They may play the leading character's shadow, but these supporting casts/ extras have managed to snag the limelight with their undeniable charisma, humor and inexplainable x factor. Even with their brief 15 minutes of fame, or even less (appearance on screen time), they have certainly caught our attention, while some of them are on their way up to becoming "it stars" as we speak.
In true habit of scouring my brain for potential twisted rankings, here are the Top 15 Supporting cast/ extras that may have escaped most of our attention, but certainly have not failed to capture our hearts.
15 - Okamisan and Aki Nishihara of Hana Yori Dango
The food store owner (sorry dunno her real name) where Makino and Yuki work is just about the coolest lady boss anyone could ever get. Even though she always butts in out of nowhere with weird, dubious stories of her men in history (literally, she claims to have dated John Lennon and even Rudolf. THE RED NOSED REINDEER, hilarious) - she's a great comic relief, and with great timing at that.
Aki, on the other hand, played Inoue Mao's best friend and Masami's bitchy senpai in Last Friends. Long ago she played Shun Oguri's gf in an unknown drama special. She's kinda cool. Partly because I was secretly rooting for her when she stomped Masami's foot with her fabulous high heeled boots. (*insert evil laugh*)
14 - Hamada Gaku as Tsurumi in Proposal Daisakusen
Care to make a fanfic and proclaim them as the new so-called "OTP" (One True Pair, right?) after this image?? Grossness.
Anyway, Hamada is your resident class clown slash joke absorber in high school you just can't live without. It was quite surprising to learn that this shrimp chibi dude who looks like a 40-year-old salary man is only about 20 years old! But he's the only one who made the jokes work in Prodai so, kudos.
13 - The Doormat second love interest in Prodai and handsome doctor in 1 Litre of Tears. Fujiki Naohito.
Okay. The guy doesn't seem to have much of a personality but we really don't mind another eyecandy on the screen. He usually plays the cardboard characters who's always mellow and passive - even when the girl dumps him (ON THEIR WEDDING DAY, no less), in short, he's just too good to be true.
12 - The IRON-FACED WOMAN. Kashii Yu. My Boss My Hero, Yukan Club.
Kashii: Trying hard to smile with that rock-hard stern face of hers.
Result: Lopsided smile that makes her look like she's constipated. And she even added a wink for effect.
On a side note, Yukan Club sucked. Like, seriously. It's one of those dramas that are so bad but you just can't stop watching because you've already wasted a few hours withstanding the pain so might as well endure more. Great comeback drama for Jin. They put him in a drama with a script written by kindergarteners.
11 - Shige as Kenta senpai in Papa to Musume no Nanokakan (looonnng title, geez)
Taking Aragaki Yui's cuteness aside, the drama was as forgettable as Shige - during his Junior greasy haired back dancing days. But it's definitely a step for Shige, even though playing a soccer player jock doesn't require too much. He still needs to improve a lot, he sometimes comes off as pretty stiff and unnatural on screen. Heard that Hokaben's not doing well in the ratings. Oh, Shige.
10 - Yokoyama Yu as Seishiro in Yukan Club
YAY for Yoko.
Surprise, surprise, another Johnny boy hogging prime time TV. I swear, JE must've bribed some people under the table to squeeze in all 3 JE boys in YC, including the bit part done by the twirling kid Chinen in one ep. But it's a refreshing role for Yoko. For once he's not making too much fool of himself as a rich son of a hospital owner. But that doesn't change the fact that the drama is made for the RECYCLE BIN. Taguchi included.
9 - The boy next door. Hiraoka Yuuta in ProDai and First Kiss (with Inoue Mao).
Hiraoka's gentle features always lands him drama roles as the best friend, the guy who always gets dumped, or your run-of-the-mill reliable guy next door.
8 - Koike Teepei in Dragon Zakura.
Do we even need a reason why?
I never finished watching Dragon Zakura. Maybe because Yamapi's hair was too distracting.
Plus the drama was just another rehashed, chewed-up-and-spat-out story of overly preachy teacher and delinquent students like Gokusen, Gachibaka and gazillion others. Looked kinda fun though.
7 - Narumi Riko in 1 Litre of Tears.
She played Erika Sawajiri's no-nonsense feisty sister. And now she's done lead roles like the one with Toma and starred in some movies (one with Shun Oguri).
