Japanese Drama Recs: Romance Manga Adaptions

1. Switch Girl!!

Synopsis: Nika Tamiya is the most beautiful girl at school. All the boys are in love with her and a lot of girls are envious at how she does everything so perfectly. However, she has a secret… She is a switch girl! When she arrives home, she “switches off” and transforms into her “true” self: a lazy and unfeminine girl. Arata Kamiyama, a geeky guy at school, finds out her secret. Arata is the opposite of her… He appears to be geeky at school but he’s actually super hot!?

The plot of this romantic comedy shojo series is similar to the popular manga, Horimiya. I like Switch Girl!! more though. I liked this drama because the cast is spot on. Many Seventeen models play the characters, including Mariya Nishiuchi, the main lead. Renn Kiriyama who plays Arata is good-looking too.

I watched this back when I was in high school and I was hooked from the beginning. I ended up procrastinating on whatever homework I had, so fair warning.

If you like this, you might like:

  • Horimiya (manga)
  • Hotaru no Hikari (Japanese drama)

2. Good Morning Call

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Synopsis: Nao Yoshikawa moved into a new place, but she finds that she was scammed because another person is living in the same place as her. The person she has to live with is Hisashi Uehara, one of the most popular guys at school. Uehara is aloof and hard to get along with. Good luck Nao and don’t fall in love.

Good Morning Call is a Netflix Original series, based on the romantic comedy shojo series. I don’t know a single person who did not like this! The “living with the most popular guy at school (or my boss) and he is also cold and distant” trope is done again and again. The ending is predictable, but it’s still enjoyable to watch.

If you like this, you might like:

  • It Started With A Kiss (Taiwanese drama)
  • Playful Kiss (Korean drama)
  • Just You (Taiwanese drama)
  • Hotaru no Hikari (Japanese drama)

3. Dame na Watashi ni Koishite Kudasai

Synopsis: Michiko Shibata is a woman in her thirties. She is jobless and just broke up with her money-swindling younger boyfriend. She encounters Ayumu Kurosawa, her former supervisor. Hearing her situation, he gives her a job and a place to stay at his cafe.

You may already be familiar with the actor who plays Ayumu. He is played by Dean Fujioka, the singer who sang History Maker, the opening song of Yuri on Ice. Ayumu is so sweet… Where can I find someone like that?

Personally, high school shows don’t interest me as much anymore. I’m into josei series like this one, because I can relate to their struggles more and we are closer in age.

If you like this, you might like:

  • Hotaru no Hikari (Japanese drama)
  • Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii (anime)
  • Just You (Taiwanese drama)
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10 Live-Action Manga Adaptations I Enjoyed

Many anime fans don’t like live-actions of anime. Period.

I also (mostly) agree. But… live-actions dramas are better than films. With episodes, it allows the show to have more depth. One major problem in all live-action films is that they cut a lot of important scenes and most of the time, they cut out important characters.

These aren’t in any particular order. I won’t be talking about the plots of these shows, just what I liked about them. I don’t watch as many dramas as I used to, so the newer live-actions will probably not be on here. Nonetheless, I still find value in making this list because good shows are good shows, no matter how old they are. ūüėČ If you’re interested in knowing which dramas I’ve watched, you can view My Drama List (still incomplete)¬†here.

1. Bloody Monday (2008)

I enjoyed this Japanese live-action because Haruma Miura and Hiroki Narimiya played their characters really well. The instrumental soundtrack is beautiful. Listen to this and you’ll know what I mean. Also, both seasons played music by Flumpool, which is my favourite Japanese band.

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2. Boku dake ga Inai Machi (2017)

This is better known as Erased. It is a Japanese drama. I didn’t think I would be interested in time travel but I was proven wrong. I often take breaks from dramas and anime (My Drama List reflects this by the number of dramas I am “currently watching”) but I binged this show. Special thanks to Fed for watching it after my recommendation!

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3. GTO (1998)

This Japanese drama stands for Great Teacher Onizuka. I watched this before I started university and I feel like it changed my life. That’s a really bold statement but I began to see life a little bit differently in “unconventional” ways.

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4. Hanazakari no Kimitachi e (2007)

This Japanese drama is also known as Hana Kimi. There are so many actors!!

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5. Hotaru no Hikari (2007)

This is a Japanese drama based on the josei manga with the same title.

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6. Kurosagi (2006)

I’ve watched every episode in this Japanese drama at least 10 times, and the reason is because I used to really, really like Kurosaki, the main character.

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7. Liar Game (2014)

This is the Korean live-action adaptation. It is different from the manga because they made the Liar Game into a TV game show. I love how they changed it to better suit the current generation.

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8. Liar Game (2007)

This is a Japanese drama. I do prefer this over the Korean live-action of Liar Game.

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9. Smiling Pasta (2006)

This Taiwanese drama is based on a manhwa. I haven’t read the manhwa because it’s really hard to find English scanlations of it (or even the work in its original language). However, this drama was able to make me cry and laugh in the same episode.

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10. Switch Girl!! (2011)

This is a Japanese drama.¬†Mariya Nishiuchi was perfect for the main role because she was a model of Seventeen at the time, and so were other actresses (her character does modelling in the drama too). I am her fan. ‚̧

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My Drama List

If you watch Asian dramas, I recommend you use My Drama List if you haven’t already. It’s like My Anime List, but for dramas! Basically, you mark down the statuses of different shows and movies you’ve watched, record the episodes you’ve seen, give them ratings and leave comments.

I do have some issues with My Anime List, but I like it better than My Drama List because ¬†it is harder to find shows on MDL. The shows should be separated by genres and in categories such as ‘Korean drama’ and ‘Japanese drama,’ etc. They don’t have that. That’s why I’m missing a lot of shows on my list!! I can remember the plots and characters’ appearances of certain dramas, but I don’t remember the names of the dramas.

If you’re interested, My Drama List can be found at¬†https://mydramalist.com/dramalist/alpaca_xx¬†

Please note that it is incomplete because of the reason I explained above. I actually just filled out the list recently so I have not entered any episode data on my ‘Currently Watching’ list. I don’t know if I will be able to because I haven’t watched dramas in a LONG time, which means I don’t remember what episode I’m on! T_T With that being said, my ‘Currently Watching’ list is not being counted in my Profile’s episode number and time watched information. Most of these shows are from 2009~ because that was when I watched a lot of Asian dramas.

My Anime List is private, but I can tell you that it’s longer than My Drama List. My Manga List (this is on the My Anime List website) is longer than My Anime List.

What does this all mean? 

It means I’ve watched a lot of T.V. and it’s no wonder I have poor eyesight AND I’m not sure whether I am proud or if I pity my soul…

Moving forward…

Now that I have My Drama List kind of filled out, expect some drama recommendations and favourites posts in the future!!! Even though I do not plan on ranking any of these dramas and movies, I still remember what I enjoyed (or hated) about them. ^_^