Truthfully, I’m not much of a TV person. I tend to avoid it and only watch a handful of shows. That being said, since I started learning Japanese last year, I find myself actively seeking out dramas. My initial reason to watch dramas was the easy language and culture exposure, but after the first one I watched I was hooked.
I know Korean dramas are really popular, but I think Japanese dramas are more “for me” because I still use them for language exposure. I’ve picked up a lot of phrases and proper pronunciations just from listening to a 55 minute episode, and there is a lot to learn about culture as well.
僕のいた時間・The Hours of My Life
If I were ever going to recommend a drama to someone that had never before watched dramas, I would recommend this without a second thought. I’d been told before that dramas tend to deal with two things: terminal illness and romance. 僕のいた時間 does both of these things, but it deals with them beautifully. Miura Haruma is an incredible actor; he brings Takuto and his struggles to life. The Hours of My Life is about a recent college graduate who’s diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), and is faced with the reality that his life will never go back to normal.
This show is eleven episodes of rollercoaster emotions — I laughed, I cried, and I felt something for every character. Even the characters I thought I would hate became some of the best and most well-rounded characters in the show. The writers didn’t leave a forget a single character, and I don’t think any other drama could replace this one for me.
I actually watched ありふれた奇跡 before I watched 僕のいた時間, and I’m thankful it was my first drama. It’s the heartwarming story of two people who help save a man from jumping in front of a train and, in doing so, begin to intwine their lives. Both of them faced devastating events in the past that continue to affect their futures, but in meeting one another they’re finally able to find companionship and talk about those things that have harmed them.
This is another show that made me laugh and made my cry, and there are adorable side stories that bring to life side characters that would otherwise fade to the background. I’ve noticed with Japanese dramas that there is a particular attention to character detail, but the story never strays too far from the main characters.
I recently started watching this, but I’m really enjoying it so far! I decided to watch it because of Saito Takumi, an actor who was also in 僕のいた時間. I loved him in that drama, so I decided to give this one ago. I’m only on episode 2, but it’s already a really interesting story. It follows two doctors that have pretty much devoted themselves to their jobs (and nothing else). They both work in a hospital whose CEO cares only about the bottom dollar, and they begin to work together to do the best for their patients, even if it means angering the CEO. It has fun romance and heart-wrenching scenes, so naturally it’s my cup of tea. 🍵