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GreenCine Movie Talk
Anime
Discuss all topics related to anime.
561

Japanese live action on DVD
Topic by: Ookseer
Posted: April 14, 2005 - 6:01 PM PDT
Last Reply: April 18, 2005 - 2:00 PM PDT

author topic: Japanese live action on DVD
Ookseer
post #1  on April 14, 2005 - 6:01 PM PDT  
Kinda off topic here, but as I don't own a TV I wouldn't feel right posting in the TV forum...

Are there any good Japanese TV dramas out on DVD? Can anyone recommend anything? My language teacher today made not favorable mention that my Japanese is obviously being tainted by my overdose of anime, and that maybe I should start watching some dramas if I want a slightly more natural language influence.
underdog
post #2  on April 15, 2005 - 11:00 AM PDT  
Do they have to be TV dramas or can they be film, too? Because there's a long history of wonderful Japanese film, drama and otherwise, that would make it easier.

Japanese TV, other than anime series, is hard to come by on DVD here in the States...

hamano
post #3  on April 15, 2005 - 11:41 AM PDT  
Well, I don't know which anime titles you've been watching, but there are definitely several anime shows that will teach you the kind of Japanese your teacher would approve of. On the other hand, popular Japanese drama shows (there's a lot available on bittorrent) like HERO and FOOD FIGHT and WATERBOYS will NOT teach you standard spoken Japanese, necessarily. There's a lot of slang mixed in. If you live in a big city and there's a big Japanese supermarket near you (like Mitsuwa) you can often rent Japanese TV shows on VHS tape there.

I'd be careful to go with underdog's advice of watching films, too. A lot of the films by currently popular directors like Miike or Kitano have lots of punks and gangsters and your experience would be similar to learning English by watching The Sopranos. Your teacher will be shocked! A lot of the other popular Japanese films are period pieces by directors like Kurosawa.

If you can't find the drama shows, there are plenty of anime shows with "good" Japanese. Even if the show as a whole is slangy and informal, there are usually at least 2 or 3 characters who speak yer standard "good" Japanese.

Gasaraki - In the modern Japan scenes, very proper, almost anally complex Japanese, especially relating to politics, the ecnonomy, and the military. It's so full of jargon, though, even I had to turn on the subtitles to get everything.

Crest of the Stars/Banner of the Stars - Very proper Japanese spoken by the Abn and most of the humans. This show demonstrates keigo and hierarchical Japanese very well, without the archaic Japanese spoken by the samurai and warlords in period anime.

Ai Yori Aoshi - ignore the Japanese of all the characters except Aoi, Kaoru, Aoi's parents, Mayu's butler-guy and Ms. Miyabi.

Azumanga Daioh - learn your Japanese from Kurosawa-sensei and Yomi. The best example is actually Chiyo-chan... she has a silly voice, but she speaks very properly.

Junkers Come Here - good conversational standard Japanese spoken by all the characters. Not as hard as Gasaraki or Crest of the Stars for beginners to understand.

There are plenty of other examples. The thing to remember with anime is not to use samurai, ninjas, punks, yakuza and most boy characters as role models for spoken Japanese!
Ookseer
post #4  on April 17, 2005 - 1:40 PM PDT  
> On April 15, 2005 - 11:41 AM PDT hamano wrote:
> ---------------------------------
>The thing to remember with anime is not to use samurai, ninjas, punks, yakuza and most boy characters as role models for spoken Japanese!
> ---------------------------------
And that leaves... who exactly? =p

I'm actually looking for examples of modern conversational Japanese, like in most of the light dramas. I used to watch the Sunday night dramas on KTSF and my instructor recommended the currently running Hitonatsu No Papae. I don't have a TV (or do I want one) and I was hoping there were some shows on DVD so I could have the option of watching w/o subtitles and get more content than a feature would offer.

Thanks for the recommendations, I'll give them a try. And maybe bittorrent the tv dramas if I want to watch them.
underdog
post #5  on April 18, 2005 - 1:34 PM PDT  
> On April 15, 2005 - 11:41 AM PDT hamano wrote:
> ---------------------------------
>I'd be careful to go with underdog's advice of watching > films, too. A lot of the films by currently popular directors like Miike or Kitano have lots of punks and gangsters and your experience would be similar to learning English by watching The Sopranos. Your teacher will be shocked! A lot of the other popular Japanese films are period pieces by directors like Kurosawa.

Good rec's Hamano, and to be clear I would absolutely not have recommended Miike or Kitano to him anyway! Definitely not a place to start to learn basic Japanese. Just wanted to get a sense of how modern he wanted and whether it needed to be TV specifically. But thinking about it, once you do remove Miike, Kitano and the like, it really does narrow it down doesn't it?

Anyway, this is a good list, a good start, and Junkers Come Here would be perfect. Going to a Japanese supermarket is also a good idea, if you have access to one, as far as getting TV shows.
hamano
post #6  on April 18, 2005 - 2:00 PM PDT  
> On April 18, 2005 - 1:34 PM PDT underdog wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Good rec's Hamano, and to be clear I would absolutely not have recommended Miike or Kitano to him anyway! Definitely not a place to start to learn basic Japanese. Just wanted to get a sense of how modern he wanted and whether it needed to be TV specifically. But thinking about it, once you do remove Miike, Kitano and the like, it really does narrow it down doesn't it?

Ozu films would be good... his characters speak slowly and clearly for the most part, and it's fairly modern Japanese.

NHK family drama shows are pretty good, as long as it's not about some family living far outside Tokyo who speak in a southern or northern dialect. They tone the dialects down so Japanese people can still understand it, but it might be tough for non-Japanese, especially if characters keep switching between standard and dialect (as real people will often do, depending on who they're talking to).

If you track down movies with actor Koji Yakusho, he speaks clear standard Japanese usually (at least his characters tend to)... Shall We Dance? or The Eel, or The Cure.

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