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Prime Time Drama Preview Winter 2013

January 8, 2013 @ 8:18 pm
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The upcoming winter season for dramas has already begun (the earliest prime time drama starts on January 8th) and all the important announcements have already been made. During the mid-season it was time for the networks to promote their upcoming dramas as much as they can in order to attract as many viewers as possible for their season premieres.

What happens after that depends on how viewers experience the framework consisting of the story, the acting, and the pacing. Is the story compelling enough to make you want to watch the next episode? Is the acting convincing enough to draw you into the world it's trying to create? Is the presentation of the characters and the story dragging too much or maybe even feels a bit rushed?

Before the actual premiere, there are several components that greatly influence the hype and consequently the rating of the first episode. Just try to ask yourself why you are looking forward to a particular drama. Do you like the cast? Do you like the premise? Did you like the original novel/manga and are curious about the live-action adaption? The drama announcements usually are made within one or two months before the actual season and therefore it's easy to get lost within this vast amount of information. This is why we decided to offer you a nice overview of the upcoming prime time dramas along with short teasers (if available) that could help you learn more about the upcoming dramas and maybe already put some of them on your imaginary must-see or ignore list.

Please note that all of the information is only based on the information that is currently known (as of this writing) and that the taiga drama, the midnight and late-night dramas as well as dramas that premiered during fall 2012 are not included in this preview.

Check out the Prime Time Drama Preview for the Winter Season 2013 below!

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Monday


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Hancho 6
~Keishicho Azumi Han~


-- Title: ?????????????
-- Start: January 14th --
-- Air Time: 20:00 --
-- Directors: Sakai Masahiro, Yoshida Akio, Arai Mitsuaki, and Muto Jun --
-- Script: Ogawa Toshimichi, Arai Shuko, Ito Toshiya, Oka Yoshiro, and Yasui Kuniho --
-- Original: 'Azumi Han Series' by Konno Bin --
-- Cast: Sasaki Kuranosuke, Higa Manami, Ozawa Yukiyoshi, Fukushi Seiji, Takashima Reiko, and more --


It's the sixth season of the popular police drama starring Sasaki Kuranosuke. This time Azumi (Sasaki) and his team have to work together to solve various cases under the shadow of Tokyo Sky Tree in Oshiage, Tokyo. Actor Hashizume Isao has been added to the main cast and portrays a local doctor. Azumi and his team are getting assigned to a branch office in said area of Tokyo, which sort of serves as a real police station and a local police box at the same time. There they face the complicated local atmosphere and distrust of the police in general that keep on hindering them with their work.

Trailer



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Biblia Koshodo no Jiken Techo


-- Title: ????????????
-- Start: January 14th --
-- Air Time: 21:00 --
-- Directors: Matsuyama Hiroaki and Miyaki Shogo --
-- Script: Aizawa Tomoko --
-- Original: 'Biblia Koshodo no Jiken Techo' by Mikami En --
-- Cast: Gouriki Ayame, AKIRA, Tanaka Kei, Suzuki Kosuke, Kitagawa Hiromi, and more --
-- Theme Song: "THE NEVER ENDING STORY" by E-Girls --


'Biblia Koshodo no Jiken Techo' is the drama adaptation of a popular novel of the same name, which spawned a total of three volumes and has already sold more than 3,400,000 copies. The story is set at an antiquarian bookshop in Kamakura and focuses on the mysteries and secrets of old books that are being brought to the shop by various people. By unraveling those mysteries, the shopkeeper Shinokawa Shioriko (Gouriki) is also able to understand all the different bonds between people that are connected to the books.

Shioriko inhereted the bookshop from her late father, although she's a very introverted girl who can't look into other people's eyes let alone have normal conversations with strangers. However, she possesses an extensive knowledge about old books and cannot stop conversing with other people when the subject is about old books.

In the first episode, a young part-time worker (AKIRA) visits the shop and wants to learn more about a certain book that seems to be very important to his grandmother. Shioriko soon finds out that this book actually reveals a secret related to his birth.

