New to the Queue 📺 April 2017

Posted on 2017 April 13 in Entertainment

Truthfully, I’m not much of a TV person. I tend to avoid it and only watch a handful of shows. That being said, since I started learning Japanese last year, I find myself actively seeking out dramas. My initial reason to watch dramas was the easy language and culture exposure, but after the first one I watched I was hooked.

I know Korean dramas are really popular, but I think Japanese dramas are more “for me” because I still use them for language exposure. I’ve picked up a lot of phrases and proper pronunciations just from listening to a 55 minute episode, and there is a lot to learn about culture as well.

僕のいた時間・The Hours of My Life

If I were ever going to recommend a drama to someone that had never before watched dramas, I would recommend this without a second thought. I’d been told before that dramas tend to deal with two things: terminal illness and romance. 僕のいた時間 does both of these things, but it deals with them beautifully. Miura Haruma is an incredible actor; he brings Takuto and his struggles to life. The Hours of My Life is about a recent college graduate who’s diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), and is faced with the reality that his life will never go back to normal.

This show is eleven episodes of rollercoaster emotions — I laughed, I cried, and I felt something for every character. Even the characters I thought I would hate became some of the best and most well-rounded characters in the show. The writers didn’t leave a forget a single character, and I don’t think any other drama could replace this one for me.

ありふれた奇跡・Ordinary Miracles

I actually watched ありふれた奇跡 before I watched 僕のいた時間, and I’m thankful it was my first drama. It’s the heartwarming story of two people who help save a man from jumping in front of a train and, in doing so, begin to intwine their lives. Both of them faced devastating events in the past that continue to affect their futures, but in meeting one another they’re finally able to find companionship and talk about those things that have harmed them.

This is another show that made me laugh and made my cry, and there are adorable side stories that bring to life side characters that would otherwise fade to the background. I’ve noticed with Japanese dramas that there is a particular attention to character detail, but the story never strays too far from the main characters.

医師たちの恋愛事象・Doctors’ Affairs

I recently started watching this, but I’m really enjoying it so far! I decided to watch it because of Saito Takumi, an actor who was also in 僕のいた時間. I loved him in that drama, so I decided to give this one ago. I’m only on episode 2, but it’s already a really interesting story. It follows two doctors that have pretty much devoted themselves to their jobs (and nothing else). They both work in a hospital whose CEO cares only about the bottom dollar, and they begin to work together to do the best for their patients, even if it means angering the CEO. It has fun romance and heart-wrenching scenes, so naturally it’s my cup of tea. 🍵

Are you watching anything interesting lately?

Comments on this post

  1. Ahhh, Korean dramas were life for me back then, but when I hit my senior year of high school, I lost interest and haven’t been into them since. I think the melodrama just got to me. And honestly, I live with a Korean mother, and she acts like the ladies on the drama . . . so since I have to deal with it in real life, I don’t need more of it LOL

    It makes sense you’re into Japanese drama for the language! Animes and visual novels were the same for me in that aspect. Some people say it’s not the best way to learn a language, but I digress. I pick up words and phrases here and that helped me a lot. Is it a proper way to learn? No, but it’s a fun way to learn XD

    I prefer gay romances, so I am not sure if I can watch the ones you recommend ^^;; I do recommend Waterboys or Swing Girls for quick films, if you’re interested! I watched them years ago, and I have fond memories of them.

    • LOL at your mother. I definitely can understand where you’re coming from though! I don’t think I’d want to watch a drama and then realize my parents are exactly like that when I log off, ha.

      I actually don’t mind anime for language learning because anime uses a lot of casual Japanese, which is also good to know! But I really enjoy the switches from formal to plain Japanese that exist in dramas. It allows me to learn a little more about when people do and don’t use polite forms of verbs, and in what situations it’s proper to bow/use a certain phrase. I find all of that information really interesting, and it’s fun to absorb it through media instead of a textbook!

      From what I’ve heard, gay romances are slowly gaining in popularity in some Asian dramas! I think Thai dramas have a few for sure.

  2. Have you heard of 1 Litre of Tears? It’s based on the diary of a real girl who had spinocerebellar atrophy; and it sounds a lot like The Hours of My Life. She didn’t have long to live but inspired people and pushed through as much as she could. I think it is also something like eleven episodes 40-60 minutes long. People have been known to cry a litre of tears haha. Of course, you’d pick up on some of the Japanese by watching it too 🙂

    I think that the dramas you have mentioned though, are probably ones I should get into too Especially since I want to brush up on my own Japanese skills! You are really motivating me especially since you will be right in the thick of it, living there and everything!

    • I have heard of 1 Litre of Tears! It’s definitely on my “to watch” list, but after finishing The Hours of My Life I figured I needed something a little more light-hearted and romantic before throwing myself back into another sad story!

      I hope you decide to brush up on your skills! 🙂 Besides the fact that learning Japanese is fun, it’ll definitely help when you and Nick head there for your honeymoon.