13 Dramas Like Yakuza Lover

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Fans of the romance genre will agree that there is nothing better than a forbidden love story. Oftentimes, television shows and movies with a forbidden love story arc help their viewers live vicariously through an extremely intense and passionate love affair. 

Yakuza Lover is one such television show that offers its viewers charming and beautiful main characters and a swoon-worthy romance that will knock them off their knees. Based on a Japanese manga series called ‘Yakuza Lover’ or ‘Dangerous Lover’ by Nozomi Mino, Yakuza Lover premiered in 2022. 

The series follows Yuri, a college student, and Toshiomi Oya, the young boss of a yakuza syndicate. Yuri and Toshiomi meet at a college party after Toshiomi saves Yuri from a drug dealer. 

While Yuri instantly feels herself instantly attracted to Toshiomi, she convinces herself to maintain distance from him as she doesn’t want to commit to a relationship with a bad boy. However, when they meet each other again, she finds herself drawn to Toshiomi’s irresistible charm. 

With her guard finally down, they start a passionate yet dangerous love affair that threatens both her psychological and social well-being. Praised for its portrayal of sexual intimacy, along with its emphasis on consent and the story arcs of the main characters, Yakuza Lover can be enjoyed on Disney+. 

And once you are done watching Yakuza Lover and have an insatiable thirst for television shows with similar themes, then you are at the right place as we will list 13 of the most dangerously romantic drama series ever produced. 

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1. Cruel Romance

Based on the novel The Fate of Jinxiu by Yu Yi, Cruel Romance is a Chinese-language television series that premiered on Hunan TV in 2015. Upon its release, the show was an instant commercial hit and quickly became the second-highest-rated series of 2015.

The show is set in the early 1930s and follows Rong Jinxiu, a woman whose entire family was killed by the Japanese after her father saved her teacher from a gunshot wound. After the massacre, she moves to Shanghai in order to search for the culprits.

Poster for Cruel Romance
Cruel Romance (Credits: Daily Motion)

On her journey, she meets Zuo Zhen, a triad leader, and they soon fall in love. She also has a chance encounter with her long-lost half-sister Yin Mingzhu, who is not just a famous dancer but also the lover of Xiang Hanchuan, one of Shanghai’s wealthiest businessmen.

Meanwhile, Mr Maeda, the person behind Rong Jinxiu’s murder, also comes to Shanghai. Posing as a businessman from Japan, he plans on infiltrating all the anti-Japanese rebel groups and killing them in order for Japan to have control over all of Shanghai’s business.

  • Released in: 2015
  • No. of seasons: 1 (40 episodes)
  • IMDb Score: 7.5/10
  • Cast: Huang Xiaoming, Joe Chen, Kimi Qiao, Lv Jiarong, Tse Kwan-ho, Qi Ji, Zhang Zi, Cai Juntao, Yang Se, Xie Wenxuan, Mark Du, and Hao Zejia
  • Created By: Yuan Shuai
  • Streaming Platform: Rakuten Viki

2. Tomorrow I Will Be Someone’s Girlfriend

Tomorrow I Will Be Someone’s Girlfriend is a Japanese-language television series based on the Japanese web manga series ‘Ashita, Watashi wa Dareka no Kanojo,’ by Hinao Wono.

Poster for Tomorrow I'll be Someone's Girlfriend
Tomorrow, I’ll be Someone’s Girlfriend (Credits: Hulu)

The show follows five women who work as rental girlfriends and their struggles to overcome their individual traumas. Tomorrow I Will be Someone’s Girlfriend is praised for its true yet bitter portrayal of the realities faced by stand-in girlfriends and the men who are attracted to them.

  • Released in: 2022
  • No. of seasons: 2 (22 episodes)
  • IMDb Score: 6.9/10
  • Cast: Nagisa Saito, Yumena Yanai, Ai Yoshikawa, Akira Takano, Mayu Yokota, Victoria Grace, and Nicole Fong
  • Created By: Miura Kisa
  • Streaming Platform: Disney+ and Hulu

3. In House Marriage Honey

Based on the manga Shanai Marriage Honey by Fujiwara Emi, In House Marriage Honey, also known as Shanai Marriage Honey, is a 2018 Japanese-language drama.

