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Once you Can Binge Watch Japanese you Win — 18 Comments

  1. My first binge watch was a pretty lame series; Yu-Gi-Oh 5D’s lol. Cannot say that I recommend it to anyone, but it was the first show I could watch and pretty much understand everything so it was a great feeling to keep watching.

    The latest thing I binge watched over the summer was 斉木楠雄の災難 (The Disastrous Life of Saiki Kusuo). Hands down the funniest show I have ever watched. And it’s on Netflix too if anyone is interested.

  2. In regards to gaining fluency, what is the latest recommendation on watching Japanese shows without Japanese subtitles or with them? If I use them right now at my level I can understand about 60%+ of many shows. If I don’t use them it’s more like 10-20%. I really want to improve my listening when I am immersing, but if I understand so little (without subtitles) I worry I’m not learning as much than if I used them. But if I use them I worry I’m not listening as well. Thoughts?

    I have been watching some terrace House with them and I follow it more or less. I have been watching food wars anime without them and follow it mostly because it’s simple and I read a synopsis first. Both I enjoy about equally meaning I can watch an episode or two at a time.

  3. I can’t remember the first show I binged because when I started out, there’s a limit in how much I could watch (slow internet and daily shows).

    What’s your opinion on listening to Japanese songs? Do they help in improving your listening or understanding skills? My playlists had always been 80% Japanese songs.

  4. Only problem I’ve found is that most of the Japanese shows (at least on your drama list) are very short with only 10-12 episodes. A lot of times I find a show I really enjoy but then it’s over compared to a lot of American tv that has 100 episodes.

    • That is true, that multi season shows are much less common. Some good ones I can think of are Gokusen and Trick, if these types of shows interest you.

    • I, on the other hand, absolutely love the Japanese shows having only ~10 episodes. The short running time (with usually a single season) means that the writers typically can’t leave blatant loose ends and also can experiment (less of a loss if it does not work compared to US-like series). It is also much more friendly to the viewer’s time.

      I believe that shows akin to the excellent character exploration in カルテット we were treated to last year would not be greenlighted in the US. And we still get the occasional second season, such as the upcoming 下町ロケット2.

      There are two sides to the “number of episodes” debate. :) Maybe there is also a hidden esoteric connection with the quality of fleetingness being appreciated in Japan on a whole different level compared to the west (i.e., cherry blossoms)?

  5. I don’t watch TV, so I think it was the manga イムリ (currently at 23 vols.)

    It is not for the faint-hearted, but once you get through the first volume or so you will not want to put this down. Genre is political/psychological thriller + sci-fi + a bunch of mind-control and other magical abilities.

    Probably someone at an intermediate/upper-intermediate level could read this, but do be warned the violence is intense and often disturbing.

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