Author Topic: Watching something Japanese in Japan for non-Japanese speakers  (Read 2493 times)

Offline nixonlee

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I'd love to watch Japanese shows now that I'm in Japan--Get a feel for the culture from another perspective, be entertained while not resorting to English speaking stuff, and hopefully a chance to learn Japanese.

However, it seems that because we are in Japan, the chances of finding something that has English subtitles in the local DVD store is pretty low.  The irony being that while I was in America, Japanese DVDs all had English subtitles (well, of course) thus meaning I am less likely to watch a series here than there. 

Are there any Japanese TV series that are interesting and that I could find subtitles for?  Not dubbed... because I am hoping that I'll learn something (high hopes, right?)

Thanks for viewing this odd question!

Offline Yamanashi PA

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Re: Watching something Japanese in Japan for non-Japanese speakers
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2012, 12:28:26 PM »
Many of the newer model TVs in Japan have a subtitles option in the actual audio settings... Check it out.

Offline fred

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Re: Watching something Japanese in Japan for non-Japanese speakers
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2012, 12:34:30 PM »
Youtube? I am sure there is subtitled stuff on there. It's just a narrower choice and atleast a week old.

Offline nixonlee

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Re: Watching something Japanese in Japan for non-Japanese speakers
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2012, 12:44:03 PM »
Thanks...

I know the most honest answer is "why don't you learn Japanese already?"

Now, if I can figure that out, then subtitles shmubtitles, eh!

Offline Yamanashi PA

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Re: Watching something Japanese in Japan for non-Japanese speakers
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2012, 12:47:42 PM »
Or you can watch English movies and put the dubbed Japanese on... with the English subs... Fun times.

Offline lilypad

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Re: Watching something Japanese in Japan for non-Japanese speakers
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2012, 01:00:30 PM »
dramacrazy

pretty much the best streaming site out there for j-dramas. most will have English subs. some of the older dramas may have missing episodes due to the whole megaupload take down.  recent dramas may only have raw files, but if the drama is popular, subs should appear at some point.

Offline nixonlee

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Re: Watching something Japanese in Japan for non-Japanese speakers
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2012, 01:11:54 PM »
Or you can watch English movies and put the dubbed Japanese on... with the English subs... Fun times.
Yes, this makes sense.  Not that I would want to do this, but if I watched the American Godzilla with Japanese dub, I think that would be the beginning of something big!

dramacrazy

pretty much the best streaming site out there for j-dramas. most will have English subs. some of the older dramas may have missing episodes due to the whole megaupload take down.  recent dramas may only have raw files, but if the drama is popular, subs should appear at some point.
This so called dramacrazy, is it safe?  Us being in Japan, where the Japanese film, media, and TV companies have power!  Just curious!

Offline OxO

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Re: Watching something Japanese in Japan for non-Japanese speakers
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2012, 01:18:44 PM »
I've never heard of anyone getting in trouble for watching streaming stuff.
Hell, even downloading stuff and getting in trouble is super super super mega rare.
Beware though. Japanese drama tends to suck. I've only ever found a few decent shows!


So on J-TVs you can turn on English subs for Japanese shows? That sounds....interesting.....
毒食らわば皿まで

Offline lilypad

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Re: Watching something Japanese in Japan for non-Japanese speakers
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2012, 02:13:04 PM »
Streaming is about the safest thing you can do if you want to watch J-dramas with subs.  The only thing you can do to be any safer is to either watch as the drama airs (no subs), buy the drama on DVD (again, usually no subs and dead expensive for a whole season), or not watch at all.

Also, it's true that you can get subs for shows on TV, but normally they are only available in Japanese for Japanese programs.  You can get both English subs and audio if watching a non-Japanese program though. There are also a few news programs with English dubs as well.

Offline Yamanashi PA

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Re: Watching something Japanese in Japan for non-Japanese speakers
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2012, 02:14:36 PM »
PM B-roni, he uses the English subs on his TV sometimes.

