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Japanese TV drama

Japanese TV drama

Old Oct 27, 19, 12:48 am
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Japanese TV drama

Any non-Japanese out there watch Japanese dramas? Which ones do you like?
It seems many people put down Japanese dramas, but I actually got tired of watching any American ones a while back while I think there are some great Japanese dramas.
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Old Oct 27, 19, 2:58 am
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Originally Posted by evergrn View Post
Any non-Japanese out there watch Japanese dramas? Which ones do you like?
It seems many people put down Japanese dramas, but I actually got tired of watching any American ones a while back while I think there are some great Japanese dramas.
Would you consider reality shows like Terrace House as a free-range sort of TV drama?
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Old Oct 27, 19, 3:07 am
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Originally Posted by FlitBen View Post
Would you consider reality shows like Terrace House as a free-range sort of TV drama?
Thatís a little bit different than what I was thinking, but sure Iím interested to hear what you think. How do your rate Terrace House?
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Old Oct 27, 19, 8:35 am
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I watched a number of doramas for years and still occasionally do. I quite like the annual NHK taiga dramas too.
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Old Oct 27, 19, 8:43 am
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I'm out of touch with current Japanese dramas, but when I lived in Portland, Oregon, there was an import store that rented pirated VHS tapes (yes, it was a while ago) of current Japanese TV. I used to rent them for language practice.

Some of my favorites from that era have been released on DVD, but since DVDs are so outrageously expensive in Japan--you can buy a whole series/season in the U.S. or U.K. for what a Japanese publisher charges for a single episode--that I have not taken advantage of their availability. (It's the same with other recorded media. CDs are also very expensive.)
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Old Oct 27, 19, 9:23 am
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Originally Posted by abmj-jr View Post
I watched a number of doramas for years and still occasionally do. I quite like the annual NHK taiga dramas too.
I could never get into Taiga drama... itís too long and too historical. Esp the current one is a real bore. But there is some real good soundtrack.

Originally Posted by ksandness View Post
I'm out of touch with current Japanese dramas, but when I lived in Portland, Oregon, there was an import store that rented pirated VHS tapes (yes, it was a while ago) of current Japanese TV. I used to rent them for language practice.

Some of my favorites from that era have been released on DVD, but since DVDs are so outrageously expensive in Japan--you can buy a whole series/season in the U.S. or U.K. for what a Japanese publisher charges for a single episode--that I have not taken advantage of their availability. (It's the same with other recorded media. CDs are also very expensive.)
There are stores like that in Vancouver and LA that I go to. Used to go to one in Boston, as well. Thereís one in SF although that place is more expensive. Do you have any favorite Jpn drama series that you think could be popular amongst most Americans?
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Old Oct 27, 19, 9:46 am
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Originally Posted by evergrn View Post
There are stores like that in Vancouver and LA that I go to. Used to go to one in Boston, as well. Thereís one in SF although that place is more expensive. Do you have any favorite Jpn drama series that you think could be popular amongst most Americans?
I don't know about popular, but I'm disappointed that there isn't more Japanese tv content on streaming services like Netflix. It's mostly anime or romcom stuff. Compare Korean or Chinese language, where there's a much wider range of dramas. HBO has Miss Sherlock which is nice, although I doubt it would have been picked up except for the familiar angle.
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Old Oct 27, 19, 10:04 am
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Originally Posted by rustykettel View Post
I don't know about popular, but I'm disappointed that there isn't more Japanese tv content on streaming services like Netflix. It's mostly anime or romcom stuff. Compare Korean or Chinese language, where there's a much wider range of dramas. HBO has Miss Sherlock which is nice, although I doubt it would have been picked up except for the familiar angle.
Although I havenít tried it, there are streaming options for Jpn TV that may or may not be legit. I have a friend who gets Japanese TV via sling box.

