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Winter dramas 2013 first impressions

Even though first impressions are often wrong, and that what makes a good drama depends mostly on the subsequent episodes, I just felt like writing this post anyway.


1. Jun to Ai (watched ep 1~ 66)

I started on this late. This asadora started in Oct 2012 but I only started to watch this in 2013. I have yet to catch up with the currently airing episodes (NHK just aired the 100th episode today) but I certainly didn't regret watching this.

It's not your typical family drama. There are darker themes embeded within, like Itoshi's unusual ability and his sad past associated with it. There isn't a single slow-paced or useless episode. The show continues to be full of happenings and DRAMA. I think it's paced consistently. Throughout the episodes, we see the development of the characters. The characters in the story really grew on me over time, even Jun's annoying family members because I just can't ever bring myself to hate them (even though I feel like slapping Jun's father and Itoshi's mother sometimes haha).

I love the pairing of Itoshi and Jun. I already started to ship them after watching the first two weeks of episodes and was very happy when they ended up together (Yes, they got married at ep 42!). They have completely opposite personalities but they complement each other well. A favourite quote from the drama goes like this.

「この世には所詮、不完全な男と不完全な女しかいない。だから互いを励ましあい、補いあい、支えあって生きていこう。私の愛があなたを作り、あなたの愛が私を作る。」

This would describe them perfectly, and also for many other couples in the drama. :)
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2. Last Hope (watched ep 1)

I admit, I don't have a liking for Japan's medical dramas. That's because I've had unpleasant experiences with them.

I felt that dramas like 37-sai de Isha ni Natta Boku and Summer Rescue focused a little too much on the politics amongst the management staff in the hospital, rather than the medical and live-saving aspects of what a medical drama should be about. I watched the first episode of Last Hope with apprehension but was glad that it doesn't seem to be the same case here.

The first episode started off a lot better than I expected and introduced all the quirky personalities of the doctors in the medical centre. It certainly kept me interested for more and I expect the following episodes to delve more into the past of each character.

Also, watching the first episode made me HUNGRY for sweets and pastries. It seems that Takumi-sensei's obligatory-3 pm-snack-time will introduce new and different sweets every week. The first episode made me crave for chocolate roll!

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3. Shotenin Michiru no Mi no Uebanashi (watched ep 1)

"Erika cut her hair!!!!!" That was my very first impression of the drama.

Sadly, I have to admit that the first episode was... boring. The idea of a woman having a few love affairs, suddenly winning a 200 million yen lottery one day and experiencing a change in her life from then onwards is interesting, but the delivery of the first episode was not interesting. I find the first episode slightly slow. Some parts which were neither that important nor interesting were stretched out. The lack of background music in some places make the atmosphere seem subdued and quiet.

I will continue to watch this and hope that the subsequent episodes will pick up the pace.

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4. Saikou no Rikon (watched ep 1~2)

Favourite new drama of the season so far. I already knew that I would like it the moment I saw the trailer, one week before the first episode actually aired. Then I watched the first episode and immediately like it a lot.

To me, the best thing about this drama is the background music. I love it! It's quirky, playful, michievous and very delightful. It really suits the tone of the drama, which is a comedy. The interaction amongst the characters in the story is wonderful. There is plenty of humour in the quick-witted retorts and clever conversations which make me laugh before I realise it.

While Shotenin Michiru no Mi no Uebanashi failed at the music and pacing aspects, Saikou no Rikon excelled at both.
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5. Nakuna, Hara-chan (watched ep 1)

The plot isn't difficult. In Nakuna, Hara-chan, there are two worlds.

One is the world that we live in, while the other is the world that the characters of Echizen-san's manga live in. To the manga characters, the latter is the only world which they know. One day, Hara-chan managed to slip through into the real world and it was hilarious watching his reactions to ordinary things (which didn't exist in his world) like a vehicles, dogs, 6-stringed guitars and even songs with an actual melody.

The concept of the story is fun. Hara-chan's curiosity, enthusiasm and straightforwardness pushes the show forward and makes it enjoyable. I enjoyed the first episode a lot. I like Nagase's dramas in general. He fits the role of Hara-chan and I can't imagine anyone else acting as Hara-chan except him. I'm looking forward to the subsequent episodes.