Spring 2011 Dramas

Hanchou ~ Jinnansho Azumihan Season 4
Date: From 8.00 p.m., Mondays, 11 April 2011
Station: TBS
Cast: Sasaki Kuranosuke, Nakamura Shunsuke, Tsukaji Muga, Kurotani Tomoka, Kashu Toshiki, Yamaguchi Shogo, Yasu Megumi, Shibuya Asuka, Hosokawa Shigeki, Tayama Ryosei, Ukaji Takashi, Kara Juro
Synopsis: –
Website: http://www.tbs.co.jp/hancho/
Related: Hanchou ~ Jinnansho Azumihan Season 3

Shiawase ni Narou yo
Date: From 9.00 p.m., Mondays, 18 April 2011
Station: Fuji TV
Cast: Katori Shingo, Kuroki Meisa, Fujiki Naohito, Tamamori Yuta, Ayabe Yuji, Naka Riisa, Kobayashi Kaoru, Takahata Atsuko, Harada Mieko
Synopsis: Takakura Junpei (Katori Shingo), a marriage agency adviser, is good at making the people around him happy and has a record of bringing many couples together. Then he encounters Yanagisawa Haruna (Kuroki Meisa), a female applicant for membership. She is so beautiful that both the counselling concepts he has acquired and his manual do not apply. He falls in love with this mysterious client, but wishing for her happiness, he struggles to pair her with Yashiro Hidehiko (Fujiki Naohito), a rich, handsome lawyer who had become a member around the same time. As he agonises over his inability to cut off his feelings for her, a big secret regarding these two clients is revealed and changes the relationship between the three of them … …
Website: http://wwwz.fujitv.co.jp/shiawase/

Namae o Nakushita Megami
Date: From 9.00 p.m., Tuesdays, 12 April 2011
Station: Fuji TV
Cast: Anne, Ono Machiko, Kimura Yoshino, Ryo, Kurashina Kana, Tsuruno Takeshi, Hirayama Hiroyuki, Igarashi Shunji, Takahashi Issei, KEIJI, Hagiwara Masato
Synopsis: 28-year-old Akiyama Yuko (Anne) has a bright and fearless personality. After graduation from college, she worked at a home builder and even continued with her job after the birth of her son, leaving him in the care of a nursery school. However, she is suddenly laid off because of the recession and unwittingly becomes a full-time housewife. Her child’s ‘entrance exam’ has been alien to her up to now, but she decides to make him take the exam as a result of the influence of a group of mothers (Ono Machiko, Kimura Yoshino, Ryo, Kurashina Kana) she encounters at her new place of residence. Yuko gets embroiled in the discord between her bosom female friends, and her values are gradually shaken for the first time in her life.
Website: http://wwwz.fujitv.co.jp/megami/

Tantei X Kara no Chosenjo! Season 3
Date: From 10.00 p.m., Tuesdays, 14 April 2011
Station: NHK
Cast: Nagasawa Masami, Takenaka Naoto, Nagaoka Tasuku, Uchida Akiko, Yamaguchi Yuichiro, Mizuno Miki
Synopsis: –
Website: http://www.nhk.or.jp/tanteix/

Madonna Verde ~ Musume no Tame ni Umu Koto
Date: From 10.00 p.m., Tuesdays, 19 April 2011
Station: NHK
Cast: Matsuzaka Keiko, Kuninaka Ryoko, Katagiri Jin, Shibata Rie, Aida Shoko, Katsumura Masanobu, Fujimura Shiho, Nagatsuka Kyozo, Honda Hirotaro
Synopsis: 55-year-old Midori (Matsuzaka Keiko), is asked by her daughter, Sonezaki Rie (Kuninaka Ryoko), to be a surrogate mother. Rie is a gynecologist who had lost her womb as a result of an illness. Midori agrees to carry the fertilised eggs from Rie and her husband, Shinichiro (Katagiri Jin), in her own womb. It is the first time in 33 years that she has been pregnant. The plan is carried out under a cloak of secrecy, but is found out by Maruyama (Nagatsuka Kyozo), who is in love with Midori. In addition, Professor Yashiki (Honda Hirotaro) at the university hospital where Rie works, receives a letter incriminating Rie. Midori and Rie desperately protect this secret and maintain that the child in Midori’s womb is her own flesh and blood … …
Website: http://www.nhk.or.jp/drama/madonna/