Trailer



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Tuesday


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Last Hope


-- Title: ??????
-- Start: January 15th --
-- Air Time: 21:00 --
-- Director: Hayama Hiroki --
-- Script: Hamada Shuya --
-- Cast: Aiba Masaki, Tabe Mikako, Tanabe Seiichi, Koike Eiko, Kitamura Yukiya, and more --


Set at the forefront of advanced medical care, a team of individual medical specialists are struggling to save as many patients' lives as possible. While evolving as a team that just got mixed together all the while growing as doctors individually, the story also gradually explores the mysterious pasts of all the team members.

Hatano Takumi (Aiba) is an internist who likes to spend a lot of time with each of his patients in order to completely read and understand their emotions. The people around him are already calling him "town doctor" for being so close with his patients.

One day he gets to examine a patient (Sato Yuki) who is suffering from cancer on his various organs. This patient also has had a heart bypass operation in the past, so he was refused and moved around by 15 different hospitals. The risks are too high and the possibility of recovery pretty much non-existent, but Takumi refuses to believe that all hope is already lost and begins to look for a treatment together with his team.

Trailer



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Saki


-- Title: ??
-- Start: January 8th --
-- Air Time: 22:00 --
-- Director: Imai Kazuhisa --
-- Script: Watanabe Chiho --
-- Cast: Nakama Yukie, Miura Shohei, Uchida Yuki, Takashima Masanobu, Shonozaki Ken, and more --
-- Theme Song: "Catch Me -If you wanna-" by Tohoshinki --


The staff of the drama 'Utsukushii Rinjin' (Fuji TV) and actress Nakama Yukie are once again going to deliver the story of a wicked and scheming woman.

In 'Saki', Nakama is playing a woman named Amihama Saki, who is working as a nurse at the pediatrics department of a general hospital. There she is plotting to destroy the lives of various men by using her cover as an almost angelic woman and caring nurse.

One day, a reporter of a major magazine (Miura) mentions in a story that he has a sister who he was separated at birth with, and that he has been looking for her his whole life. A few days later, Saki suddenly introduces herself to him as his long-lost sister. After a longer conversation with her, he truly believes that she is his older sister. He also learns that Saki is being bothered by a stalker and promises to introduce her to his lawyer friend (Hagiwara Masato). However, Saki already goes to visit that lawyer by herself on the following day, advancing with her wicked plans...

Trailer



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Itsuka Hi no Ataru Basho de


-- Title: ???????????
-- Start: January 8th --
-- Air Time: 22:00 --
-- Directors: Shibuya Miki, Yamauchi Munenobu, and Okajima Junichi --
-- Script: Takahashi Maki --
-- Cast: Ueto Aya, Iijima Naoko, Saito Takumi, Ryu Raita, Asano Atsuko, and more --
-- Theme Song: "Early Springtime" by Matsutoya Yumi --


Based on a novel by award-winning novelist Nonami Asa, 'Itsuka Hi no Ataru Basho de' portrays the lives of women struggling with their lives while being burdened with their past criminal records.

Komoriya Hako (Ueto) falls in love with a male host and lavishes all her money on him. In order to get more money, she keeps on stealing it from various men she met through an online dating website. Eventually she gets arrested and is condemned to 7 years at a female prison in Kanto.

At the prison, Hako meets a woman named Eguchi Ayaka (Iijima Naoko) who was condemned for murder. After both women serve their full terms in prison, they start living together in Yanaka, Tokyo. Thanks to Ayaka's positive and cheerful nature, Hako gradually manages to find her way back into society.

Trailer



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Shotenin Michiru no Minoue Banashi


-- Title: ???????????
-- Start: January 8th --
-- Air Time: 23:00 --
-- Director: Gouzu Naoe --
-- Script: Gouzu Naoe --
-- Original: 'Minoue Banashi' by Sato Shogo --
-- Cast: Toda Erika, Kora Kengo, Arai Hirofumi, Emoto Tasuku, Omori Nao, and more --
-- Theme Song: "ALONE" by U-KISS --


The story about an ordinary woman who suddenly wins 200,000,000 Yen ($2.5 million USD) in a lottery.

Michiru (Toda) is employed at a large bookstore in Nagasaki and has a boyfriend (Emoto). However, she's also in an immoral relationship with Toyomasu (Arai), a salesman of a major publishing company. One day, Michiru goes to the airport to send off Toyomasu who has to return to Tokyo, but she suddenly decides to go with him.