Offline nixonlee

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Re: Watching something Japanese in Japan for non-Japanese speakers
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2012, 02:36:58 PM »
So, if I find something on youtube or Vimeo or something like that, theres really no risk?  Sometimes a notice a show will be on youtube under an altered name and being shown backwards, Im guessing this is to avoid the censors finding them... so I should assume the risk is on them and not too me...  interesting!   Supremely interesting indeedy! 

And yes, Japanese dramas are usually not worth it from what Ive seen...  depressing depressing depressing.  Theres an animal ER show that I caught a glimps of a few times.  Basically you see suffering animals getting surgery and the kid (who owns it I assume) crying.  Why are things so damn depressing in Japan dramas and movies? 

On the other hand, they have the wackiest gameshows Ive ever seen... 

Offline Yamanashi PA

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Re: Watching something Japanese in Japan for non-Japanese speakers
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2012, 02:44:38 PM »
I've never thought twice about streaming a show???  Do others worry about repercussions???

Offline nixonlee

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Re: Watching something Japanese in Japan for non-Japanese speakers
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2012, 03:17:01 PM »
I worry!  But, I dont know the facts.  Everyone seems to know the facts on whats safe or not, but where do these facts come from?  France?

Of course, it would be easier just to be moral and avoid the whole pirating/bootlegging stuff all together.  But who has the time for morals. 

Offline Josiah

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Re: Watching something Japanese in Japan for non-Japanese speakers
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2012, 03:39:09 PM »
all Ghibili movies are great. Watch in Japanese with English subtitles, or try without. I found this really helpful in picking up expressions or ways in which to pronounce different words to convey different meanings.

also there's 2 movie series' which I also found to be really enjoyable and -kind- of easy to understand in Japanese. One was Waterboys (also has a spin-off TV show) and the other was Umizaru (literally, SeaMonkeys). Not sure if you'd like the Waterboys movies because even though male-synchronized swimming isn't seen as something "gay" here, about 80% of the movie and tv show has all the characters in speedos. Despite the fact that it's a lot of speedo action, they're pretty funny and not geared for any particular audience.

Umizaru is about search-and-rescue coastguards. They usually feature popular Japanese celebrities and are more epic than other Japanese movie dramas. I only ever saw the first one, where they were in training camp, and it was great with a sad ending. I think #3 or #4 is coming out in theaters soon, so watching the previous ones would give you a great opportunity/excuse to go see the new one. It's also a popular series among mainstream Japan, so knowing the story and the actors will also help you engage in conversation about pop culture.

then there's the Battle Royale movies, which I'm sure you've seen, but even when my Japanese was really bad I found them pretty easy to understand. I think that's because I learned Japanese as a high school student and all the dialogue is between students.

not sure about TV. Most of it is garbage. However, variety shows are pretty entertaining if you allow yourself to forgive the cheesiness of it all

Offline nixonlee

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Re: Watching something Japanese in Japan for non-Japanese speakers
« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2012, 03:46:28 PM »
all Ghibili movies are great. Watch in Japanese with English subtitles, or try without. I found this really helpful in picking up expressions or ways in which to pronounce different words to convey different meanings.

also there's 2 movie series' which I also found to be really enjoyable and -kind- of easy to understand in Japanese. One was Waterboys (also has a spin-off TV show) and the other was Umizaru (literally, SeaMonkeys). Not sure if you'd like the Waterboys movies because even though male-synchronized swimming isn't seen as something "gay" here, about 80% of the movie and tv show has all the characters in speedos. Despite the fact that it's a lot of speedo action, they're pretty funny and not geared for any particular audience.

