Spring 2014 Dramas


White Lab ~ Keishichou Tokubetsu Kagaku Sousahan
Date: From 8.00 p.m., Mondays, 14 April 2014
Station: TBS
Scriptwriter: Masumoto Takuya (Kodomo Keishi, Nihonjin no Shiranai Nihongo)
Cast: Kitamura Kazuki, Miyasako Hiroyuki, Yabu Kota, Tanihara Shosuke, Wakui Emi
Synopsis: The scientific criminal investigation team, White Lab, is a new unit established within the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department’s First Investigative Division because of the need to swiftly capture criminals of violent crimes with hard evidence. It possesses the knowledge of the crime lab and the investigative authority of First Investigative Division. The core members of the White Lab are former scientist Ichinose Satoshi (Kitamura Kazuki) who solves difficult cases with unique investigation methods; Honda Masayuki (Tanihara Shosuke) who goes by the nickname “human lie detector”; and former crime lab ace Okunuki Toru (Miyasako Hiroyuki). Each of them have different personalities as well as areas of specialty, but respect each other and work together to crack cases.
Website: www.tbs.co.jp/white-lab

Gokuaku Ganbo

Gokuaku Ganbo
Date: From 9.00 p.m., Mondays, 14 April 2014
Station: Fuji TV
Scriptwriter: Izumi Yoshihiro (Kurokochi, Tokkan, Nankyoku Tairiku)
Original Work: Gokuaku Ganbo by Tajima Takashi
Cast: Ono Machiko, Shiina Kippei, Miura Shohei, Naka Riisa, Kobayashi Kaoru, Takeuchi Riki, Itao Itsuji, Miura Tomokazu, Kudo Kankuro, Natsuna (guest star), Kaname Jun (guest star), Muroi Shigeru (guest star), Kunimura Jun (guest star), Koizumi Kyoko (guest star), Hirata Mitsuru (guest star), Takeda Tetsuya (guest star)
Synopsis: When Kanzaki Kaoru (Ono Machiko) was young, her family’s okonomiyaki shop went bankrupt and grew up in poverty. Then her parents passed away. After she graduated from junior high school, she drift from one job to the next and managed to save 1 million yen. However, she is conned by her colleague (Miura Shohei). This saddles her with heavy debt from Kaneko Chiaki (Miura Tomokazu) of Koshimizu Management Consultants, a specialist at fixing problems without the intervention of the police and lawyers. Plunged into the underworld where betrayals and jumping the gun on each other are constants, Kaoru tries to claw her way up from the pits with her fighting instincts.
Website: www.fujitv.co.jp/ganbo

Bitter Blood

Bitter Blood ~ Saiaku de Saikyou no Oyako Keiji
Date: From 9.00 p.m., Tuesdays, April 2014
Station: Fuji TV
Scriptwriter: Oyama Shota
Original Work: Bitter Blood by Shizukui Shusuke
Cast: Watabe Atsuro, Sato Takeru, Kutsuna Shiori, Fukikoshi Mitsuru, Tanaka Tetsushi, Minagawa Sarutoki, KEIJI, Hirose Suzu, Kusamura Reiko, Takahashi Katsumi, Oikawa Mitsuhiro, Uehara Takako (guest star)
Synopsis: Rookie detective Sahara Natsuki (Sato Takeru) has not met his father Shimao Akimura (Watabe Atsuro) since his parents divorced when he was 13. The relationship between father and son is the worst possible. However, Natsuki gets assigned to the Criminal Affairs Division at Ginza Police Precinct where his father is, and of all things, the two of them are made partners under team leader Kagiyama Kensuke (Takahashi Katsumi).
Website: www.fujitv.co.jp/BitterBlood

Black President

Black President
Date: From 10.00 p.m., Tuesdays, 8 April 2014
Station: Fuji TV
Scriptwriter: Ozaki Masaya (Doubles, Kazoku Houtei, Shiroi Haru)
Cast: Sawamura Ikki, Kuroki Meisa, Kuninaka Ryoko, Kadowaki Mugi, Nagase Tasuku, Takada Sho, Takatsuki Sara, Sawabe Yu, Aoki Sayaka, Nagai Masaru, Shirakawa Yumi, Dan Mitsu
Synopsis: Mitamura Yukio (Sawamura Ikki) is the founder and president of a rapidly growing apparel company. However, it is actually a company that exploits its employees. Mitamura places priority on the company’s profits and has been overworking his employees but he sees nothing wrong. Instead he believes that hard work is necessary to achieve results. Therefore, demanding work is justified. He does not think his beloved company exploits its employees. Mitamura has delegated work to his subordinates and has time to enroll in a university to study company management from the basics. This is where he meets a new lecturer Akiyama Kyoko (Kuroki Meisa). Although he feels attracted to the intellectual Kyoko, the complete differences in their environment and way of thinking results in frequent clashes. Then there are the young people (Kadowaki Mugi, Nagase Tasuku, Takada Sho, Takatsuki Sara) called the “pressure-free generation”. Mitamura looks down on this bunch who would never get a job with his own company. But in an unexpected turn of events, he has interactions with these university students, and because of that, he gets inspired and learns a lot of things. On the other hand, the attempt to oust Mitamura is gathering strength within his company. Mitamura himself soon realises that his company exploits its employees and a power struggle begins inside.
Website: www.ktv.jp/black

Silent Poor

Silent Poor
Date: From 10.00 p.m., Tuesdays, 8 April 2014
Station: NHK
Scriptwriter: Sagara Atsuko (Single Mothers)
Cast: Fukada Kyoko, Kitamura Yukiya, Sakuraba Nanami, Sakai Maki, Yamaguchi Sayaka, Watanabe Daichi, Kagawa Kyoko, Ichige Yoshie, Yonekura Masakane   
Synopsis: Silent poor are the needy who have no voice. This “invisible poverty” is now spreading throughout society. The job of a community social worker has appeared across the country in order to tackle this issue. Satomi Ryo (Fukada Kyoko) is a community social worker for the Social Welfare Council of Tokyo’s old neighbourhoods. She runs around her beloved districts as always. This is where she meets people such as the garbage hoarder, reclusive, homeless and prematurely senile who are trying hard to live but have sunk into the abyss of social isolation in today’s world. Ryo offers a helping hand to them and is exposed to their lives, but even Ryo nurses an abject loneliness herself. It is her belief that people can start their lives over as many times as they like that keeps her going. What she discovers ahead is her own self who has embark on a new chapter in life with the support of the people and the neighbourhoods that she had reached out to … …
Website: www.nhk.or.jp/drama10/silentpoor

