When it comes to Japanese dramas, actors from Japan have not seen the fan culture boost that Korean and Thai actors are presently seeing. Despite that, after starring in the flirty romantic drama ‘Coffee and Vanilla’ in 2019, actor Dori Sakurada shot to fame and have been one of the very loved J-drama actors of the present time. Dori Sakurada made his debut in 2005 with the Japanese TV series ‘Ruri’s Island’.
Other than being an actor, Sakurada also made his singing debut with his solo album, Ainouta, released in 2018.
Dori Sakurada has established himself as an actor, model, dancer, and singer. With his ongoing J-drama, Play it Cool, Guys and his upcoming fan meetings that will soon take place later this year, you may be wanting to see other popular shows starring Dori Sakurada in the lead role.
Here are 10 J-dramas starring Dori Sakurada for you to watch as his ongoing show, Play it Cool, Guys airs on Tokyo TV.
Scum’s Wish (2017)
Also known as Kuzu No Honkai, this 2017 drama is based on a manga of the same name. The show follows the lives of two 17-year-olds, Mugi Awaya (played by Dori Sakurada) and Hanabi Yasuraoka who appear to be the ideal couple. They are both pretty popular, and they seem to suit each other well.
However, outsiders don’t know of the secret they share. Both Mugi and Hanabi have hopeless crushes on someone else and are only dating each other to soothe their loneliness. Mugi is in love with Akane Minagawa, a young teacher who used to be his home tutor.
Hanabi is also in love with a teacher, a young man who has been a family friend since she was little. Within each other, they find a place where they can grieve for the ones they cannot have, and they share physical intimacy driven by loneliness. Will things stay like this for them forever?
Coffee and Vanilla (2019)
The J-drama that saw Dori Sakurada shoot to fame is 2019’s Coffee and Vanilla. The show is a romantic drama that follows the life of a new couple, Risa Shiroki and Hiroto Fukami (played by Dori Sakurada) who are both getting to know each other.
Twenty-year-old Risa Shiroki comes to Tokyo from her hometown in the countryside to attend university. Pretty and popular with male students, she has never had a boyfriend and dreams of having a sweet love. One day, thirty-year-old Hiroto Fukami appears in front of her. He is a businessman who appears to be gentle and looks perfect. As romance blossoms between them, Risa learns that there is a lot that she does not know about Hiroto.
Perfect Crime (2019)
This one has a lot of mixed reviews among fans for its narration but only praise for Dori Sakurada. Perfect Crime follows the life of Kaori, who works as a design planner for a housing manufacturer. She has been having a secret affair with her married boss Fuyuki for years. Although Kaori can’t see a future with Fuyuki, she still loves him and continues their relationship.
One day Haruto (played by Dori Sakurada), the newly-transferred young and hot interior designer from New York finds them in a compromising position. Subsequently, Kaori and Haruto are put together in the same team for a design project. Working together, Kaori starts getting to know Haruto better and her fate begins to change.
Play it Cool, Guys (2023) – Ongoing
The ongoing live-action version of the popular anime series of the same name, Play it Cool, Guys follows the story of four males who are known for their clumsiness but are striving to appear cool. Despite their various struggles, anxieties, and desires for approval, they somehow manage to maintain a cool and composed demeanour in their everyday lives. Dori Sakurada plays Mima Takayuki in this Tokyo TV J-drama.
One of Sakurada’s first J-dramas as the main lead, SIGN is a music-based show that follows the lives of the members of a boy’s dance team. Two years after Douji lost his hearing, he finds no purpose in his life. One evening when he goes to the club where his big brother works, he meets a dancing boys team and learns that even if he can’t hear what people say, he can still feel the music’s vibrations and dance. Douji decides to join the dancing team and soon discovers a whole new world. Dori Sakurada plays Mizumoto Yorimitsu in this drama.
Love Chocolate (2011)
Also known as Koi Choco – Bittersweet Angel, this 2011 show is a fantasy romance drama where Fumina, a girl that works at a small restaurant harbours a crush on her customer that comes to buy hot dogs every day.
One day, a short time before Valentine’s Day, she meets the angel Anju (played by Dori Sakurada), who wants to become a full-time angel. To achieve his goal, he needs to help Fumina fall in love and confess her feelings to this customer she likes.
Women’s Math Academy (2012)
The 2012 drama, Suugaku Joshi Gakuen also known as Women’s Math Academy is developed with the cooperation of the International Mathematical Olympiad in Japan. The drama is set at a specialized math school full of “suugaku joshi” (“math girls”). The show aims to incorporate various mathematical functions and formulas into the story and dialogue.
The drama is set in a private school called Machida Special High School of Mathematics where a fight for the “No. 1 Mathematics Boss” breaks out between two high school girls, Nina and Sayuri. A male student by the name of Kazuki (played by Dori Sakurada), who has zero interest in mathematics gets transferred to the school due to a mistake in the handling procedure.
Shirayuri Kyodai no Handsome na Shokutaku (2009)
Dori Sakurada’s first ever J-drama as the main lead, Shirayuri Kyodai no Handsome na Shokutaku follows the life of Shirayuri Rio who lives on his own when suddenly his younger brother, Shitayuri Shizuru (played by Dori Sakurada) shows up, declaring that he’s going to move in with Rio much to his displeasure.
Each episode of this show follows the two brothers helping out people in one way or the other. The episodes also contain a short cooking lesson.
3B no Koibito (2021)
One of the more recent shows starring Dori Sakurada as the main lead is the series 3B no Koibito (The 3B’s You Shouldn’t Date). The show follows the story of Kobayashi Haru, who fell in love before finding out that her boyfriend was actually a married man. At that time, a regular customer predicts that she will wind up meeting 3 different men.
She begins encountering them just as predicted. There’s the hairdresser Shintaro, the band vocalist Yu, and the bartender Yoshi (played by Dori Sakurada). Now as Kobayashi Haru has met all three men, a secret romance could follow these encounters.
Alice in Borderland Season 1 and 2 (2021-2022)
The 2021 Netflix original, Alice in Borderland recently returned for a second season in 2022 starring Dori Sakurada in the supporting role of Niragi Suguru but still manages to steal the show with his peculiar acting. The show is set in a dystopian version of Japan where Arisu Ryohei—a listless, jobless and video-game-obsessed young man—suddenly finds himself in a strange, emptied-out Tokyo.
There, Arisu and his friends must compete in dangerous games in order to survive. In this strange world, Arisu meets Usagi, a young woman who’s navigating the games alone. After a dangerous game which tests Arisu’s limits, the two set out together to unravel one mystery after another as they risk their lives and confront what it means to live.
And there we have it, our list of the best Dori Sakurada dramas to watch with him playing the main lead!
What do you think of our list? Have we included your favourites? Or have we missed any must-watch dramas or movies? We love to hear from you so do feel free to let us know in the comments below.