I just got through saying how amazing Netflix Japan is, all the excellent material that is awaiting you, and why you need to get started with it immediately. Now that I have been using it for a month, I found something incredibly dangerous which made me cancel my membership.
The power behind Netflix and watching American TV and movies dubbed into Japanese is that you introduce both material that you are familiar with and very addicting TV shows that you would want to watch anyway. Being addicted to a Japanese TV show is a beautiful thing. It means you are addicted to studying, which as you can imagine provides incredible rewards.
Until that addiction turns you away from Japanese studying.
I am pretty disciplined. While originally my English TV viewing was at absolutely 0 for a number of the early years, I later on occasionally introduced a show that I just had to watch. I pretty much had completely avoided the “binge watch” craze that was brought on by streaming video, and any binge watching was always Japanese TV making it a positive.
The last thing I expected was Netflix Japan to turn me on to English TV binge watching. For the first time in a decade I binge watched multiple American TV shows in English. Why?
Well it started off innocently by watching some Japanese dubbed versions of new American TV shows I had wanted to see. I’d finish a season fully addicted, and then what does it show?
No more seasons… in Japanese.
But there are 1 or 2 more seasons in English, as the Japanese dub is usually 1-2 years behind the broadcasting schedule of the original show. Modern TV is engaging to say the least, and when you reach the season finale of a show you fall in love with, and find there are no more Japanese episodes, the temptation to continue, even if in English, is compelling.
And that’s what I did. Before I knew it, I had just introduced a major new time drain on my life.
Now there is nothing wrong with watching English programs, or binge watching in general. But when you are very busy, and when you want your Japanese to get better, it’s an obstacle that must be dealt with appropriately. To me, any value that Netflix Japan had provided had been completely been taken away by this new enemy.
Not all is lost. The two ways to counteract this is to stick with
- Movies, or
- TV shows that have already ended and have all seasons dubbed
If you follow this, you should be okay. However, you leave yourself with the temptation of thinking “well I’ll just watch season 1 in Japanese, and then wait till the later seasons come out in Japanese.” I failed that temptation test which was quite surprising to me.
I’m not sure if anyone else has dealt with this yet (maybe I’m just not disciplined enough after all), but I thought that I’d share my experience as it completely caught me off guard.
Founder of Jalup. iOS Software Engineer. Former attorney, translator, and interpreter. Still watching 月曜から夜ふかし weekly since 2013.