Before that her colleagues ask her to buy some lottery tickets for them and she obliges. However, it doesn't take long for her realize that one of the tickets she bought is actually the winning ticket for the grand prize. She didn't buy it with her own money, therefore she's not the rightful owner of the ticket, but she decides to claim and transfer the jackpot to her own bankbook nonetheless. Little did she know that this decision was going to lead her to betrayal, murder, and a life on the run...

Trailer


# Please check the official website! #


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Wednesday


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Share House no Koibito


-- Title: ?????????
-- Start: January 16th --
-- Air Time: 22:00 --
-- Directors: Nagumo Seiichi and Yoshino Hiroshi --
-- Script: Mizuhashi Fumie --
-- Cast: Mizukawa Asami, Tanihara Shosuke, Oizumi Yo, Nakajima Yuto, Kawaguchi Haruna, and more --


Tsuyama Shio (Mizukawa) is a 30-year-old single female office employee who wants to break out of her life of isolation without friends let alone a boyfriend. Therefore she decides to move into a shared house, where she happens to jump right into a love triangle with her two male housemates.

One of her housemates is Kawaki Tappei (Oizumi), a very openhearted person and good talker whom she can open her heart to. The other housemates is the 40-year-old good-looking man with a wife and kids, Sakurai Yukiya (Tanihara) whom Shio has fallen in love with ever since she noticed him at the convenience store before agreeing to live together. She actually saved him from committing suicide and invited him to live together with her and Tappei. However, Yukiya has discovered that he feels more attracted to the same sex and immediately falls in love with Tappei.

Trailer



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Thursday


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Kasoken no Onna
(Season 12)


-- Title: ?????
-- Start: January 17th --
-- Air Time: 20:00 --
-- Directors: Morimoto Hiroshi and Ishikawa Ichiro --
-- Script: Sakurai Takeharu and Todayama Masashi --
-- Cast: Sawaguchi Yasuko, Naito Takashi, Wakamura Mayumi, Kazama Toru, Toda Naho, and more --
-- Theme Song: "Demo ne..." by Yana Waraba --


It's already the 12th time the viewers get to follow Sakaki Mariko (Sawaguchi) and her team, crime scene investigators of the Kyoto Prefectural Police, who make free use of the latest science and technology in order to solve even the most difficult cases.

In the first episode, Sakaki is able to prove right away during the autopsy of a body that multiple guns must have been involved during the actual incident. She carefully wants to find out all the details about this case, but the new director (Toda) wants her to speed up the investigation as fast as possible.

Trailer


# Please check the official website! #


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Otome-san


-- Title: ?????
-- Start: January 17th --
-- Air Time: 21:00 --
-- Directors: Motohashi Keita and Hoshino Kazunari --
-- Script: Inoue Yumiko --
-- Cast: Kuroki Hitomi, Aibu Saki, Ishida Junichi, Kaku Tomohiro, Daichi Yasuo, and more --
-- Theme Song: "Tasogare Diary" by Takeuchi Mariya --


A story about the hard struggles of a housewife with a midlife crisis.

Due to certain circumstances, the 50-year-old housewife Mizusawa Asako (Kuroki) gets to live together with her only son Yuta (Kaku) and his wife Ririka (Aibu). Asako herself had always been teased by her mother-in-law and decided to face Ririka with warmth and kindness. The both of them immediately hit it off the first day they start living together.

However, Asako feels that something isn't right about Ririka's image of a perfect daughter-in-law and starts to become more suspicious of her. Soon she discovers that Ririka has many secrets and an almost frightening side to her that she is trying to keep hidden. She wants to dig deeper and begins to observe with almost investigative skills.

Trailer


# Please check the official website! #


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Apoyan
~ Hashiru Kokusai Kuko ~


-- Title: ???????????
-- Start: January 17th --
-- Air Time: 21:00 --
-- Directors: Horie Kei and Suzuki Kosuke --
-- Script: Seki Erika and Izumisawa Yoko --
-- Original: 'Apoyan' and 'Apoyan 2' by Shinno Takeshi --
-- Cast: Ito Atsushi, Kiritani Mirei, Yamamoto Yusuke, Kanjiya Shihori, Yanagiba Toshiro, and more --


'Apoyan' is a common term that describes travel agent experts who settle various problems and dramas that can occur at an airport service counters day in, day out.

