As promised last Friday, tonight we shall begin watching an all time most beloved drama… that of course being “Long Vacation.” And let me just say…I love this series so much and I think it’s the best drama ever written! Stars Kimura Takuya, Yamaguchi Tomoko, Takenouchi Yutaka, Matsu Takako, Ryo, and Inamori Izumi and it really was that launching pad which enhanced their careers so much in terms of not only the drama world but in the media as well. You’ll also catch a very youthful idol in Hirosue Ryoko in a few episodes and another famed idol from yesteryear and you’ll know just whom I speak of when you see her albeit it’s a bit of a tiny role at that. So there you have it, the idol connection for this beloved series not to mention that one of the main stars in Inamori Izumi was actually an idol way way back…. just check last week’s “Idols Unzipped” to see an idol-image VHS she released many moons ago as it’s quite the rarity~.
However before we begin here’s a quick walk down drama memory lane as I present my VERY outdated and yet still relevant =P list of favorite dramas of all-time:
~My Drama ♥ List~
(a list in much need of an update!)
34. Yasashii jikan
33. Love Generation
32. Nobuta wo produce
31. Orange Days
30. Taiyou no kisetsu
29. Kamisama Mou Sukoshi Dake
A tragic but moving love story involving a young girl who contracts aids (played by Fukada Kyoko) who searches for refuge in a popular rock musician (played by Kaneshiro Takeshi).
27. Renai Kekkon no Housoku
26. Summer Snow
A sheltered girl (played by Hirosue Ryoko) begins to live life fully finding love and adventure in a seemingly unlikely relationship. (Also stars Domoto Tsuyoshi)
24. San Nen B Gumi Kinpachi Sensei (silly me can’t remember the season number but the theme song is “Atarashii hito e.” This is the first time that I saw Ueto Aya and she played quite a controversial role here! Such a beautiful series as you can really relate to the situations that face these characters in a show that always promises multiple story lines all of which are explored fully.
23. Strawberry on the Shortcake
Wonderful soundtrack and a very engaging show starring Fukada Kyoko & Takizawa Hideaki!! One of the cutest dramas that I’ve ever seen!
22. To Heart Koishite Shinitai
Fukada Kyoko and Domoto Tsuyoshi star in this story of a young boxer and the trials and tribulations he faces in his daily fight to succeed. Add in the adorable Fukakyon and mix well!
21. Second Chance
20. Koori no Sekai
Takenouchi Yutaka & Matsushima Nanako star in this mystery/murder thriller that will have you guessing till the very end! Also has one of the best theme songs ever: “Diamond Dust” by Himuro Kyosuke!!
19. Aoi Tori
Great moving drama starring Toyokawa Etsushi, Nagasaku Hiromi, and Suzuki Ann!
18. Riso no Joshi
17. Hoshi no Kinka
Stars my favorite non H!P pop idol Sakai Noriko along with Takenouchi Yutaka and Osawa Takao. An often tragic drama about a hearing impaired nurse who falls in love with a doctor only to have him lose his memory in an accident.
The most wonderful year long drama (and you thought Korean dramas were long!!…well actually they are!) which chronicled the incredible life of one of Japan’s most revered figures in history, Miyamoto Musashi!
Beautiful drama although the ending may have you thinking…eh? The theme song is Mr.Children’s incredible song “Namonaki uta.”
14. Virgin Road
Stars Wakui Emi and Sorimachi Takashi in a romance stemming from a chance meeting of destiny. Theme song is Amuro Namie’s beautiful ballad “Can You Celebrate?”
13. Hitotsu Yane no Shita 2
I could write an entire post about this one show…you just have to see it! The cast is amazing as this show stars: Eguchi Yosuke, Fukuyama Masaharu, Sakai Noriko, Ishida Issei, and Oji Megumi along with many other familiar faces!
12. Kagayake! Rintaro
Powerful drama about an advertising salesman and his journey filled with love, heart, humor, and life situations anyone can relate to. Stars Karasawa Toshiaki, Kiki Kirin, and Esumi Makiko.
11. Konna Koi no Hanashi
Sanada Hiroyuki plays a wealthy but cold and lonely businessman who learns that he only has a short while to live as he’s developed cancer but finds love and redemption in a relationship in which a crucial business deal may forever affect. Also stars Tamaki Koji and the beautiful Matsushima Nanako!
10. Mou ichido kimi ni propose
9. Litre of Tears
8. Sekai no Chuushin de, Ai wo Sakebu
6.Ruri no shima
5. Majisuka Gakuen
4. Hana yori dango
3. Aishiteiru to Itte Kure
The first Japanese drama that I watched and it came by chance one night while going through the channels! A hearing impaired artist played by the incredible Toyokawa Etsushi finds an unlikely romance with a young actress (played by Tokiwa Takako) and the inevitable trials and tribulations of such a relationship ensue. Incredibly moving story and performances!
2. Hitotsu Yane no Shita
While its sequel is great this one’s even better!! Six siblings must cope with every day life on their own as their parents are killed in an accident. The story may sound simple but I can’t stress enough how much this drama will engross you and have you in deep anticipation of each next episode. Make sure the Kleenex is right beside you at all times! Incredible cast including: Eguchi Yosuke, Fukuyama Masaharu, Sakai Noriko, Ishida Issei, and Oji Megumi just to name a few!
So YES! I’m going straight to #1!
1. Long Vacation
~Reminiscing an all-time favorite drama series~
「ロングバケーション episode 1」
So I’ll be posting each episode singly one episode per week every Friday …all 11 episodes here ^^.
Do note that this first episode is extra long as the episodes to follow are of the normal 45 minute average run time for hour-slot Japanese dramas.
And as aforementioned I think “Long Vacation” is the best drama ever written! Stars Kimura Takuya, Yamaguchi Tomoko, Takenouchi Yutaka, Matsu Takako, Ryo, and Inamori Izumi…. not to mention it also has one of the most iconic theme songs of all-time in Kubota Toshinobu’s “La La La Love Song” and if by chance you don’t know it, trust me you’re gonna fall in love w/ it head over heels I promise and even the opening credits remains as one of the very best cast montages!!