Best Dramas of 2012

Discuss Japanese drama series here.
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Best Dramas of 2012

Post by dirac » Dec 23rd, '12, 01:58

Hello all,

I haven't watched any drama's this year besides Kaseifu no Mita and I am thinking of watching Kagi no Kakatta Heya. I was just wondering if there were any dramas that the community would suggest as a good watch from 2012.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Merry Christmas

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Post by furransu » Dec 23rd, '12, 02:06

doctor x

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Post by prestoli » Dec 23rd, '12, 02:16

If you like dark/moody stories, Shokuzai was quite good.

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Post by ooyoo » Dec 23rd, '12, 02:47

I really enjoyed "Rich Man, Poor Woman" - an interesting storyline with actual character development and a cast with great chemistry. And, ok, yes, Oguri Shun is hot. LOL

I also thought "Kaeru no Oujo-sama" was fun and different. Amami Yuki is an awesome actress and the characters in this story were fun and quirky. It didn't hurt that Tamayama Tetsuji was in it LOL

"Toshi Densetsu Onna" was a cute little comedy/mystery - mostly fluffy but had some interesting lessons about Japanese urban legends. It was also fun to count how many times Masami-chan said "Ki~ta!!!!" LOL (I actually went shopping for some of the clothes she wore too kkkkkk)
Last edited by ooyoo on Dec 23rd, '12, 09:48, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by ryoerika » Dec 23rd, '12, 08:53

Rich Man, Poor Woman

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Post by fujitak » Dec 23rd, '12, 10:30

GTO 2012

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Post by miyabara » Dec 23rd, '12, 10:31

There are many doramas I enjoyed this year, I'm sorry but I can't choose just one:

Higashino Keigo Mysteries
Beautiful Rain
Ooku ~ Tanjou
Kaeru no Oujo-Sama
Mou Ichido Kimi ni Propose
Suitei Yuuzai
Honjitsu wa Taian Nari
Ikimo Dekinai Natsu
Kekkon Shinai
Kodomo Keisatsu
Rich Man Poor Woman
Saikou no Jinsei no Owari Kata
Makete Katsu

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Post by mtwini09 » Dec 23rd, '12, 11:16

While there were many good ones, the only "must watch" dramas would be Kagi no Kakatta Heya and Doctor X :) Other runners up would include Kaeru no Oujosama, Kekkon Shinai, Hungry! and GTO.

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Post by lontong.stroong » Dec 23rd, '12, 16:02

Sadly this year is relatively a bad one, which means only handful of dramas are areally good and/or entertaining

Even worse the best doramas are the underrated ones like WOWOW and NHK productions, such as Hitori Shizuka, Tsugunai ,Hatsukoi, Nemureru Mori no Jukujo, Tsurukame Josanin (the latter not the best among them, but IS clearly the most underrated show among those aforementioned, if not the all-time underrated)

the best among the mainstreams is Strawberry Night, although it has some faults. Really love to see Takeuchi in a tough role

Anyone says tsumi no batsu is phenomenal, i'm planning to watch it

The ones that become most entertaining: Yuusha Akuryo no Kagi, Kodoku no Gurume (albeit not a triumph at all as critical dramas, particularly the latter)

The rests are either so-so or even mediocre, Japanese dramas are begin rapidly to abandon the art of "show and not tell"
Last edited by lontong.stroong on Dec 24th, '12, 07:58, edited 3 times in total.

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Post by orange.juice » Dec 23rd, '12, 16:48

I liked most of the series I watched, all of them were very entertaining; some were nice slice of life stories with adorable characters and other ones were vry insightful. My faves this year were

Kagi no Kakatta Heya
Lucky Seven
Kekkon Shinai
Beautiful Rain
Summer Rescue
Tokyo Airport
Unmei no Hito

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Post by dirac » Dec 23rd, '12, 23:51

Thank you for all the responses. I see I have a lot of shows to try out.

I started watching Kagi no Kakatta Heya and I'll be sure to look into Doctor X when I'm done with it.

GTO 2012. Oh wow I remember watching the original as a kid 10 years ago or so. I'll look into that among the other suggestions.

