As we barely recover from the summer, the fall blows in and sends us into a frenzy to catalogue all the new dramas on the horizon. Thankfully, there are some dramas that have gotten so much buzz no one will forget they’re coming but there are several that get swept beneath the fodder of the big fat idol drenched sagas. I for one always keep my options open and even manage to surprise myself with what tickles my gut or dusts my lids with each passing season. So I’ve rounded up a little bit of everything for almost everyone and hopefully, no gems will fall through the cracks.
All of these dramas began this past week but I’ve only gotten around to viewing one so far. It’s interesting, however, that most of my most anticipated dramas won’t even find themselves in this post because they won’t be cropping up until the following week. Either way, this list is of dramas that I will definitely be keeping my eyes on, watching and writing about in the weeks to come.
Danda Rin Labour Standards Inspector
Synopsis: Follows main character Labour Standards Inspector Rin Danda whose job it is to protect the workers.
Cast: Takeuchi Yuko, Matsuzaka Tori, Kazama Shunsuke, Mizuhashi Kenji, Triendl Reina, Sano Shiro, Kitamura Kazuki
Airdate/day: Oct 2
Dokushin Kizoku (Aristocratic Bachelor)
Synopsis: What do you get when you put three happily single people together? This drama depicts three individuals with differing opinions on dating, lifestyle and marriage but when they cross paths, the course of their lives changes drastically.
Cast: Kusanagi Tsuyoshi, Kitagawa Keiko, Ito Hideaki, Fujigaya Taisuke, Renbutsu Misako, Nishihara Aki
Airdate/day: Oct 10 Thurs.
SMAP track at ending credits
To be honest, I can’t see this drama being anything but absolute fun, however, with last year’s Kanno Miho monstrosity, anything is possible. Thankfully, much like Kekkon Shinai, I’m willing to give this drama a try based on cast alone. The premise, of course isn’t anything new given, today it’s believed more and more women are single because marriage doesn’t provide the types of freedoms singleness affords and men too lazy, too chauvinistic or too slutty to consider a comprising relational commitment.
The Ghost-Seeing Detective Cheo Yong
Synopsis: Yoon Cheo-Yong was born with a supernatural ability to see and hear ghosts. He solves mysterious cases with female detective Ha Sun-Woo and female high school student ghost Han Na-Young.
Cast: Oh Ji-Ho, Oh Ji-Eun – Ha Sun-Woo, Jun Hyo-Seong – Han Na-Young, Jun Ji-An – Kim Hye-Sun, Yoo Min-Kyu
Airdate/day: Oct 6 Sun
*** While this drama was set to premiere over a week ago, it’s now been pushed back until the beginning of next year (2014). Not sure what the deal is with that but I wanted to include it for those that were looking but couldn’t find the drama, much like myself.
Synopsis: “The Heirs” depicts the friendships and love lives of young, rich heirs and Cha Eun-Sang, who is considered ordinary and comes from a poor family.
Cast: Lee Min-ho, Park Shin-hye, Kang Minh-hyuk, Kim Woo-bin, Choi Jin-hyuk, Krystal Jung, Kim Ji-won, Kang Ha-eul, Park Hyun-sik
Airdate/day: Oct 9/10 Weds-Thurs
This drama is possibly the most anticipated by younger Kdrama and Kpop fans or those rabid for Lee Min-ho and Kim Woo-bin. I have to admit though that my anticipation for this drama is practically non-existent. However, there is a Distractors Cut in the works for this series just for the simple fact I am convinced I’m going to get a great chuckle out of it.
Keiji no Manazashi
Synopsis: Based on the novel “Keiji no Manazashi” by Gaku Yakumaru, KnM depicts the story of Nobuto Natsume who worked at a youth detention center, but began working as a detective after the age of forty. He begins his new career as a detective in the violent crimes section at Higashi-Ikebukuro Police Station. He listens carefully to those involved in cases & investigates thoroughly to uncover the truth. Veteran Detective Seiichi Fukumori works as Nobuto Natsume’s partner. The crimes they investigate usually relate to families.
Cast: Shiina Kippei, Kaname Jun, Ono Yuriko, Yoshida Yo, Yamada Anna, Nakabayashi Taiki, Yoshiie Akihito, Fujimoto Izumi, Itaya Yuka, Kitamura Yukiya, Matsushige Yutaka
Airdate/day: Oct 7
Take a peek at an the episode here
Synopsis: Based on the manga serial by Koji Kono and Richard Woo, Detective Keita Kurokouchi continues to extort money from politicians whom Keita Kurokouchi has information on. By using his information he is able to crack unsolved cases. Rookie Detective Mayo Seike is excellent with her job and also a bit naive. She conducts an internal investigation on Detective Keita Kurokouchi, but they become partners and work on cases together..