The story is set at Narita International Airport and follows Endo Keita (Ito), an employee of a travel agency who used to plan out tours at the head office who suddenly gets transferred to the airport to work as an Apoyan. While being bewildered about his new work environment, he has to try his best settling all kind of problems for the agency and growing up us an Apoyan. However, one of his capable subordinates, Morio Haruko (Kiritani) isnt too keen about having him as her superior.

Trailer



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Saikou no Rikon


-- Title: ?????
-- Start: January 10th --
-- Air Time: 22:00 --
-- Directors: Miyamoto Rieko and Namiki Michiko --
-- Script: Sakamoto Yuji --
-- Cast: Eita, Ono Machiko, Maki Yoko, Ayano Go, Yachigusa Kaoru, and more --


A romantic home comedy about 30-year-olds with an immature view on marriage that focuses on themes related to married couples and families in general.

The protagonists of 'Saikou no Rikon' are two couples - Mitsuo (Eita) and Yuka (Ono) as well as Ryo (Ayano) and Akari (Maki). Mitsuo and Yuka have been married for two years, but their ways of thinking and living are completely different and they keep on quarreling with each other most of the time. Kosei is already regretting his marriage every day, yet his grandmother finally wants to see a great-grandchild. One day, he happens to meet Akari, his old girlfriend from his student days, which brings back pleasant memories. Right after he finds out Akari is already married, Yuka eventually asks him for a divorce.

Trailer



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Friday


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Yako Kanransha


-- Title: ?????
-- Start: January 18th --
-- Air Time: 22:00 --
-- Directors: Tsukahara Ayuko and Yamamoto Takeyoshi --
-- Script: Okudera Satoko and Shimizu Yukako --
-- Original: 'Yako Kanransha' by Minato Kanae --
-- Cast: Suzuki Kyoka, Ishida Yuriko, Natsuki Mari, Yuki Tetsuya, Miyasako Hiroyuki, and more --
-- Theme Song: "VOICE" by AI --


Another drama adaptation of one of Minato Kanae's popular novels.

'Yako Kanransha' is a thrilling suspense drama set in a high class residential area that follows multiple seemingly perfect families in the wake of a murder that gradually exposes the darkness hidden beyond their outward appearances. The drama is backed up by a brilliant cast lead by Suzuki Kyoka and promises to unfold the complex fabric of human relationships in typical Minato Kanae fashion.

Endo Mayumi and her family have finally achieved their dream of building a house in this prestigious residential neighborhood. However, the relationship between Mayumi, her husband (Miyasako), and their daughter Ayaka (Sugisaki Hana) isn't all that peaceful. Across the street lives the Takahashi family, an ideal family that seems to be blessed with everything that you could wish for. One day, Mr. Takashi - an elite doctor - is getting killed and Endo Mayumi finds out that they are not the only family with some really severe problems.

Trailer



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Nobunaga no Chef


-- Title: ??????
-- Start: January 11th --
-- Air Time: 23:15 --
-- Directors: Kanezaki Ryosuke, Tamura Naoki, and Fujioka Kojiro --
-- Script: Fukasawa Masaki and Kuramochi Yutaka --
-- Original: 'Nobunaga no Chef' by Nishimura Mitsuru --
-- Cast: Tamamori Yuta, Oikawa Mitsuhiro, Shida Mirai, Kashii Yu, Gori, and more --


A manga to drama adaptation of 'Nobunaga no Chef' starring Kis-My-Ft2 member Tamamori Yuta.

Tamamori plays a chef named Ken who suddenly gets transfered back in time to the Warring States period of Japan. Of course he looks suspicious to the people of that time and almost loses his life, but fortunately he gets rescued by the young female swordsmith Natsu (Shida). Ken wakes up at Natsu's place and finally begins to grasp the whole time slip dilemma.

Toyotomi Hideyoshi (Gori) happens to be there as well and Ken manages to impress him with his delicious cooking. Soon Oda Nobunaga (Oikawa) hears the rumor of a very talented chef and takes him to his castle in order to check if the rumors are true.

Trailer



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Saturday


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Nakuna, Hara-chan


-- Title: ?????????
-- Start: January 19th --
-- Air Time: 21:00 --
-- Directors: Sugawara Shintaro and Kariyama Shunsuke --
-- Script: Okada Yoshikazu --
-- Cast: Nagase Tomoya, Aso Kumiko, Maruyama Ryuhei, Kutsuna Shiori, Kaku Kento, and more --


A love story between a woman and a manga character come-to-life.