Someone who has some interest in Japanese culture (but doesnít speak the language) asked me if thereís any Japanese drama I recommend. Itís hard to know if I can recommend anything because a couple of Americans I know who used to live in Jpn totally trash Japanese dramas even though, as a Japanese, I think theyíre great.
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Old Oct 27, 19, 11:12 am
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I used pirated doramas that I got off bittorrent to help with my language study and in particular my pronunciation. As a result, most of what I watched was from the 1990-2000s. I don't know if old titles like that are available in the stores you mention. If so, some of the best were Long Vacation, Beautiful Life, Love Generation, Nodame Cantabile, Orange Days, Densha Otoko. Most are rom-coms or romantic dramas (soap operas.) A few address serious social issues such as Beautiful Life, which is about a wheelchair-bound woman. Densha Otoko is about a stereotypical otaku and is pretty funny. Ryokiteki na Kanojo is a Japanese remake of the Korean smash hit "My Sassy Girl" and is hilarious.
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Old Oct 27, 19, 11:35 am
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Originally Posted by rustykettel View Post
I don't know about popular, but I'm disappointed that there isn't more Japanese tv content on streaming services like Netflix. It's mostly anime or romcom stuff. Compare Korean or Chinese language, where there's a much wider range of dramas. HBO has Miss Sherlock which is nice, although I doubt it would have been picked up except for the familiar angle.
Agreed - I wish there was more Japanese content available internationally, in particular movies. It's also frustrating that most of the streaming services don't allow "Language" as a search criteria. So if you search for "Japanese" only a small portion of available content will be displayed. This is true for Apple TV, Netflix, etc.

But back to Japanese TV dramas, the VIKI app by Rakuten offers a dozen or so shows in Japanese although they are sometimes slow to add subtitles.
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Old Oct 27, 19, 11:50 am
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Not a Japanese but my childhood was heavily influenced by Japanese TV shows since in Indonesia, Japanese TV shows dubbed into the local language was common. Grew up watching Ultraman, Kamen Rider, Goggle V (early predecessor of Power Rangers), Gaban and Shariban and as I went on to study in Singapore, there was plenty of Japanese mangas and TV shows shown in the local TV stations so I still do watch them. I think Japanese TV shows are somewhat under-rated, as they have some great original ideas for movies and TV shows.

Some of my favourite Japanese TV shows are Beach Boys, GTO (both original and remake), Hero (legal drama), one TV show about a high school synchronized swimming team and the Kindaichi Files. Recently watched the TV show Hanzawa Naoki which I thought was pretty good. Some Japanese TV shows have cheesy portions which makes for light-hearted entertainment and is a fresh change from the somewhat serious Hollywood TV shows.

I believe Netflix did a TV show adaptation of Death Note? I am a fan of the movie and the manga, but have not found the time to catch the TV show. I actually liked the Battle Royale movie as well, though the novel (I read the English translated version) was groundbreaking in its own way, and that made me feel the Hunger Games was such a blatant rip-off.
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Old Oct 27, 19, 12:34 pm
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Originally Posted by evergrn View Post
That’s a little bit different than what I was thinking, but sure I’m interested to hear what you think. How do your rate Terrace House?
My wife liked Opening Doors for its dive into local mores and customs, so I ended up watching even though I'm hardly into such.

The character pairs in the first few seasons were engrossing somehow. Cool angst and seething decorum thrived amidst Nagano's hilly scenery, with drama that tended to biting group talk. The panel's nuanced then brutal turns of commentary on the house's denizens were fascinating.

Last edited by FlitBen; Oct 28, 19 at 7:09 pm
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Old Oct 27, 19, 1:29 pm
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Originally Posted by abmj-jr View Post
most of what I watched was from the 1990-2000s. I don't know if old titles like that are available in the stores you mention. If so, some of the best were Long Vacation, Beautiful Life, Love Generation, Nodame Cantabile, Orange Days, Densha Otoko. Most are rom-coms or romantic dramas (soap operas.) A few address serious social issues such as Beautiful Life, which is about a wheelchair-bound woman. Densha Otoko is about a stereotypical otaku and is pretty funny. Ryokiteki na Kanojo is a Japanese remake of the Korean smash hit "My Sassy Girl" and is hilarious.
I must say I'm only familiar with ryokitekinakanojo, although that is a great list and I will look up some of these. I think a lot of their romance dramas are a dud, but I think they do romance comedy dramas really well.

