This is the first ratings roundup for this season, and I’m still not solid on which shows I’ll be following, but I’ve narrowed it down to a preliminary slate of candidates. As usual, you can get a more complete report on ratings, including all the details you could ask for, here at TokyoHive.

Prime Time Shows

GTO  (01) 15.1%, (02) 13.3%

Summer Rescue  (01) 14.7%, (02) 11.6%

Ghost Mama Sousasen  (01) 15.2%, (02) 11.0%

Iryu Sosa 2  (01) 13.3%

Beginners!  (01) 08.5%

Naniwa Shounen Tanteidan  (01) 07.8%, (02) 06.0%

Boys on the Run  (01) 07.5%, (02) 05.4%

Kuro no Onna Kyoshi (starts July 2oth)

Late Night Shows

Sprout  (01) 02.4%, (02) 02.5%

In picking this particular lineup, I risk leaving out a major contender in this season – “Rich Man, Poor Woman” – but I’m not much for romantic dramas, and “Sprout” is already testing my patience with its half-hour episodes. I don’t think I can survive a full hour.

Going in order, GTO is an early favorite for the season, and certainly my favorite so far. I’m always happy when the tastes of Japanese viewer seem to match my own, since it makes it more likely that future programming will also be to my liking.

I don’t know much about Summer Rescue. Mukai Osamu-san is the star, and he’s high on the popularity scale for good reason. It’s billed as a medical drama, and I tend to like those (I used to watch ER with some regularity). So, I might give it a one episode trial run.

I’m totally surprised by the ratings for Ghost Mama Sousasen, and considering the competition in its time slot, the drop-off for the second episode is nothing to be worried about. See my review on the first episode for details, but I really didn’t think it was that good. It’s based on a manga, though, and maybe fans of the manga know there’s good stuff coming up. I’ve got the second episode and subtitles, do I’ll find out soon enough.

If I can get subtitles for Iryu Sosa 2, I’m always up for a detective drama, and it looks like the only serious one available this season.

Beginners! is sort of in the middle ground. It’s not in double-digit territory, but also ahead of the second tier. We’ll have to see which way it breaks in the second episode.

Naniwa Shounen Tanteidan is a bit below where I thought it would be, given its famous author. Was it perhaps a bad idea to have it in the same season as Higashino Keigo Mysteries, which will do a more serious treatment of the author’s work?

Speaking of Higashino Keigo Mysteries, I’m not going to track the ratings for it because the cast changes from episode to episode, so the audience will be highly dependent on the drawing power of the star for each week.

I’m curious about Boys on the Run, but I think it might be a bit too weird for me.

It’s interesting that Sprout was the only drama starting in July (including any not listed here that TokyoHive had numbers for) that captured more audience on its second episode than its first. That said, since it’s a late-night drama, it’s tough to judge.