It felt as if during the past season there haven’t been as many good and interesting series as their used to be. But maybe that’s just my imagination. I might think so because the first three I started watching from the current summer season instantly got me hooked. But let’s take a look back first…
Tricking his employer, a local government office, into believing that he is getting married Amamiya Kuniyuki (Nakai Masahiro) tries everything to not be exposed. Which is how he enters the world of marriage hunting. He and his colleagues and friends take part in lots of different parties set up to create couples. But he still has to think about his father’s little tonkatsu diner in a run down shopping district which is about to be remodeled by a plan made up in his office. And then there is his childhood friend Hida Haruno (Ueto Aya).
This is light-hearted with lots of good jokes and funny characters. I have to admit that I don’t really like the style of play by Nakai though as I think that he’s just not fit to be an actor. But the rest of the cast makes up for this. And the story is funny to follow with all it’s twists and turns as the main character tries to decieve everyone. (7/10)
Atashinchi no Danshi (アタシんちの男子)
A homeless girl (Horikita Maki) with a huge debt is suddenly picked up by an eccentric president of a gaming company who marries her and pays off all the money she owes. After a month he passes away and the girl is left with the task of looking after his adopted children in his fantasy castle. She will only be released from her contract which she signed when she married the president if she can get the sons to accept her as their mother.
One of those overtly silly drama series in which someone has to persuade others to reach a goal which in the end will benifit everyone. Think “Gokusen” or “GTO”, but without the surroundings of a school. While the actors maybe good, the script in this one just spoils the fun. In the end it’s just too silly too often. (4/10)
The main character in this one is a coroner who at certain points in an investigation looks to take off on his one to get things going. Kuraishi Yoshio (Uchino Masaaki) doesn’t think highly of his police officer colleagues and often gets into a fight with them. Alongside his team (Matsushita Yuki, Watanabe Dai) he listens to the “voices of the dead”, as he calls it, to find out what really happened at the scene of the crime. His rudeness seems to have a reason in his past though, as he lost his girlfriend a long time ago, because she was killed.
Typical periodic series in which one story is touched in each episode. There is the overriding storyline of the killed girlfriend, but that one just doesn’t seem to go through. It’s nice to watch in between, but it’s nothing special. (5,5/10)
Aishiteru (アイシテル – 海容)
A 10 year old school boy kills a 7 year old boy on his way home. Both families try to deal with the tragedy in their own way. Why did the quiet and withdrawn Tomoya (Kakazu Issei) become so aggressive towards the happy and jyoful Kiyotaka (Sato Shion). His mother (Inamori Izumi) and his father (Yamamoto Taro) have no clue, but as they dive deeper into the investigation, they come up with things they never heard of before, because their son always kept things for himself since something happened to him in the past. On the other hand the Ozawa family (Itaya Yuka, Sano Shiro, Kawashima Umika) has to cope with the loss of their son, which brings out held back feelings.
This is a very sensitive and moving drama, that doesn’t work like a classic whodunnit. You know right from the start who killed the little boy. What makes this interesting is how the plot reveals only as much with each episode to keep you interested. The struggles of both families are hard to bear and the viewer is torn between sympathy and disgust for both families and their attempts to live on. The cast just rounds this off, as all actors are brilliant. I’d rate this one of the best series in this season. (8,5/10)
Osawa Eriko (Amami Yuki) just came back from a stay in the States to take over a new department at the Tokyo Metropolitain Police. As it turns out the people assembled there are cast offs from their previous departments, people who failed on their jobs before. Because she cannot expect any help from her higher up (Takenouchi Yutaka) she goes own to form a team out of them.
This is a nice crime series which has its interesting twists and turns every now and then but follows the same pattern in each episode. What makes this rather enjoyable is the nice cast of good actors and the nice mixture of funny moments and serious times. (6,5/10)
A brilliant yet highly chaotic neuroscientist (Kimura Takuya) gets transferred to a laboratory in which top class scientists help the police to solve the riddles which the find at the scenes of the crimes. While they usually stay at the lab for research, the neuroscientist is drawn to the scenes by his desire to find out more about the brain of the criminal which leads him to interesting conclusions.
A new drama starring Kimura Takuya is always a must see, although this one is very different from ths stuff he has done before. This is a lot more funny and the viewer gets to see a new set of acting, something he hasn’t tried before. The rest of the cast is top notch, of course, with even the smallest characters being cast with high profile actors. In the first episode, e.g., Hirosue Ryoko makes a very small appearance and this happens almost all the time. But while it is fun to watch at certain points it just gets a little to silly, they could have used a little bit more seriousness. (8/10)