Originally Posted by quirrow View Post
Some of my favourite Japanese TV shows are Beach Boys, GTO (both original and remake), Hero (legal drama), one TV show about a high school synchronized swimming team and the Kindaichi Files. Recently watched the TV show Hanzawa Naoki which I thought was pretty good. Some Japanese TV shows have cheesy portions which makes for light-hearted entertainment and is a fresh change from the somewhat serious Hollywood TV shows.
I think that's what it is for me... the more down-to-earth entertainment was a fresh change from all the serious and high-budgeted Hollywood shows when I started watching Jpn dramas 10-15years ago and I haven't been able to go back to American shows much esp in the last several years.

Originally Posted by FlitBen View Post
My wife liked Opening Doors for its dive into local mores and customs, so I ended up watching even though I'm hardly into such.

The character pairs in the first few seasons were engrossing somehow. Cool angst and seething decorum thrived amidst Nagano's hilly scenery, with drama tending to biting group talk. The panel's nuanced and brutal turns of commentary on the denizens were fascinating.
How do you rate it compared to American reality TV shows? I don't know what's out there in US as far as reality TV anymore and I think I'm too old for Terrace House but then I must admit I ended up watching it till the end when I've run into it.
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Old Oct 27, 19, 1:39 pm
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Some of the ones I've liked include Kuitan 1&2, Saito-san 1 and Aibou.
If anyone is familiar with Aibou, how do you think that will go over with an American person who likes crime/police drama (every recent season of Aibou has been available in pirated DVD with English subtitles to my knowledge)?

Ossan Love was apparently the biggest hit in Jpn last year. Was not one of my favorite, but I still ended up watching it. It's a pretty far-fetched storyline and I can see people getting offended by it if that were aired in US.

Haken Uranaishi Ataru has been the best drama for me so far this year.

addendum: I just want to say that Haken Uranaishi Ataru is probably the best thing Iíve seen in the last 5 yrs. I think about it from time to time when Iím having one of those moments at work.
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Last edited by evergrn; Oct 27, 19 at 11:37 pm Reason: Spell + addendum
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Old Oct 27, 19, 2:05 pm
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Yes, from time to time with English subtitles. Viki has some for streaming but most aren't licensed for the US. Netflix has some https://savvytokyo.com/10-japanese-d...binge-netflix/ There's also iSakura and JapanTV for expats https://www.reddit.com/r/JTV/comment...e_best_option/ There's definitely less subtitled licensed stream J Dramas than K Dramas. My library carries international drama series on dvd so I might take a look over there.

Originally Posted by evergrn View Post
Someone who has some interest in Japanese culture (but doesn’t speak the language) asked me if there’s any Japanese drama I recommend. It’s hard to know if I can recommend anything because a couple of Americans I know who used to live in Jpn totally trash Japanese dramas even though, as a Japanese, I think they’re great.
I enjoyed NHK's Amachan though I'm not sure if there is a subtitled stream somewhere.

Some Japanese portrayals of appropriate female roles drive me a bit batty. At least this one is introspective about that https://www.viki.com/tv/35767c-overprotected-kahoko. "We Married as Job" was also kind of interesting https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nigeru..._Yaku_ni_Tatsu though I didn't finish it due to lack of free time when it was on.

It can be very odd learning about culture via media when you don't really know a lot of people from the current culture as inner circle. For example, I speak Mandarin but don't watch many current mainland China Mandarin soaps with the 20-40's target because I don't enjoy the plots. I liked the ones from a decade ago a bit more. If I thought I was learning about a culture via soaps or anime, I'd be in for a rude surprise (or in China's case, maybe very put off unless I was a drama queen). There are times when I have to ask my parents and a Chinese friend around my age to explain why certain character reactions might be reasonable, valid, or funny. Explaining behavior is more complicated than historical context for historical dramas.

Japanese humor can be different from American humor. I find Japanese humor to be a bit more sly and "British" (which I enjoy) or prank/body humor (not my thing). Japanese word play humor is beyond my current skills unless someone explains it (see below). It usually isn't funny for native speakers if it has to be explained.

There are transplant to Japan YouTubers who do a good job of being entertaining for foreigners and informative. I find Dogen pretty funny and good at making high context situations more understandable https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...21klk71Nzlj8OW
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Last edited by freecia; Oct 27, 19 at 2:15 pm
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