As soon as you arrive in a new country, I look forward to discovering the movies available for that country on Netflix. Before, I only had Japanese incomprehensible movies in mind, but thanks to Netflix, I was able to make some discoveries.
When you are in Japan, most of the movies in Japanese are subtitled only in Japanese and Korean. As a result, despite a wider choice than in France, I couldn’t really enjoy the more “local” films 🙁
Therefore, I could only watch movies or series subtitled in English or French, namely :
The many faces of Ito
The story is hyper original (adapted from a book) and I went to bed very late several nights in a row, wanting to know the ending. Here is the synopsis of the series:
Cynical, a romantic comedy writer in her thirties extracts the
story of women in love with love, pretending to provide them with advice on the subject.
In fact, by promising a love-coaching session, this screenwriter had a dozen women fill out a questionnaire. Results: 4 of them seem to be dating the same man, named Ito.
Who is he? Is he really one and the same person? Do women know each other?
To watch, here is the Netflix link
The movie version is available on Netflix as well, it offers more information than the series, but I find the script less well cracked.
Mischievous Kiss 1 & 2
It’s a double series reserved for teenagers, but I find the heroine really adorable, and as it’s a super famous series (adapted from a manga which itself has been adapted several times in anime, movies in several countries)… I think it will be a lot of fun to watch it.
It’s the first time I watch a movie where the actors behave like manga/anime characters… Like when they shout “nooo”, it’s like in manga, super loud, super theatrical, when they are supposed to spy on someone else and stay silent 😀
Synopsis of the series :
When Kotoko, a more than average student, has to live under the same roof as the brilliant Naoki, she rolls up her sleeves to seduce the most courted boy of the high school.
Even if the characters’ behavior exasperates me (the heroine is too young and crazy in love; the hero must be heartless – in addition to being rude – to be as insensitive as a pebble), it made me relive my childhood a little. Because I used to watch this kind of series when I was at work.
The leitmotif of the super handsome, intelligent, rich but cold guy… who falls in love with the girl (a bit stupid) and above all poor – for a reason that isn’t at all credible; has been able to produce countless series, and the girls were starting to behave just as hopelessly as in the series, namely to run after the boy.
It reminds me of my neighbor… and the number of girls who came “by chance” in front of his house, hoping to have an intimate moment with him – while he was emptying the garbage (in Vietnam, we empty the garbage at 7pm). The more insistent the girl is, the more he despises and mistreats her, and the more she comes back. In the end, he didn’t go out with any of these girls, and married the “girlfriend of the moment” at the drop of a hat when he was fed up with his single life.
Besides, this series reminds me of all the nonsense of the years at the office, where my best friend and I used to puncture the tires of friends’ bikes, hoping that they would go to the same place to get their tires fixed… and go out together. It also reminds me of boys I had one-sided feelings for at the co-worker, which I lost track of, and could never ask if it was mutual or not.
It’s a series that makes me think of the “devil dresses in Prada” in a light and human version. We follow the life of a tailor-made lingerie store in Tokyo.
This series is a little closer to the Japanese movies I saw when I was a child: some behaviors are culturally incomprehensible to me. Of course, it’s a series, some things are a bit exaggerated, but I think there’s a bit of truth in it, in the interaction of Japanese people and the place of Japanese women in a professional environment.
To watch the series, it’s this way.
Terrace House : opening new doors
It’s a reality show that is in vogue, especially internationally, because it gives you a small idea of what young Japanese people think. The concept: 6 strangers (3 girls, 3 boys) live in a house on the outskirts of Tokyo. They are filmed in the house (and a little bit outside also during their daily activities), they keep their job, their friends etc. normal what, except that they now live together for a few months.
And a group of 6 personalities observe them and comment on what they do (only the spectators hear them, of course). They are called “the panel”.
What interests me most are the comments of these personalities because it allows me to see, for them (Japanese), what normal/abnormal behavior is. For example, after the injury of a sportsman of the panel, a girl went to see him in his room to ask him for news (in spite of herself, because she doesn’t like him too much) – well, the personalities of the panel commented that she should have come with a little tea.
Moreover, the commentators are super funny and they have original cultural references (for someone who doesn’t know bcp Japanese culture like I do). For example, when one commentator said that he won’t speak badly about X anymore because X decided to leave the show, the others laughed and said that he was behaving like a member of a gang (whose basic rule isn’t to attack civilians). That’s why I find this series so culturally enriching.
The speaking time granted to each of the panel members also reflects the hierarchy within Japanese society (the older ones have more speaking time) as well as the typologies they embody to please a maximum of audiences (the innocent young woman, housewife, womanizer, hardened bachelor, etc.).
You should know that this programis also broadcasted on Japanese TV (Japanese viewers react on Twitter) so having access to such a program is a valuable source of information for those who are interested in Japanese culture.
As for the 6 strangers themselves, they don’t represent much interest to my taste, between a guy who says stupid things; a heartless girl who makes faces 24/24 and two guys who fight for her… => you don’t have to listen to them, it’s better to listen to the commentators. To watch, here is the Netflix link
By connecting to Netflix from Japan, you can access the episodes a few months earlier than the rest of the world. Apparently, it’s a question of copyright on the soundtrack. It takes time for them to request permission/change the soundtrack completely for the rest of the world.
S/s: Terrace House has several seasons, Boys & Girls in the City, Aloha etc. If you are brave, I encourage you to watch them all. The new season will be online at the end of 2019.
That’s it, that’s all I’ve looked at so far, and I recommend them all to you.
There is also the anime “Death Note” that I liked a lot, but the Japanese version isn’t available on Netflix.
I didn’t find there either the movies or anime of “Detective Conan” which is still super trendy in Japan (no free place in the cinema for the new movie just released). There is also the Japanese version (Battle Royale) from which the saga “The Hunger Games” was inspired to watch, but these movies are only available in Japanese with Japanese subtitles.
Have a good viewing!