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14 Japanese TV Series You MUST Watch Part 2

Updated on June 30, 2015

Click here for Part 1.

7 Kisarazu Cat's Eye

Synopsis


Kohei just learned that he has cancer and has only several months to live. It prompted him to rethink his life and realized that he has allowed so many fears to run his life. He decides to be bold and daring. He goes to his friends and ask them to join him in stealing from criminals.

Why You Should Watch It


It is a modern day Robin Hood but with a bit more depth and a twisted situation.

  1. Although the premise is about a man with cancer, the disease is not treated with tragedy. It only served as a justification for the rush of their energy but, other than that, there is no sadness. At some point, you will start forgetting about the disease and just focus on the relationships and character growth.
  2. Death is treated as a reality that people should just face rather than get sad about.
  3. This is a classic one and provides a glimpse of the time when Japanese television is transitioning to bolder storylines.

8 RH Plus

Synopsis


Four vampires live together with a goal : Kiyoi is the leader, Masakazu is the intelligence of the group that gets information about information on criminal activities, and Ageha and Makoto are both in highschool. When there are criminal activities that the police can’t handle, they do everything they can to help.

Click here and read about SWAY, one of the greatest Japanese movies I have ever seen.

Why You Should Watch It


This series has received mixed reviews especially after the popularity of the vampire genre. However, this series was able to set itself apart from other vampire-focused shows or movies by highlighting the nature of vampires relationship with their environment and not just their romance.

There is also considerable focus on how they have grown to become a real family whose bond is stronger than biological families in the mortal world.

In other words, there is much more humanity, not just glamourized romance.

9 Train Man (Densha otoko)

Synopsis


An Otaku, a Japanese geek who saves the life of a girl from a drunk man. They encounter each other again and before he knows it, he falls in love. He is not inept with love and women so he asks help from people the knows, the online community. As the digital world advises him on what to do, he fights for the love of his life.

Why You Should Watch It


An Otaku is what Japanese call people who practically live in the “digital” world. They are in front of their computer all day and have barely any contact with the real world.

This s an actual event and it was first turned into a movie. It became such a big hit that it inspired a manga, TV series and other works of art.

More than the popularity, the series boasts of some of the most creative ideas on how to pursue a girl, ideas that can really only come from real people whose world is protected by the innocence of their online world.

Do you know why JYJ left DBSK? Do you know why SS501 broke up? Click here.

10 Trick

Synopsis


A female magician and male physicist teams up to disprove claims of supernatural phenomena. They both have their reasons for doing it but neither is doing it for a glorious purpose. They are doing it for selfish reasons, one is for money and the other for revenge.

Why You Should Watch It


Trick has inspired so many spin offs which is a testament of its success but commercial success is not the only reason for you to watch the show. The series has been able to use science in accurate ways to disprove so many supernatural phenomenon. It has gone through so much research. It is brilliant how they are able to use facts in the story.

This is one example on just how entertainment may be utilized to make science and mathematics popular.

11 The Family Game

Synopsis


Kazushige Numata and his wife Kayoko are worried about their younger son, Shigeyuki. Unlike their older one, Shinichi, Shigeyuki shows no interest in studying. In fact, they think that the kid won’t even graduate from high school. They decided to hire a tutor, Yoshimoto. Yoshimoto stipulates that he can work things out in a week but the couple cannot interfere with his teaching strategies. The husband and wife faces the dilemma of watching the tutor implement uncanny techniques with the hopes of their son getting better or protect their son and continue with the path he is leading.

Why You Should Watch It


There are many good teacher-student stories but this one goes beyond the usual as the teacher proves that his teaching techniques isn’t just aimed at getting the student better at his studies. His teaching techniques also inspires the family members to take a good luck at their values, their family life, their priorities and their emotions. Yoshimoto makes everyone realize that what the kid becomes is a reflection of how the parents raise their children.

12 Brother Beat

Synopsis


Brother Beat follows the story of Haru, a supermarket worker and her three sons, Tatsuya, Riku and Junpei. The father passed away which leaves Tatsuya to become the breadwinner of the family. As they struggle to keep the family together, they also all aim to live individual lives. As they go through different trials live their own lives, they realize that the only way for them to be happy is to keep the bond of the family.

Why You Should Watch It


This one really highlights gh and and thin family values. While Western family raise their children to be set free from the age of 18, Asian families stick together till the end. This series highlights different aspects of Asian family life, one that is centered on being a unit, staying together through thick and thin.

However, there is no heavy angst or over the top emotions that drive the family apart. It’s really about daily struggles. This is what makes the whole series more relatable.

13 Ikebukuro West Gate Park

Synopsis


Rika Hikaru, Shun, Masa and Makoto develop a strong bond of friendship. When Rika is found dead and raped, Makoto becomes the prime suspect. Makoto promises to bring justices to Rika. Makoto asks the help of his old friends from his bad boy days. Soon enough, he becomes known for solving crimes that police can’t even fathom.

Why You Should Watch It


Although this is a classic story of a bad boy turning his life around to serve others, the treatment of the show is different:

It has a gritty feel, uncommon to family drama in Asia. It is almost as if the blockings and lines aren’t planned which add to the raw feel of the show

Although they lost father early, they don’t dwell on this. In fact, you will forget that there is one missing piece in their home. Their love for each other was never questioned, it is just a matter of going through the natural trials they go through.

14 Salaryman Neo

Synopsis


Shinjo ends up working for NEO beer company. He has not made a sale even after one month of working. When NEO sales start declining in sales, the president orders everyone to create a new product. All sorts of suggestions come in but it’s Shinjo’s suggestion that gets approved.

Why You Should Watch It


It is surprising to know that a government station could produce such a funny show that touches on what is seemingly a boring subject. It is purely based on the brilliance of writing.

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