Karyu no Utage
Date: From 10.00 p.m., Tuesdays, 31 May 2011
Station: NHK
Cast: Kuroki Hitomi, Nogiwa Yoko, Yo Kimiko, Kato Natsuki, Minami, Watanabe Ikkei, Endo Kenichi
Synopsis: Fukuhara Yumiko graduated from a local state university because her father was a doctor. She is a proud housewife who believes that her genteel middle class family will never be one of the lower class. Her daughter, Kana, is a vain, calculative person who has her sights on marrying an elite after women’s college. Her son, Sho, however, is a constant source of worry. She has tried to raise Sho with the conviction that putting in great effort will result in even greater results, but he hates such exertion. He dropped out of high school, took up part-time jobs and became a drifter with no desire for upward mobility. Although Yumiko shows understanding on a superficial level, she tries all kinds of tricks to somehow make him go to university, but he has no motivation. Then one day, Sho suddenly tells her he is getting married to a girl from Okinawa who is also a freeter!
Website: http://www.nhk.or.jp/drama/utage/

Good Life ~ Arigato Papa, Sayonara
Date: From 10.00 p.m., Tuesdays, 19 April 2011
Station: Fuji TV
Cast: Sorimachi Takashi, Eikura Nana, Igawa Haruka, Kabe Amon, Kitami Toshiyuki, Watanabe Kunito, Araki Hirofumi, Nagaike Natsuko, Ihara Tsuyoshi, Kaga Takeshi
Synopsis: Sawamoto Daichi (Sorimachi Takashi) is a news reporter at a newspaper publishing company. Work has always been his priority and he does not concern himself with his family. Then one day, his wife, Kaori (Igawa Haruka), suddenly leaves him and he is left with their son, Waku (Kabe Amon). Daichi becomes aware of Waku’s unconditional love for him but just as he is about to reciprocate, he discovers that Waku has leukemia. What will he do now that he knows he has a limited time to spend together with his son …?
Website: http://www.ktv.jp/goodlife/

Muscle Girl
Date: From 12.55 a.m., Tuesdays, 19 April 2011
Station: TBS
Cast: Ichikawa Yui, Lee Hong Ki, Mikami Kensei, Yamamoto Hikaru, Akai Saki, Aya Vanessa, Shida Hikaru, Koike Keiko, Kuwano Nobuyoshi, Kuroda Fukumi
Synopsis: Shiratori Azusa (Ichikawa Yui) is the only child of the owner of a small female pro wrestling group called ‘Shiratori Girls Pro Wrestling’. When her father dies of illness, she struggles to keep ‘Shiratori Girls Pro Wrestling’ going. However, it is extremely difficult to run a business which continues to be in the red and mired in debt. The group is on the verge of breakup. At that moment, their referee leaves behind a letter with the words, “I quit” and disappears on the day of a performance match. A frantic Azusa hustles a Korean youth she encounters on the streets to be her improvised referee just for the day. In truth, he is a popular star in South Korea … The two of them have entirely different nationalities and upbringing, but they soon unite in a match for survival against a strong rival group and also grow conscious of each other … …
Website: http://www.mbs.jp/muscle-g/