Cast: Nagase Tomoya, Goriki Ayame, Kashii Yuu, Riju Go, Koichi Mantaro, Hasegawa Tomoharu, Kawamura Yosuke, Endo Kaname, Kawakita Mayuko, Watabe Atsuro
Airdate/day: October 11 Fridays
Check out more Kurokouchi here
I am a sucker for anything crime and especially procedural, give the content and complexity, therefore these two dramas go above and beyond feeding that desire for this season. Lately, Jodorama has unwarrantedly procured a bad rap in my book for producing such storylines, for I believe their dramas in this area are up there with some of the vest I’ve seen. Cast has a great deal to do with what can make a decent script, and outstanding drama and Kurokouchi practically bursting with it. Therefore, just considering premise and cast alone, the first will be the lighter fare of the two, with the latter being much more intense on the spectrum in this genre, though neither come across anywhere near child’s play.
Legal High 2
Synopsis: Haruki Hanyu, who worked as a prosecutor, changes sides and becomes an attorney. He opens his law office “NEXUS”. In court, pursues solutions where the plaintiff and defendant can come to a mutual understanding. This differs completely from Kensuke Komikado, who believes only the winner is right. At work, Haruki Hanyu has confrontation a with Machiko Mayuzumi, but still holds personal feelings for.
Cast: Sakai Masato, Aragaki Yui, Okada Masaki, Koyuki, Taguchi Junnosuke, Satomi Kotaro
Airdate/day: Oct 9
I am a huge Sakai Masato fan and try to get my hands on anything and everything he does, so it’s no surprise, I’m picking this drama up. However, I’m not too keen on Aragaki Yui, for I find she is a bit type cast as the know-it-all angry young executive. For some reason, she always cast opposite male actors I can’t pass up and I spend 10+ episodes somewhere between, rabidly allergic and intensely irate, with her. The first season was good fun, with Aragaki’s self-righteousness and Sakai’s self-centeredness butting heads every few minutes or so. Their dynamic works and I don’t foresee it faltering in this second go ’round.
Medical Top Team
Medical dramas aren’t a big draw to me ever, but this cast is one, I’m willing to watch, at least for the first episode or two. I hate that it chose to premiere against Heirs, for the simple fact that intrigue is extremely high for the former and may blow the latter’s numbers to dust. Of course once the fervor breaks and plot kicks in, it’ll be anybody’s game, I just think it would’ve been nice to have the upper-hand of a solid week. But I have to admit, I do rather love the poster. It’s not much different from any other med-poster I’ve seen in the past, but for some reason, these actors pull off the “determined,” “serious” doctor poses, yet none seem inherently unapproachable, so it piques my interest about their characterizations.
Synopsis: “Medical Top Team” depicts the process of treating patients by a team of doctors, considered the best in their fields, as a power struggle ensues in the hospital.
Cast: Kwon Sang-woo, Jung Ryeo-won, Joo Ji-hoon. Oh Yeon-seo, Choi Min-ho, Ahn Nae-sang, Lee Hee-jin
Airdate/day: October 9 Wed-Thurs
Synopsis: Seung-Hee dreams of becoming a drama writer. She receives unemployment benefits from the government. Seung-Hee then meets her first love Jong-Dae, who works at the unemployment benefit center.
Cast: Lee Young- ah, Min Nam -kung, Seo Jun-young, Bae Seul-ki, Jung Seung-Ah , Park Woo-Cheon , Kim Gang-Hyun , Jeon Chang-Gul , Park Jin-Joo , Jeong Jin, Myeong Gye-Nam , Kwon Ki-Seon, Hwang Eun-Jeong, Park Hee Jin
Airdate/day: October 5 Sat.
This is the one drama, I actually sat down to view last week and while I enjoyed it, it also felt a little slow, considered it’s only ten episodes long. The story has all the elements that drama viewers are accustomed, with much newness but it’s cute and I definitely see potential for comedic hijinks. I expect it to be an enjoyable and light watch, which would be highly recommended given the Fall/Winter offerings are usually checkered with more intense and mellow topics. The one thing I found to be my greatest issue was in the first episode alone, I was already sold on the alternative pairing of Lee Young-ah and Seo Jun-young.
Yorozu Uranaidokoro Onmyoya e Yokoso
Synopsis: Shomei Abe, who used to work as a host, is the owner of Fortune-Telling Onmyo Shop, but he doesn’t have any fortune-telling abilities. He is handsome, but he also makes biting remarks. He doesn’t work if the job doesn’t bring in money. Yet when he does work, he solves his customers’ troubles with his excellent talking skills and logical thinking.
Cast: Ryo Nishikido, Kana Kurashina, Yuri Chinen, Yuki Kashiwagi, Taro Suruga, Ichirota Miyagawa, Mari Hamada, Eri Fuse, Yoko Minamino
Airdate/day: October 9 Thurs.
This drama is based on the manga by the same name and I’ll just be honest, that I know nothing much about either, even with the synopsis. I am shallowly turning this on for Ryo Nishikido. Ultimately I hope to be entertained and who knows, if I enjoy the characters and plot enough, it’ll become a new addition to my manga/anime collection.