Led by my obsession with Nishijima Hidetoshi and Toda Erika, I had a bumper crop of Jdramas this year! Though I complain about the lack of good Japanese romance dramas, I am pretty happy with most of the procedurals I watched this year and a couple even managed to get me mad shipping despite romance not being the central theme.
1) Strawberry Night
2) My 99 Days with a Star
3) Team Batista 2: General Rogue no Gaisen (drama, SP and movie)
5) Team Batista 3: Ariadone no Dangan
6) Keizoku 2: SPEC (drama, SP and movie)
Can't believe I've not written a single word on this fabulous series. The humour is offbeat, the plot out of this world and the characters quirky but the emotional connection between Toma and Sebumi is so real and raw that watching them brings me both joy and pain.
6) Kagi no Kakatta Heya
Locked room mystery is my favourite genre in detective fiction so I was pretty excited for this one but both the mysteries and characters turned out rather dull. I was especially disappointed by Toda Erika's role of Junko who was such a wallflower that it required almost none of the acting skills I know Toda possessed after her spectacular turn as Toma in Keizoku 2:SPEC.
I enjoyed this revenge drama while it lasted but nothing sticks in particular once I'm done with it.
1) Inborn Pair
I hadn't been so into a Taiwanese idol drama since ... since I can't remember when! Sadly this daily drama went on for too long and tried my patience with episodes which led no where for both plot and relationship development and I gave up at the final stretch.
2) Unriddle 2
On the other hand, Unriddle 2 started off shaky but once the plot thread trailing from Unriddle was resolved, the rest of the drama delivered with top notch acting and writing. Well, there were some details which could've been better taken care of but overall the cases were convincingly tied together and Rui En was simply wow wow wow in her potrayal of Xiao Man being gradually pushed over the edge.
3) Poetic Justice
Provided a fair bit of shipping material but the story fizzled out by the end. Shame.
I thought I was done with CLAMP after they wrecked the ending for xxxholic but noooooo, they had to go pick up 'Legal Drug' after a goodness knows how long hiatus and I ended up reading their old stuff while waiting for updates.
The art was lovely for such an old manga and it was an interesting read but I was left cold by the main characters. I found Yasha and Ashura’s relationship too simple and straightforward that I couldn’t even be wow-ed by Ashura turning the sword on himself instead of killing Yasha like the stars had ordained. I did like the host of side characters though, especially Taishakuten and Ashura-ou which were much more complicated and interesting characters to dissect.
I already knew how it ends (badly) but I was still a sobbing wreck at the last volume. Arg, so much feelings for Subaru and Seishirou.
This feels like a rehash of RG Veda in modern times. The world is once again facing the apocalypse with more people involved in the game this time but I found the pacing and characterization wanting for a story of this scale. The continuation of SeiSub's story was the main reason why I hung around for this manga and there was a good bit of crying for their parts but everything else was fun-to-read-but-I-don't-really-care.
Haven't touched wuxia novels since my teenage days but thanks to my chance encounter with Cang Yue (even now I marvel at how I decided to pick that one novel at random amongst all the books in the library), I found myself searching out new authors and I've discovered some gems that gripped me with their storytelling and got me shedding buckets of tears over the fates of fictional characters. I wish I could chat with someone on these stories but sadly they have not been translated into English so English speaking fandom is non-existent unlike say for Louis Cha's works which have been introduced all over the world through translated novels and subtitled dramas.
1) Cang Yue 沧月
2) Zhao Cheng Guang 赵晨光
3) Chang Pu 菖蒲