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Top 10 Japanese Dramas that weren’t translated to English

Are you tired of the same old formulaic dramas and looking for something fresh and exciting? Dive into the world of Japanese television and uncover a treasure trove of captivating dramas that unfortunately haven't been translated into English. From gripping mysteries to heartwarming slice-of-life tales, these dramas offer a unique glimpse into Japanese culture and storytelling. Join us as we explore the top 10 Japanese dramas that deserve your attention and are waiting to be discovered.


Shodou Cafeteria no Onna-tachi (2017)

Shodou Cafeteria no Onna-tachi

Looking for a heartwarming drama that will leave you feeling centered and inspired? Look no further than Shodou Cafeteria no Onna-tachi (Women of the Calligraphy Cafeteria), a 2017 Japanese slice-of-life gem. This drama offers a calming retreat into the lives of ordinary women who find solace and connection in the art of calligraphy.


Shodou Cafeteria no Onna-tachi takes us to a cozy haven – a cafeteria that doubles as a calligraphy studio. Here, a group of women from various walks of life gather to unwind, practice the art of beautiful writing, and share stories over steaming cups of tea. As they delve into the world of calligraphy, they navigate personal challenges, forge friendships, and discover hidden strengths within themselves. The series offers a glimpse into the meditative practice of calligraphy, its focus and flow mirroring the emotional journeys of the characters.


The reasons behind Shodou Cafeteria no Onna-tachi remaining untranslated are open to speculation. The drama's gentle pace and focus on everyday moments might hold a stronger appeal for domestic audiences. Cultural nuances woven into the story could also present a hurdle for translation to a global context. Sometimes, licensing agreements can restrict international broadcast or translation rights.


So, if you're seeking a drama that nourishes the soul and offers a glimpse into Japanese culture, Shodou Cafeteria no Onna-tachi is a perfect choice. Settle in with a steaming cup of tea, embrace the beauty of the Japanese language, and let the serenity of this drama wash over you. You might just discover your new favorite haven.


SPEC: Keishicho Sousa Ikka Tokushu Kyoku (2010)

SPEC: Keishicho Sousa Ikka Tokushu Kyoku

Calling all fans of the extraordinary! If you crave a drama that blends action, mystery, and a dash of the supernatural, then SPEC: Keishicho Sousa Ikka Tokushu Kyoku (SPEC: Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department Special Investigations Unit) is a must-watch. This 2010 Japanese drama throws viewers headfirst into the realm of SPEC – Special Powers for Counter Espionage – a unique police unit tasked with tackling unusual crimes.


SPEC centers around a maverick policewoman and a genius with exceptional memory who join forces to confront these bizarre cases. Imagine a world where criminals can manipulate minds, control luck, or even bend reality. This is the world of SPEC, where the line between science and fiction blurs, and our heroes must use their own unconventional methods to crack the case.


The reasons behind SPEC remaining untranslated remain unclear. The series might be a niche favorite, its plot resonating more strongly with Japanese audiences. The story's quirky blend of genres could also pose a challenge for translation to a global audience. Additionally, licensing issues can sometimes prevent dramas from finding international platforms.


SPEC is more than just a crime drama; it's a cultural exploration. So, if you're ready to dive into a world of the extraordinary, SPEC awaits. Embrace the challenge of subtitles and immerse yourself in the unique blend of action, mystery, and the wonders of the Japanese language. You might just discover your next drama obsession.


Nagi no Oito - The Naked Producer (2016)

Nagi no Oito - The Naked Producer

The world of television glitters with glamour, but behind the scenes, the reality can be far less enchanting. Nagi no Oito (The Naked Producer), a 2016 Japanese drama, rips back the curtain to expose the ruthless underbelly of Japanese television production. This satirical drama dives deep, promising dark humor, social commentary, and an unfiltered look at the industry's inner workings.


