This list of 10 best Japanese dramas features the most popular dramas from television and film. You can rent these movies from a video rental store or purchase them online. Many of the Japanese television dramas are also available for online viewing.

  1. “Absolute Boyfriend.” “Absolute Boyfriend” or “Zettai Kareshi” is a 2008 Japanese drama starring Saki Aibu, Mokomichi Hayami, and Jingi Irie. The popular TV series centers on a female office worker who is ready to give up on men, when a mysterious man offers her the perfect boyfriend.

  2. “Bugmaster.” “Bugmaster” or “Mushi-Shi” is a 2006 drama based on a Japanese manga series. Starring Jo Odagiri, Nao Ohmori, and Yu Aoi, it tells the story of Bugmaster, a mystical doctor who travels through Japan curing the ill effects of supernatural creatures called Mushi.

  3. “Departures.” One of the most popular Japanese dramas is “Departures,” a 2008 film originally titled “Okuribito.” The film won the 2009 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Starring Masahiro Motoki, Ryoko Hirosue, and Tsutomu Yamazaki, it focuses on an unemployed cellist preparing the dead for funerals.

  4. “For You In Full Blossom.” “For You In Full Blossom” or “Hanazakari No Kimitachi” is a 2007 Japanese manga drama starring Maki Horikita, Shun Oguri, and Toma Ikuta. Particularly successful in Taiwan, the series centers on a young girl who disguises herself as a boy in order to attend an all-boys school where the object of her desire attends.

  5. “Mei-chan’s Butler.” “Mei-chan’s Butler” is a 2009 television drama based on a Japanese manga series. This “fish out of water” comedy-drama centers on a young woman who must leave her humble family restaurant when she learns she is heir to a wealthy and powerful family. The drama stars Nana Eikura, Hiro Mizushima, and Takeru Sato.

  6. “Otomen.” “Otomen” is a 2009 Japanese television drama based on a romantic comedy manga series. Starring Kaho, Ryo Kimura, and Masaki Okada, the drama centers on a cool, tough manly guy who has secret passions like cooking, romantic manga, and sewing.

  7. “Ryomaden.” “Ryomaden” is a 2010 Japanese historical drama. Starring Masaharu Fukuyama, Jeffrey Rowe, and Andrez Bergen, the television drama centers on the lives of two 19th century Japanese historical figures, Iwasaki Yataro and Sakamoto Ryoma.

  8. “Taste Of Tea.” “Taste Of Tea” or “Cha no aji” is a 2004 Japanese drama. The critically-acclaimed movie follows the lives of the Haruno family living in a rural region north of Tokyo. The film features the acting talents of Maya Banno, Takahiro Sato, and Tadanobu Asano.

  9. “Train Man.” “Train Man” or “Densha Otoko” is a 2005 comedy-romance drama supposedly based on a true story. The movie, which is also a popular television drama, novel, and manga series, centers on a young Japanese geek who intervenes when a drunk man harasses several women on a train.

  10. “The Wallflower.” “The Wallflower” or “Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi” is a 2006 Japanese anime and manga series featuring Hannah Alcorn, Grey Ayres, and Josh Grelle. The drama revolves around a group of young men promised a rent-free mansion , if they can turn their landlord’s reclusive niece into a lady.