Chinese and Japanese Drama


Love Me if You Dare – I was captivated by the aesthetic of the show even though it was not a plot I was drawn to originally, I enjoyed the dynamics of the romance at center until the last few episodes when blends of languages became heavy and strange.

Nirvana in Fire
A long series, but excellent. Contrasted with a K-drama I am watching now, Six Flying Dragons, the lead is a little too far-reaching in his strategic intelligence, but the story balances in other ways.

Sound of the Desert Nice blend of male and female energies, with military plots and marketplace dynamics alongside romantic story lines. I like when a writer is confident enough to show an audience something more than they may think they want. I can imagine watching this one again.

disguiser 2

The Disguiser –
A Hu Ge drama, set in late 1930s Shanghai during Japanese occupation… an aesthetic which held up well. The acting was even, plot development smooth and sensible. He was a little old for the character, but not to a distracting extent.

When a Snail Falls in Love – Quite similar in feel to Love Me if You Dare, which is a compliment.

Characters walking frantically together down a street full of pedestrians. He reaches behind to grab hold of her arm.
When a Snail Falls in Love, photo via “!”

Rise of the PhoenixesI wrote a stand-alone post about this one.


Ando Lloyd AI and fun effects. Light tension all the way through. Satisfying as a first J-drama. Great physical actor.

The Hours of My Life– Devastatingly sweet. Obviously sad (ALS as main subject matter) but quietly paced and not trite. Such an incredible main actor (as with Ando Lloyd, gifted physicality). Achingly lovely female lead. All the important things come to the surface over the course of the episodes.

Date FUN. So glad I watched this. Think about it all the time.

Last Cinderella –
Very cute but one squirrely plot line. Same lead as Hours of My Life (Haruma Miura), another seemingly popular Japanese actor (Naohito Fujiki). Interesting actress (Ryoko Shinohara). Unpredictable but in a weird way.

 Jinsei ga Tokimeku Katazuke no Mahou – Based on the work of Marie Kondo, whose book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up has huge appeal all over the world right now. Cute.