Romance starring Yutaka Takenouchi as aquarium worker Kengo, who enters into a contract marriage to save troubled sex worker Risa (Aya Ueto); the nice-guy façade hides an agenda of his own. First episode: October 18 at 9pm on Fuji TV, channel 8.
Mori no Asagao
Story of the unlikely friendship between a prison guard (Atsushi Ito) and an inmate on death row (Arata). First episode: October 18 at 10pm on TV Tokyo, channel 12.
Freeter, Ie wo Kau
Arashi’s Kazunari Ninomiya stars as a lazy, good-for-nothing “freeter” forced to change his ways and become the family breadwinner after his mother falls into a deep depression and his father skips town. First episode: October 19 at 9pm on Fuji TV, channel 8.
Long-divorced publishing exec Rui (Kyoka Suzuki) is tempted into an affair with the ambitious Akira (Hiroki Hasegawa), a married man 17 years her junior. First episode: October 12 at 10pm on NHK, channel 1.
Guilty: Akuma to Keiyakushita Onna
Miho Kanno and Hiroshi Tamaki star in this mystery-thriller about a woman who lives for revenge and a man who has nothing to live for. First episode: October 12 at 10pm on Fuji TV, channel 8.
Adaptation of the popular manga about a black-market loan shark and the various debt-riddled people he encounters. Takayuki Yamada stars. First episode: October 12 at 1am on TBS, channel 6.
Kurohyo: Ryu ga Gotoku Shinsho
After a failed attempt to bust his friend out of jail, ex-delinquent Tatsuya (Takumi Saito) is drawn back into the yakuza world and blackmailed into participating in an underground fighting ring. Based on the video game series. First episode: October 5 at 1:25am on TBS, channel 6.
Ogon no Buta
Fast-talking swindler Shinko (Ryoko Shinohara), out on parole, gets scouted by the Audit Bureau Special Investigation Team, where she teams up with by-the-book rookie Kudo (Masaki Okada) to take down greedy corporate cheats. First episode: October 20 at 10pm on NTV, channel 4.
Nasake no Onna
Ryoko Yonekura goes undercover and in a variety of costumes as a special investigator for the National Tax Bureau. First episode: October 21 at 9pm on TV Asahi, channel 10.
Iryu: Team Medical Dragon 3
Kenji Sakaguchi returns as the brilliant, renegade surgeon Ryutaro Asada in the third season of this popular drama about Japan’s troubled medical-care system. First episode: October 13 at 10pm on Fuji TV, channel 8.
Brilliant plastic surgeon Shun Kirishima (Masaru Nagai), aka “The Facemaker,” can give you any face you desire; all he asks in return is the use of your old one—which might wind up on someone else one day… First episode: October 7 at 11:58pm on NTV, channel 4.
Kenji: Onijima Heihachiro
Masatoshi Hamada of comedy duo Downtown stars with Beat Takeshi in this drama about a rookie prosecutor out to rid Japan of corruption. First episode: October 22 at 9pm on TV Asahi, channel 10.
In this sequel to the 1999 hit Keizoku, Ryo Kase plays an elite investigator who gets demoted to “Mishou,” a special division handling mysterious cases that can’t be explained by ordinary scientific means. Erika Toda also stars. First episode: October 8 at 10pm on TBS, channel 6.
Heisuke (Kuranosuke Sasaki) is devastated when his wife Naoko is killed in a bus accident. His 16-year-old daughter Monami (Mirai Shiida) miraculously survives the crash, but his life is turned upside down when Monami reveals that it’s actually Naoko’s spirit inhabiting her body. First episode: Oct 15 at 11:15pm on TV Asahi, channel 10.
Late-night drama about hostesses, starring Mikie Hara with Kirara Asuka and various other AV idols. Do we really need to say any more? First episode: October 8 at 12:12am on TV Tokyo, channel 12.
Nine clones, but in this game of musical chairs, only one can survive until the end. When the music stops, who will remain? Who is the real thing, and who is a copy? First episode: October 8 at 12:20am on TBS, channel 6.
Unpopular high-schooler Heita’s (Takeru Sato) life begins to change when he discovers a robot (Atsuko Maeda of AKB48) at school. Dubbing her Q10 (“Cute”), he decides to teach her how to be a human—but what happens when you fall in love with a robot? First episode: October 16 at 9pm on NTV, channel 4.
Shun Oguri stars as a rude, foul-mouthed—yet talented—vet who dubbed “Dolittle” for his ability to read not just animals, but their owners as well. Also stars Mao Inoue and Hiroki Narimiya. First episode: October 17 at 9pm on TBS, channel 6.
Kana (Yasuko Matsuyuki) is a talented news reporter at Capital Television, but after 15 years her stubborn pursuit of a certain unsolved case finally gets her exiled to the “reject” department. First episode: October 17 at 9pm on Fuji TV, channel 8.
Reinoryokusha Odagiri Kyoko no Uso
Famous psychic Kyoko Odagiri (Satomi Ishihara) is known for her overwhelming aura and powers of perception. Too bad she’s actually a complete fake. Together with her accomplice Ichiro (Shosuke Tanihara), Kyoko uses extensive research—and the occasional wild bluff—to make her astonishing predictions. First episode: October 10 at 11pm on TV Asahi, channel 10.