Directed by Ryo Morita, Ryohei Shinmiya, and Daisuke Honda, In House Marriage Honey is a romantic drama that follows the exploits of a young couple who elope after shortly dating one another, only to realize that they work for the same company.

Poster for In House Marriage Honey
In House Marriage Honey (Credits: Rakuten Viki)

Miura Manatsu is a young office worker with a sick mother who convinces himself that getting married will help cheer his mother and aid her recovery. When he downloads a dating app to look for a potential partner, he matches with Haruta Ami, a woman looking for a rebound lover to get over her ex-boyfriend.

When the two meet for their first date, they hastily agree to get married. It is only after they get married that they realize that they are colleagues and must keep their relationship a secret from other colleagues.

As the relationship progresses, they realize that despite their unconventional marriage, they are actually falling in love with one another.

  • Released in: 2020
  • No. of seasons: 1 (7 episodes)
  • IMDb Score: 7.2/10
  • Cast: Misuki Itagaki, Matsui Airi, Asami Himeka, Hayate Wade, Oshida Gaku, Riho Nakamura, Toshiki Tateishi, and Katsumi Hyodo
  • Created By: Takuya Kitazawa
  • Streaming Platform: Rakuten Viki

4. Rinko-san Wants to Try

Adapted from the manga ‘Rinko-san wa Shita Mitai’ by Fujita Mio, Rinko-san Wants to Try is a Japanese-language romantic drama series that follows Rinko Amaki, a 27-year-old executive at a wedding planning agency.

Poster for Rinko-san Wants to Try
Rinko-san wants to try (Credits: Rakuten Viki)

Rinko is not only a hardworking employee who excels at her job, but she is also a beautiful person both inside and out. However, she is frustrated by the fact that despite being surrounded by loved-up couples constantly, she hardly has any luck in romance.

Meanwhile, Gen Kamisaka is a fellow coworker who is also in a similar predicament. Once they realize that they struggle with the same problem, they decide to take action. However, that might not have been the best decision as it will not be easy to balance a physical relationship on top of a working relationship.

  • Released in 2021
  • No. of seasons: 1 (8 episodes)
  • IMDb Score: 7.4/10
  • Cast: Takada Kaho, Totsuka Shota, Miwako Kakei, Hiroki Iijima, and Izuka Kenta
  • Created By: Kuramitsu Yasuko
  • Streaming Platform: Rakuten Viki

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5. Once Upon a Time… in My Heart

Once Upon a Time… in My Heart is a Thai-language romantic drama series. The show follows the romantic life of Fahsai, who is left heartbroken by her boyfriend, who cheated on her.

Poster for Once Upon a Time...in my heart
Once upon a time… in my heart (Credits: DailyMotion)

When her ex-boyfriend has the nerve to ask her to take him back, Fahsai’s friend decides to take her on a trip to Japan to get her mind off of him. However, in Japan, she is held at gunpoint by a Hong Kong gangster named Daniel Wong.

Daniel takes Fahsai hostage and orders her to take him to her hotel and tend to his gunshot wound. Soon, they develop dangerous feelings for one another.

  • Released in: 2016
  • No. of seasons: 1 (12 episodes)
  • IMDb Score: 7.5/10
  • Cast: Mick Tongraya, Pimprapa Tangprabhapoi, Kitkong Khamkrith, Juti Jumroenketpra, and Anisa Nugraha
  • Created By: Tie Tawan Jarujinda

6. One Night Morning

Based on the manga series ‘One Night Morning’ by Okuyama Kenichi, One Night Morning is a Japanese-language romantic series that premiered in 2022. The series follows the romantic exploits of eight different couples in different stages of their relationship.

Poster for One Night Morning
One Night Morning (Credits: Rakuten Viki)

Praised for its portrayal of different types of relationships, the audience gets to see eight couples share a night with one another and how their relationship changes as night transitions into day and they share a meal together.