Naruyouni Narusa Season 2
Date: From 10.00 p.m., Tuesdays, 22 April 2014
Station: TBS
Scriptwriter: Hashida Sugako (Japanese Americans, Wataru Seken Oni Bakari Series)
Cast: Tachi Hiroshi, Asano Atsuko, Shida Mirai (guest star), Yasuda Shota (guest star), Konno Mahiru (guest star), Watanabe Misako, Minamisawa Nao, Ino Kei, Izumi Pinko
Synopsis: After the three sons of Nagashima Daigo (Tachi Hiroshi) and Aya (Asano Atsuko) got married and led independent lives, Aya retrofitted the kitchen and living room and started a restaurant. Cafe Restaurant Aya has been thriving and Daigo also finds time between work to help out. With former employees Uchida Yoko (Shida Mirai), Otake Noboru (Yasuda Shota) and Nakatsu Eri (Konno Mahiru) moving on to new lives, Aya takes in Nakano Kyoko (Minamisawa Nao), an unemployed graduate with an attitude problem, and Togawa Tatsu (Watanabe Misako) a customer who has no money to pay for what she has eaten and has no where to go too. However, Tatsu is skilled at cooking and customer service, and Aya is secretly glad that she came. Then Noboru comes to the restaurant with his junior Okumura Ryo (Ino Kei) in tow. Ryo has dropped out of university but does not have a job. Even his parents have given up on him. He is dressed like youngsters these days and has pink highlights in his blond hair too. It is not only Ryo’s hairstyle but also his inappropriate attitude in an eating establishment that shocks Aya and the rest. The Nagashima family will again be rocked by another set of employees with issues … …
Website: www.tbs.co.jp/naruyouninarusa
Related: Naruyouni Narusa Season 1


Kuu Neru Futari Sumu Futari
Date: From 11.15 p.m., Tuesdays, 6 May 2014
Station: NHK BS Premium
Scriptwriter: Miyatake Yui
Original Work: Kuu Neru Futari Sumu Futari by Higurashi Kinoko
Cast: Konishi Manami, Kaneko Nobuaki, Maeda Ai, Kimoto Takehiro, Aizawa Rina, Kurokawa Mei, Miyazaki Yoshiko, Yamashita Yorie, Sano Shiro, Tayama Ryosei
Synopsis: Machida Ritsuko (Konishi Manami) and Nonoyama Shuichi (Kaneko Nobuaki) are a couple in their 30s. They have been in a relationship for 10 years and been cohabiting for 8 years. Because they have been living together for so long, they are practically a married couple to the people around them. However, Ritsuko regards marriage as a piece of paper. And yet, somewhere in her heart she is also waiting for Nonchan to propose. The two of them know each other more than a parent and child would. Nevertheless, they still have disagreements. This is the story of their daily life.
Website: www.nhk.or.jp/drama/kuuneru

Shinkaishaku, Nihonshi
Date: From 1.11 a.m., Wednesdays, 30 April 2014
Station: TBS
Scriptwriter: Fukuda Yuichi (Watashi no Kiraina Tantei, Tenma-san ga Yuku, Yuusha Yoshihiko Series)
Cast: Muro Tsuyoshi, Yoshizawa Ryo, Honda Chikara, Uechi Haruna, Jiro, Hasegawa Shinobu, Ota Kyousuke, Wakaba Ryuya, Urai Kenji
Synopsis: The truths of great men that cannot be talked about in Japanese history textbooks get new interpretations.
Website: www.shin-reki.com


Team ~ Keishichou Tokubetsu Hanzai Sousa Honbu
Date: From 9.00 p.m., Wednesdays, 16 April 2014
Station: TV Asahi
Scriptwriter: Yoshimoto Masahiro (Koukousei Restaurant, Keishichou Keizoku Sousa-han)
Cast: Ozawa Yukiyoshi, Tanabe Seiichi, Tsukamoto Takashi, Kamio Yu, Watanabe Ikkei, Nishida Toshiyuki, Sato Koichi (guest star)
Synopsis: Saku Shingo (Ozawa Yukiyoshi) is a non-career police officer but rose to become a director at an unusually young age. He is one of only 10 directors in the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department’s First Investigative Division. Directors are the ones that take command of investigation task forces which are set up when major crimes such as murder and kidnapping take place. An investigation task force gathers some 40 – 100 investigators from the Tokyo Metropolitan Police, the police precinct concerned and neighbouring precincts. A director is the leader at an investigation scene who manages this hastily assembled group and is required to come up with a solid investigation plan. Aloof and hard to figure out, Saku is a man who carries out his duties dispassionately. But he has a firm sense of justice and sense of mission.
Website: www.tv-asahi.co.jp/team

Smoking Gun

Smoking Gun ~ Ketteiteki Shouko
Date: From 10.00 p.m., Wednesdays, 9 April 2014
Station: Fuji TV
Scriptwriter: Sakai Masaaki (Kamo, Kyoto e Iku, Kazoku no Uta, Zettai Reido)
Original Work: Smoking Gun ~ Minkan Kasouken Chousain Nagareta Enishi by Yokumaku Tomohiro
Cast: Katori Shingo, Nishiuchi Mariya, Nakayama Yuma, Ando Tamae, Hamada Kokone, Kurashina Kana, Suzuki Honami, Issey Ogata, Tanihara Shosuke
Synopsis: Private forensic researcher Nagareta Enishi (Katori Shingo) is usually very sluggish as well as sloppy, and always aloof. However, his entire demeanour changes once he is at a scene and his skills as a forensic researcher are topnotch. He stands up for the disadvantaged by using science and technology to uncover conclusive evidence and solve trivial civil cases which the police will not handle such as adultery, molest and stalking. Enishi used to be a member of the Research Institute of Forensic Science and was called an ace, but he now belongs to Chiyoda Forensic Science Institute due to some incident.
Website: www.fujitv.co.jp/SMOKINGGUN


