Xhyniie is a J-pop lover and a fan of Arashi! She also loves anime like Code Breaker, Shinrei Tantei Yakumo, and Attack on Titan.
Update: I decided to add 2016 dramas on the list. Hope this article helps you to find the drama that lies on your interest.
Most Recommended Japanese Dramas for 2016
- 9.9 Criminal Lawyer
This drama is about a lawyer who takes criminal cases but don’t earn money. Hiroto Miyama is a poor lawyer and pursues the truth for the 0.1% of Japan’s 99.9% criminal rate. Until one day, he meets Haruhiko Madame who is the head of Madarame Law Firm, one of the biggest firms in Japan. He begins to work with other lawyers and begins his journey to success.
- Gu Ra Me
This drama is about a young lady who has a versatile talent in cooking. Kurumi Ichiki is a 25-year-old girl who works as a waitress in a well-known restaurant in Japan before getting hired as a cook in the prime minister’s residence.
- Basuke mo Koi mo, Shiteitai
This is a high a school related Japanese drama. It tells the story of Tomomitsu Tsuchiya, the captain of a basketball team and Sae Hitori, a senior on the same school. The two of them develop a romantic relationship but suddenly Sae transfers to another school without saying a single word to Tomomitsu.
- IQ 246
This is a thriller crime related Japanese drama that tells that focus on a boy who have an IQ of 246. He belongs to the family who had studied crime for generations. On the other hand, Soko Wato is a detective who is assigned to the investigation section #1.
19. MARS – Tada, Kimi wo Aishiteru
Release Date: January 24, 2016 to March 27, 2016
A remake of both Taiwanese and Japanese drama with the same name.
This is a romance drama that tells the story of two high school students, Kira and Rei who is troubled by their past. The two of them have different personalities; Kira is introverted artist while Rei is known as an outgoing playboy who has a violent side. After Rei saw the drawing of Kira, they started their friendship and eventually falling in love. However, both of them are hunted by their past. With their relationship they will both keep on going and help each other to move on.
Will they become successful from moving on from the past? Let’s find out how the two of them help each other.
18. Please Love The Useless Me
Release Date: January 12, 2016 to March 15, 2016
This is a romance drama tells the story of a 30-year-old woman who lost her job after the company that she’s working went bankrupt. She keeps on looking for a job in order to support her younger boyfriend. In addition, her savings is almost gone. On her journey of finding a new job, she meets again her scary ex-boss Ayumu who is the owner of a tearoom.
As she needs it, she decides to work there as part-time but she’s engaged in different troubles every day. Ayumu helps her, then the two of them becomes closer and she discovers more about her ex-boss that she didn’t noticed before.
17. Kaitou Tantei Yamaneko (The Mysterious Thief Yamaneko)
Release Date: January 16, 2016 to March 19, 2016
This is an action-crime-comedy drama that focus on the life of Yamaneko (played by Kazuya Kamenashi) who is known as the eccentric and mysterious ‘Phantom Thief’ in Japan. His job is to steal money from people and corporations, at the same time exposing their misdeeds. Another important character in this drama is, Hideo Katsumura, a magazine reporter who writing a feature on the Phantom thief and Mao Takasugi who is being bullied in school but actually a secret genius hacker.
16. Good Morning Call
Release Date: February 12, 2016 to April 22, 2016
This drama is a live-adaptation of the manga with the same name that tells the story of two students with different personalities who live in one roof. Nao Yoshikawa, a third year-middle school student, lives alone after her parents inherit a farm. When she moves to a new apartment, she discovers that she’ll be living with Uehara Hisashi, a famous guy from her school.
How will they manage living together in one house? Will this become the start of falling in love?
15. Love That Makes You Cry
Release Date: January 18, 2016 to March 21, 2016
This drama tells the story of six people from the rural areas who meets in Tokyo. The main characters, Sugihara Oto was adopted after her parents death and Soda Ren who also lost his parents at the very young age and live with his grandfather.
In order to save from poverty, Oto was forced by her adoptive parents to marry a wealthy man, twenty years her senior. On the other hand, Ren’s grandfather get’s swindled, the reason that he leaves for Tokyo to find a job and save money to recover his grandfather’s farmland.
Will they find their dreams in the land of Tokyo? or Will love really makes you cry after watching this drama?