Of the many couples in the show, we follow the story of a man who is reunited with a former classmate whom he still has feelings towards, a couple who are friends with benefits, and whose relationship can best be described as transactional.

  • Released in: 2022
  • No. of seasons: 1 (8 episodes)
  • IMDb Score: 8.2/10
  • Cast: Uesugi Shuhei, Haruka Imou, Ayumu Mochizuki, Shuntaro Yanagi, Oshiro Maeda, Kawashima Umika, and Mizusawa Rintaro
  • Created By: Kakimoto Kensaku
  • Streaming Platform: Rakuten Viki

7. Perfect Crime

Perfect Crime is a Japanese-language romantic drama television series that premiered on TV Asahi in 2019. The show follows Kaori, a design planner for a housing manufacturer who is having a secret affair with her boss, Fuyuki, who is married.

Poster for Perfect Crime
Perfect Crime (Credits: Bilibili)

Although she is unable to see a romantic future with her boss, she wishes to continue the relationship because she loves him. However, her convictions soon changed after the arrival of Haruto Shinonome, an interior designer.

When Kaori is assigned to an assignment along with Haruto, her romantic life becomes complicated, and for the first time, she is forced to face the realities of her love life. Perfect Crime was based on the manga series ‘Perfect Crime’ by Ririo and Aya Tsukisima.

  • Released in: 2019
  • No. of seasons: 1 (10 episodes)
  • IMDb Score: 5.5/10
  • Cast: Dori Sakurada, Reina Triendl, Hidekazu Mashima, Motoki Ochiai, Mariya Nagao, and Hosoda Yoshihiko
  • Created By: Yamaoka Junpei
  • Streaming Platform: Rakuten Viki

8. Blinded Kiss

Adapted from the manga ‘Blinded Kiss’ by Hiro Kisaragi, Blinded Kiss is a Japanese-language romantic drama series. Blinded Kiss follows Waka, a librarian who loves to read books and has a massive personal collection of books.

Poster for Blinded Kiss
Blinded Kiss (Credits: Rakuten Viki)

Her book collection is so extensive that it has left no space for her to sleep. One day, while working at the library, she is reunited with Shinobu, a scientific researcher who she went to school with. When they were in high school, Shinobu had a massive crush on Waka and kissed her out of nowhere in the library. He then moved abroad with his father.

In the present day, when he learns about Waka’s living predicament, he offers to let her and her books live with him. A proposition that Waka eagerly accepts. To no one’s surprise, living together stirs up past feelings of affection in both of them.

  • Released in 2021
  • No. of seasons: 1 (10 episodes)
  • IMDb Score: 6.7/10
  • Cast: Hashimoto Ryosuke, Yurika Nakamura, Inoue Yuki, Ikeda Tetsuhiro, Reiko Takashima, and Ohira Shuzo
  • Created By: Hokimoto Shinya
  • Streaming Platform: Rakuten Viki

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9. Love Is Phantom 

Love Is Phantom is a Japanese-language romantic television series based on the manga ‘Love Phantom’ by Kako Mitsuki. The series follows Momoko Hirasawa, a young woman who works at a high-end hotel café. When she is not working, she spends her nights alone.

Poster for Love is Phantom
Love is Phantom (Credits: WeTV)

Since she has never been in a relationship, she wonders if she’ll ever be able to find a romantic partner. When she is about to lose all hope, she has a steamy encounter with a handsome stranger and is determined to uncover the identity of the stranger.

To her surprise, she spots the stranger at work again, only to realize that he is Kei Hase, one of the highest-ranking employees at the hotel. Convinced that he is too out of her league, Momoko decides to forget about the encounter, but the memories from that fateful evening refuse to be forgotten.

  • Released in 2021
  • No. of seasons: 1 (12 episodes)
  • IMDb Score: 6.5/10
  • Cast: Renn Kiriyama, Sakurako Konishi, Megumi Sato, Yuki Kubota, Matsumoto Wakana, Akane Hotta, Yumi Takigawa, and Hiroaki Murakami
  • Created By: Minorikawa Osamu
  • Streaming Platform: Rakuten Viki

10. Kakafukaka

Kakafukaka is a Japanese-language romantic drama series based on the Japanese manga series Kakafukaka, written and illustrated by Takumi Ishida. The live-action adaptation of Kakafukaka was released in 2019 and follows Terada Aki.