Hanasaki Mai ga Damattenai Season 1
Date: From 10.00 p.m., Wednesdays, 16 April 2014
Station: NTV
Scriptwriter: Egashira Michiru (Otto no Kanojo, Naniwa Shonen Tanteidan, Gokusen Series)
Original Work: Fushouji and Ginkou Soumu Tokumei by Ikeido Jun
Cast: Anne, Kamikawa Takaya, Tsukaji Muga, Enoki Takaaki, Komoto Masahiro, Osugi Ren, Namase Katsuhisa, Kimura Yoshino (guest star), Tanaka Kei (guest star), Iida Kisuke (guest star), Toda Keiko (guest star)
Synopsis: Hanasaki Mai (Anne) is a bank employee with no status or power. However, her personality is such that she will bluntly tell even her superiors “This is wrong” if something is incorrect. In her job, she goes around to branch offices where problems such as missing money, information leaks and loan troubles crop up and settles the incidents and scandals with Soma Ken (Kamikawa Takaya), her superior and a veteran bank employee who has dropped off the career track. Mai does not care who the other party she is standing up to is, if this is for the sake of the distressed and vulnerable that cannot say, “This is wrong”.
Website: www.ntv.co.jp/hanasakimai1
Related: Hanasaki Mai ga Damattenai Season 2


Ore no Dandyism
Date: From 11.58 p.m., Wednesdays, 16 April 2014
Station: TV Tokyo
Scriptwriter: Horita Nobu (Real Dasshutsu Game)
Cast: Takito Kenichi, Ishibashi Anna, Maekawa Yasuyuki, Panzetta Girolamo, Moriguchi Yoko
Synopsis: 41-year-old section manager Danta Ichiro (Takito Kenichi) hears a new hire Miyamoto Minami (Ishibashi Anna), whom he secretly likes, remark that she prefers dandies. Resolving to become one, he reads every male fashion magazine he can lay his hands on. He is struggling hard with a rather questionable course in dandyism when he discovers ‘Madam M’, an intriguing shop which deals in the whole range of articles for gentlemen. The mysterious female shop owner Miyuki (Moriguchi Yoko) kindly teaches him about the history of the merchandise, her extensive knowledge and the latest popular lineup. Danta instinctively fantasises himself garbed in these items on a date with Minami, and then proceeds to make a purchase. However, he does not know that Minami has a secret … …
Website: www.tv-tokyo.co.jp/dandyism

Keiji 110 kg Season 2
Date: From 7.58 p.m., Thursdays, 17 April 2014
Station: TV Asahi
Scriptwriter: Onishi Kenichi (Keiji 110 kg Season 1, Iryu Sousa Series, Rinjo Series), Ishihara Buryu (Keiji 110 kg Season 1, Hanchou Series), Morosawa Kazuyuki (Shiawase ni Naritai, Attack No. 1), Tokunaga Yuichi (Umi no Ue no Shinryoujo, Detarame Hero, Keiji 110 kg Season 1)
Cast: Ishizuka Hidehiko, Nakamura Shunsuke, Ishimaru Kenjiro, Jinnai Sho, Hoshino Mari, Inoue Waka, Takahata Atsuko
Synopsis: Hanazawa Taro (Ishizuka Hidehiko) is now a detective of a special unit of Kyoto Prefectural Police’s First Investigative Division. Unconcerned about being a novice in investigations, he uses his physique and smile to get close to people and search the inner recesses of their hearts. He quickly identifies discrepancies and solves cases. There were times in his first year as a detective when he failed and had regrets, but he has increasingly honed his acumen and powers of deduction through interactions with all sorts of suspects. He figures out the criminal faster than anyone else and investigates someone from a perspective that no one notices.
Website: www.tv-asahi.co.jp/110kg


Date: From 8.00 p.m., Thursdays, 10 April 2014
Station: NHK
Scriptwriter: Moriwaki Kyoko (Last Dinner, Dandan), Okamoto Takaya
Original Work: Ginnikan by Takada Kaoru
Cast: Hayashi Kento, Matsuoka Mayu, Ashida Mana, Ishiguro Ken, Kazama Shunsuke, Shiomi Sansei, Tsugawa Masahiko
Synopsis: In the merchant town of Osaka Tenma, Matsukichi (Hayashi Kento) loses his father (Ishiguro Ken), a former samurai, in an act of revenge. Just as he is also on the verge of being attacked, he is rescued by Wasuke (Tsugawa Masahiko) who happened to be present. Wasuke, the owner of a gelatin wholesale store called Igawaya, had saved him with precious silver currency which had been scraped together to rebuild the Tenmangu which was burnt down in a great fire. In order to survive, Matsukichi becomes an apprentice at Igawaya. However, his heart wavers over going the way of a merchant … … Wasuke and his clerk Zenjiro (Shiomi Sansei) are strict in training and disciplining Matsukichi as a merchant. Matsukichi slowly embarks on the path of a merchant and grows up as he overcomes various incidents concerning the reputation of the small gelatin wholesale store. He also develops a crush on Maho (Matsuoka Mayu/Ashida Mana), the daughter of a customer. With the support of Maho and other good-hearted people, he aspires to create a new gelatin, but a great fire strikes the town once again.
Website: www.nhk.or.jp/jidaigeki/gin2kan


