Article: Top 10 Japanese Dramas With Mind-Blowing Visuals

It’s universally acknowledged that a drama is most enjoyable when stunning visuals accompany it. No but, seriously, who would want to watch a drama or a movie if it has dull and uninteresting backgrounds? Where would be the enjoyment if the characters’ clothes were plain and not period-accurate? While many viewers may not understand the intricacies of camera angles and cinematography, if these things aren’t done right, even the most casual fan will notice the lackluster effort. Thankfully, the Japanese entertainment industry has gifted us many gorgeous dramas with stunning and captivating visuals. Let’s dive into the top 10 Japanese Dramas with Mind-Blowing Visuals!

1. Mr. Brain

Mr. Brain is a Japanese television series. The series tells the story of a neuroscientist named Ryusuke Tsukumo, who works for the National Research Institute of Police. Ryusuke utilizes his brilliant knowledge of psychology to take down twisted criminals. Mr. Brain masterfully combines detective work with medical science, and the resulting content is as entertaining as it is radical. The detective aspects of the show showcase the perseverance of the characters as well as modish cinematography, and the intriguing storylines keep the viewer hooked.  This series is a standout in the crime thriller genre owing to its use of cutting-edge visuals.

2. Nirvana In Fire

Originally a Chinese drama, Nirvana in Fire is a historical fantasy fiction drama. In the drama, the protagonist’s family is unjustly executed by the emperor. Twelve years later, he plans to implement his revenge. A historical drama is bound to have elaborate costumes and clothing, and this drama isn’t a stranger to that. The drama features some of the most gorgeous and historically accurate costumes, which adds to the visual aspect of the series. The breathtaking sceneries and beautiful shooting locations add to the drama’s charm, and the attention to detail paid to making minute details appear historically accurate transports the audience to the past.

3. The Emperor’s Cook

This historical drama is based on the novel Tennō no Ryōriban written by Hisahide Sugimori. Directed by Yuchiro Hirakawa, the series chronicles the life of a chef in imperial Japan named Tokuzō Akiyama. Tokuzo is a good-for-nothing man who can’t commit to anything. Frustrated, his parents marry him off to a merchant’s daughter. Over time, he falls in love with cooking and travels to Japan to further enhance his cooking skills. The Emperor’s Cook takes place in the Meiji era of Japan, and the costumes reflect that well. Paired with the beautiful visual depiction of the historical period, this drama will be loved by those who praise this genre.

4. Hanzawa Naoki

Hanzawa Naoki is a top-rated drama in Japan, achieving the highest ratings in viewer polls in Japanese television history. The drama’s setting is the corporate world, and the plot follows a bank worker who claws his way up the corporate world. Apart from the neat and cutthroat corporate backdrop, the drama features potent camera work, which aids in augmenting the narrative arc. The visual aspect of this drama is well done as well which wonderfully portrays the complexities and challenges faced by a corporate worker.

5. Bitter Blood

Bitter Blood is also known by its alternate title, Partners by Blood. It is a crime drama that features intensive plotlines with a dark and atmospheric vibe. Rookie detective Natsuki Sahara forms an unusual investigating team with his deadbeat father and the girl he likes. The problem is that Natsuki’s crush, Hitomi Haeda, like his father, so many funny and chaotic events arise as the mismatched trio attempts to catch a serial killer. Bitter Blood is praised for its visually striking scenes and for capturing the emotional arc of the drama. Weaving through messed-up family dynamics and a bloodthirsty killer, the drama creates a visually appealing scenario.

6. Sakamoto Desu Ga?

Sakamoto Desu Ga? is an entertaining watch that will wow the viewer with its visually striking elements. High schooler Sakamoto is everything one can dream to be: sophisticated, suave, sublime, and very well-looking. Amid comedic happenings, Sakomoto tries to live a peaceful high school life even as his envious classmates pull all kinds of pranks on him. This comedy anime utilizes vibrant colors and humorous visual gags. The way this anime portrays the life of Sakamoto is a visual treat. The visuals complement the humorous tone wonderfully.

7. Tokyo Tarareba Musume

Starring Yuriko Yoshitaka, Nana Eikura, and Yuko Oshima, Tokyo Tarareba Musume tells the story of three friends who must come to terms with adulthood. The word “Tarareba” translates to “what-ifs,” which is one of the main focuses of the show. This romantic comedy is renowned for the sleek portrayal of modern urban life and the chic costumes of all three female leads. The drama’s setting is at the heart of Tokyo, and the drama captures the essence of this bustling metropolitan. With visually appealing scenes, engaging plotlines, and contemporary plus chic visuals, the show is a must-watch if you want a light-hearted comedy.

8. I’m Mita, Your Housekeeper

A grieving family hires a housekeeper named Akari Mita (played by actress Nanako Matsushima) to take care of their house, which is in miserable condition following the mother’s death. Mita is perfectly fine. She keeps to herself and does her job impeccably. But something is weird about her, she speaks in a monotonous voice and always keeps a stoic face. Mita helps the family overcome their grief, and a sort of camaraderie develops as both parties support the other in facing their traumas. The overall tone of I’m Mita, Your Housekeeper is sad and grave. The well-crafted visuals wonderfully encapsulate the series’ vibe and the cinematography provides depth to the characters’ personalities.

9. Alice In Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland is one of the most streamed series on Netflix and the only Japanese Netflix original series to hit an all-time high in viewership ratings. Alice in Wonderland tells the story of an aimless gamer who somehow gets transported in a game and must band with his two friends to find the way out of this strange world. While the dystopian visuals in this thriller are almost all computer-generated, that doesn’t mean that they are any less good. Jam-packed with gruesome, gory, and shock-jock visuals, Alice in Wonderland is one of the best series on Netflix.

10. Love That Makes You Cry

Love That Makes You Cry is a romance slash slice-of-life Japanese drama. The drama showcases the different aspects and complexities of love through the lives of six individuals. All six individuals lead vastly different lives yet share the same emotion: loneliness. The drama exploration of complex relationships is reinforced by picturesque backgrounds and visually stunning moments. The portrayals of the depth of emotions are incredibly moving.