relationship with your sister, you'll be able to relate to this. O shimai!

5.    Zettai Kareshii (Absolute Boyfriend)
Watched this mainly because of Mokomichi Hayami. Hihihi! But the concept of having a robot to be one’s personal boyfriend? Absolute genius.

6.    Nodame Cantabile
You’ve got to have a strong sense of the ridiculous if you want to watch this. But after you get over the unreality of the whole thing, you lose yourself in the fun and in the music. Follow Chiaki and Nodame as they navigate through music school and strive to reach the pinnacle of their music careers. Loved it until the very end!

7.    Cat Street
This is a relatively short series and revolves around Aoyama Keito. Keito used to be a promising theater actress, but after a traumatizing event onstage, she closes herself off from society. This drama is all about coping with bullying and finding one’s place in society.

8.    GTO (Great Teacher Onizuka)
I hear this was remade in 2012, but I saw the 1998 version and I absolutely loved it! This is one of my fave tropes---a teacher who influences his students. In this case, Onizuka-sensei is an ex-gang member who has his own unique philosophy of life and learning. Oh and it also features a young Oguri Shun *swoon*

9.    Gokusen
Heehee. I told you I loved the teacher-influences-students trope :-) I’ve seen all the Gokusen dramas, but my ultimate fave is still Gokusen 1. Hel-lo! MatsuJun and Oguri Shun? *sigh* I remember watching this while I was in grad school. All my labmates thought it was hilarious when I accidentally slipped and used yakuza slang (which I picked up from the drama) in our conversations.

10. Densha Otoko
Loved this because I'm an otaku at heart too :-) Densha's character was so vulnerable, so sweet, that you'd have to be made of stone not to empathise with his predicament. Densha otoko (literally train man) is a geeky otaku who falls in love with Hermes (a girl he unwittingly saves from being harassed by drunken men on the train). When I watched this, I was amazed at the full-star cast and the number of cameos (Lahat na lang nag-cameo, I swear!). Densha's all-otaku support group, though virtual, was all-out in their love for him. And after a few episodes, you'll find yourself rooting for him. Go, Denshaaaaa! Loved that he got the ending everybody was hoping he'd get :-) *sigh*

BONUS: Nobunaga Concerto
This was shown only last year and I still haven’t seen it :-( But still, Oguri Shun + Yamada Takayuki + Osamu Mukai = something I’ll definitely enjoy. Also from a popular manga, Shun plays a high school student who travels back to the Edo period and discovers he's a dead-ringer for the samurai-daimyo Oda Nobunaga. I can't believe Shun's still playing high school roles, but hey, I'm not complaining.

What's your favorite drama escape? :-)

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