Mozu Season 1 ~ Mozu no Sakebu Yoru
Date: From 9.00 p.m., Thursdays, 10 April 2014
Station: TBS
Scriptwriter: Nishi Kosuke (Galileo Season 2, Kagi no Kakatta Heya)
Original Work: Mozu no Sakebu Yoru & Maboroshi no Tsubasa by Osaka Go
Cast: Nishijima Hidetoshi, Kagawa Teruyuki, Maki Yoko, Namase Katsuhisa, Yoshida Kotaro, Ito Atsushi, Arimura Kasumi, Ikematsu Sosuke, Okunuki Kaoru, Toda Masahiro, Tsurumi Shingo, Sometani Shota, Taguchi Hiromasa, Tanaka Yoji, Horiuchi Keiko, Sugisaki Hana, Otozuki Kei, Abe Tsuyoshi, Sagawa Tetsuro, Shinagawa Toru, Hasegawa Hiroki, Ishida Yuriko, Kohinata Fumiyo
Synopsis: Inspector Kuraki Naotake (Nishijima Hidetoshi) is the Public Security Division’s ace who lost his beloved wife Chihiro (Ishida Yuriko) in a bombing incident; Assistant Inspector Osugi Ryota (Kagawa Teruyuki) is the honest to a fault detective who worked his way up the ranks; and Akeboshi Miki (Maki Yoko) is the Public Security officer who holds the key to solve the case. Various incidents occur in the course of their investigation: the professional killer Mozu’s mysterious existence; a tragedy associated with a covert operation of the Public Security Division; and a scheme which rocks the nation.
Website: www.tbs.co.jp/mozu_tbs
Related: Mozu Season 2 ~ Maboroshi no Tsubasa


Border ~ Keishichou Sousa Ikka Satsujinhan Sousa Dai 4-gakari
Date: From 9.00 p.m., Thursdays, 10 April 2014
Station: TV Asahi
Scriptwriter: Kaneshiro Kazuki (SP Series)
Cast: Oguri Shun, Aoki Munetaka, Haru, Endo Kenichi, Furuta Arata, Takito Kenichi, Nomaguchi Toru, Hamano Kenta, Hirata Mitsuru (guest star), Kudo Kankuro (guest star)
Synopsis: Detective Ishikawa Ango (Oguri Shun) took a bullet to the head in a shooting incident and died once. However, he was miraculously resuscitated and the bullet was left in his brain. Although there is no change to his unpredictable condition, Ishikawa soon returns to detective work. Before long, he discovers that he has the special ability to communicate with the dead and is initially bewildered. But he learns truths about cases that no one knows, guided by the voices of the dead.
Website: www.tv-asahi.co.jp/border


Saigo kara Nibanme no Koi Season 2
Date: From 10.00 p.m., Thursdays, 17 April 2014
Station: Fuji TV
Scriptwriter: Okada Yoshikazu (Renai Dorama o Mouichido, Nakuna, Hara-chan, Saigo kara Nibanme no Koi Season 1)
Cast: Koizumi Kyoko, Nakai Kiichi, Sakaguchi Kenji, Uchida Yuki, Kase Ryo, Hasegawa Kyoko, Shibata Rie, Kubota Maki, Matsuo Satoru, Satsukawa Aimi, Shiramoto Ayana, Sakamoto Makoto, Hiroyama Kotoha, Suzuki Takayuki, Tanaka Ohga, Orimoto Junkichi, Watanabe Makiko, Moriguchi Hiroko, Asano Kazuyuki, Iijima Naoko, Ono Machiko (guest star)
Synopsis: TV drama producer Yoshino Chiaki is now 48 and still single. Nagakura Wahei who works at the Tourist Promotion Department of Kamakura City’s municipal office is 52. When combined, their total age adds up to 100. And yet, these two still constantly bicker whenever they meet. This is the story of adult youth revolving around the subtle romance between Chiaki and Wahei.
Website: www.fujitv.co.jp/nibanmeno_koi
Related: Saigo kara Nibanme no Koi Season 1

Tokyo Guard Centre
Date: From 11.00 p.m., Thursdays, 10 April 2014
Station: dlife
Scriptwriter: Oishi Tetsuya (Keiji no Manazashi, Perfect Blue, Platinum Town)
Cast: Yanagiba Toshiro, Nakamura Aoi, Takanashi Rin, Kubozuka Shunsuke, Tsutsumishita Atsushi, Ito Kazue, Ono Takehiko
Synopsis: Tokura Shinjitsu (Yanagiba Toshiro) is the head of a guard centre which responds to emergency alerts from security systems at any hour of day or night. The guard centre has to quickly and accurately decide which are serious and which are practical jokes. As the boss of the tense operations room, Tokura is calm and decisive, and his subordinates have strong faith in him. On the other hand, he is an elusive, comical person.
Website: www.dlife.jp/tgc


Tokubou ~ Keisatsuchou Tokushu Bouhan-ka
Date: From 11.59 p.m., Thursdays, 3 April 2014
Station: NTV
Original Work: Tokubo Asakura Sohei by Takahashi Hidebu
Cast: Ihara Tsuyoshi, Matsushita Kohei, Adachi Yumi, Takuma Takayuki
Synopsis: This world is full of vermin. Wrongdoings by ordinary people run rampant. Food mislabelling, high school girls’ compensated dating, businesses that exploit employees, law-evading drugs … … There is a man who keeps on fighting despite lamenting about the high number of cases. He is Asakura Sohei (Ihara Tsuyoshi) of the Community Safety Bureau’s Special Crime Prevention Division at the National Police Agency. Because the Special Crime Prevention Division, which is also known as Tokubou, only has two persons, even the police do not know what it does. On the outside, it seems like an easy position. However, evil that is not brought to justice is his enemy. Tokubou’s mission behind the scenes is to exterminate this vermin which everyone wants to eliminate but have little choice except to let it go unchecked.
Website: www.ytv.co.jp/tokubou