1LoT was really an unforgettable drama, but I can't help but forward some of the crying parts. It's just too much! I mean, we get it! You don't have to cry a bucket of tears every 5 minutes! Riko's not only really pretty, but also very talented. She might be the next drama queen. Oh, and now that I remember, she did gravure too, lol.
6 - Hana Kimi boys. Mizushima Hiro as Nanba senpai.
Cool guy. He used to be in one of those Kamen Rider series, I think? Mizushima is definitely leading role material.
Okada Masaki as a dorm 2 student.
How can you not notice this guy?
He started out as a model, notably Men's Pocky - which by the way I still don't get. The hell. What exactly IS a Men's Pocky? Its taste? Is it because it's "manly?" Really. How blatantly gender biased.
5 - Chibi Kawaii Overload!!
Takeru Shibuya in Last Friends.
He played the adorable kid as Ryo's charity case that remind the viewers that Sousuke actually has something they thought he never had in the first place - a heart.
4 - Nakajima Yuto in Nobuta Wo Produce.
Yuto before his Hey Say Jump days. When he was actually really cute, and not verging on annoying, mainly because he's a member of the equally annoying HSJ. I swear, people only consider them cute now when they're still not in their awkward puberty days - pimple and voice breakouts. Matter of time, people, matter of time.
3 - Ei Morisato as the young Maki in Nobuta Wo Produce
What a sweetie pie. Despite her really young age she showed great acting in a heartbreaking scene where she gets told off by her stepfather for saying out loud the only word she ever uttered throughout the whole drama: OTOSAN!!!
2 - Nishikido Ryo as Sousuke in Last Friends.
Before LF aired, there was a huge buzz that this was going to be Ryo's drama. They were wrong.
He only appears when there's a need for antagonizing. Which lasts for less than 5 minutes.
Welcome to Ryo's step-by-step DV. Push. Shove. Slap. Kick. Walk out. *Silently.* (All in that order) But props to courageous Ryo for taking on such a different role, one that could tarnish his "idol" image, but of course fans would be more than willing to forgive him for smashing girls on TV.
As always, before the number one is revealed...
HERE ARE THE TOP UNFORGETTABLE "QUIRKY" CHARACTERS IN DRAMAS.
Who says otakus can't be leading men? He made being geeky cool.
NAKAMA YUKIE IN GOKUSEN.
From pretty elegant to pretty drab. Nakama is the main reason why Gokusen is still airing. Plus 2 or 3 eyecandies. Who's up for Gokusen 4? Enough, please.
UENO JURI AS NODAME
Far cry from her role in LF. The drama was the best so far in my list. It was what I would call "clean." The story and characters were well-developed, no huge loopholes and the script was witty and downright hilarious. Great cast chemistry, great musical scores and believable instrument playing. Tamaki Hiroshi was dashing.
Mukyaaaaa! GYABOOOO! Whatever that means.
Nagase Tomoya as Makky in My Boss My Hero.
Props to manly man Nagase for pulling off a role as a full grown bimbo adult yakuza leader forced to attend high school. Perfect ingredient for comedy.
It's THE FACE.
I am being possessed by ghouls.
With Nagase around, suddenly dating a guy 20 years your senior doesn't seem half-bad. But that is IF you're Aragaki Yui with him in a hit drama.
And the quirkiest character is...
Yamapi as Akira in NwP, kicking Kame's ass.
Happy joy joy. Ladida dida dida....
He made Nobuta power chunyuuu! happen. This role is definitely made for Yamapi. It's quite difficult to pull off being drunk, insane, annoying and managing to stay cute at the same time. It's his best work to date. All of his dramas following after it fell short and went straight downhill. Kurosagi was a dud, if it wasn't for all the cosplaying he does it would've sucked. He's always lacking intensity and expressiveness. ProDai was sweet but his performance was mediocre. Maybe all that fame after this made him one sulky, jaded boy.
THE TOP SUPPORTING CHARACTER IS....
1 - Eita in Nodame and as Takeru in Last Friends.
Doing the classics. Rock star style. Okay. Because he's a really good actor we can pretend not to notice that his hair looks like he fell in a big vat of bleach.
Or this crazy Edward scissor hands hairstyle.
We love him no matter what.