8 Current Japanese Variety Shows I Love Watching — 27 Comments

  1. マツコ会議 has become a favourite in my house. I never really got why Matsuko is so popular before, but after watching a few episodes of this I completely get it. It’s good for picking up new slang too because Matsuko’s team never understand it and always have to look it up, hehe.

    As for the other shows, しゃべくり007 can be fun depending on the guest (and personally, how much 徳井 is featured because he is my favourite), and モニタリング is good to have on in the background so I can watch when it’s interesting but ignore it when it’s not! I imagine it would be great for people with lower level Japanese levels though.

    …I should really watch more tv! I almost always learn new words (or new cultural stuff that is just as important once you get to the higher levels) when I do. What I need is for someone to remind me when the programs I do enjoy are on.

    • Yeah, I think that can be said for even the best of variety shows. They have their share of good and bad episodes.

      And increase that TV viewing! Where else can you be told that watching more TV is good for you.

  2. Wow what an article! I’ve only seen one ep of shabekuri 007, heard heaps of good things about it. It was one the first things that came up when looking for things as good as getsuyo. Had a really bad first episode because it was this female child actor that was really soft spoken and they were just abusing her for an hour. She let the episode down. I knew it was mostly her fault. I still can’t fathom how many variety shows matsuko is in, does the man sleep?!!! No wonder he needs an android.

    I’ve also seen an episode of why did you come to Japan, but there was quite a bit of English, so I felt bad watching it. But knowing you watch it has reignited my interest in it haha.

    The other 6 shows on this list i haven’t even seen one bit of. Super excited to dive into them! Thanks so much for this list, my girlfriend and i have fallen in love wit variety shows lately. Gonna keep us entertained for so many hours!!

    Thanks so much for the list Adam! Made my month haha

    • Told you I’d get around to this post!

      You should also see how many commercials Matsuko appears now in too. I think it’s so cool that he reigns at the top of the entertainment world.

      As for “Why did you come to Japan,” don’t worry about the English so much. It’s true there is a bunch mixed in, but it is just too much fun to pass up, and there is plenty of great Japanese exposure as well.

      After you check some of them out, come back and let me know what you think!

  3. Thank you ! I fell in love with マツコ会議, and it’s exactly the kind of motivation I needed !

      • Tell her/him then,King of the Japanese Language! lol

        PS.: thanks for the Article.
        But I would add a “世界の日本人妻は見た!” too. Appart from learning Japanese you also learn about other countries through a japanese perspective.

  4. Why Did You Come To Japan?

    I think I’ve seen one episode of this. I was really surprised at the respect they showed the people on the show. I was expecting some harsh humor or they would make fun of them or something but nope. The one ep I saw was a guy coming to Japan to go to idol concerts and handshake events and stuff <3

    (btw, Adam didn't list this for some reason I'll never understand, but AKBINGO is an excellent beginner variety show).

    • I think that’s what separates this from other variety shows that focus on foreigners. Some of the others can be indirectly rude or patronizing.

  5. Human Observation – Monitoring
    do u have any link subber or not? i’ve watched quite alot of it on youtube but its getting hard to find anymore vids.

  6. しゃべくり007:very good depending on guest, first episode was bad because they had like a 12 year old super shy child actor on. Though they tried to make the best of it, and made her as uncomfortable as possible. Enjoyed the second episode I watched
    ニンゲン観察 – モニタリング : watched a really bad episode, I think it started with them interviewing a celeb for a job interview while randomly playing scary sounding ghost speak and sounds.
    マツコ会議: amazing, so in love. Every episode is at the very least enjoyable. I realised this was the show you recommended me in line and not matsuko shiranai sekai (which is still pretty decent, and you can learn a lot from it too). Matsuko kaigi is just so amazing for learning current culture and trends, couple it with getsuyou and you’re going to know exactly what’s hip and happening in japanese.
    バナナスクール: hilarious, though a bit hit and miss depending on chosen field. The episode on how to eat kawaii was side splitingly hilarious.
    YOUは何しに日本へ : I’m glad i listened to you, I’ve only watched one episode from start to finish. It was this week’s episode, and it was surprisingly fantastic. It followed this one guy in particular, who was a bloke from norway(sweden? can’t remember, sorry tea man) and he was a massive ocha (japanese tea) otaku. Man he knew everything, the interviews and banana men had absolutely no idea what he was talking about. They went back to his place in shizuoka (静岡)in this rural town where he pays around 2.7万月間 (270 usd a month?). He teaches adult NATIVE JAPANESE people about JAPANESE TEA, he is absolutely incredible. He’s been studying tea (japanese language?) since he was in middle school. Really is a remarkable story, even moreso considering they ran into him randomly in an narita (成田) airport! I was really taken aback by this story! Gonna be a hard episode to follow.

    will write back when I’ve watched the rest!!

    • Thanks James for coming back and leaving your reviews of them! I’m happy to hear most of them worked out quite nicely for you.

  7. Woo can always use more variety shows! Some are so hard to find it’s ridiculous haha. Then you have other’s like ダウンタウンのガキの使いやあらへんで!! which you can easily find the entire library of episodes up for download haha. So some “variety” is definitely welcome!

    • Yeah, unfortunately it’s as if the producers of some variety shows have decided that once a show airs they don’t want the world to ever have access to it again.

    • Gaki no Tsukai forums might have what you seek! you can also try searching the Japanese titles of the shows listed here on dailymotion, bilibili, youku, etc.

  8. I like Monitoring but I don’t watch it religiously. Shabekuri 007 I fail to check out because talk shows are hard for me to follow unless I really like the guest that comes one. I watch Moya Summers which you shared in another article. I watch Ame-talk more often and sometimes London Hearts. I try to watch Why did YOU come to Japan weekly but it’s sooo long sometimes and I don’t always have time to watch it! Those are my favorites pretty much. I’m interested in that World Business Satellite with Oe though!!

  9. my favorities are Monitoring and Gestyukara yokukashi (Monday late night show) that hosted by Matsuku delux and murakami shingo

  10. I agree with Kevin–none of these programmes measures up to “AKBingo!”. The participants are young so the Japanese vocabulary is relatively simple; it is the only one to feature recurring ‘chara’ for viewers to follow; and everyone involved is cute, so you can watch it repeatedly without it becoming tiresome.

  11. do you know what’s the name of the ghost actress in ningen kansatsu monitoring taxi prank…
    i really love her very much, her act, her appeal but i don’t know her name, please tell me if you know…thx then adam-san

  12. I love Matsuko, and laugh off whenever I chance into one of her/his programs.

    But my favourite variety show is “SUKATTO JAPAN” (Monday 8:00 pm).
    In a dramatization of people’s real experiences, people with big egos, in all walks of life, are paid by God, or the spirits, or mother nature, whatever you believe in, for their meanness!!!
    It could be as simple as a very mean customer in a convenient store slipping, falling and burning themselves with coffee on their way out!

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