Merry Christmas

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Post by brokenparadise » Dec 24th, '12, 05:34

My top BEST 3 this year in no particular order:
Strawberry Night (Yuko Takeuchi) - suspense, detective
Legal High (Sakai Masato) - comedy, legal
Doctor X (Yonekura Ryoko) - medical but very entertaining.
These are the best must watch high quality dramas of 2012.

I can't endure heavy dramas but I can't stand mindless fluff either. My picks above have a nice balance I think (leaning more towards storyline with substance). These 3 are satisfying watch imo. Also, a great cast of excellent actors are a must and all 3 were amazing.

Special mention: Kagiheya - but that's probably because I'm fond of Ohno Satoshi.
Last edited by brokenparadise on Dec 27th, '12, 11:53, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by GaussAlgorithmus » Dec 24th, '12, 06:20

Saigo Kara Nibanme no Koi

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Post by akMetallic » Dec 24th, '12, 06:39


...the runaway winner for 2012.

Not much came close, but there are plenty of honorable mentions (mostly already honorably mentioned above).... but some of my personal favorites were/are....

Tsumi To Batsu (short and sleazy murder oriented series)
Mousou Sousa (means "delusional investigation" so you know what to expect... rather hilarious)
Poison (cool show with a melodramatic soundtrack)

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Post by switchgirl » Dec 24th, '12, 08:01

So many best dramas this year but since I watched these dramas, I think they are the best dramas :

Hitori Shizuka

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Post by kangxy67 » Dec 24th, '12, 08:11

As a biased fangirl,

Lucky Seven
Kagi Heya (but you're already watching it)

Others I really enjoyed,

Strawberry Night (one of my top favourites)
Kekkon Shinai
Ooku~ Tanjou
TOKYO Airport
Rich Man Poor Woman

Currently watching Tsumi to Batsu, and I really do like it. Watched Shokuzai as well, but I think Tsumi to Batsu is better.

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Post by xaxa » Dec 24th, '12, 08:30

Must see:
Going My Home
Hitori Shizuka
Double Face
Yuusha Yoshihiko to Akuryou no Kagi (and the first part from 2011 too)
Kazoku no Uta

Other good/great dramas worth watching:
Osozaki no Himawari (haven't seen all eps, but it has the potential to go in the upper list)
Cleopatra na Onnatachi
37-sai de Isha ni Natta Boku
legal high
koi suru hae onna
tsurukame josanin

Agree with lontong.stroong, that this year WOWOW and NHK dramas ruled, but don't agree that it is bad and that this year was bad. It was pretty good, especially last season.
Last edited by xaxa on Dec 27th, '12, 06:09, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Carsuke » Dec 27th, '12, 02:39

Definitely Legal High.

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Post by fifimimi » Dec 31st, '12, 03:40

There were many nice to watch dramas in 2012 (like all years)...but I don't think there was a must watch or a 'will be classic'.

Personally, most dramas annoy me at some point, either annoying characters, plot or something about it makes me too angry..even though I will still carry on and watch it.
All in all, I'd have to say that Kagi no Kakatta Heya was probably the only drama that didn't make me annoyed at all and was very good to watch!

I personally like drama, detective/investigation, romance and dislike comedy (light is ok but not OTT).

Other good dramas I really enjoyed and feel is worth a watch are:
Lucky Seven - I really enjoyed it but not enough Eita and Matsushima Nanako. I like Matsumoto Jun...but his acting is always trying a bit too hard for the camera.

Strawberry Night - I totally love Takeuchi Yuko and it's great to see her act in a different (tougher character) kind of role. I loved her chemistry with the male lead though it wasn't the focus of the drama but the odd moments were great.

Rich Man Poor Woman - the female lead annoyed me, Arata annoyed me, but I still liked this drama. I'm not a fan of Oguri Shun but he was likeable in this and the drama setting was very cool.

Akuma chan - I'm currently 1 episode away from finishing and as much as the little girl annoys me; and her screams make me want to smash a tv...this is a very charismatic drama. Before this drama I don't think I actually liked Kitagawa Keiko lead as I never like her in the 3-4 dramas I'd seen her in before. But seeing her play the 'psychopath teacher' was refreshing and make me actually like her (I think I like evil/twisted characters a lot more than hero/heroine types). As the drama developed, it got better...whereas the ones I've listed above don't quite have a peak towards the end.