Iryu Sousa
Date: From 9.00 p.m., Wednesdays, 13 April 2011
Station: TV Asahi
Cast: Kamikawa Takaya, Kanjiya Shihori, Sano Shiro, Osugi Ren
Synopsis: Detective Itomura Satoshi (Kamikawa Takaya) is a chief investigator on the Forensics Investigation Team of the First Investigative Division’s First Violent Crimes Section. He joined the Tokyo Metropolitan Police after graduation from university. After that he worked as an investigator assigned to the crime lab of a police precinct under the Tokyo Metropolitan Police’s jurisdiction, but was transferred to the Forensics Investigation Team two years ago on the recommendation of the head of the First Investigative Division. He has a sharp, discerning eye and obsessive behaviour. He will go all out to pursue cases based on the personal effects left behind at crime scenes. On the other hand, Oda Miyuki (Kanjiya Shihori) of the First Investigative Division’s First Section does not seem cut out to be a detective but is actually well suited. She prides herself in her extraordinary rate of information gathering because she is able to read the atmosphere and consider the feelings of other people. However, she is still inexperienced in investigations and also makes mistakes. Miyuki’s encounter with Itomura, who is unbending in his convictions even if it breaks the rules of the organisation, is a culture shock for her and makes her start to reconsider what she should be as a detective.
Website: http://www.tv-asahi.co.jp/iryu_01/

Date: From 10.00 p.m., Wednesdays, 27 April 2011
Station: NTV
Cast: Aibu Saki, Hayami Mokomichi, Kuriyama Chiaki, Katsuji Ryo, Nishiyama Maki, Hankai Kazuaki, Ito Kazue, Ishizuka Hidehiko, Wakamura Mayumi
Synopsis: Ohba Nobuko (Aibu Saki) was born the daughter of a tonkatsu shop owner in Matsuyama City and was showered with love by her parents. Because she grew up on tonkatsu and cake, she weighed 60 kg by the time she was in her sixth year of elementary school. When Nobuko was 20, she had reached 85 kg. Dumped by her boyfriend because she was fat, she resolved to abstain from cakes and succeeded in losing 37 kg, and even became got a job as the editor of a fashion magazine. However, after interviewing the handsome “Prince of Sweets”, Imai Taiichi (Hayami Mokomichi), the son of a patissier whose strawberry shortcakes she used to adore, she ends up breaking her ban on cakes. She has an addiction relapse and single mindedly eats away at cakes, causing her figure to rebound and her professional life to take a sudden hit … …
Website: http://www.ntv.co.jp/rebound/

Kazoku Houtei
Date: From 10.00 p.m., Wednesdays, 27 April 2011
Station: BS Asahi
Cast: Nagatsuka Kyozo, Mimura, TETSUYA, Iwasaki Hiromi, Matsunaga Reiko, Rokaku Seiji
Synopsis: –
Website: http://www.bs-asahi.co.jp/kazokuhoutei/

Omiyasan Season 8
Date: From 8.00 p.m., Thursdays, 28 April 2011
Station: TV Asahi
Cast: Watase Tsunehiko, Sakurai Atsuko, Nanase Natsumi, Hayashi Yasufumi, Fuwa Bansaku, Katagiri Ryuji, Onodera Joe, Ichijo Satoshi, Aimoto Kumiko, Washio Machiko
Synopsis: –
Website: http://www.tv-asahi.co.jp/omiyasan/
Related: Omiyasan Season 7

Boss Season 2
Date: From 10.00 p.m., Thursdays, 14 April 2011
Station: Fuji TV
Cast: Amami Yuki, Takenouchi Yutaka, Toda Erika, Tamayama Tetsuji, Nukumizu Yoichi, Kichise Michiko, Mizobata Junpei, Kobayashi Kendo, Narumi Riko, Shaku Yumiko, Hasegawa Kyoko, Omori Nao, Nishida Toshiyuki
Synopsis: The Special Crimes Unit is disbanded and Osawa Eriko (Amami Yuki), who has taken the blame, is about to leave Narita Airport for the US when her mobile phone rings. A new case has taken place, and she is informed that the case has not been resolved. The Special Crimes Unit team led by Eriko fights against an unspeakable crime and formidable enemy that shakes up the country … …
Website: http://wwwz.fujitv.co.jp/BOSS/
Related: Boss

