I’m Shameless in Japanese

I have no interest in watching angsty, girly American dramas.

I loathe American pop with an undying hatred.

I would never think to go to Barnes&Noble and pick up a man love story.

But in Japanese?  Bring on the angsty dramas, pop music, and BL manga!

A manga for young teenage girls. I wouldn't be caught dead reading something like this in English. But in Japanese? I love it, can't put it down. I'm on the 4'th volume!

I feel so much more free when it comes to my choice of music, TV shows, and books in Japanese. Maybe it’s because I don’t have the social pressures to like or dislike certain things.  Nobody here knows what the heck I’m watching/reading/listening to, so I’m basically in a judgement-free zone.  Family and friends won’t harp on me or harass me for reading a comic book for 12 year old boys or watching an ultra-corny love story drama.

Maybe it’s because Japanese media is filled with a seemingly endless stream of ideas, themes, and culture that I’ve never heard or read or seen before.  Even though they have many parallels, there are huge differences between Japanese and American music, TV, and literature.  It’s a whole ‘nother way to look at things!  I get to see and experience media through entirely new lenses.

Maybe it’s a little of all of that.  Either way, I’m happy it is!  It’s like when you first realized the tremendous and almost never-ending supply of entertainment and ideas that were out there in your own language, and you couldn’t wait to see/hear/read it all!

I wonder if this is a common phenomenon.  Do you watch/read things in Japanese you wouldn’t touch in your native language?  Details!


12 Responses to I’m Shameless in Japanese

  1. I like to listen to Japanese Rap, but American rap got old for me before I got out of high school. I read よつばと!whenever I get a chance to pick it up, I have 4 volumes now. I have children’s dictionaries and books. And I have to say i’m a fan of 嵐、I used to watch every variety show, music show, and drama one of the members was in, they sure do work hard with all the stuff they do, it’s hard to keep up! So I guess the number one thing I wouldn’t do in my 「母語」is listen to boy bands.

  2. Yes, absolutely! ドラマ and JPop constantly (especially in the last week or so), whereas I wouldn’t even consider looking/listening in English.

  3. Mark says:

    I was just thinking about this yesterday. Besides よつばと!, I also sat through (and moderately enjoyed) きみはペット, which I would NEVER do if it was in English.

    There’s also a lot of m-flo on my iPhone. Odd, for a 36 year old guy.

  4. Ohhh yeah. Very similar situation with me… only with a lot less 少年愛.

    A good example for me recently is the drama My Girl. It’s a story about a 20-something guy who discovers that his recently deceased lover had given birth to a girl 5 (or so) years ago, and now it’s suddenly his responsibility to take care of her. Would I have watched something like this if it were on American television? Oh sweet jesus no. The entire premise terrifies me! And yet, I find it so enjoyable watching this drama in Japanese. Perhaps it’s the subtle differences in culture and setting that make it appeal to me, or the relatively easy language.

    よつばと! is somewhat similar: simple stories of daily life, revolving around a curious little girl and her neighborhood. Easy to understand, fun to read… yet if it were an American comic, fugettabowdit.

    Disclaimer: I’m not a pedo, really I’m not. Japan just knows how to push my “D’AWWWW!” buttons. I’ll be stuck in a permanent :3 smile by the time I’m done with My Girl. CURSE THEE, NIPPON.

    I’m a little more picky when it comes to music, I guess (even as a total music nut), but I can still cite examples such as Perfume, which is an incredibly guilty pleasure of mine.

    I think one sort of eventually lowers their standards (or ignores them) when getting into the native material of their target language. Ease of understanding can lend so much enjoyment to something one would never really think of watching/reading in their L1. At the same time, I think cultural differences play a large role in this as well.

    It’s really an interesting subject! Once you begin living a language, all kinds of crazy crap occurs.

    • veganliz says:

      Haha, very true!

      “Ease of understanding can lend so much enjoyment to something one would never really think of watching/reading in their L1” 賛成! I bet you get just as excited as I do when you get on a roll with “OMFG I can understand this!!!”

      よつまと! is awesome! I think my favorite one I’ve read so far.

