Try Something Completely Different

A lot of people start to develop habits over time of what they watch, read, play, and listen to. You’ve been doing it this way all a long, so might as well just keep down that path. Maybe you only watch shonen anime. Or maybe you only read romance manga. You’ve pegged your likes down to something narrow.

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By limiting your likes, you are limiting your Japanese world. If you were fluent, this isn’t that big a deal. There’s so much in the world to enjoy so of course you are going to limit your likes. But in the Japanese learning world, when you limit yourself, you may not have enough material at your level that you can enjoy.

For example, let’s say you think you only like shonen anime. A lot of shonen anime is actually difficult for a beginner. This is due to the heavy slang, the made up worlds, the made up words, and all the chaos that ensues. But since you love shonen anime, that is what you always try to watch. You never gave that slice-of- life anime a chance. Or that silly comedy genre. And because of that, you are stuck.

Peak into other worlds

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When you get stuck with something in Japanese, the best thing to do is to peak into other genres. Try different things you never have approached before. These may be things you’ve never even tried in your native language as well, or just things you’ve never tried in Japanese.

I find that a lot of people discover they like new genres that they never would’ve engaged in with their own native language. Something about the Japanese take on it, or the language infused, changes the impression of the genre and allows for a new type of enjoyment. A big one that I noticed are romance J-dramas. People that hate Western romance sometimes find themselves liking Japanese romance. I’ve also met people who don’t really like Western action, or Western horror, but love the Japanese take on it.

You have to try

The only way to know is to try. It doesn’t take that long to try a few episodes of something in a genre you are unfamiliar with. You might watch it, and prove yourself right all along, finding yourself not to like it. But then again, you may suddenly realize you like something new, and you just opened up a new world of material that will not only expand your Japanese ability, but your enjoyment of the Japanese world.

What have you tried?

What was something in the Japanese world that you decided to try which led to you falling in love with a new genre?

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


Try Something Completely Different — 27 Comments

  1. I have a couple anime-watching friends who don’t speak Japanese, and as a result, I’ll often be recommended stuff which I hadn’t really considered or didn’t plan on watching. On multiple occasions I’ve ended up really enjoying anime and manga which I never would have thought I’d be able to get into. (Looking at you, ジョジョの奇妙な冒険!)Overall I tend not to do too much drastic genre-hopping, but it’s nice to get out of my comfort zone and try something new. After being recommended and watching the Steins;gate anime, I’ve been trying to get into visual novels more, too.

    • It’s great to have friends that can get you to step into unfamiliar waters. Sometimes a good push of “just check this out. Trust me you’ll like it!” can go a long way.

  2. I don’t really have a specific taste, it just depends on the media. I watch something, like it continue, dislike it stop. Sadly everything is way too difficult for me at the moment:(

  3. ドラマチックとロマンチックシリーズがあまり好きじゃないけど、なんか日本のドラマが楽しいと思います。

  4. 私は村上春樹の本に別に興味を持たなってきました。

      • ほとんどの文章は世界のいちばん退屈な日本人に書かれましたんですよね。(7月のN1を挑戦するの唯一の理由は奨学金のためです。)


        • うけるね!世界で一番退屈な日本人に会いたくなってきた。


  5. With anime, my strategy is: watch the preview video that comes out each season that gives a preview of everything some time before the season starts. Mark anything that looks utterly terrible as ‘skipping’ on Watch an episode or two of anything I didn’t mark as ‘skipping’, whether it falls in my usual tastes or not. Drop shows mercilessly.

    The other thing that surprised me was how into audio dramas I’ve been able to get. Not really my thing in English, but with Japanese they are just so well-produced, and make passive immersion so completely and utterly easy, and the stories are so interesting, I’m really glad I gave the first one a try.

    • Oh, nice strategy. I like the way that site lays out each anime of the season with an easy summary, genre, and picture. Simple for trying to cull through a lot of content.

      And, a lot of people are taken by surprise with audio dramas.

  6. Second the audio drama sentiment. I found them randomly on iTunes, and I really got into them last winter.

    Josei anime – shows targeted at women. About a year ago, I hadn’t even heard of the genre, but Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 and Bunny Drop made me realize I liked it. I guess I’m a sucker for family love.

  7. Guilty as charged, Adam. So easy to do cards and feel like that’s enough. But I didn’t become Master of English by doing cards. I read like a fiend. I tell my students to read if they want to improve their writing. It’s time for me to take the medicine I’ve prescribed to others so often.

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