Upcoming Spring 2023 Dramas

Date: From 8.00 a.m., Mondays – Fridays, April 2023
Station: NHK
Scriptwriter: Osada Ikue (Gunjo Ryouiki, Sugu Shinun Dakara)
Directors: Watanabe Yoshio, Tsuda Atsuko
Cast: Kamiki Ryunosuke, Hamabe Minami, Shison Jun, Sakuma Yui, Kasamatsu Sho, Nakamura Riho, Shimazaki Wakako, Terawaki Yasufumi, Hirosue Ryoko, Matsuzaka Keiko
Synopsis: A long-awaited baby boy was born at the end of the Edo Period in 1862 to a wealthy merchant family that runs a brewing business in Kochi Prefecture. He would later become the gifted botanist Makino Mantaro (Kamiki Ryunosuke). Raised by his grandmother Taki (Matsuzaka Keiko) after his parents passed away when he was young, Mantaro loves plants for some reason and adults consider him a curious child. When he is older, Mantaro goes up to Tokyo for the National Industrial Exposition in Ueno. He gets to meet natural historians whom he admires and see precious plants from every region of the country as well as rare plants from overseas. This experience ignites his passion for botany and desire to identify all plants in Japan. Mantaro starts working as an assistant at Tokyo Imperial University’s Department of Botany where he immerses in research. He discovers one new species after another and gives them scientific names. In addition, he falls head over heels in love with Sueko (Hamabe Minami) whose mother runs a confectionary store. They get married and enjoy a happy life blessed with children. However, Mantaro has to deal with harassment by a group of professors who are jealous of his achievements. He also has to go through a rough time including being underpaid because he has no academic qualifications. Despite these challenges, he never loses his passion and single-mindedly presses on for the sake of the plants he loves and his dream of compiling a picture book of plans unique to Japan.
Website: –
Twitter: twitter.com/nhk_dramas

Kazama Kimichika Kyojo Zero
Date: From 9.00 p.m., Mondays, April 2023
Station: Fuji TV
Original Work: Kyojo Series by Nagaoka Hiroki
Scriptwriter: Kimizuka Ryoichi (Kyojo, Kareinaru Spy, Odoru Daisousasen Series)
Director: Nakae Isamu
Cast: Kimura Takuya
Synopsis: Before Kazama Kimichika (Kimura Takuya) took up his role as an instructor at the police academy, he supervised the education of rookie detectives. Through a training system called Kazama Dojo, inexperienced young detectives would suddenly be paired with Kazama and taught detective skills through the investigation of actual murder cases. Crime scenes are the classroom in on the job training. Kazama sees the truth faster than anyone else. By urging the junior detectives to think for themselves, they arrive at the answers and eventually graduate from Kazama Dojo one by one. It will become clear how Kazama became such a merciless person.
Website: www.fujitv.co.jp/kyojo0
Twitter: twitter.com/kazamakyojo
Related: Kyojo

Nagatan to Aoto ~ Ichika no Ryouricho
Date: 11.00 p.m., Fridays, 24 March 2023
Network: WOWOW
Episodes: 10
Original Work: Nagatan to Aoto ~ Ichika no Ryouricho by Isoya Yuki
Scriptwriters: Kawasaki Izumi (Saihate kara Toho 5-hun, Hankei 5 metres, Nibun no Ichi Fuufu), Yuge Isamu
Director: Matsumoto Soushi
Cast: Kadowaki Mugi, Sakuma Ryuto
Synopsis: 34-year-old Ichika’s (Kadowaki Mugi) family runs an established traditional Japanese restaurant in post-war Kyoto. She lost her husband in the war and spends her days working as a chef in a hotel kitchen. One day, she decides to strike it out on her own in the world of Western cuisine but her family’s restaurant faces financial difficulties as the number of customers continue to decline after the war. Marriage with the Yamaguchis, a family that owns hotel(s) in Osaka, is raised in order to save the restaurant. However, the prospective groom turns out to be a 19-year-old university student called Amane (Sakuma Ryuto)! With his outspoken nature, Amane’s interactions with Ichika can best be described as volatile. Nevertheless, she commits to this marriage of convenience for the sake of the restaurant. This is the start of a testy marriage and process of turning around the restaurant’s business.
Website: www.wowow.co.jp/drama/original/nagatantoaoto
Twitter: twitter.com/drama_wowow 

Draft King*UPDATED*
Date: From 10.00 p.m., Saturdays, 8 April 2023
Station: WOWOW
Episodes: 10
Original Work: Draft King by Kuromatsu Tetsuro
Scriptwriter: Suzuki Kenichi (Mikoku wa Utau, Akutou, Bye Bye Blackbird)
Directors: Yamamoto Toru, Yoshikawa Yuta
Cast: Muro Tsuyoshi
Synopsis: Gohara Aura (Muro Tsuyoshi), a scout for the Yokohama Bay Golds, is caustic and self righteous but generally regarded as a hotshot. He flies around the country in search of hidden talent to pick the Draft King – the no. 1 among the players chosen for this year’s draft. Kamiki Ryosuke, a former professional player who is now a rookie scout, and the members of the scout division led by the empathetic Shimobe Rikuo engage in a heated discussion with Gohara in their effort to strengthen the team. Gohara’s arch-enemy Busujima Ryuji, a veteran scout for the Osaka White Tigers who would do anything to accomplish his goals, is also fired up to secure talented players and makes a secret move. Can Gohara and his colleagues find a diamond in the rough and pick the Draft King?
Website: www.wowow.co.jp/drama/original/draftking
Twitter: twitter.com/drama_wowow