14. Second Love
Release Date: February 6, 2015
What makes this drama very exciting is that it stars Fukada Kyoko and Kamenashi Kazuya. For those who want a realistic romance-drama that focus on people and relationships then better include this on your list. It is sad to say that they cut it to 7 episodes but still a recommended J-drama for 2015.
The story is about Kei who is a contemporary dancer. He keeps on auditioning while working for a part-time job. One day, Kei learns that he failed again in the audition. In the moment that he was depressed and wants to die he meets Yui Nishihara and falls in love with her. Yui is a teacher at a famous school in Japan but actually having an affair with her co-teacher who has a family already.
How will Yui ends up her love affair? Will she falls in love with Kei? What will happens if Kei finds out her secret?
13. From Five To Nine
Release Date: October 12, 2015
If you are a fan of Tomohisa Yamashita and Satomi Ishihara, then I recommend this drama to you. It is one of the best romantic-comedy dramas in 2015 that tells the story of a monk and an English Conversation Teacher.
It is my first time to watch drama with a plot like this which makes it is very interesting to drama lovers. The question would be “How will the director and the writer end their story?” With a plot like this, some might think that it is not worth to watch. But of course, let’s reconsider it especially with the list of cast who are known for starring in popular dramas.
The story is about Junko Sakuraba and Takane Hoshikawa who met on a funeral that was held in the temple. During a funeral, Junko who is an English conversation teacher accidentally throws ashes to Takane, a monk who was chanting a sutra. Junko apologized and was embarrassed. The two of them meet again when Junko’s parents deceive her for a blind date.
What will be Junko’s reaction upon meeting Takane again? Will their blind date turns into something special?
12. Love Relationship (Koinaka)
Release Date: July 20, 2015
Koinaka stars actor Sota Fukushi and actress Tsubasa Honda on the lead role. The drama tells about the story of a boy named Aoi Miura who was born and grew up in Toyama Prefecture. He is known for being lack of decision and firmness personality and he doesn’t like summer. In high school, he was the team captain of the swimming team but he is now working as an assistant in an architectural office in Tokyo.
One summer day, he meets again Akari Serizawa, his childhood friend and first love. They were very close friends in high school and the last time they hang out during their 3rd year, Akari disappeared. And now, Akari has a boyfriend named Aoi.
What’s the reason behind Akari’s disappearance?
11. Kageri Yuku Natsu
Release Date: January 18, 2015
Kageri Yuku Natsu also known as Summer Gets Dark is a 2015 Japanese TV series starring Watabe Atsuro. It is based on the novel of the same name written by Mihiro Akai.
A major newspaper in Japan has casually chosen to employ a female college student. However, stun swells inside the newspaper as a result of a weekly magazine's scoop that she is the daughter of the criminal in a serious case. It was about on the kidnapping of a baby at a major hospital 20 years ago. The criminal requested a payoff from the director of the hospital rather than the parents.
But after the criminal had the huge entirety of cash in hand, he died in an accident while being sought after by the police. The child was never found. Kaji Hidekazu, a previous superstar columnist who has gotten to be deadwood in the wake of an incident, is requested by the newspaper to reinvestigate the case. He discovers the shocking, disastrous truth which had been kept under wraps.
10. Gakkou no Kaidan
Release Date: January 10, 2015
Gakkou no Kaidan also known as “The Girl’s Speech” is a 2015 Japanese TV series starring Suzu Hirose and Ryunosuke Kamiki. It is base on the Japanese light novel written by Takaaki Kaima. Due to its popularity, the first episode of Gakkou no Kaidan was extended by 15 minutes which received 9.2 % average on the viewership rating.
The story centers on the life of Tsubane Haruna, an ordinary female high school student who then starts a revolution in her school. Just like others, she spends each day of her student’s life peacefully while concerned about people’s mood. One day, Tsubane Haruna was force by people that surrounds her to become the student president of their school. She then meets Kei Shizukui who was a talented speech writer. With the help of Kei Shizukui, she struggles to change her corrupt school by using the power of words.
9. Date - Koi to wa Donna Mono Kashira
Release Date: January 19 , 2015
Date – Koi to wa Donna Mono Kashira also known as Dating: What's It Like To Be In Love? is a 2015 Japanese TV series starrring Anne Watanabe and Hiroki Hasegawa.
