The Japanese actress and former model Keiko Kitagawa is one of the known names in the arena of Asian Entertainment. With extremely good looks and an appealing screen presence, she has managed to get a hold of millions of audiences and fans from all over the world. Born on August 22, 1986, the actress has acted in many television dramas, and movies and the majority of them were immensely loved by the viewers and also by the critics.
From the year 2003 to 2006, she worked as an exclusive model for the Japanese Seventeen magazine. With the television drama series titled “Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon”, she made her acting debut. The show aired from the year 2003 to 2004. Since her debut, she has enjoyed a good profile and was signed into several movie and drama projects.
We are here to talk about the best drama series and movies of Keiko Kitagawa that you should watch and add to your watchlist if you haven’t already enjoyed them. We have handpicked the top 10 movies and drama series of her that are definitely a must-watch and were appreciated a lot all over the Asian Entertainment arena and also outside of it.
So, without taking any more of your time, let’s have a look inside.
Nazotoki wa Dinner no Ato de (2011)
The Japanese drama series “Nazotoki wa Dinner no Ato de” is one of the well-known television series by Keiko Kitagawa. Directed by Hijikata Masato and Ishikawa Junichi, the show is also known with another name called “The After-Dinner Mysteries”. It is based on a mystery novel with the same name by a well-known Japanese author Tokuya Higashigawa. The show was a major hit in Japan and was loved by all the fans out there, and is still in names in the arena of Asian Entertainment.
The Fuji TV drama series narrates the story of a rich heiress named Reiko. But she denied the luxuries of her life and decided to work as a detective. She despises Kazamatsuri, who is her senior and is known for making illogical decisions that causes serious murder cases to become cold cases. All of a sudden, one day, her butler announces his retirement, and she chooses Kageyama to fill in the position again.
Things take turns when Kageyama solves a seemingly difficult murder mystery, and that impresses Reiko a lot. After that incident, whenever she gets a difficult case, she shares all the details with him, and he explains the solutions for the same after dinner. He doesn’t only give out the solutions but also tells her some universal truth about human nature that would have possibly caused them to commit a particular crime.
- Starring: Sho Sakurai as Kageyama, Keiko Kitagawa as Reiko Hosho, Kippei Shiina as Kyoichiro Kazamatsuri, Toru Nomaguchi as Seiichi Namiki, Katsuo Nakamura as Satoru Yamashige, and Anri Okamoto as Azumi Munemori.
- Genres: Mystery, Drama, and Comedy.
- Number of Episodes: 10 + 1 special.
Buzzer Beat (2009)
One of the popular Japanese dramas on the list by Keiko Kitagawa. The drama series was highly successful and was popularly known for its light-hearted plot points and impressive cast performance. The Fuji TV drama series was a major hit not only in its homeland, Japan but also in all other regions of Asian Entertainment.
The plot of the show revolves around a young player named Kamiya Naoki from a professional basketball team. Though, he is not able to use his skills to their full potential in the game because of his relatively smaller size and tendency to lose cool under pressure. On the other side, we meet a cheerful and strong-spirited college graduate named Shirakawa Riko, who is aiming to become a professional violinist.
They meet when Riko finds Naoki’s cellphone on a bus, and gradually their friendship turns into love. Though things get complicated as Naoki has already decided that he will marry his current girlfriend, and things get out of hand as Naoki’s coach is in love with Riko which happens to be the love at first sight.
- Starring: Yamashita Tomoshia as Kamiya Naoki, Keiko Kitagawa as Shirakawa Riko, Aibu Saki as Nanami Natsuki, Kanjiya Shihori as Ebina Mai, Ito Hideaki as Kawasaki Tomoya, and Mizobata Junpei as Hatano Shuji.
- Genres: Music, Romance, and Sports.
- Number of Episodes: 11.
Mop Girl (2007)
The 2007’s Japanese television drama series “Mop Girl” is one of those dramas out there that is still holding a place in everyone’s watchlist out there. The drama series was appreciated a lot for its engaging plotline and powerful cast performance, and there is no denying the fact that the show did pretty well in every aspect.
In the plot of the show, we meet Momoko, who got a new job under a company that offers funeral services and clean-ups after crime scenes. In between her job, she discovers her new supernatural ability when leaves her in awe and fear. Her this amazing yet scary ability of hers allows her to travel back in time by touching an item belonging to the deceased person and then saving them from an untimely death.
The show’s plot was something really engaging and appreciative for the viewers are thus was loved by the majority of them. If you haven’t already watched the show, then this is your cue to do so.
