There's been some fantastic Japanese dramas this year, and with so many options it's always hard to pick which one to watch first.
We've tried to make your life easier by choosing some of the dramas we think are unmissable hits. Prepare to laugh, cry and get way too invested in these storylines!
1. The House on the Slope (Saka no Tochu no Ie)
Insightful and at times gut-wrenching, this drama focuses in on post-partum depression in an unexpected way when mother Yamazaki Risako is selected to be on the jury for a criminal case involving another young mother, who is accused of killing her 8-month-old.
Powerful, emotive and well-written, it tackles a serious subject with drama but also sensitivity.
2. Mr. Hiiragi's Homeroom (3 Nen A Gumi: Ima kara Mina-san wa, Hitojichi Desu)
A psychological drama full of twists and turns, it's a school drama unlike what you'd expect. Homeroom teacher Hiiragi holds the 29 students of his class hostage before their graduation, in a bid to teach them a lesson regarding the death of a student a few months prior.
The suspense will have you hanging on til the final episode!
3. My Favorite Member (Dakara Watashi wa Oshimashita)
This relatable drama is all about people seeking attention and connection in different ways. There's the almost-30 office worker who wants to be popular on social media, who happens to see a live performance from an underground idol and is immediately won over by her, not for her performance but rather the conviction with which she presents herself.
Shot in a unique way and giving an insight into underground idol life, the performances are stand outs for J-dramas this year.
4. Nagi's Long Vacation (Nagi no Oitoma)
An inspirational drama for anyone struggling to figure themselves out in life, our heroine here is a 28-year-old woman working for a home appliance manufacturer in Tokyo. She's so focused on pleasing others and conforming that the stress leads her to collapse, and forces her to reexamine the choices she's been making in life.
Will she live by her own rules finally or conform to society's expectations? Watch and find out!
5. What Did You Eat Yesterday? (Kinou Nani Tabeta?)
This drama combines the coziness of dinner time cooking with an insightful portrayal of a gay relationship. Attorney Shiro lives with his lover Kenji, and their regular routine is to sit down to a meal together every night (lovingly made and shown throughout the series), talking about every part of their lives.
It's an honest and genuine representation of a gay couple's daily life, as well as getting older and still figuring yourself out.
What's been your favourite Japanese drama this year?
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