Use J-Drama Audience Ratings to Find Interesting Shows

Audience ratings: the way Japan knows which shows are hot, and which are not. Which shows and actors to throw bags with yen signs on them, or which to stick at a 1:35 AM time slot in between 2 infomercials. Normally, these numbers probably never even cross your mind, regardless of how big a J-drama fanatic you are. 13.4% rating for episode 4 of “SUMMER NUDE”?  I highly doubt an audience rating party with rivers of alcohol will follow at your apartment that night.

However it does lead to my following and highly non-math related conclusion 

Shows with higher ratings = High popularity
High popularity = Many people like it
Many people like it = Higher chance that you may like it
Higher chance that you may like it = Higher chance you will watch it
Higher chance you will watch it = Freaking AWESOME Japanese

Nice concept, but are you really going to hunt down audience ratings for individual TV shows and try to find shows you like?

The hunt has already been completed for you!

Welcome to, which has to be the most poorly chosen domain name, and the first domain name I’ve ever seen that uses .info (great job Japan!)

What this site does is simple. It has taken every season of J-dramas (that’s 4 per year) since 2003, and has set them up in an easy to view format:

It includes a breakdown by:

– TV station
– Title
– Per episode audience rating
– Drama average audience rating
– Per season audience rating (averaging all shows that season)

Audience Rating TV 1

Click on a specific drama, and get even more info:

– Time
– J-drama’s homepage (occasionally the homepages are broken on the older dramas)
– Cast
– Theme song for the show

Audience Rating TV 2

I like the non-bloated, highly informative but easy interface of this website.

Any of you ever use audience ratings before? Thinking about trying out? You know you want to. You can now freely search for the highest rated TV shows of the past decade and lavish in their supposedly high entertainment value. You’ll also get a chance to see some of the most over-rated dramas of all time. And there are a lot.

(Updated 10/1/2013): If you are looking for something like this for Anime, check out or They are not as thorough, but does a pretty decent job.

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Founder of Jalup. Spends most of his time absorbing and spreading thrilling information about learning Japanese.


Use J-Drama Audience Ratings to Find Interesting Shows — 9 Comments

  1. Looks interesting. I’m going to have to try this out. I think probably the most difficult thing about finding good Japanese entertainment is sifting through the mountains of shows available. This seems like a nice tool.

    • It is always a challenge so I think this is a nice additional way to find your way through the massive J-drama world.. And I’ve been finding this especially useful to discover older dramas that don’t get much attention anymore.

  2. – Time (yeah, this isn’t so relevant . . .)

    It is though. It matters whether the drama with the lower than 10% ratings is a getsu-kyu or a late night drama, just like it matters whether the drama is a Kimutaku drama or a *insert less relevant actor here* drama. A 15% rating for a primetime drama isn’t anything special, but 15% for a late night drama is.

    Also I’ve noticed detective/police dramas tend to do well ratings-wise, but they’re not /my/ favorite, so ratings definitely can’t tell you everything. I guess it’s a nice place to start though, if you’re new to j-dramas and you don’t know what type of drama/actors/actresses you like.

    • Excellent point I didn’t consider. I removed it from the post to reflect that it can actually be very relevant.

      Thank you for this addition!

  3. This site is awesome. I would pay attention to the last episode as opposed to the average because shows will get matinees during the weekday and gain or lose interest as they go. Great examples from last season are how under watched Woman was, but the final episode spikes at 16.4. Also you can see SUMMER NUDE was a one episode wonder getting a 17.4 the first episode but losing for the rest of the season.

    This solves a major issue I’ve had with trying to follow Japanese TV. You might find a show you like, but they’ll never make a sequel and you might find an actor or actress you like that goes on to make nothing but crappy shows. At least with this you can pick out stuff that kept people’s attention.

    Has anyone seen similar sites for anime or manga?

      • That second link is actually super interesting. サザエさん, which shows up as the #3 most watched anime of all time, is actually super fun to watch and now that I think about it I don’t know why it’s not recommended to learners more. It has a lot of the qualities of よつばと! in the fact that it’s kids questioning societal norms and them being taught what’s expected.

        I think for now I’ll stick to the original Pokemon series on Hulu, but I’ll definitely save those links. Thanks!

  4. Nice way stack things in your favor against Sturgeon’s law!

    I assume anyone interested in anime already knows about Anime News Network, but people might not know that that they maintain a comprehensive encyclopedia of anime and manga, including rankings and a running top 50 list. It’s not nearly as comprehensive as artv, and of course these are ratings by an English-speaking audience based on subbed or dubbed versions. Still, it might be a place to look for suggestions.

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