Hagane no Onna Season 2
Date: From 9.00 p.m., Thursdays, 21 April 2011
Station: TV Asahi
Cast: Kichise Michiko, Kaname Jun (cameo appearance), Shitara Osamu, Shimizu Michiko, Ohashi Nozomi, Arimura Kasumi, Yokoyama Megumi, Kataoka Ainosuke, Saito Takumi, Matsumoto Toshio, Takahashi Katsumi
Synopsis: 36-year-old Haga Ineko (Kichise Michiko) has successfully passed the teachers’ exams with the encouragement of the students of Class 4/3. She would like to say that she is still single … but she has received a proposal from Shioda Wataru (Kaname Jun), the former assistant form teacher, and congratulates herself as she gazes at the engagement ring that she has received from him. However, one day, Tao (Kurosaki Reina), a girl whose parents were deported for illegal entry into Japan, transfers to the school and Hagane’s class. Even though Tao is of a different nationality, she is surely a lovable student and Hagane accepts Tao with this sentiment … … But Tao, who feels resentful of Japanese people, quickly gets into a conflict with her classmates.
Website: http://www.tv-asahi.co.jp/hagane/
Related: Hagane no Onna

Shitsuren Hoken ~ Kokuraseya
Date: From 11.58 p.m., Thursdays, 7 April 2011
Station: NTV
Cast: Shirota Yu, Fukuda Saki, Furuta Arata
Synopsis: By day, Kazuki Ayumu (Shirota Yu), or ‘Luke’, is an associate professor of animal ecophysiology at a university, but by night, he becomes an investigator who conducts identity checks on clients with no confidence in love when they sign up for a hefty “heartbreak insurance” to buy assurance. He uses love psychology techniques to reveal the hearts of his members and assists them in determining the best timing to make a confession. “Heartbreak insurance” is a minimum of 1 million yen which is not refundable, and is insurance money 10 times the premium to soothe a member if he/she is dumped by the object of his/her affection after the confession or told to break up by the partner he/she is in a relationship with. Whether it is love at first sight or an unattainable, famous love interest, people can become a member as long as ‘Tracho’ (Furuta Arata) the effeminate chief priest of Yotsuba Shrine, which is responsible for the insurance, permits. Members are only subject to one condition, that is, to confess at the designated date and time.
Website: http://www.ytv.co.jp/shitsuren-hoken/

Date: From 10.00 p.m., Fridays, 22 April 2011
Station: TBS
Cast: Horikita Maki, Okura Tadayoshi, Nakajima Kento, Mitake Yuji, Sakai Wakana, Toda Keiko, Osugi Ren, Tanaka Misako
Synopsis: Hayashida Manami (Horikita Maki) is the oldest of four siblings (Okura Tadayoshi, Nakajima Kento). One day, the family is told about the pregnancy of their 51-year-old mother, Aiko (Tanaka Misako). As the eldest daughter and female, Manami understands her mother the best, but learns to respect life and the depth of human bonds while she struggles with her inability to accept the news. This event exposes the family’s long-hidden secret and quickly upsets the balance of what had been thought to be an ordinary family.
Website: http://www.tbs.co.jp/umareru2011/

