Sunday, 15 March 2015

Spring Break 2015: J-Dramas

Well hello there! It's been a while, hasn't it? To be perfectly honest, I've been working on a post for quite a while, but just haven't been able to get my motivation up enough to finish it, so it's just kind of sitting there. But don't worry! It's Spring Break, so you know what that means: 5 posts over the next 5 days! I think that I shouldn't have any problems with posting this year, so I should get the full 5 out, hopefully on time. No promises, but that's the goal.

In previous years, I've covered video games, anime, and movies. So what's the topic this year? Television, in the form of J-Dramas! Yay! As a side note, this isn't actually the topic that I failed to cover last year and said I'd cover this year (or sooner). I still haven't finished the "research" for that one, and the earliest I'll be able to do so now seems to be this Fall, so don't expect it anytime soon. I also keep changing my plans for it, which hasn't helped it get done. Back to this year, for anyone who isn't familiar with what a J-drama is, it stands for "Japanese Drama," and refers to live action television shows produced in Japan. You may have heard of K-dramas, which are the equivalent for shows made in South Korea. I've seen a few of those too, but not as many, and I figured that I would focus on J-dramas this time around. It's actually kind of odd that I've seen more J-dramas, since there are so many more K-dramas available. South Korea has been very good about exporting their dramas to North America, but Japan has only started making it possible in recent years, and mostly through Crunchyroll, which is where I first bumped into them. Anime has had a very large presence for a while now, but dramas are just starting to really come onto the scene.

I guess if I had to explain what I enjoy about J-dramas, one of my major points would be the same as why I like anime: most shows (at least, most available here) don't run forever. Unlike American shows like CSI or Supernatural, all of the J-dramas that I've seen or heard about are tightly plotted shows that run for a season or two (sometimes nearly a decade apart) before ultimately resolving. On American tv, the goal for almost every show is to keep on the air for as long as possible, and just continue to pump out episodes each season until the show is finally canceled. All the J-dramas that I've seen take a different approach, where they try to tell a story (usually adapted from something), and once the story is over, the show is too. If you know me, you know that I love the plot being the focus, so these are right up my alley.

I'll be focusing on one J-drama each day this week. The order that I cover them will be more or less the order that I watched them in, not that it matters. I won't actually be covering the very first J-drama that I watched, which was the live action Death Note movies. I did really like them (I even think they had a better ending than the anime), but I decided not to cover them because they're movies and I wanted to cover tv shows, and also because it's been a while since I watched them, so my memory is kind of hazy anyways. I hope you enjoy this topic and maybe even find a show that you want to watch.

Full Series

Intro: J-Dramas
Day 3: Galileo
Day 4: Liar Game

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