Date: 11.30 p.m., Fridays, 24 March 2023
Network: WOWOW
Genre: Suspense
Episodes: 8
Original Work: Utsubora by Nakamura Asumiko
Scriptwriters: Kodera Kasuhisa (Shimbun Kisha, Piple, Mushikago no Jomae), Inoue Kiko (Seigi no Tenbin, Hitori de Nomeru mon!)
Director: Hara Hiroto
Cast: Maeda Atsuko, Fujiwara Kisetsu, Taira Yuna, Okayama Hajime, Takeda Kohei, Hinagata Akiko, Watanabe Ikkei, Kitamura Yukiya  
Synopsis: One day, a beautiful young woman named Fujino Akemi (Maeda Atsuko) mysteriously jumps to her death. Miki Sakura (Maeda Atsuko) who seems to have switched places with Akemi, shows up in front of popular writer Mizorogi Shun (Kitamura Yukiya) and identifies herself as Akemi’s younger twin sister. Mizorogi is basking in the limelight again with a new novel “Utsubora” after being unable to write. But he had actually plagiarised Akemi’s novel. Sakura has the original manuscript of “Utsubora” and she makes some suggestions to him. Mizorogi gets close to her, thinking that she has the next manuscript. However, he is soon driven to the depths of despair. Meanwhile, detectives (Okayama Hajime, Takeda Kohei) pursue the truth of Akemi’s death. The story heads towards an unanticipated conclusion.
Website: www.wowow.co.jp/drama/original/utsubora
Twitter: twitter.com/drama_wowow

Date: From 10.00 p.m., Sundays, 19 March 2023
Network: WOWOW
Episodes: 5
Scriptwriter: Nogi Akiko (MIU404, Unnatural, Nigeru wa Haji da ga Yaku ni Tatsu Series)
Director: Matsumoto Kana
Cast: Matsuoka Mayu, Miyamoto Ariana, Aoki Munetaka, Yonashiro Sho, Higa Nanako, Sakumoto Takara, Nozomi de Lencquesaing, Matsuda Ruka, Nikki, Reina, Dante Carver, Shiser, Yoshida Taeko, Mitsuishi Ken
Synopsis: Magazine writer Komatsu Kie (Matsuoka Mayu) heads to Okinawa to interview Omine Sakura (Miyamoto Ariana), a young woman of mixed race, who reported that she was sexually assaulted by an American soldier. Needing to probe the background of the case as a result of some discrepancies in Sakura’s statement, Kie visits the town where the US army is based and goes to MOAI, the coffee bar that Sakura runs. Pretending to be a tourist, she approaches her. Kie learns that Sakura’s grandmother Yoshi (Yoshida Taeko) has been participating in the peace movement because she went through the Battle of Okinawa, and Sakura’s father is an American soldier. Kie also meets Isa Kenji, a police officer from the Okinawa Prefectural Police, who was Sakura’s customer during the time she worked at a hostess bar in Tokyo, and finds out the harsh reality of criminal investigations relating to the US army. She eventually gets to some truth that is intertwined with Okinawa’s complicated situation.
Website: www.wowow.co.jp/drama/original/fence
Twitter: twitter.com/drama_wowow

Fixer Season 1
Date: From 10.00 p.m., Sundays, April 2023
Network: WOWOW
Episodes: 5
Scriptwriter: Inoue Yumiko (BG Series, Kinkyuu Torishirabeshitsu Series, Pandora Series)
Director: Nishiura Masaki
Cast: Karasawa Toshiaki, Fujiki Naohito, Machida Keita, Koizumi Kotaro, Kaname Jun, Yoshikawa Ai, Saito Yuki, Uchida Yuki, Suruga Taro, Nishida Toshiyuki (guest star), Nagashima Toshiyuki, Tomita Yasuko, Jinnai Takanori, Uchida Yuki, Kobayashi Kaoru 
Synopsis: One night, the car carrying Prime Minister Tonomura Shigeru (Nagashima Toshiyuki) plunges off a cliff. The driver who died in the accident was suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol. In addition, suspicions begin to be raised about its connection to a secret pact surrounding the approval of a new drug. Meanwhile, one man approaches the Prime Minister’s secretary Nakano Hiroki (Fujiki Naohito) who is busy dealing with the accident. This man who is also called Fixer, is Shitara Kenichi (Karasawa Toshiaki). He has covered up the Prime Minister’s scandals in the past and had spoken to him on the phone right before the accident happened. Was this just an accident? Or was it rigged? While newspaper journalist Watanabe Tatsuya (Machida Keita) is absorbed in gathering information, he receives a tip from someone. When Prime Minister Tonomura does not regain consciousness, he is removed from office and the leadership contest begins. As the kingmaker, Kenichi has the ruling party’s candidates in the palm of his hand and starts to seize power.
Website: www.wowow.co.jp/drama/original/fixer1
Twitter: twitter.com/drama_wowow

Grace no Reriki
Date: From 10.00 p.m., Sundays, 19 March 2023
Station: NHK BS Premium
Episodes: 8
Scriptwriter: Minamoto Takashi (Liquid, Kamisama no Boat)
Director: Minamoto Takashi
Cast: Takito Kenichi, Ono Machiko
Synopsis: Hasumi Kikuo (Takito Kenichi) lost his wife Minako (Ono Machiko) in a sudden accident and is left with her beloved car named Grace. After finding far-flung places in the car navigation records which were not part of her routine, he suspects that she was unfaithful and sets out on a journey to trace her routes and unravel the mystery. As he goes to Fujisawa, Matsumoto, Omi Hachiman, Onomichi, Matsuyama, Kikuo digs up the past that he had sealed off everywhere he goes and also starts to perceive Minako’s feelings.
Website: –
Twitter: twitter.com/nhk_dramas

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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.
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