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.
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
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?
Founder of Jalup. iOS Software Engineer. Former attorney, translator, and interpreter. Still watching 月曜から夜ふかし weekly since 2013.