Kamiya Genjiro Torimono Hikae Season 1
Date: From 8.00 p.m., Fridays, 4 April 2014
Station: NHK BS Premium
Scriptwriter: Furuta Motomu (Damashie Utaramro, Kurama Tengu), Watanabe Yoshinori
Original Work: Kiri no Hate ~ Kamiya Genjiro Torimono Hikae by Fujisawa Shuhei
Cast: Takahashi Mitsuomi, Nakagoshi Noriko, Yamazaki Shigenori, Hasegawa Tomoharu, Ono Takehiko, Kishimoto Kayoko, Nakamura Baijaku
Synopsis: Kamiya Genjiro (Takahashi Mitsuomi), a constable of Kitamachi Magistrate’s Office who patrols the streets of Edo, has a reputation within the magistrate’s office of being an entirely dissolute man. But because he probes and solves cases by himself at all hours with exceptional powers of deduction, even his superiors who call him “good-for-nothing” would depend on him when it comes to complicated cases. There is something that Genjiro has privately decided on. He will arrest the criminal who killed his mother and younger sister 14 years ago and bring this case to a close. At that time, the magistrate’s office had investigated in order to capture the criminal. But the investigation was suspended due to pressure from the top. Genjiro supposes that a rather important person is connected to the truth of the case and sets out to shed light on the incident.
Website: www.nhk.or.jp/jidaigeki/kamiya
Related: Kamiya Genjiro Torimono Hikae Season 2


Tsuma wa, Kunoichi ~ Saishusho
Date: From 8.00 p.m., Fridays, 23 May 2014
Station: NHK BS Premium
Scriptwriter: Kaneko Narito (Tsuma wa, Kunoichi, Sarutobi Sansei, Keiji Teinen)
Original Work: Tsuma wa, Kunoichi by Kazeno Machio
Cast: Ichikawa Somegoro, Takimoto Miori, Wada Soko, Maiko, Takuma Takayuki, Nakajima Hiroko, Horibe Keisuke, Matsuo Reiko, Segawa Ryo, Kajihara Zen, Wakamura Mayumi, Tanaka Min
Synopsis: Former Hirado domain astronomer Futaboshi Hikoma (Ichikawa Somegoro) came to Edo in pursuit of the female ninja Orie (Takimoto Miori) who married him in order to carry out secret surveillance on the domain. His sincere love for Orie awakens her love, and her mother Masae (Wakamura Mayumi) ends up exchanging her own life so that Orie can break free from being a ninja. This is successful and the couple are briefly reunited. But Orie’s superior Kawamura Shinichiro (Wada Soko) relentlessly sends pursuers in an attempt to capture her for breaking the ninja code. Although Hikoma and Orie have feelings for each other, it is difficult for them to be together. Orie starts to believe that even though she loves Hikoma, she will cause trouble for him if she lives. As their feelings entwine and entangle, they reach the day of the final showdown for their love.
Website: www.nhk.or.jp/jidaigeki/kunoichi2
Related: Tsuma wa, Kunoichi

Maruho no Onna ~ Houken Hanzai Chousain
Date: From 8.00 p.m., Fridays, 11 April 2014
Station: TV Tokyo
Scriptwriter: Hata Takehiko (Danda Rin, Otousan wa Nido Shinu, Summer Rescue)
Cast: Natori Yuko, Aso Yumi, Ukaji Takashi
Synopsis: Kashiwagi Natsuko (Natori Yuko), who has stayed in the US for a long time, is a new investigator of Adjust Research, an insurance investigation firm. She possesses scientific genius and vast personal wealth, but has a tendency to feel out of place in Japanese society which is overly logical. On the other hand, Tono Aki (Aso Yumi) is a veteran investigator in the same company. Born in the old part of Tokyo and a former delinquent, she is rather stingy because she lived in poverty when she was growing up. However, she has superb memory and animal instincts. Natsuko and Aki make an odd combination as they confront ingenious crimes associated with insurance money and expose the truth.
Website: www.tv-tokyo.co.jp/official/maruho


Alice no Toge
Date: From 10.00 p.m., Fridays, 11 April 2014
Station: TBS
Scriptwriter: Takahashi Maki (Pin to Kona, Itsuka Hi no Ataru Basho de, Fuyu no Sakura)
Cast: Ueno Juri, Odagiri Joe, Kuriyama Chiaki, Nakamura Aoi, Nakamura Baijaku, Fujiwara Norika, Iwaki Koichi, Kunimura Jun, Tanaka Naoki, Mashima Hidekazu
Synopsis: Osanai Takao (Mashima Hidekazu), the father of Mizuno Asumi (Ueno Juri) was driven to his death by doctors at a university hospital. Abandoning everything, including love as well as her future, Asumi puts her life on the line and uses her strong will and wits to seek revenge against his unscrupulous doctors who covered up the medical malpractice. Date Risa (Fujiwara Norika), the ace of the university hospital’s gastroenterological surgery department, is one of them. The beautiful Risa is very popular with the mass media because of her skills and beauty, and also engaged to a younger, handsome company president. Everyone is envious of this perfect doctor … … or so they think. Beneath the surface, is a woman who would ignore cover ups of mistakes in order to ingratiate herself with those with power and to advance her career.
Website: www.tbs.co.jp/drama/alice2014


Date: From 11.15 p.m., Fridays, 18 April 2014
Station: TV Asahi
Scriptwriter: Hashimoto Hiroshi (Sennyuu Tantei Tokage, Unmei no Hito, Juui Doolittle)
Original Work: Shinigami-kun by Endo Koichi
Cast: Ohno Satoshi, Kiritani Mirei, Suda Masaki, Matsushige Yutaka, Ohara Sakurako (guest star), Takada Riho (guest star), Watanabe Shu (guest star), Okayama Hajime (guest star), Iketani Nobue (guest star), Anami Atsuko (guest star)
Synopsis: Shinigami-kun (Ohno Satoshi), alias grim reaper #413, is a rookie who pronounces the death of those scheduled to die and brings souls to the nether world. He would appear with the signature phrase “Congratulations! I’m here to call on you” although it is hard to say how this can be a happy occasion, and watch over the dying. To a grim reaper, persuading people attempting to commit suicide and preventing unforeseen deaths is also an important task. But because #413 is new to this grim reaper work, he has a tendency to lean towards humans in his judgments, break the rules of the nether world and get reprimanded by his superior (Kiritani Mirei).
Website: www.tv-asahi.co.jp/shinigamikun