Echizen (Aso) is an ordinary woman with a dull job at a fish paste factory. Instead of writing a diary, she draws manga in her notebook to express her daily resentment. One day, her manga's main character 'Hara-chan' (Nagase) suddenly jumps out of the manga and enters the real world. Hara-chan immedialy falls in love with his creator and tries to do everything to make her happy.

Trailer



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Karamazov no Kyodai


-- Title: ?????????
-- Start: January 12th --
-- Air Time: 23:10 --
-- Directors: Tsuzuki Junichi, Sato Genta, and Murakami Shosuke --
-- Script: Oki Shizuka --
-- Original: 'The Brothers Karamazov' by Fyodor Dostoyevsky --
-- Cast: Ichihara Hayato, Saito Takumi, Hayashi Kento, Yoshida Kotaro, and more --


'Karamazov no Kyodai' is a psychological suspense drama based on Fyodor Dostoyevsky's last novel 'The Brothers Karamazov'.

Set in present-day Japan, three brothers are being suspected of having killed their father, Kurosawa Bunzo (Yoshida). Before his death, Bunzo ordered his three sons back home in order to have an important family council. The police is convinced that the three brothers must have been tormented by their greedy father and that this family council must have been the reason for the murder. However, the second son (Ichihara) declares that the origin of the murder could be the Kurosawa family itself.

The whole truth is gradually coming to light as the three brothers are being driven into a corner. Aside from exploring the psychology of the three brothers, the whole story is also set within the context of a political chaos and a disparate society, similar to Dostoyevskys original.

Trailer


# Please check the official website! #


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Sunday


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Tonbi


-- Title: ???
-- Start: January 13th --
-- Air Time: 21:00 --
-- Director: Hirakawa Yuichiro --
-- Script: Morishita Yoshiko --
-- Original: 'Tonbi' by Shigematsu Kiyoshi --
-- Cast: Uchino Masaaki, Sato Takeru, Fukiishi Kazue, Kato Takako, Tokiwa Takako, and more --
-- Theme Song: "Tanjoubi ni wa Masshiro na Yuri wo" by Fukuyama Masaharu --


The second drama adaptation of Shigematsu Kiyoshi's best-selling novel of the same name.

'Tonbi' depicts the love of a clumsy father who does everything for his beloved son. Uchino Masaaki has been chosen to portray the rowdy and simple father and his deep affection for his son, who is being played by Sato Takeru.

It's the year 1998, Akira (Sato) is the editor in charge of a school magazine of a major publisher. He is looking over his desk and there he can see a picture of his parents Yasu (Uchino) and Misako (Tokiwa). The story then takes us back to 1972, when the truck driver Yasu and his wife Misako give birth to their first son. They give him the name Akira.

Yasu lost his mother at a very young age and was abandoned by his father. Misako also lost both of her parents in an accident when she was still a child. Therefore they are both extremely happy about the birth of their son and devote their everything in order to be the parents they never had.

Akira was three years old, when a big tragedy suddenly overshadowed all this happiness.

Trailer



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dinner


-- Title: dinner
-- Start: January 13th --
-- Air Time: 21:00 --
-- Directors: Hoshi Mamoru, Hijikata Masato, and Joho Hidenori --
-- Script: Kuroiwa Tsutomu --
-- Cast: Eguchi Yosuke, Kurashina Kana, Matsushige Yutaka, Hakamada Yoshihiko, Seki Megumi, and more --
-- Theme Song: "Music" by Sakanaction --


This drama follows the staff of an Italian restaurant and their everyday struggles.

"Roccabianca" is a famous and popular Italian restaurant, but their head chef and owner Tatsumi (Kazama Morio) suddenly collapses and the restaurant loses its unique flavor. The number of customers rapidly declines, but the owner's daughter and deputy manager Saori (Kurashina) happens to find another chef named Ezaki (Eguchi) through an online job market who learned cooking at the same place her father did.

Ezaki becomes the new head chef of this restaurant and while nobody can deny that he is a gifted chef, it's his extreme rationalism that doesn't exactly go well with the restaurants attempt to save its traditional flavor.

Trailer


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