Inu o Kau to Iu Koto ~ Sky to Wa ga Ie no 180 Nichi
Date: From 11.15 p.m., Fridays, 15 April 2011
Station: TV Asahi
Cast: Nishikido Ryo, Mizukawa Asami, Taguchi Junnosuke, Kuge Kokoro, Yamazaki Ryutaro, Takeda Kohei, Kazami Shingo, Shikanuma Yuki, Sugimoto Tetta, Izumiya Shigeru
Synopsis: The Hongos are a family of four who live at the foot of the nearly completed Tokyo Skytree. Hongo Yuji (Nishikido Ryo) who gave up his dream of music which he had pursued since his student days, now works in human resources at a machinery manufacturer. To put it in a good way, he is earnest, but in truth is a coward unable to take risks. All the words that come out from his mouth are idealistic arguments. Because of the wave of recession, his job is to tell staff older than him that they have been dismissed as a result of restructuring. It is a difficult role but he tells himself with resignation that it is his work. However, before long it is his turn to be told that he has been laid off … … His wife, Sachiko (Mizukawa Asami), had taken advantage of her pregnancy to marry him. Now the mother of two children, she juggles several part-time jobs and works non-stop to earn money for the family. They are at their wits end. The family has hit rock bottom and is on the brink of collapse. Then one day, their daughter, Mako (Kuge Kokoro), picks up an abandoned pomeranian puppy which they name Skytree. This small incident is a big matter to the Hongos, and this broken family gradually begins the road to recovery … …
Website: http://www.tv-asahi.co.jp/inu/

Shima Shima
Date: From 12.35 a.m., Fridays, 22 April 2011
Station: TBS
Cast: Yada Akiko, Miura Shohei, Kikuta Daisuke, Suzuki Katsuhiro, Fukushi Sota
Synopsis: Houkigi Shio (Yada Akiko), who is the owner of an aromatherapy esthe salon, appears to be a capable woman. However, she suffers from loneliness and insomnia as a result of the double blow of her husband’s infidelity and their subsequent divorce. It is precisely because of this that she conceives the idea of ‘Striped Sheep’, a service in which handsome male staff (Miura Shohei, Kikuta Daisuke, Suzuki Katsuhiro, Fukushi Sota) provide ‘sleep companionship’ for women like herself who are troubled by insomnia. As these men come in contact with the values of their female clients, who have a variety of jobs and worries, they gradually discover their own way of life and reach decisions …
Website: http://www.tbs.co.jp/shimashima_fb/

Challenged ~ Sotsugyou
Date: From 9.00 p.m., Saturdays, 14 May 2011
Station: NHK
Cast: Sasaki Kuranosuke, Koike Rina, Murasaki Maya, Takeuchi Toshi, Akimoto Ryutaro, Tomita Yasuko, Murakawa Eri, Natsuyagi Isao, Saigo Teruhiko
Synopsis: –
Website: http://www.nhk.or.jp/dodra/challenged/
Related: Challenged

Koukousei Restaurant
Date: From 9.00 p.m., Saturdays, 7 May 2011
Station: NTV
Cast: Matsuoka Masahiro, Fukiishi Kazue, Kamiki Ryunosuke, Kawashima Umika, Itaya Yuka, Harada Yoshio (guest appearance), Ito Hideaki
Synopsis: Muraki Shingo (Matsuoka Masahiro) has top notch skills as a chef, but as a culinary arts teacher, he is a novice and inexperienced. A former chef, Muraki has turned around to become a temporary teaching staff at a local high school in order to open a “high school students’ restaurant”. He encourages students who have no dreams or hope, and matures together with them through the operation of a restaurant and instructions in cooking.
Website: http://www.ntv.co.jp/kouresu/

Jin Season 2
Date: From 9.00 p.m., Sundays, 17 April 2011
Station: TBS
Cast: Osawa Takao, Uchino Masaaki, Nakatani Miki (guest appearance), Ayase Haruka, Koide Keisuke, Kiritani Kenta, Kohinata Fumiyo, Sato Ryuta, Fujimoto Takahiro, Kurokawa Tomoka, Miyazawa Kazufumi, Ichikawa Kamejiro
Synopsis: –
Website: http://www.tbs.co.jp/jin-final/
Related: Jin