River’s Edge Okawabata Tanteisha
From: From 12.12 a.m., Saturdays, 19 April 2014
Station: TV Tokyo
Scriptwriter: One Hitoshi (Mahori Eki-mae Bangaichi, Moteki, Yukemuri Sniper)
Original Work: River’s Edge Okawabata Tanteisha by Hijikata Yuho
Cast: Odagiri Joe, Ishibashi Nenji, Koizumi Maya, Yabe Kyosuke (guest star), Makita Sports (guest star), Hoshino Akari (guest star), Iwai Hideto (guest star), Uchida Chika (guest star), Koike Rina (guest star)
Synopsis: Okawabata Detective Agency is located in a multi-tenant building along the Sumida River in Asakusa, Tokyo. It is a small detective agency with three persons. Muraki (Odagiri Joe) the investigator, the boss (Ishibashi Nenji) who is familiar with the underworld but has a background completely shrouded in mystery, and the refreshingly cheerful and beautiful receptionist Megumi (Koizumi Maya). They investigate unfathomable requests that pour in from all sorts of people. At times, they are also approached with consultations deemed physically impossible. However, they search for their own solutions in the investigations as they slowly come in contact with the complex web of interpersonal relationships as well as hidden backgrounds of their clients and the people around them.
Website: www.tv-tokyo.co.jp/ookawabata


Yowakutemo, Katemasu ~ Aoshi-sensei to Heppoko Koukoukyuuji no Yabou
Date: From 9.00 p.m., Saturdays, 12 April 2014
Station: NTV
Scriptwriter: Kuramochi Yutaka (Nobunaga no Chef, 13-sai no Hello Work)
Original Work: Yowakutemo, Katemasu ~ Kaisei Koukou Yakyuu no Theory by Takahashi Hidemine
Cast: Ninomiya Kazunari, Fukushi Sota, Arimura Kasumi, Nakajima Yuto, Yamazaki Kento, Hongo Kanata, Mamiya Shotaro, Sakurada Dori, Suzuki Katsuhiro, Yanagi Shuntaro, Hiraoka Takuma, Yakushimaru Hiroko, Aso Kumiko, Mitsuishi Ken, Arakawa Yoshiyoshi, Kawahara Kazuhisa, Sasano Takashi, Ichikawa Ebizo
Synopsis: Tamo Aoshi (Ninomiya Kazunari) is a substitute teacher at his alma mater, a prestigious private high school which admits 200 students to Tokyo University every year. He becomes the coach of the weak baseball club which has only five members and has never won a game since it was established. The highest number of times they have thrown the ball back and forth without dropping it is nine. They prefer the outfield because the infield is scary. Furthermore, they practice on the grounds only three hours a week. At other times, they study, study and study. But they love baseball. Finding them interesting and strange creatures, Aoshi decides that he will give his charges victory, guided by his offbeat theory “triumph is possible even if weak”. And then they seriously set their sights on the annual nationwide high school baseball championship with their brand of preposterous baseball.
Website: www.ntv.co.jp/katemasu


The Long Goodbye
From: From 9.00 p.m., Saturdays, 19 April 2014
Station: NHK
Scriptwriter: Watanabe Aya (Carnation)
Original Work: Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler
Cast: Asano Tadanobu, Ayano Go, Koyuki, Furuta Arata, Tominaga Ai, Ota Rina, Takito Kenichi, Taguchi Tomorowo, Fukushima Rira, Iwamatsu Ryo, Denden, Izumisawa Yuki, Yabe Kyosuke, Horibe Keisuke, Watanabe Daichi, Ishida Eri, Endo Kenichi, Yoshida Kotaro, Emoto Akira
Synopsis: Private investigator Masuzawa Banji’s (Asano Tadanobu) good friend Harada Tamotsu (Ayano Go) is suspected of murdering his actress wife Shizuka (Ota Rina). Tamotsu escapes to Taiwan where he commits suicide. Banji has doubts about his death, but the case is hushed up by media mogul Harada Heizo (Emoto Akira). After that, Banji gets involved with the Haradas neighbours in another case and finally arrives at the rare beauty Aiko (Koyuki) who holds the key to the heart of the case. The case appears to be settled, but … …
Website: www.nhk.or.jp/dodra/goodbye


55-sai kara no Hello Life
Date: From 9.00 p.m., Saturdays, 14 June 2014
Station: NHK
Scriptwriter: Omori Sumio (Nezumi, Edo o Hashiru, Akumu-chan, Tempest), Kawasaki Izumi (Nezumi, Edo o Hashiru, Higashino Keigo Mysteries)
Original Work: 55-sai kara no Hello Life by Murakami Ryu
Cast: Lily Franky, Fubuki Jun, Harada Mieko, Kobayashi Kaoru, Issey Ogata
Synopsis: A 5-part omnibus drama about the wishes of the middle-aged on growing old. Everyone (Lily Franky, Fubuki Jun, Harada Mieko, Kobayashi Kaoru, Issey Ogata) has passed the halfway mark but despite their anxieties about the future, they search for new paths without flinching away those insecurities. Reemployment, the death of a pet, spouse hunting in old age, love in old age, separation from a good friend. Is it possible to make a fresh start in life?
Website: www.nhk.or.jp/dodra/hellolife


First Class Season 1
Date: From 11.10 p.m., Saturdays, 19 April 2014
Station: Fuji TV
Scriptwriter: Watanabe Chiho (Saki, Saikou no Jinsei no Owarikata, Namae o Nakushita Megami)
Cast: Sawajiri Erika, Nakamaru Yuichi, Sasaki Nozomi, Nanao, Ishida Nicole, Yui Ryoko, Miura Rieko, Hirayama Hiroyuki, Tabata Tomoko, Itaya Yuka, Lilico (guest star), Takaoka Saki (guest star)
Synopsis: Yoshinari Chinami (Sawajiri Erika), who has been selling buttons and fabric at a clothing material store in an old neighbourhood of Tokyo, unexpectedly finds herself working at the editorial division of a fashion magazine and is thrilled. The fashion industry is a dazzling world which she has never seen before. But what opens up to her is a terrifying den of demons where females prey on each other day after day … … From the low-level person who has to do odd jobs for a lifetime to the uppermost level which manipulates magazines and advertisements at will, it is an industry of dramatic disparities. It is also a ridiculous female world where women assign ratings and rankings change everyday. The only way to survive in this harsh place is to be “first class”. Chinami’s only friend is the assistant photographer Nishihara Itsuki (Nakamaru Yuichi). Will she be able to to find happiness in this fashion hell?
Website: www.fujitv.co.jp/firstclass
Related: First Class Season 2