- Starring: Keiko Kitagawa as Hasegawa Momoko, Tanihara Soshuke as Otomo Shosuke, Miyama Karen as Hasegawa Momoko, Hayashi Yasufumi as Hasegawa Keigo, Asami Reina as Okouchi Hina, and Sato Jiro as Higashi Shigeo.
- Genres: Mystery, Comedy, and Fantasy.
- Number of Episodes: 10.
Dokushin Kizoku (2013)
Also known with other names like “A Swinging Single” and “Noble Bachelor” the Japanese drama is one of the most heavily rated ones out there. The show is known for its light-hearted portrayal of the genres in there and also for weaving an effective plotline.
The story of the show takes us to Hoshino Mamoru, whom people call the “Noble Bachelor”. He is the president of a filmmaking company established by his father and is very successful in doing his job. He is enjoying his single life and is satisfied with whatever he has.
Then we meet whom people refer to as “Divorce Warrior”. Hoshino Sumoru is the younger brother of Mamoru, currently in the process of taking divorce from his wife and also gets kicked out of the house by her. Sumoru now lives with his brother and is well versed in the ability of negotiation, and is equipped with sharp business sense. He is not planning to be single as his brother and already is busy dating women.
Finally, the story takes us to Haruno Yuki or popularly referred to as “Marriage Refugee”. She has this dream to write a film script, but her love life and work prospect are in a very dim condition. Moreover, she despises men’s concept of marriage and is not a particular believer in getting married. She is well focused on her dream though it isn’t easy to achieve it, which leads her to give up on the same. Currently, she is doing housework as a part-time job, and something surprising and unexpected takes place.
The three of these people crosses paths, and their lives become tangled with each other.
- Starring: Kusanagi Tsuyoshi as Hoshino Mamoru, Keiko Kitagawa as Haruno Yuki, Ito Hideaki as Hoshino Susumu, Hiraiwa Kami as Genozono Reiko, Sasai Eisuke as Kobayashi Seiji, and Fujigaya Taisuke as Kawagoe Yuta.
- Genres: Comedy, Romance, and Drama.
- Number of Episodes: 11.
Ie Uru Onna (2016)
The NTV drama series is known for its impressive plot points and amazing cast performance. Written by Oishi Shizuka and directed by Inomata Ryuichi and Noriyoshi Sakuma, the show did pretty well with the ratings and reviews and was packed up with bundles of appreciation both by the critics and the viewers.
In the story, we are taken to a time four years before Tokyo hosts the 2020 Summer Olympics and when the housing sales are in fierce competition. We meet Sangenya Machi, who is a very successful real estate agent. The 30-year-old agent is single, and her appearance makes the situation really twisting. She has always had the way with her customers and has her own unique way to get her clients to buy houses. Her unique way of doing business involves are getting involved in her client’s problems and also in their families. She then comes up with a solution to their problems and then convinces them to buy houses from her.
- Starring: Keiko Kitagawa as Sangenya Machi, Kudo Asuka as Niwano Seiji, Nakamura Toru as Yashiro Dai, Imoto Ayako as Shirasu Mika, Chiba Yudai as Adachi Satoshi, and Kajihara Zen as Fuse Makoto.
- Genres: Business and Comedy.
- Watch on: Viki
- Number of Episodes: 10.
Directed by Suzuki Masayuki, the Japanese movie “Hero” was one of the most successful big screens of Keiko Kitagawa. The movie was released on July 18, 2015
And made a box office collection of ¥4.67 billion. It was appreciated a lot by the audience from all the corners of the Asian arena for its amazing storyline and cast performance.
The show’s storyline revolves around Kohei Kuryu, a prosecutor who has taken charge of a case in which a foreign embassy holds the key, which would lead to the breakdown of the case. The investigation has not gone anywhere as extraterritoriality is involved in it. At the same time, a crisis takes place, and we see Kohei and his office attempting to suck out the truth behind the wall of the embassy.
The movie also has a prequel titled “Hero 2”. If you haven’t already watched the movie, then do for it.
- Starring: Kimura Takuya as Kuryu Kohei, Matsu Takako as Amamiya Maiko, Keiko Kitagawa as Asagi Chika, Sato Koichi as Matsuba Keisuke, Sugimoto Tetta as Tamura Masaschi, and Yashima Norito as Endo Kenji.
- Genres: Mystery, Crime, Comedy, and Law.
- Running Time: 2 hours.
I Just Wanna Hug You (2014)
Also known with other names like “Want to Hold” and “I Wanna Hold Your Hand,” the Japanese movie saw an appreciative success rate and did quite good in every aspect of the box office. If you are looking for a simple plot with appealing yet intriguing genres, then this is your stop.