Nagi no Oito centers around a tough-as-nails producer who navigates the cutthroat world of Japanese television. She's a force to be reckoned with, unafraid to challenge the status quo and fight for her vision. The drama pulls no punches, exposing the dark side of the industry – the relentless pressure, the backstabbing politics, and the relentless pursuit of ratings that can compromise quality. Through the protagonist's journey, we witness the struggles of those striving for creative expression in a system driven by profit.


So, if you're looking for a drama that lifts the veil on the dark side of entertainment and challenges societal norms, Nagi no Oito is a must-watch. Embrace the challenge of subtitles, and delve into the world of Japanese television through the sharp lens of this drama. You might just discover your next binge-worthy favorite.


Tokyo Love Story (2005)

Tokyo Love Story (2005)

While there's a 1991 drama titled Tokyo Love Story that achieved international fame,  a lesser-known 2005 drama of the same name offers a fresh perspective on modern love.  This untranslated gem explores the complexities of a love triangle set against the backdrop of bustling Tokyo.


The story unfolds around a flight attendant who finds herself torn between two men.  There's the charming university student who represents the innocence of young love, and a rival airline employee who embodies a more mature and grounded connection.  As the drama progresses, the protagonist grapples with her feelings, navigating the emotional rollercoaster of love, heartbreak, and the challenges of choosing between two seemingly perfect paths.


So, if you're a fan of classic romance dramas and interested in exploring Japanese culture through the lens of love, the 2005 Tokyo Love Story might be your hidden gem. Embrace the challenge of subtitles and let the beauty of the Japanese language transport you to a world of modern love in Tokyo. You never know, this untranslated gem might become your next favorite love story.


JIN (2009-2011)

JIN

Ever wondered what it would be like to travel back in time? JIN (2009-2011), a captivating Japanese historical fantasy drama, takes viewers on a thrilling adventure that transcends centuries. This unique series blends medical drama with historical fiction, placing a present-day doctor in the heart of Japan's tumultuous Bakumatsu period.


JIN follows the story of a brilliant neurosurgeon who inexplicably finds himself transported back in time to the late Edo era. Thrust into a world of political unrest and clashing ideologies, he must use his modern medical knowledge to navigate a vastly different healthcare system. As he strives to save lives with limited resources, he grapples with the ethical dilemmas of altering the past and the emotional toll of being separated from his own time.


JIN is more than just a medical drama; it's a portal to another time. So, if you're ready to embark on a historical adventure with a medical twist, JIN awaits. Embrace the challenge of subtitles and allow yourself to be transported by the story and the beauty of the Japanese language. You might just discover your next historical drama obsession.


Hanzawa Naoki (2013)

Hanzawa Naoki

The world of finance can be a cutthroat one, filled with high stakes and complex maneuvers. Hanzawa Naoki (2013), a gripping Japanese drama, thrusts viewers into this arena, introducing a tenacious banker who fights for what's right. This popular drama showcases the power of perseverance and the importance of using your voice in the face of corruption.


Hanzawa Naoki centers around a hot-headed banker with an unwavering moral compass. He finds himself battling corruption and injustice within the Japanese financial system. The story unfolds as he confronts unethical practices and challenges the status quo within his own bank. Through his relentless pursuit of justice, Hanzawa Naoki becomes an inspiration to those who fight for what they believe in, even in the face of overwhelming odds.


So, if you're looking for a drama that packs a punch, Hanzawa Naoki is a must-watch. Embrace the challenge of subtitles and be captivated by the power of words as they fuel the fight for justice in this enthralling Japanese drama. You never know, this untranslated gem might become your new favorite.


Miss Sherlock (2018)

Miss Sherlock

The world of Sherlock Holmes is timeless, but what if the brilliant detective was a woman navigating the bustling streets of modern-day Tokyo? Miss Sherlock (2018), a captivating Japanese drama, offers a refreshing take on the classic detective story. This contemporary drama showcases a brilliant but eccentric detective and her loyal companion, tackling perplexing mysteries in the heart of Japan.


Miss Sherlock follows the enigmatic Sherlock, a consultant detective with an exceptional mind and a penchant for unconventional methods. Aided by her faithful blogger companion, a woman lacking social graces but possessing a sharp wit, they unravel intricate cases that baffle the police. As they delve into the underbelly of Tokyo, the unlikely pair must confront their own inner demons while exposing the truth behind seemingly impossible crimes.