Yoriko Yabushita is a 29 year old economics expert who works at Yokohama research laboratory. Yoriko is known to be enthusiastic towards her work. Her biggest objective in life is getting married and having a baby, in spite of the fact that she doesn't exceed expectations in social settings with other individuals. She still expects to wed at the age of 30. If she will find the man who will fills the 24 items recorded on her ideal spouse list, she will wed him.
On the other hand, Taniguchi Takumi is a 35 year old jobless man who relies on his mom for a living while being caught up in the realm of writing, arts, music and entertainment. He sees himself as a high-class migrant and chooses to enroll at the same marriage office as Yoriko keeping in mind the end goal to meet a rich lady who he can rely on, if his mom is no longer around. Both of them who are said to be not able to cherish love and unacceptable for love get paired up together and through various dates, turn out to be closer to one another while seeing the subject of marriage as a negligible contract as opposed to the union of two individuals who are enamored with one another.
8. Zeni No Sensou
Release Date: January 6, 2015
Zeni No Sensou also known as War of Money is a 2015 Japanese drama starring Tsuhoshi Kusanagi, Takada Sho, Oshima Yuko and Fumino Kimura.
Tomio Shiraishi graduated from a well-known university in Japan, currently works on a foreign securities organization and has a beautiful fiancee Kaozue Aioke. He has no protests on his life. Until one day, his dad kills himself, abandoning expansive obligations. Tomio Shiraishi is responsible for paying his dad's debts. He pays what he can by using his investment account, yet it is insufficient and he was chased by moneylenders. Tomio loses everything that he has, his employment, money, investment funds and he becomes homeless.
After all, he decides to work for Daisuke Akamatsu who owns Akamatsu Finance Company. Akamatsu Finance Company is the company that drove him to become homeless. The company resembles a typical fund organization, however it really loans cash with high premium. Tomio Shiraishi chooses to do anything, including illicit acts, to profit.
While working on Akamatsu, he meets his secondary teacher's daughter, Mio Konno who is in large debt. Tomio Shiraishi and Mio Konno start to have affections for one another, yet his previous life partner, Kozue Aoike, shows up once more.
7. Flowers of Algernon
Release Date: April 10, 2015
Flowers for Algernon also known as Algernon ni Hanataba o is a 2015 Japanese TV series starring Tomohisa Yamashita and Chiaki Kuriyama. It is based on the science fiction novel entitled "Flowers for Algernon" written Daniel Keyes which was first published April 1959 in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.
Shiratori Sakuto is 28 year old boy yet has the insight of a 6-year-old kid. He lives up to expectations for Dream Flower Service, a blossom distribution centre which gives livelihood to problem youth. One day, he partner, Yanagawa Ryuichi, delivers a rose boquet to the loft building where Mochizuki Haruka lives. Since Haruka does not realize that the deliveryman is simple-minded, she is stunned by his reaction and tries to call the police.
Haruka works in a brain physiology examination center where Professor Hachisuka has been concentrating and studying on the change of mental execution. He has succeeded in lab investigates a white mouse called Algernon. Sakuto is then changed into a genius through surgery.
6. Mother Game
Release Date: April 14, 2015
Mother Game also known as The Mother Class is a 2015 Japanese drama starring Kimura Fumino, Ryu Raita and Yokoyama Ayumu.
Kamahara Kiko is a poor single parent whose 5-year-old child, Haruto, gets admitted to a prestigious kindergarten in a sudden unforeseen development. One Haruto's first day of school, top of the line autos are moved down before the kindergarten's front entryway. Moms swagger on high heels inside of the compound and convey extravagance brand sacks. In spite of the fact that Kiko is stunned by the truth of this kindergarten where she is out of her component, she communicates her emotions specifically to the moms who see her as a foe. With her vivacity and sympathy, she begins to change the reasoning and build up new bonds with these unbending ladies living in a totally diverse world and era.
5. Tantei no Tantei
Release Date: July 9, 2015
Tantei No Tantei also known as Detectives versus Detectives is a 2015 Japanese TV series starring Keiko Kitagawa as a hard-boilde female detective. It is based on the 2014 novel Tantei no Tantei written by Keisuke Matsuoka .
