♪♪I’m turning Japanese/ I think I’m turning Japanese/ I really think so…♪♪ [[listen here!]]

So goes the 80’s song from The Vapors.  I’ve been watching many Japanese movies and dramas lately that I think it is turning into a major vice (not really anime though; the only anime I’m obsessed with right now is Naruto–so far). It started with Gokusen and Hana Yori Dango, that produced a fascination with Matsumoto Jun. I know I’m getting too old to be acting like a crazed fangirl but that’s what I am and I’m not ashamed of it!  (≧∇≦)キャー♪poster

Hana Yori Dango (DramaVersion) at right: I admit  I watched it over and over again... The Taiwanese and Korean versions don’t hold a candle to the REAL ONE!

The reason I like Japanese and Asian shows is because they’re short.  I was weaned on watching American shows and movies since I was a toddler.  But I have HAD ENOUGH of watching these shows because Hollywood is not offering anything new nowadays.  My friends tried to let me borrow their DVD copies of this and that US TV show but I’m not going to waste my time and energy on such shows anymore.  I just can’t devote and invest my time and emotions on never-ending stories milled out by Western writers; not really sure where the story will lead to and as a result, tend to fizzle out and lose steam.  And the stories seemed to be all the same–mostly shallow and empty with cardboard cutout and uninteresting characters with same problems and issues.  Some shows start out great but the producers should end it before the audience lose interest and move on to something else (e.g. Prison Break, Lost, Ugly Betty etc.).  Ho-hum! And if we DO like a show, those greedy, a-hole producers would cancel the series before they end because it is not generating enough audience (case in point, Jericho).  Tama ba yon? The audience should fight back and say “We’re not going to take it anymore!”

I prefer the mini-series or those TV shows that promise a limited run. They’re short but at least, we are assured of an ending in time, knowing that t44273here is a destination and that we will not wait in vain for the hero to overcome obstacles and come out victorious.  Come on, we all know the hero will win in the end… why prolong it? If you’re going to show a series, end it early, instead of milking a hit show for all its worth.  We’re so tired of it.  American writers and producers should learn something from this, and do a paradigm shift.

In the 70’s and 80’s, there was a mini-series craze like Rich Man Poor Man (at left), Shogun, Scruples, Lace, and of course Roots (TV shows that featured stories based on best-selling novels) that were short yet memorable. Those were great shows… Why not bring back this type of genre?

And one great thing about TV shows with a limited run is that the writers can concentrate on the quality of the story and not how to prolong it, which could destroy (or jump the shark) what could have been a great idea to begin with.  J-doramas (Japanese dramas) have a headstart on this since some are getting stories from well-loved, tried-and tested manga. And with the news recently about the power of manga and anime (“Japan Looks to Manga to Fight Off Recession”), Japan’s PM Taro Aso is certainly doing his homework.

505806409_small♪♪ I’ve got your picture/I’ve got your picture ♪♪ *sighs*: J-Idol MatsuJun (Right) is in the frontline of actors portraying manga characters such as Doumyouji Tsukasa of HYD and Ban Shogo of Bambino!(* ̄3 ̄)

Keep an open mind and try it… I started out as a non-believer but once I got into it– I couldn’t watch anything else (and mind you–I’m not very easy to please)!  And if you do try, stick with the fansubs, then the dubbed ones– there’s much more oomph when listening to the actors’ dialogues and their original voices; plus it’s also a great way to learn a new language. But I do pick the good ones though.  Not all are worth your time and patience.   So with this… I will be sharing soon my favorite J-cinema and Jdorama in future posts!