Top 30 J-Dramas before 2017

Japan is home to original concepts and genius story-telling. What fascinates me about Japanese drama is how it delves into the psychological and moral state of its characters. It can cater to extremes and somehow make it work, whether its raw and disturbing to plain and boring to crazy and weird. I also like how it always attempts to redefine humanity to a certain extent. It provides depth and breadth of insight unparalleled by any series produced by any other country. I actually liked Japanese dramas first before I dabbled into Korean and Taiwanese, which explains this relatively long list. Anyway, here are my Top 30 Japanese series aired before 2017 solely based on my level of enjoyment.

 

*Photos grabbed from Kissasian.ch

#1 Last Friends (2008)
ラスト・フレンズ 

Genre: Drama, Psychological, Slice of Life

 #2 A Girl & Three Sweethearts (2016)
Sukina Hito ga Iru Koto
(lit. There’s someone I like)
好きな人がいること

Genre: Romance, Comedy, Melodrama

#3 Operation Love (2007)
Proposal Daisakusen
(lit. Operation Proposal)
プロポーズ大作戦

Genre: Romance, Fantasy, Melodrama

#4 Death Note (2015)
デスノート

Genre: Fantasy, Psychological, Suspense

#5 Absolute Boyfriend (2008)
Zettai Kareshi
絶対彼氏

Genre: Sci-Fi, Romance, Comedy

#6 Mei-chan’s Butler (2009)
Mei-chan no Shitsuji
メイちゃんの執事

Genre: Romance, Comedy, Melodrama

#7 Full Throttle Girl (2011)
Zenkai Girl
全開ガール

Genre: Law, Romance, Comedy

#8 Orthros’ Dog (2009)
Orthros no Inu
オルトロスの犬

Genre: Fantasy, Mystery, Psychological

#9 Hero (2001)

Genre: Law, Comedy, Melodrama

#10 The Black Swindler (2006)
Kurosagi
クロサギ

Genre: Action, Mystery, Suspense

#11 Gokusen (2002, 2005, 2008)
ごくせん

Genre: Comedy, Action, Melodrama

#12 Nodame Cantabile (2006)
のだめカンタービレ

Genre: Music, Romance, Comedy

#13 The Boys From My House (2009)
Atashinchi no Danshi
アタシんちの男子

Genre: Family, Romance, Comedy

#14 Meteor Bonds (2008)
Ryūsei no Kizuna
流星の絆

Genre: Family, Mystery, Suspense

#15 For You In Full Blossom (2007)
Hanazakari no Kimitachi e
花ざかりの君たちへ

Genre: Romance, Comedy, Sports

#16 Boys Over Flowers (2005)
Hana Yori Dango
花より男子

Genre: Romance, Comedy, Melodrama

#17 Mask Rider Black (1987)
Kamen Rider Black
仮面ライダーBLACK

Genre: Action, Fantasy, Mystery

#18 The Memorandum of Kyoko Okitegami (2015)
Okitegami Kyoko no Biboroku
掟上今日子の備忘録

Genre: Mystery, Romance, Comedy

#19 Scum of Lawyers (2006)
Bengoshi no Kuzu
弁護士のくず

Genre: Law, Mystery, Comedy

#20 Liar Game (2007)

Genre: Psychological, Mystery, Suspense

#21 The Mysterious Thief Yamaneko (2016)
Kaitō Yamaneko
怪盗 山猫

Genre: Action, Comedy, Politics

#22 The Witch Trial (2009)
Majo Saiban
魔女裁判

Genre: Mystery, Law, Suspense

#23 Leisure Club (2007)
Yukan Club
有閑倶楽部

Genre: Comedy, Romance, Melodrama

#24 Legal Eagle, First Class (2010)
Tokujou Kabachi!!
(lit. Special Case)
特上カバチ!

Genre: Law, Romance, Comedy

#25 Suppli (2009)
Sapuri
サプリ

Genre: Business, Romance, Comedy

#26 Ouroboros (2015)

Genre: Action, Drama, Tragedy

#27 Welcome to the Fortune-Telling Shop, Onmyoya (2013)
Yorozu Uranaidokoro Onmyoya e Yokoso
よろず占い処 陰陽屋へようこそ

Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Comedy

#28 Asuko March! (2011)
アスコーマーチ!

Genre: Romance, Comedy, Melodrama

#29 Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches (2013)
Yamada kun to 7 nin no Majo
山田くんと7人の魔女

Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Comedy

#30 Good Morning Call (2016)
グッドモーニング・コール

Genre: Romance, Comedy, Melodrama

Thoughts?

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