Poster for Kakafukaka
Kakafukaka (Credits: Rakuten Viki)

Terada Aki has lived a pretty good life, but all her dreams are shattered when she catches her boyfriend cheating on her. She then moves out of their apartment and into a shared house, only to find that her crush, Tomoya Hongyo, is one of her new housemates.

They then start a romantic relationship. But things soon become complicated when the house owner of her share-house asks her to marry him. As the series continues, Terada Aki must choose between the two men.

  • Released in: 2019
  • No. of seasons: 1 (10 episodes)
  • IMDb Score: 5.8/10
  • Cast: Morikawa Aoi, Masaki Kakao, Kousei Yuki, and Nakamura Risa
  • Created By: Aso Kumiko
  • Streaming Platform: Rakuten Viki

11. Before We Get Married

Before We Get Married is a Taiwanese-language romantic drama series based on the novel ‘Before We Get Married’ by Ayamei. The show follows Zhou Weiwei and Chu Kehuan, who are about to get married to their respective partners.

Poster for Before We Get Married
Before we get married (Credits: Soompi)

As their wedding days quickly approach, Weiwei and Kehuan start to develop feelings for each other. Dealing with the themes of friendship, betrayal, and love, the show explores their relationship and whether this will change their decision to marry their partners.

  • Released in: 2019
  • No. of seasons: 1 (13 episodes)
  • IMDb Score: 7.4/10
  • Cast: Jasper Liu, Puff Guo, Nita Lei, Steven Sun, Samuel Gu, Chen Mu, and Phoebe Yuan
  • Created By: Li Xu Min, Xie Yu Xiu, Zhuang Xin Fu, Fei Gong Yi, and Li Song Lin
  • Streaming Platform: Rakuten Viki

12. Hey Sensei, Don’t You Know?

Based on the manga ‘Hey Sensei, Don’t You Know’ by Aya Asano, the television series follows Hanai Ao, an admired romance manga writer who is a workaholic. However, contrary to what her fans may believe, Hanai has never been in a relationship, appointing her editor frequently points out.

Poster for Hey Sensei, Don't You Know
Hey Sensei, Don’t You Know (Credits: Rakuten Viki)

Fed up with her editor’s constant nagging, Hanai decides to go to a local salon and get makeup. There, she meets Riichi, a charming stylist who is in charge of giving her a makeover.

Hanai finds herself enamored with Riichi, and the feeling is surprisingly reciprocated. The rest of the series follows Hanai as she experiences romantic love for the very first time and how she deals with her work hours after finding a romantic partner.

  • Released in: 2019
  • No. of seasons: 1 (6 episodes)
  • IMDb Score: 6.5/10
  • Cast: Fumika Baba, Eiji Akaso, Honoka Yahagi, Masanari Wada, Tsuyoshi Furukawa, and Ryubi Miyase
  • Created By: Aya Asano and Yuko Shimoda
  • Streaming Platform: Rakuten Viki

13. Holiday Love

Holiday Love is a Japanese-language romantic drama series that was adapted from the manga series ‘Holiday Love’ by Fuufukan Renai. The show follows Takamori Azu, who discovers that her husband is cheating on her.

Poster for Holiday Love
Holiday Love (Credits: Rakuten Viki)

This causes her peaceful existence to become chaotic fairly quickly. Soon, her husband realizes the mistake he made and tries to win her back. After Takamori Azu agrees to take back her husband, they face several difficulties caused by her husband’s mistress.

  • Released in: 2018
  • No. of seasons: 1 (8 episodes)
  • IMDb Score: 6.3/10
  • Cast: Takashi Tsukamoto, Riisa Naka, Yuki Yamada, Tomoya Nakamura, Marika Matsumoto, Yuta Hiraoka, and Hiroki Iijima
  • Created By: Watanabe Chiho
  • Streaming Platform: Rakuten Viki

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