Released on February 1, 2014, the movie narrates the story about a high school student named Tsukasa who got into a life-threatening car accident. The injuries from the same are permanent on her body, and she suffers from memory impairment and is bound to a wheelchair for any kind of movement. Despite all the tragedy in her life, she never loses hope and tries to live to the fullest.
Things take turns when she falls in love with a taxi driver named Masaki, who is a sucker for basketball and loves playing it. Even though they are poles apart, they do their best to build up a happy family together, but their happiness doesn’t last long as another serious situation enters their peaceful life.
- Starring: Nishikido Ryo as Masaki, Keiko Kitagawa as Tsukasa, Kuboto Masataka as Junpei, Hirayama Aya as Natsumi, Kamiji Yusuke as Tonden, and Saitoh Takumi as Sonomura.
- Genres: Romance and Drama.
- Running Time: 2 hours 2 minutes.
Paradise Kiss (2011)
Directed by Shinjo Takehiko, the movie was one of the most favored ones by Keiko Kitagawa. It was released in one of the early stages of her big-screen career, and it brought her television persona to the big screens. Of course, the film was loved by many out there, and it is still fresh in the Asian Entertainment arena.
Written by Bando Kenji, the plot of the film tells the story of a high school student named Yukari Hayasaka, who has gotten tired of her regular routine. Her boredom leads her to cross paths with a group of student fashion designers who are in search of a model for their clothing label called “Paradise Kiss”.
Being a newcomer into the world of fashion, things become a bit overwhelming for Yukari, and she is taken aback by the group’s eccentric ways. Though, as time passes, she starts admiring their out-of-the-box thinking and the ability to pursue a dream with one aim in mind.
- Starring: Mukai Osamu as Jouji Koizumi, Keiko Kitagawa as Yukari Hayasaka, Yamamoto Yusuke as Tokumori Hiroyuki, Omasa Aya as Sakurada Miwako, Kaku Kento as Nagase Arashi, and Igarashi Shunji as Yamamoto Isabella.
- Genres: Business and Drama.
- Watch on: Netflix.
- Running Time: 1 hour 56 minutes.
Released on September 14, 2018, the Japanese movie is directed by Tsukikawa Sho and is one of the must-watch on the list.
Written by Nishida Masafumi, the movie narrates the story of a 15-year-old girl named Hibiki Akui who is not good with her emotions. Struggling with her inner feelings, she has developed violent tendencies which have made everyone around her part ways. She is in love with reading and writing and thus ends up joining a literary club where she meets Rinka, a fellow writer who soon becomes her friend but also a rival.
To test and confirm her worth and position as a writer, she submits her manuscript “The Fairy Tale Garden” to Mokuren, a literary magazine. Her talents and skills prove their worth, and the manuscript bags the entry in the Rookie of the Year award of the magazine.
Though, it does not satisfy the conditions of the award and ends up getting tossed in the office’s garbage bin. It is found by editor Fumi Hanai who takes a very keen interest in the same.
- Starring: Hirate Yurina as Akui Hibiki, Keiko Kitagawa as Hanai Fumi, Ayaka Wilson as Sobue Rika, Takashima Masanobu as Kanda Masanori, Yagira Yuya as Tanaka Kohei, and Nomaguchi Toru as Yano Hiroaki.
- Genres: Friendship, Drama, and Thriller.
- Watch on: Netflix
- Running Time: 1 hour 44 minutes.
Also known with other names like “Nightmare Chan” and “My Little Nightmare,” the drama series is directed by Inomata Ryuichi, Sugawara Shintaro, and Noriyoshi Sakuma. It was released on October 13, 2012, and aired its final episode on December 22, 2012. Throughout its premiere, it saw consistency in its views and was admired a lot for its amazing plot points.
In the show, we meet Koto Yuiko, who is a strange girl and is transferred to a class which is taught by Mutio Ayami. Yuiko possesses a supernatural ability in which she gets precognitive dreams about those with whom she makes eye contact. All those dreams are really vivid and absolutely dangerous. She and her grandfather seek help from Mutoi Ayami and ask her to help them in interpreting the meaning behind these dreams to prevent any unwanted disaster.
- Starring: Keiko Kitagawa as Mutoi Ayami, Kimura Manatsu as Kotou Yuiko, Kohinata Fumiyo as Kotou Bannaosuke, Yuka as Hirashima Kotoha, GACKT as Shiki Takashi, and Wada Masato as Yamasato Mineki.
- Genres: Mystery, School, and Fantasy.
- Number of Episodes: 11.