      *Runs off to check out My Girl*

      Thanks for your comment and ideas! ^^

  5. kanjiwarrior says:

    Noooo! You read yaoi! Bad Liz!

    Hehe, j/k I guess I’m guilty of this too, I watch Anime that are girly love stories like Kimi ni Todoke or Itazura na Kiss (one of my favorites, need to watch Honey and Clover and lovely complex still). I did watch Aoi Hana, which was a Shojo ai story that was pretty sweet (I think there may have been one kiss in the series, maybe 2).

    I really can’t stand a lot of popular American TV shows though, or even cartoons (I shun cartoon network, they are dead to me). I know I wouldn’t watch a tv show about highschool kids in America, police drama that takes place in America, because they just do the same old stuff they always do. There is no imagination at all. Well maybe if they set the show somewhere else beside New York or Los Angeles. One of the few American cop shows I can stomach that are like that is NCIS, because at least the characters are very different than CSI or your typical cop show.

    Lately I’ve started to become very critical of Anime too though, I notice they produce a lot of crappy shows. Ironically though I really enjoy k-on and am looking forward to the second season.

    The K-on clone Sora no Woto is pretty much a waste though, there is literally no story and what they do have makes no sense at all there isn’t even any fan service at all, it is literally pointless, I can watch something like Kanokon for the fan service, it was also really funny. However, Sora no Woto is about 5 highschool-ish girls in the military (uh.. huh?) that defend a castle fortress from…. uh… nothing, all by themselves. It is totally illogical and not in a good way. I only keep watching because I hope they get attacked by something and all killed, that would make the show the best show of the season.

    It could happen though, I remember watching School Days, the show starts off about this guy that wants to date this one classmate that is very very beautiful, but he doesn’t know how to ask her out, so his friend who secretly loves him decides she will help him (“you can practice on me…” ew). However the guy starts to sleep with literally every girl in the show. It starts to become very frustrating until… the cute innocent girl he originally liked, who has become obsessed with the main character finds out he’s been cheating on her and she cuts off his head, and then cuts open his new GF’s stomach to see if she is pregnant saying “see there is nobody inside”. I remember screaming “Yes!” at my computer screen because I had started to hate the guy so much… sad that the innocent girl went crazy though. I guess that’s why I liked Higurashi no Naka Koro Ni, because you never knew who was going to die horribly. Sadly the really shows are few and far between.

    • veganliz says:

      Ha, yes, I have a healthy little BL collection amongs my manga and anime ^^

      I have uh, never heard of School Days, but the ending does sound ridiculously awesome!

      “I hope they get attacked by something and all killed, that would make the show the best show of the season.” Hahahahaa.

      Honey and Clover is absolutely amazing, and I think it does quite a good job of appealing to a wide range of audiences. Lots of people love it, and justifiably so!

      Thanks for adding your own thoughts and experiences! ^^

  6. yoshi_in_black says:

    I know that too well. I would never watch European or American BL. And I can’t listen to anything but Japanese music anymore. It’s not just Pop but also Rock and Metal.
    I just can’t live w/o this language anymore!
    I watched Kimi wa petto too, but I like the manga more. ^^ Don’t know the most of the other series you mentioned though.

  7. dekkun says:

    “Kimi wa Petto” gets my vote!
    and for JPop – “Ikimonogakari” her Japanese pronunciation is so clear I listen to them all the time even if they are all sakura love songs.

  8. emmie says:

    Hello, I ran into your blog and can’t stop myself leaving a hello message when I saw the word, BL. ^^ I’m a native speaker of Japanese and doing Tadoku! of English. I’ve just left a message in other site, Tadoku contest, and now I’m thrilled to know more about you and other tadoku fans of Japanese learners.

  9. lvsanchez115 says:

    ごめね!I am over a year late, but I just discovered your blog and I ADORE this post. I really don’t understand myself either! I fell in love with Hana Yori Dango, BigBang etc… I mean I swear the English equivalents wouldn’t have caught my attention at all! You were spot on about there being no pressure to like something… you can be as shameless as you want to be!

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