Sunday, December 31, 2017

Dorama World's 2017 in Retrospect

As we bid farewell to 2017, it's high time for a look at the key highlights here at Dorama World and in the J-ent world.

First of all, the top 3 most viewed blog posts of 2017 are as follows:

1) Maki Youko quitting from the movie "SUNNY Tsuyoi kimochi tsuyoi ai"
2) Kubota Masataka & Mizukawa Asami's dating news
3) Takenouchi Yutaka taking on the lead role in NHK drama "Kono koe wo kimi ni"

Coincidentally, these three posts all came from the second half of the year i.e. November, December and July. That's not to say that there wasn't many things happening in the J-ent world in the first half of the year but rather, the significant increase in readership of the blog and followers on the Facebook and Twitter accounts probably contributed to the spike in the access numbers.

There were also a number of key milestones on Dorama World this year:
- The 1st Dorama World Awards which wouldn't have been a success if not for your participation and support
- Celebrating the 11th anniversary in August

On the other hand, the most unpleasant thing to deal with would have been the content thieves. No doubt it was an unwelcome thing to happen, it was a timely wake-up call to tighten security and protect my work. There were many of you who gave me very useful advice and tips as well as alerted me to the content thieves. Thank you once again for your help in this!

2017, just like other years, saw a mix of good and bad dramas. Personally, among the dramas I've watched this year, "Quartet" was my No.1 even though it didn't do so well in terms of ratings. However, that's not to say that my opinion won't change since I have yet to watch some of this year's dramas which I intended to but haven't had the time to do so. I'll look forward to seeing which are the ones you consider to be the best in 2017 when the voting activity for the 2nd Dorama World Awards starts in January.

This year saw a number of actors and actresses hog the limelight such as Takahashi Issei, Takeuchi Ryoma, Suda Masaki, Hirose Suzu and Yoshioka Riho. Whether you like them or not, you can't deny that they are everywhere this year and it's hard to ignore their presence. Next year might see them continue their blazing trails in showbiz or a new batch of names may become the new hot shots of 2018.

While there are good news such as new couples formed (be it dating or married), there were also others who went their separate ways. Here's a list of news which I covered this year so you may click on the links to read the posts:

New dating couples (those who admitted or did not deny the news)
Kubota Masataka & Mizukawa Asami
Nakai Masahiro & Takeda Maika
Sakurai Sho & Ogawa Ayaka
Tanaka Daiki & Hirose Arisu

New couples who said "I do"
Okada Junichi & Miyazaki Aoi
Miyaji Mao
Wada Masato & Yoshiki Risa
Fujisawa Ema
TAKAHIRO & Takei Emi
Kikukawa Rei
Murata Mitsu & Kanda Sayaka
Watabe Ken & Sasaki Nozomi
Saotome Yuuki & Shimabukuro Hiroko
Nakamura Aoi
Okamoto Reiji & Usuda Asami

Couples who said sayonara to each other
Matsuda Ryuhei & Ota Rina
Misaki Ayame
Hakamada Yoshihiko & Kawanaka Ai
Mitsushima Shinnosuke
Ono Machiko
Tanaka Naoki & Kohinata Shie
Suneohair & Tomosaka Rie
Fukushi Seiji & Higa Manami
Fukikoshi Mitsuru & Hirota Reona
Tosaka Hiroomi & Rola

And there were many celebrities who welcomed new arrivals to their families such as Hirayama Hiroyuki, Nakamura Shido, Higashide Masahiro & An, Nakamura Aoi, Aibu Saki, Suenaga Haruka, Takashima Masanobu, Kato Takako, Mizuno Miki, Harada Natsuki, Kubozuka Yosuke, Kaku Kento & Eikura Nana, Akanishi Jin & Kuroki Meisa, Nagai Masaru & Nakagoshi Noriko, Dean Fujioka, Emoto Tasuku & Ando Sakura, Endo Kumiko, Oguri Shun & Yamada Yu and Suzuki Ami.

2017 saw a continuation of the furin 不倫 trend i.e. having extramarital affairs from 2016 with big names like Watanabe Ken and even "repeat offenders" like Itao ItsujiSaito Yuki and Tanaka Tetsushi making the news for this reason. The details got as sordid as they could in some instances e.g. Uehara Takako & Abe Tsuyoshi's affair possibly leading to the suicide of Uehara's late husband TENN or her fellow SPEED member Imai Eriko's alleged affair with another politician but probably suggests that this issue is so deep-rooted in the entertainment world. Following her retirement announcement, Shimizu Fumika was also exposed to have had an affair with Meshida Yuuma.

Retirement also seems to be a buzzword for 2017. In the second half of the year, Amuro Namie dominated the headlines for a while with her surprise announcement to retire next year. However, you might not remember that the first half of the year saw a series of retirements from actors/actresses with the most prominent examples being Horikita Maki, Esumi Makiko and Shimizu Fumika. In Shimizu's case, it was extremely messy because she was so heavily involved in many projects and her sudden move was made more controversial due to the religion factor.

Another type of retirement, or rather breaking up in a professional manner, was also common this year. Besides the trio of Inagaki Goro, Kusanagi Tsuyoshi & Katori Shingo breaking away from Johnny's Jimusho and becoming new Internet sensations in the second half of the year, Takki & Tsubasa also parted (not sure for how long) and will concentrate on their solo careers. Yamamoto Yusuke was fired by his agency for contract violations but there were no details on the nature of such violations while Ikimonogakari suspended their group activities.

Celebrities also got trouble with the law such as Kimura Takuya's traffic accident in June or Koide Keisuke's scandal of drinking and having sex with an underage girl or Tanaka Koki caught for marijuana possession, On the other hand, family members of celebrities also created issues of their own such as Asano Tadanobu's father caught for drug consumption and Hashizume Isao's actor son caught for drug possession,

Some celebrities had issues with their health such as Domoto Tsuyoshi's sudden hearing loss back in summer and Nakamura Shido's cancer while some celebrities passed away such as Nogiwa Yoko, Kobayashi Mao, Inoue Takashi, Watase Tsunehiko, Fujimura Shunji and Matsukata Hiroki.

How was 2017 for you? Please feel free to share your comments on what news stories or drama or movie was especially memorable for you. ^__^

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