Sunday, March 25, 2018

The 2nd Dorama World Awards 2017 - Best Drama

Finally, here is the last category to be announced - Best Drama!

Although three of my favourites are in the top 5, I have to admit that I am disappointed with the way the ranking has turned out because it is yet another one-sided race. Although No.2 put up a valiant fight, it was still way insufficient to turn the tables.

No.5 Chiisana Kyojin - 26 points

To be honest, when I first started watching Chiisana Kyojin, I thought that it was just a police version of Hanzawa Naoki. The similarities between both dramas were aplenty and the way the story was structured i.e. two arcs seemed too identical. However, when placed in a different environment i.e. police force vs. bank, the story became quite unique and was more engaging than I expected. Of course, there were some dramatic and seemingly unrealistic moments but they were at least entertaining. Coupled with the strong acting from the cast (sometimes a bit too forceful especially Hasegawa Hiroki, Okada Masaki and Kagawa Teruyuki who I thought might get a stroke any minute because they were so engrossed and agitated), this turned out to be a better-than-expected piece of work. I guess having no expectations in the beginning helped me to enjoy this drama more and I did vote for this drama.

No.4 Rikuou - 44 points

As I pointed out previously, the only thing which I didn't really like about Rikuou was its overly-idealistic developments at times. Of course, there were setbacks for the characters most of the time but still, it's an all-ends-well conclusion for the characters (well, most of them except the baddies). In terms of the acting, it was a mixed situation with some doing extremely well e.g. Yakusho Koji, Takeuchi Ryoma and Matsuoka Shuzo while some others seemed unusually weak e.g. Pierre Taki who I think his baddie character was too one-dimensional. Yamazaki Kento was somewhat overshadowed by Takeuchi although I thought that he improved from the last time I saw him in Death Note. Overall, I could see the amount of dedication and effort put into the production of this drama so in the end, I could overlook the issues I had with the story and voted for this drama.

No.3 Kahogo no Kahoko - 46 points

This drama beat Rikuou by just 2 points to secure the No.3 position. Judging from the highly positive comments left by you guys about this drama, it seems like it is something worth checking out as there is more than what I initially expected.
One interesting trend which I've noticed was that the people who voted for Takeuchi Ryoma and Takahata Mitsuki in the individual acting awards also chose the drama in this category. It seems to suggest that they liked both the acting and the story unlike for some dramas where their cast members were not voted for at all.

No.2 Quartet - 128 points

Quartet did its best but it was just no match for the eventual No.1 which enjoyed overwhelming support from the beginning. Nonetheless, this was my No.1 for 2017.
Sakamoto Yuji's script was fantastic and the cast really brought it to life with their strong acting. The thing is, such dramas which have a lot of dialogue and dry humour, appeal to a niche audience so it may not be palatable to those who seek a faster paced story without so many conversations. On the other hand, people who like this genre will be "dissecting" each and every line for their meaning which usually resonates with us. If I watched this when I was much younger, I might not have appreciated it as much as I do now. Much as I loved this drama, I don't like the idea of a sequel because it might just kill off the magic that was created in the original series.

No.1 Doctor X Season 5 - 380 points

Doctor X has done it again this year. I think the fans must be rejoicing now as the drama and its cast performed rather well. I have said enough about how I feel about this drama and that I hope to see Yonekura ditching this role soon to do something different. I have nothing against Doctor X or it winning this category but that lazy TV Asahi should really stop taking the easy way out and milk the Doctor X series to the limit.
The voting process this year was marred by some overzealous fans who tried to skew the one-sided results even further with lots of duplicated votes for Doctor X and its cast. It was a pity that something like this happened because this deviates from the purpose of holding these awards in the first place. Ultimately, what I want to do is for everyone to get a rough idea which dramas are worth checking out within the year and to have some fun in voting and guessing the winners. Unfortunately, those fans who resorted to the mass voting seemed too obsessed with securing a win even though these winning dramas and actors get nothing from me. If you look at it from another perspective, I guess this shows how much they love this drama and want it to win at all costs. After discounting these errant voters, you can see that the fan base of Doctor X is still very significant as seen from the huge point difference compared to Quartet.

In case you are wondering, I also voted for Reverse which failed to make it to the Top 5. Although I think Minato Kanae's stories tend to have the problem of ending weakly i.e. extremely anti-climatic, the overall quality of Reverse and its cast made me support the drama in the end.

Now that all the results are out, I will be contacting the winners in the Guess the Winners game individually for you to choose your prize within the next two weeks.

What are your thoughts about the winners list in this year's awards?


B Taylor said...

Though I like Doctor X, I’m ready to see my girl in something else too. Only 5 I haven’t seen. But I agree, Reverse would definitely be on my list!

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed Prison Princess, wish that made it into the list.

Anonymous said...

oh. only Quartet made it in the top 5...
i also voted for Kangoku no Ohimesama which was one of my fave show of 2017 too. and Byplayers !!! so~ much fun and original !!!
I too voted for Reverse and really thought it would made it to the top 5, even if the last episode was kinda lackluster. oh well...
until next year then !

Anonymous said...

Why I'm not surprise to see Doctor X in almost all category. Michiko sensei surely have strong follower, ne? So I guess it's time to admit that I'm the strange one to not understand the charm of that drama even though medical dorama is one of my favorite genre (seriously, if it has to be medical dorama, why not Kounodori 2 instead?!)
The same with Kimutaku win the best actor with huge margin. But I'm surprise to not see his drama in other category. Can we say that it's more about his popularity than the quality then? And for the same reason, I wonder why I don't see Matsujun or 99.9 at all.


Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you about Quartet. This drama reminded me of all the qualities that first attracted me to Japanese dramas, character development, sophisticated dialogue, a positive statement about humanity, and a compelling plot. I really came to care about these characters, and couldn’t figure out the resolution until the end.

Orange11 said...

nice to know writer also voted for Reverse (which I voted too :)

matsujun's 99.9 S2 should be next year?

Anonymous said...

Why's Kounodori 2 never mentioned here?
Maybe not for the actors but it's worth for the story and its soundtrack
Can someone tell me why there're so many hype for Doctor X?
I tried to watched the first episode but it didn't make me want to finish it

Anyway i voted for Reverse too. And personally i think they should follow the novel's ending, not original drama ending.

Chiaki said...

Seems like there's some confusion over the qualifying criteria here - all dramas voted in this exercise were shown in the year 2017. As such, 99.9 or BG would have qualified for the next round of voting.

Kounodori 2 hardly made an impact in this year's awards for some reason. Not sure whether it's because the fans haven't finished watching this or the level of support was somewhat lacking.

I haven't read Reverse's novel though so can't comment on which ending is better.

As for Doctor X, I made myself rather clear in my posts how I felt about it so I'm not disguising the fact that I don't really think much of it. Strictly speaking, I don't consider it a true-blue medical drama because the meat of the story seems to be more about the infighting within the hospital, the humour and making Daimon look like the perfect surgeon which can sometimes be so hard to believe. I can see why it's good entertainment but I also think that the story hardly makes an impact on me and is rather repetitive and forgettable.