Rena Sasaki is a delightful lady having a brilliant memory and insight. She turns into a private investigator and dangers her life to pursue down wickedness private detectives, in light of the fact that her younger sister was killed by a stalker. The person who gave the personal data to the stalker on her sister's location was a private detective.
4. Yokoso Wagaya e
Release Date: April 13, 2015
Yokoso Wagaya e is a 2015 Japanese suspense, family TV series starring Aiba Masaki, Sawajiri Erika, Arimura Kasumi, Minami Kaho and Terao Akira.
Kurata Kenta lives with his dad, Taichi, his mom, Keiko, and his younger sister, Nana in an isolated home in suburbia. He is working as an unpopular designer. Kenta has a tentative identity, which he got from his dad the reason why he doesn't care for his dad.
One day, while sitting tight for the train, Kenta cautions a man who pushed a lady and cut in line. Kenta is astounded that he stood up with his regularly hesitant identity. After that incident, Kenta's family home is targeted by an unknown person with flowers from their garden being hauled out and the seat of a bike being torn. Additionally, Kenta's more youthful sister Nana is stalked by her ex.
Kenta and his family then attempt to figure out who is responsible.
3. Mondai no Aru Restaurant
Release Date: January 15, 2015
Mondai no Aru Restaurant also known as “A Restaurant With Many Problems” is a 2015 Japanese TV series starring Yoko Maki and Masahiro Higashide.
Tamako is working for a company in a restaurant .She then encounters betrayal from Makoto a culinary expert she hired. Bits of gossip then spread at work about her. Tamako chooses nothing more will be tolerated and leaves her place of employment. She chooses to open an eatery and run it from a lady's point of view. Tamako soon discovers that Makoto has opened a rich eatery over the road from her humble eatery.
Release Date: January 16, 2015
Ouroboros is a 2015 Japanese TV series starring Toma Ikuta and Shun Oguri. It is based on a manga series entitled "Uroborosu - Keisatsu o Sabaku wa Ware ni Ari" written by Yuya Kanzaki.
Both Ikuo and Tatsuya are orphans. They inhabit Mahoroba's home which is a kid and family administrations home. At their grade school, they see Teacher Yuko, who took great consideration of them like a genuine sister, who is killed in front of them. Ikuo and Tatsuya tell the police what they saw, however the case is covered by a cop wearing a gold watch.
Fifteen years later, Ikuo now works as a detective. He is a decent individual and his capture rate is the most astounding at the police headquarters. However, using his attractive appearance and cleverness, Tatsuya turns into a high positioning yakuza.
Detective Ikuo and Yakuza Tatsuya have a particular reason, which is to discover the man wearing the gold watch, uncover reality and uncover the dull side of the police association.
1. Tenno no Ryoriban
Release Date: April 26, 2015
Tenno no Ryoriban also known as Emperors Cook is a 2015 Japanese TV series starring Takeru Satoh. It is based on a novel entitles “Tenno no Ryoriban” written by Hisahide Sugimori. The main character of this drama is based on a real person name Tokuzo Akiyama. Takeru Satoh started taking cooking class on August 2014 to prepare his role as a chef. In addition, he had also cut his hair.
Tokuzo Akiyama is a young fellow living in a provincial territory. One day, he eats cutlet. That experience drives him to turn into a cook for western stylefood. He first goes to Tokyo and after that Paris, France to find out about the culinary arts. Battling against discrimination and prejudice, he turns into a culinary specialist at the Hotel Ritz in Paris, France. At 26 years old, he turns into the culinary expert for the Emperor of Japan.
wiam on March 30, 2017:
Gakkou no kaidan was my first J-drama :)
shravanikrishna on January 11, 2017:
mischievous kiss 1 and 2 are my favourites
Scribbling Geek from Singapore on November 29, 2016:
Tenno no Ryoriban is quite entertaining, even though a little OTP at parts. Thanks for the other recommends.
meg on November 10, 2016:
you should add Mischievous kiss 1+2, they're really good
ilikeit on October 28, 2016:
Make a new list already for 2016 TV dramas. Juuhan Shuttai! is a nice watch too!
dragonhime on June 22, 2016:
Ofcourse Takeru drama is number 1!!
Rivaille on June 08, 2016:
You guys forgot High & Low the story of sword, it's really awesome for those who like yankees
KeikoArtz on February 05, 2016:
Awesome list! Thank you!