Other dramas I liked...but would recommend only if you have a lot of time (like me):

Renai Neet - Funny, none of the actors I like in particular but actually really enjoyed the drama, so that says something.
Hungry! - Nice drama, not life changing but Mukai Osamu was very handsome in it and I do like food related shows!
Answer - Fun to watch, not of detective stuff, up my street..nothing to complain about.
Cleopatra no Onnatachi - For some odd reason I liked this drama very much. I don't think it was that popular but it caught my attention despite really not liking the male lead...but for once he wasn't the usually loud and stupid character that he normally plays. The development of the male and female lead was good and I learnt a lot more about plastic surgery!
Kaeru no Oujo-sama - Funny, different and Amami Yuki is always an ancor for a good show. At times it was hard to watch but overall a good drama and good singing.
ATARA - I really didn't enjoy this drama at first...first episode ok, these 3-4 episodes were repetitive...but it got better from the middle and then became very interesting and addictive to watch.
Summer Rescue - Interesting, different type of medical drama. After the drama, I really wanted to go mountain climbing!
Beautiful Rain - This is a really heart wrenching and heart warming drama. It was great to watch is would be very close to being in my must watch list but I can't help but gasp at the fact that there were many cliche moments...typical heart tugging tricks. It's one of those you really loved watching and probably changes you a bit after watching it, but not a drama you'd find yourself rewatching.
PRICELESS - TBH I haven't gotten that far into this but I am really enjoying this.
Doctor X - I have enjoyed watching this, but there are moments and characters that really annoyed me. I never like Ryoko...but after this drama, I like her as an actress and will pay attention in the future when she's in a drama.
Tokyo Airport - very much enjoyed but it ends when the drama ends; nothing ground breaking
Saigo Kara Nibanme - very different, mature yet funny drama

There were a few non-mainstream drama like Hatsukoi and others but as much as I enjoyed watching them at the time, afterwards to didn't leave a lasting or positive impression.

Words of Farewell
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Post by Words of Farewell » Jan 9th, '13, 17:53

GTO 2012!!!

- didn't find anything else that sparked most interest. Been a while that I found multiple Doramas in a year that really stood out. :(

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Post by dramaticme » Jan 9th, '13, 18:36

ah , j-dramas. i am indeed addicted.

If i had to make a top ten for this season then it could be like this. (will include SP's too) (i wil go acting wise and story wise and fenerally it has to do with the potential of the full cast and not just the main lead :3 )

1 Kaneko Misuzu Monogatari SP - i dunno why people have not watched this masterpiece yet? i will never forget about this drama special . tears still come to my eyes x.x
2 Kuruma isu de boku wa sora o tobu
3 Blackboard (First Night): Mirai
4 Kagi no Kakatta Heya
5 lucky seven
6 Doctor X
7 Ooku
8 Strawberry Nighty
9 Legal High
10 Ataru

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Post by complexfest » Jan 9th, '13, 20:59

My top 10 this year would be:(in this order)

2. Legal High
3.Boys on the run
4. Strawberry Night
6.Osozaki no Himawari
7.Mirai Nikki
9.Hitori Shizuka
10. W no Higeki

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Post by el_canuck » Jan 9th, '13, 22:19


1. Priceless
2. Rich Man Poor Man
3. Lucky Seven
4. Summer Rescue
5. Strawberry Night


1. Gentleman's Dignity
2. Faith
3. King 2 Hearts

Many downloaded, just have not watched them all.
Last edited by el_canuck on Jan 10th, '13, 04:52, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by inlovewithmaki » Jan 9th, '13, 22:35

I wrote an article about this - Joe's Top 12 dramas from 2012 ... Oh5ueRlW8A

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Post by nikid » Jan 9th, '13, 23:08

hmm, from the ones I've watched, it might be something like this:

Lucky Seven
TOKYO Airport
Kagi no Kakatta Heya
Papa wa Idol
Going My Home
Ghost Mama Sousasen
Beautiful Rain
Legal High
Ooku ~Tanjou
Cleopatra na Onnatachi

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Post by Sajen16 » Mar 5th, '13, 15:58

I've only watched the first 4 episodes but unless they completely f up in the last 2 episodes Hitorishizuka is the best Jdrama in years, years I say.

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