Shark Season 2
Date: From 12.50 a.m., Sundays, 20 April 2014
Station: NTV
Scriptwriter: Kuwamura Sayaka (Shark, Mirai Nikki), Hayafune Kaeko (Biblia Koshodou no Jiken Techou, Mirai Nikki, Lucky Seven)
Cast: Shigeoka Daiki, Hamada Takahiro, Kamiyama Tomohiro, Yasui Kentaro, Abe Aran, Hagiya Keigo, Jinguji Yuta, Iwahashi Genki, Matsukura Kaito, Negishi Aomi, Ujiki Tsuyoshi, Okada Koki, Toyohara Kosuke
Synopsis: Shark has to take a hiatus without a major debut until Kurata Mizuki (Hirano Sho) makes a full recovery. Cloud5 is a popular four-member rock band led by bassist Irie Saku (Shigeoka Daiki). The band has garnered support centre around Yuto (Abe Aran) from female fans since its debut. However, its melody is different from its indie days in order to sell well. Cloud5 member Kota (Yasui Kentaro), who is also Saku’s good friend, is unhappy performing the song written by the producer Matsuyuki (Toyohara Kosuke). The song is also not like a Cloud5 ballad but Saku insists on going with the song arranged by Matsuyuki. Furthermore, a promise made in their childhood is betrayed and Kota commits an act of violence … …
Website: www.ntv.co.jp/shark2
Related: Shark Season 1


Roosevelt Game
Date: From 9.00 p.m., Sundays, 27 April 2014
Station: TBS
Scriptwriter: Yatsu Hiroyuki (Hanzawa Naoki, Runaway, Tomorrow)
Original Work: Roosevelt Game by Ikeido Jun
Cast: Karasawa Toshiaki, Dan Rei, Ishimaru Kanji, Rokkaku Seiji, Tezuka Toru, Kojima Kazuya, Yamamoto Akira, Takahashi Kazuya, Kosuda Yasuto, Wada Masato, Suda Kunihiro, Sato Yuki, Baba Toru, Ohashi Ichizo, Kobashi Tadayoshi, Katayama Ryo, Iwama Takatsugu, Kitadai Takashi, Hinokio Kenta, Kora Wataru, Kisarazu Yohei, Kubo Takamasa, Ashiki Shunsuke, Ouchida Yuhei, Hayashi Tsuyoshi, Matsufuji Kazunari, Suzuki Nobuyuki, Makita Sports, Hirose Alice, Mine Ryuta, Tategawa Danshun, Eguchi Yosuke, Yamazaki Tsutomu
Synopsis: Hosokawa Mitsuru (Karasawa Toshiaki) is the company president of Aoshima Manufacturing, a medium-sized precision instrument maker caught in a crisis of survival due to the recession and intense competition with other companies in the industry. Hosokawa joined Aoshima Manufacturing mid-career. His ability was appreciated by the founder and chairman, Aoshima Tsuyoshi (Yamazaki Tsutomu) and he became the president through an unprecedented promotion. However, Hosokawa’s promotion over all other executives who have been at Aoshima Manufacturing all their lives is greatly criticised by the people in the company. Shortly after he assumed his post, the world is plunged into a recession which has its roots in a financial crisis, and Aoshima Manufacturing is no exception. Its business falters. Hosokawa has to face the ordeal of betting on the company’s survival as its president. How will he overcome life’s greatest predicament?
Website: www.tbs.co.jp/ROOSEVELT_GAME

Bungo no Shokusai
Date: From 9.00 p.m., Sundays, 30 March 2014
Station: BS Japan
Scriptwriter: –
Original Work: Bungo no Shokusai by Mibu Atsushi
Cast: Katsumura Masanobu, Nukumizu Yoichi, Konno Narumi
Synopsis: Kawanaka Keizo (Katsumura Masanobu), a Maichou Shimbun reporter, is transferred from the political desk at headquarters to Fukagawa Bureau, and he decides to try to do what he loves. Kawanaka draws on his interest as an epicurean to submit a proposal which combines literary figures and food. It is a record to describe the hunt for unknown aspects of the lifestyles and natures of Nagai Kafu, Dazai Osamu and other literary giants through the writings they left about various food. Kawanaka’s editor Kuroda (Nukumizu Yoichi), who shares the same interest in eating, readily gives the green light for his proposal.
Website: www.bs-j.co.jp/official/bungonoshokusai


Watashi to iu Unmei ni Tsuite
Date: From 10.00 p.m., Sundays, 23 March 2014
Station: WOWOW
Scriptwriter: Okada Yoshikazu (Starman Kono Hoshi no Koi, Nakuna, Hara-chan, Saigo kara Nibanme no Koi)
Original Work: Watashi to iu Unmei ni Tsuite by Shiraishi Kazufumi
Cast: Nagasaku Hiromi, Eguchi Yosuke, Miyamoto Nobuko, Ikeuchi Hiroyuki, Miura Takahiro, Ota Rina, Fujisawa Ema, Shiomi Sansei, Moriyama Ryoko
Synopsis: Fuyuki Aki (Nagasaku Hiromi), a career woman, lived through the turbulent times after the collapse of bubble economy including various historical events such as 9/11 and the Niigata Chuetsu-Oki earthquake. The people around her – family, boyfriends and friends – were also at the mercy of the period and troubles in life.
Website: www.wowow.co.jp/dramaw/unmei