Marumo no Okite
Date: From 9.00 p.m., Sundays, 24 April 2011
Station: Fuji TV
Cast: Abe Sadao, Ashida Mana, Suzuki Fuku, Higa Manami, Koyanagi Yu, Chiba Masako, Takizawa Saori, Ibu Masato, Sera Masanori
Synopsis: Takagi Mamoru (Abe Sadao) is a bachelor around 40 who works at a stationery maker. He becomes a surrogate father to the twins, Kaoru (Ashida Mana) and Yuki (Suzuki Fuku), when his good friend passes away. Now orphans, the level-headed, cheerful Kaoru and her younger brother brace themselves and begin a new life with Mamoru. The family has a secret, which is the miniature Schnauzer, Mook, that the twins had picked up one day. Mook speaks human language! While he tenderly watches over the young twins and is their hero, he is at times harsh to Mamoru who makes an unreliable guardian. At other times, he encourages and even moralises. When Mook first started to talk, Mamoru suspected that it was his own mental state. He grows to accept Mook’s presence as the one that brings the family together.
Website: http://wwwz.fujitv.co.jp/marumo/

CO Ishoku Coordinator
Date: From 10.00 p.m., Sundays, 27 March 2011
Station: WOWOW
Cast: Yoshioka Hidetada, Santamaria Yusuke, Kimura Yoshino, Aso Yumi, Riju Go, Iida Kisuke, Yada Akiko, Ono Machiko, Nakahara Takeo, Kinami Haruka, Itaya Yuka, Toyohara Kosuke, Hirata Mitsuru, Hashizume Isao
Synopsis: Ohno (Yoshioka Hidetada) has been an organ transplant coordinator for several years. He and his senior, fellow coordinator Kuramoto (Santamaria Yusuke), cannot hide the conflicting struggles of medical transplants after a revision of the organ donation law. Pressured by the Ministry of Health for cases of successful transplants, the director of Takenouchi General Hospital (Hirata Mitsuru) gets desperate. Six-year-old Tachibana Kaito, who suffers from an enlarged heart and has been waiting for a transplant for four years, is hospitalised at an affiliated hospital. His mother, Miki (Aso Yumi), fervently hopes for a transplant surgery in the country. This is the only way left for him. Then one day, an accident occurs. Tezuka Ken, a six-year-old, falls from the veranda of an apartment. He is immediately brought to Takenouchi General Hospital, one of the big hospitals in Tokyo, but is pronounced brain dead. There appear to be signs of unnatural fractures and bruises on Ken’s body and it is suspected that he was ill treated. However, organ transplant from an abused and brain dead child is prohibited by law so Takenouchi gives a false report to the police … After the law is revised, thoughts begin to gather in many adults with the first incidence of a brain dead child under the age of 15. Ohno, who starts to realise this, is pitted against the families of the donors and the recipients … …
Website: http://www.wowow.co.jp/co/

Asuko March!
Date: From 11.00 p.m., Sundays, 24 April 2011
Station: TV Asahi
Cast: Takei Emi, Matsuzaka Tori, Kaku Kento, Nagayama Kento, Minami Keisuke, Ishida Takuya, Matsuyama Meari, Kanai Yuta, Furukawa Yuki, Arai Yusuke, Sasano Takashi, Jinbo Satoshi, Shiraishi Miho, Kikukawa Rei (guest appearance), Katsumura Masanobu
Synopsis: Yoshino Nao (Takei Emi) enters Asuka Technical High School (known as ‘Asuko’ in short) through an entrance examination to fill vacancies after failing to qualify for the female high school of her dreams. There are just three girls among the 148 new students and Nao is taken aback to be the only female in her class. She feels lonely because she cannot mix with the boys and looks down on those around her as “being different”. However, she gradually cultivates friendships and love, and finds the place where she belongs.
Website: http://www.tv-asahi.co.jp/asuko/

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About jadefrost

This blog contains information and musings on current and upcoming Japanese dramas but is not intended to be comprehensive.
This entry was posted in Spring 2011 Dramas. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Spring 2011 Dramas

  1. ct says:

    Okay, I’m sooo disappointed in the upcoming season. Why doesn’t anything of this interests me so? arghh!! If I’m forced to choose, maybe I’ll go with Asuko March!, at least it looks like a drama that allows you to leave your brain behind. And Ishoku Coordinator, since it’s wowow.

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