This fall looks like a strong season for drama fans! There are plenty to enjoy, including several hit sequels such as "LIAR GAME." The lineup boasts a lot of popular male stars, such as Shun Oguri, Masaki Aiba, and Haruma Miura, as well as established actress such as Yukie Nakama and Norika Fujiwara. Here's what you can look forward to:
Tokyo DOGS (東京DOGS)
Fuji TV, Monday 9:00pm, premieres October 19
As a child, Sou Takakura (Shun Oguri) witnessed the murder of his father. Vowing to someday catch the culprit, he grew up to become an elite detective on the New York police force, regarded highly for his composure, discipline, adaptability, and military training. One day, he takes on a case involving a major drug operation linked to his father's killer. Maruo Kudo (Hiro Mizushima), a member of a special investigative division in Japan, arrives in New York to help out. The investigation leads them to Yuki Matsunaga (Yuriko Yoshitaka), who holds some crucial info about the case but has lost part of her memory due to a traumatic incident. Sou and Maruo team up to continue the case in Japan, but their completely opposite personalities may be a hindrance. And as Yuki regains her memory, her knowledge begins to expose a painful past.
Other Cast: Ryo Katsuji, Mikihisa Azuma, Kotaro Shiga, Asami Usuda, Rie Tomosaka, Yoshiko Tanaka, Nene Otsuka, Tomokazu Miura
Official Site: http://wwwz.fujitv.co.jp/tokyo-dogs/index.html
LIAR GAME 2 (ライアーゲーム ～シーズン２～)
Fuji TV, Tuesday 9:00pm, premieres November 10
The hit "LIAR GAME" drama returns for a second season, which will lead into a movie version being released next year. The new series takes place two years after the first one. The naïve Nao Kanzaki (Erika Toda) and expert swindler Shinichi Akiyama (Shota Matsuda) have not heard anything from the LIAR GAME organization since the end of the previous game, so it seems they may have actually escaped. But Nao suddenly gets another invitation and is once again caught up in the game. This time, she has to team up with Shinichi and one of their previous rivals named Fukunaga (Kosuke Suzuki), facing off against three more opponents in new games of deception, such as "24 Rensou Russian Roulette" and "17 Poker."
Other Cast: Michiko Kichise, Ikkei Watanabe, Rinko Kikuchi
Official Site: http://wwwz.fujitv.co.jp/liargame/index.html
Real Clothes (リアル・クローズ)
Fuji TV, Tuesday 10:00pm, premieres October 13
"Real Clothes" is based on a fashion manga by Satoru Makimura, which was already adapted as a tanpatsu drama special in 2008. Karina and Hitomi Kuroki will once again co-star, returning with most of the main cast from the special. Karina plays Kinue, a saleswoman in the futon section of a department store. One day, she suddenly gets transferred to the women's clothing department, even though she herself is lacking in fashion sense. Kuroki plays the part of her new boss Miki, who soon introduces Kinue to the tough reality of the fashion world. Through this job, Kinue learns about the meaning of life, love, and work.
Other Cast: Sousuke Takaoka, Hidetoshi Nishijima, Kotaro Koizumi, IMALU, Anna Nose, Erena, Natsuki Kato, Yuko Mano
Official Site: http://ktv.jp/real-clothes/index.html
Fumou Chitai (不毛地帯)
Fuji TV, Thursday 10:00pm, premieres October 15 (first episode, 9:00pm)
Adapted from a novel by Toyoko Yamasaki, "Fumou Chitai" is a large-scale project that will run for six months. Toshiaki Karasawa stars as a military leader named Tadashi Iki who was captured by the Soviets during World War II. Treated as a war criminal, he was sentenced to many years of labor in a harsh Siberian detention camp. After 11 years of imprisonment, he is released. He returns to Japan and begins readjusting to life as a civilian, rejecting an offer from his former colleague to work on a defense project. Tadashi has decided to never involve himself in war again, much to the joy of his family. Instead, he attempts to set off on a new path working at a major trading company.
Other Cast: Emi Wakui, Mikako Tabe, Taira Takahashi, Toshiro Yanagiba, Yasunori Danta, Arata Furuta, Shiro Ito, Sadao Abe, Yuki Amami, Kenichi Endo, Isao Hashizume, Shinsho Nakamaru, Kuranosuke Sasaki, Koyuki, Yutaka Takenouchi, Yutaka Matsushige, Yoshio Harada, Ittoku Kishibe
Official Site: http://wwwz.fujitv.co.jp/fumouchitai/index.html
Xmas no Kiseki (Xmasの奇蹟)
Fuji TV, Weekdays 1:30pm, premieres November 2
One night, record company employee Nao (Kaori Takahashi) hears a beautiful piano song that brings tears to her eyes. At that moment, she meets music director Hiroshi (Kohki Okada) in what seems like a fated encounter. They fall in love and start their own record company a year later, signing the pianist who played the song that linked the two together. Nao and Hiroshi have decided to get married if the pianist's Christmas concert is a success, but on his way there, Hiroshi gets into a car accident and is taken to the hospital. He remains unconscious, but a 20-year-old (Masataka Kubota) at the same hospital miraculously awakens from his own unconscious state. Hiroshi's soul is actually in the young man's body, and he appears at Nao's home to try to resume their love.
Other Cast: Atsuo Ouchi, Mayu Gamo, Kumi Nakamura, Marumi Shiraishi, Shohei Hino, Park Yong-ha