Sono Hi no Maeni
Date: From 10.00 p.m., Sundays, 23 March 2014
Station: NHK BS Premium
Scriptwriter: Nakatani Mayumi (Last Cinderella, Water Boys)
Original Work: Sono Hi no Maeni by Shigematsu Kiyoshi
Cast: Sasaki Kuranosuke, Dan Rei, Miyazaki Yoshiko, Hayashi Kohei, Sawada Riku, Yoshida Kotaro, Kondo Yoshimasa  
Synopsis: Harada Kazumi (Dan Rei) is diagnosed with terminal cancer and given a year to live. With the time that she has left, she and her husband Kensuke (Sasaki Kuranosuke) visit the neighbouhood where they lived as newlyweds who never gave a thought to death. During this trip, the couple not only affirm their memories but also focus on each other’s future. Before long, that day approaches … … People have to overcome bereavement and live on with positivity.
Website: www.nhk.or.jp/drama/sonohi


Kohiya no Hitobito
Date: From 10.00 p.m., Sundays, 6 April 2014
Station: NHK BS Premium
Scriptwriter: Watanabe Chiho (Saki, Iki mo Dekinai Natsu, Namae o Nakushita Megami)
Original Work: Kohiya no Hitobito and Choppokena Koi by Ikenaga Yo
Cast: Takahashi Katsunori, Kimura Tae, Kurashina Kana, Yashima Norita, Watanabe Eri, Yoshiyuki Kazuko, Kobayashi Nenji
Synopsis: The retro cafe, Kohiya, stands inconspicuously in a shopping street in Tokyo’s old downtown district. People who crowd at this cafe bring their problems and troubles, and drama takes place. The coffee which the cafe’s owner Soda Kosuke (Takahashi Katsunori) puts his heart into, is a miraculous cup that can make these people come to grips with their troubles and the heart happy. Kosuke has a big emotional scar. At that moment, a woman called Fuyuko (Kimura Tae) appears in front of him. She visits frequently and only to drink his delicious coffee and Kosuke gradually grows interested in her. However, he learns of Fuyuko’s true identity … …
Website: www.nhk.or.jp/drama/coffee-ya


Date: From 10.00 p.m., Sundays, 25 May 2014
Station: NHK BS Premium
Scriptwriter: Nojima Shinji (49, Gold, Love Shuffle)
Cast: Nakayama Miho, Domoto Tsuyoshi, Koizumi Kotaro, Nagano Mei, Bitoh Isao, Omi Toshinori, Yoshida Eisaku, Kaga Mariko
Synopsis: Sara (Nakayama Miho) is a single mother who has lived only for her daughter. Her daughter suffers from heart disease, and she desperately wishes for treatment. One day, a mysterious youth (Domoto Tsuyoshi) appears before mother and daughter, saying that he wants to save the daughter’s life. Sara falls in love with him. Will Sara and the young man arrive at a great love or tragic death?
Website: www.nhk.or.jp/drama/platonic


Date: From 10.00 p.m., Sundays, 11 May 2014
Station: WOWOW
Scriptwriter: Suzuki Satoshi (Poison, Himitsu Chouhouin Erika)
Original Work: Tokusou by Yura Hideyuki
Cast: Yoshioka Hidetada, Matobu Sei, Yoshizawa Hisashi, Fukami Motoki, Hasegawa Tomoharu, Sano Shiro, Yajima Kenichi, Denden, Saiki Shigeru, Matsushige Yutaka, Miura Tomokazu
Synopsis: Special prosecutors are called the most powerful investigating authority. Oda Toshiya (Yoshioka Hidetada) has transferred over from the Chiba Public Prosecutors Office and is quickly assigned to the team led by Onizuka Tsuyoshi (Miura Tomokazu), the deputy of the Special Investigation Department. Onizuka’s elite unit has set to work on a bribery case involving Dainippon Construction, a major construction company which was responsible for the construction of a dam, and a prefectural governor. Oda has misgivings about Onizuka’s investigation and embarks on his own search. He finally arrives at a subcontractor but …
Website: www.wowow.co.jp/dramaw/tokusou


Mosaic Japan
Date: From 11.00 p.m., Sundays, 18 May 2014
Station: WOWOW
Scriptwriter: Sakamoto Yuji (Woman, Saikou no Rikon, Mother)
Cast: Nagayama Kento, Takahashi Issei, Hamakawa Fumie, Miyaji Mao, Anan Kenji, Sakimoto Hiromi, Tsuchiya Yuichi, Kanzaki Saori, Tateishi Junko, Akiyama Taana, Kinoshita Houka, Negishi Toshie, Kiba Katsumi
Synopsis: Tsunematsu Riichi (Nagayama Kento), who was laid off by a Tokyo securities firm, returns to his hometown which has evidently become lively. He finds another job at Galaxyz on the recommendation of his parents. But just as Riichi starts work, he realises that the up-and-coming company led by the young company president Kui Yoshiaki (Takahashi Issei) deals with adult videos! The beautiful women wearing very short uniforms at the workplace are actually AV actresses, and filming takes place everywhere while on the job. Riichi gets caught up in this small town which has profited from the sex industry and experiences ruin, success, despair and pleasure.
Website: www.wowow.co.jp/dramaw/mosaicjapan

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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 2014 Dramas. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Spring 2014 Dramas

  1. Rootabega says:

    Whoa, whoa, whoa….did I just read Asano Tadanobu is appearing in a dorama?? He never slums on the teevee, like ever. I see it’s “The Long Goodbye”. I am a Raymond Chandler fanatic and I hope this dorama, unlike so many recent “hardboiled” tantei shows, won’t drag the late, great master’s name through the mud. Maybe Asano-san’s gonna start appearing on TV more like his agency mate, Ryo Kase. Hmmm, could be a mixed blessing.

    • jadefrost says:

      Yes Asano Tadanobu! It’s a coup for NHK. At least he chose to make his appearance on a network that has had some pretty well made dramas (if we forget about the recent disaster that was Gekiryuu).

  2. megarasama says:

    Hmmm….a lot of cop and detective dramas…

  3. Dan T says:

    Saigo Kara Nibanme no Koi is getting a sequel this April, woohoo!

  4. lontong.stroong says:

    Wow, lots of sequels up there. Maybe hinting lack of ideas?

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