Umizaru is about search-and-rescue coastguards. They usually feature popular Japanese celebrities and are more epic than other Japanese movie dramas. I only ever saw the first one, where they were in training camp, and it was great with a sad ending. I think #3 or #4 is coming out in theaters soon, so watching the previous ones would give you a great opportunity/excuse to go see the new one. It's also a popular series among mainstream Japan, so knowing the story and the actors will also help you engage in conversation about pop culture.

then there's the Battle Royale movies, which I'm sure you've seen, but even when my Japanese was really bad I found them pretty easy to understand. I think that's because I learned Japanese as a high school student and all the dialogue is between students.

not sure about TV. Most of it is garbage. However, variety shows are pretty entertaining if you allow yourself to forgive the cheesiness of it all

Thank you!  If this was yahoo answers, you would get the point!  The only reason speedos may offend me is that I know that I am not build for a speedo, quite yet.  But my day will come and Ill wear those speedos everywhere...  though I have no intention of shaving my body...   So, it still will be quite offensive for anyone who sees me. 

Good suggestions.  I will give you my reviews!

Offline OxO

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Re: Watching something Japanese in Japan for non-Japanese speakers
« Reply #15 on: March 13, 2012, 04:35:35 PM »
Best j drama series I've seen; densha otoko.
Its actually....good.
毒食らわば皿まで

Offline Yamanashi PA

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Re: Watching something Japanese in Japan for non-Japanese speakers
« Reply #16 on: March 13, 2012, 05:13:48 PM »
I worry!  But, I dont know the facts.  Everyone seems to know the facts on whats safe or not, but where do these facts come from?  France?

Of course, it would be easier just to be moral and avoid the whole pirating/bootlegging stuff all together.  But who has the time for morals.

If you worry about copy written material do you also worry about non-blurred p0rn in Japan?   :-o :-o :-o
That's illegal as well. 

BTW, I'm not taking a piss, serious question.   8-)

Offline B-roni

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Re: Watching something Japanese in Japan for non-Japanese speakers
« Reply #17 on: March 13, 2012, 06:01:15 PM »
lilypad pretty much nailed the whole explanation for subtitles on tv. It does help me to have Japanese subtitles on during a Japanese tv show though! Even though half the time they put the writing on the screen anyways...it helps.

Two other good anime to get you started if you haven't already!

Samurai Champloo
Cowboy Bebop

If you're not about getting this through torrents or however free way you'd like you can always get them at a movie rental shop and you can choose whichever way you'd want to watch it :mrgreen:
B

Offline Josiah

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Re: Watching something Japanese in Japan for non-Japanese speakers
« Reply #18 on: March 13, 2012, 08:58:39 PM »
Best j drama series I've seen; densha otoko.
Its actually....good.

the movie is really cute too.

Offline Shimokitazawa Magic

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Re: Watching something Japanese in Japan for non-Japanese speakers
« Reply #19 on: May 01, 2012, 01:44:01 AM »
Good Luck is a good drama too.  Hana Yori Dango is decent if you can overlook the cheesiness and bad acting.
Just another Tokyo Joe

Offline jesse

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Re: Watching something Japanese in Japan for non-Japanese speakers
« Reply #20 on: May 02, 2012, 02:40:01 PM »
it seems like there are at least a few that you can rent at tsutaya that had subtitles.  that could be my imagination though. 

When i was a college student in the states, i watched a bunch of dramas and it had a huge effect on my japanese ability.  i used www.crunchyroll.com  its not available in japan but if you had a proxy from anywhere but japan, you could do it i think.  i have no idea how those work though. 

of like the billion dramas or so that ive seen, i dont think i saw a single one that wasnt cheezy.  nothing comes to mind anyways. 

a few that i think i liked include the following, but its very possible that they are actually shit.

Utahime - I think this was one of the best i saw...

セックシーボイス&ロボ (spelling is probably off) just because i like the actor

My Boss My Hero - basically a billy madison rip off with a yakuza bosses son instead

Ikebukuro West Gate Park - i remember this too vaguely to give any details but i think it entertained me. 

Aishiteiru to Ittekure 愛していると言ってくれ - watched this in my 400level japanese class, and i think it was an actually dramatic drama. 


as for your television, if your remote has a button that says 字幕(jimaku) then you can try that for subtitles, and i think theres one that says 音声切替(onsei kirikae) for changing the voice language.