How I got into Japanese TV Dramas

One spring day, after I returned home from Elementary School my Grandmother dropped off a stack of VHS tapes. She informed me that she had stopped at a garage sale and bought these from a Japanese family. She knew that I was interested in Japan and purchased these tapes for a really good deal. As soon as I finished my homework I happily examined the VHS tapes, each was labeled with a title in Japanese that I didn’t know how to read at the time, but it was in katakana, there was also a number printed on the spine of every tape. I had no idea what to expect as I popped the first tape into the VCR. Looking back on it now, I’m thankful the contents wasn’t something horrible. As far as I know my Grandmother hadn’t watched any of the tapes ahead of time.

The first thing I remember seeing and hearing on the CRTV screen were a few Japanese commercials. None of them were as wacky as some of the commercials that have become viral on youtube but still, they were a bit weird. The first thing I remember seeing and hearing on the CRTV screen were a few Japanese commercials. None of them were as wacky as some of the commercials that have become viral on youtube but still, they were a bit weird. I specifically remember one commercial in which a man was over-enthusiastically loading his laundry machine, if I can find the commercial I’ll add a link.

After a while the main feature of these recordings of Japanese TV final appeared on screen, Fighting Girl.

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『ファイティングガール』

Since these were raw recordings from the Japanese television station; Fuji TV, there weren’t any subtitles, but I just couldn’t stop watching those eight tapes over and over throughout the years I had them. I tried my best to piece together the story even though I couldn’t understand anything but the most basic Japanese at the time. All I remember is that the themes of this series seemed to be about family, friendship, fashion, and love.

“Fukada plays Sayoko, a tough, 19-year-old with ambition, energy and nowhere to direct it. Her father clearly favors her blind 16-year-old sister. Junior college is unstimulating. She is fired from her part time job in a dress shop because she is too diligent at catching shoplifters and slaps them around a bit when she does. Even her boyfriend opts out for a more docile girl, but Sayoko doesn’t think she is toughenough.” – JDorama.com

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Although, I’ve never studied the Korean Language (perhaps I will after I up my Japanese level) I found it interesting that the co-star of this Drama is a Korean actress. From what I remember, Yoon Son Ha plays Son Ami, a Korean woman that become friends and business partners with Sayoko. The two friends have their ups and downs, misunderstandings but they become friends and start their own fashion brand; “annion.”

I haven’t attempted to re-watch this series because I can’t find it anywhere online, though since those tapes are now long gone after my childhood home flooded I’m considering buying the Japanese DVDs at some point.

fighting-girl

How did you get into Japanese Dramas, and what was the first series that you watched?  

If you’d like to know what Japanese Dramas and Movies I’m currently watching and those I plan to watch stay tuned to this blog because I’m certainly going to write in-depth about that, but also feel free to add me as a friend on My Drama List.

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