So, if you're a fan of Sherlock Holmes with a penchant for the contemporary, Miss Sherlock is a must-watch. Embrace the challenge of subtitles and allow yourself to be captivated by the mysteries, the humor, and the beauty of the Japanese language in this modern take on a classic tale. You never know, this untranslated gem might become your next detective drama obsession.


Doctor X: Gekai Daimon Michiko (2012-)

Doctor X: Gekai Daimon Michiko

The world of medicine is often portrayed as a place of rigid hierarchy and protocol. But what if a maverick doctor with exceptional skills chose to challenge the status quo? Doctor X: Gekai Daimon Michiko (2012-), a long-running Japanese medical drama, introduces a brilliant and bold surgeon who fights for her patients while refusing to be constrained by the system.


Doctor X centers around Dr. Michiko Daimon, a freelance surgeon with unparalleled surgical skills. Nicknamed "Doctor X" for her enigmatic persona and insistence on independence, she performs risky but necessary surgeries that other doctors deem too challenging. Dr. Daimon clashes with hospital administration who prioritize profit over patient well-being. The series highlights the importance of prioritizing patient care and challenges the limitations imposed by a system focused on bureaucracy over human lives.


So, if you're looking for a medical drama that breaks the mold, Doctor X is a perfect choice. Embrace the challenge of subtitles and be inspired by Dr. Daimon's unwavering commitment to her patients as she navigates the complexities of the medical world through the power of her words and her scalpel. This untranslated gem might become your new favorite medical drama.


Hibiki (2013)

Hibiki

Looking for a drama that will warm your heart and leave you humming a tune? Look no further than Hibiki (2013), a Japanese coming-of-age story that celebrates music, friendship, and the power of perseverance. This heartwarming drama follows a group of high school students who find their voices and forge an unlikely bond through the world of brass band music.


Hibiki takes us on a journey with a mismatched group of students. Some are passionate but lack talent, while others possess hidden skills but struggle with self-doubt. As they overcome their differences and learn to play together, they discover the magic of music and the joy of teamwork. The series beautifully portrays the challenges and triumphs of adolescence, showcasing the importance of friendship, dedication, and the transformative power of music.


So, if you're looking for a drama that fills you with optimism and reminds you of the beauty of music and friendship, Hibiki is a perfect choice. Embrace the subtitles and let the infectious energy and the language of Hibiki transport you to the heart of a high school band on their journey to musical glory. This untranslated gem might just become your new favorite coming-of-age story.


Galileo (2007)

Galileo

In the realm of Japanese television, one series stands out for its intriguing blend of science and mystery: "Galileo" (2007). This captivating drama follows the exploits of a brilliant physicist who lends his scientific prowess to aid the police in solving complex cases.


Set in a contemporary Japanese backdrop, the series delves into the world of crime investigation, offering viewers a unique perspective on solving mysteries through the lens of scientific principles. As the physicist, played by the talented actor Masaharu Fukuyama, teams up with a determined police officer, portrayed by Kou Shibasaki, they embark on a journey to unravel intricate puzzles using logic, deduction, and the power of scientific inquiry.


What sets "Galileo" apart is its innovative approach to storytelling. While many crime dramas rely on traditional investigative methods, "Galileo" introduces viewers to a refreshing concept where science becomes the protagonist's most potent tool. From analyzing evidence to reconstructing crime scenes, each episode showcases the meticulous application of scientific principles to crack the toughest cases.


Are you tired of the same old formulaic dramas and looking for something fresh and

exciting? Dive into the world of Japanese television and uncover a treasure trove of captivating dramas that unfortunately haven't been translated into English. From gripping mysteries to heartwarming slice-of-life tales, these dramas offer a unique glimpse into Japanese culture and storytelling. Join us as we explore the top 10 Japanese dramas that deserve your attention and are waiting to be discovered.

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