Page 3 of 3 FirstFirst 123
Results 41 to 43 of 43

Thread: The State of Japanese Drama

  1. #41
    Senior Member eeyore's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Hundred Acres Wood


    I agree with the ending of Dosokai, it's an easy way out. They could just have a date once a year on that bridge among all possibilities. I can't imagine if there's a sequel what story will be develop again, another boy/girl from the same school that didn't show up during their reunioun? let's hope not.
    Spring Summer Autumn Winter.
    Pair ducks nest fly together.
    Clemencies. Summer life, feather winter white.
    Green meadow in spring, before the autumn bite.
    Watching the red gown.
    And none else, alone.

  2. #42
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004


    Can stars of yesteryear save the day?
    Wm. Penn, Yomiuri Shimbun

    After an absolutely dismal summer season, who could be faulted for wanting to give up on TV's drama offerings? However, the networks' decision to fill the autumn line-up with "ara-40" (around 40) stars, who came of age during the golden age of Japanese drama in the 1990s, leaves some room for hope.

    Headlining the list of "ara-40" stars is the ever-popular Ryoko Shinohara, who plays an unconventional auditing agency investigator in Ogon no Buta (Oct. 20, 10 p.m., NTV). Once a scam artist herself, she's now out to track down those embezzling money from government coffers.

    From October, Ryoko Yonekura signs on as a government investigator pursuing tax evaders in Nasake no Onna (Thursdays, 9 p.m., TV Asahi).

    Most all the upcoming series focus on women. Top roles for men are scarce this autumn. Yasuko Matsuyuki stars as a high-powered investigative journalist in Perfect Report, (Oct. 7, 9 p.m.), a new Fuji drama that promises a realistic look at TV news gathering. Over at NHK, Kyoka Suzuki plays a 45-year old divorcee in love with a 28-year old man in Second Virgin (starting Oct. 12, 10 p.m.).

    Twenty-something female stars are also pushing the guys to the sidelines this autumn. Starting Oct. 8, Erika Toda stars as a detective with an IQ of 201 who is assigned to a special police unit dealing with baffling crimes. This TBS drama boasts the longest title in memory. It's called SPEC: Keisatsucho Koanbu Koan Daigoka Mishojiken Tokubetsu Taisaku Kakari Jikenbo (SPEC: The Casebook of the Officer in Charge of Special Unsolved Cases, Fifth Section, Public Security, Public Security Department, National Police Agency...or something like that.)

    Let's just call it SPEC for short.

    Toda's contemporary, Aya Ueto, moves away from her usual cutesy roles to play a disillusioned woman forced into the sex industry to pay off her brother's debts in Nagareboshi (Fuji, Mondays, 9 p.m. from October). It will turn into a love story when she agrees to a "contract marriage" with Kengo, played by Yutaka Takenouchi, one of the most successful "ara-40" male stars of the 1990s.

    NHK is also keeping the focus on women this autumn and winter. Miori Takimoto, just 18, is the heroine of the new NHK morning serial Teppan, (starting Sept. 27, 8 a.m.).

    Akari (Takimoto) is an average high school senior living in Onomichi, Hiroshima Prefecture, with her parents and two elder brothers. Her mother is played by another star of the 1990s: Narumi Yasuda, wife of the Tunnels' Noritake Kinashi.

    Akari likes playing the trumpet and munching on okonomiyaki, but all is not what it seems. She soon discovers she is adopted and her real grandmother runs a boarding house in Osaka. After graduation, Akari heads there, eventually establishing a restaurant and her own identity. She'll bring her two worlds into harmony by fusing Onomichi and Osaka okonomiyaki into her own original style. Tamayo Nakamura will do the narration.

    NHK has announced its 2012 taiga drama will take us all the way back to the 12th century for Taira no Kiyomori, promising to shed new light on the life of the man cast as an anti-hero in the Tale of the Heike. But for its 50th taiga offering, NHK's 2011 historical drama Go Himetachi no Sengoku will be told from a woman's point of view, and it looks poised to do better than Ryoma-den.

    If there is one topic NHK likes even better than Sakamoto Ryoma, it is 16th century Sengoku period dramas featuring Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Oda Nobunaga. Kumiko Tabuchi, who wrote the 2008 Sunday night hit Atsuhime, starring Aoi Miyazaki, will also pen the 2011 offering. Juri Ueno stars as Go, one of the three daughters of Azai Nagamasa. She gets caught up in the political intrigue of the era and is married three times. Her third husband is the second shogun, Tokugawa Hidetada, and her son becomes the third shogun, Tokugawa Iemitsu.

    Mimura recently was signed to play the early Christian convert Gracia Hosokawa (1563-1600) in this drama. The cast is also full of stars from the drama golden days of the 1990s. Etsushi Toyokawa is cast as Oda Nobunaga, while Goro Kishitani is Hideyoshi. Saburo Tokito plays Go's father and Rie Miyazawa her older sister.

    Honami Suzuki retired from acting a decade ago when she married the Tunnels' Takaaki Ishibashi. Now the mother of three daughters herself, she returns to the small screen to play Go's mother. It was Suzuki and Yuji Oda who are credited with launching Japan's golden age of the trendy drama with Tokyo Love Story in 1991. Unfortunately, there are no signs of a new golden age on the horizon. For the immediate future, the entertainment world will just have to rely on "ara-40" power.

  3. #43
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004


    Korean television dramas are not the real problem


    On July 23, actor Sosuke Takaoka tweeted that he was sick of all the Korean dramas on Fuji TV, a network he "used to be indebted to," and demanded more "traditional" Japanese programming. "If anything related to South Korea is on," he continued, "I just turn it off." The backlash was swift, and the actor eventually apologized for his rant, saying many people had misunderstood him. In any case his talent agency fired him soon thereafter.

    Takaoka's comments were understood to be the catalyst for the demonstrations outside Fuji TV's offices on Aug. 7. Hundreds of people carrying Japanese flags and singing the national anthem called on the network to stop broadcasting Korean content. As with Takaoka's comments, response to the protest was divided. Some agreed with it, while others despaired over the obvious outpouring of anti-Korean nationalism if not downright racism.

    But there was another reaction, characterized by comedian-musician Ryo Fukawa, who said on his FM radio show that however one interprets Takaoka's opinions, he had a right to voice them. "Freedom of speech is only a phrase in Japan," he declared. This sentiment was echoed by show biz columnist Yoshiko Matsumoto, who wrote, "I am not interested in Korean dramas, but if I said that, would I become a target?" Some might say the fact that both Fukawa and Matsumoto said these things proves they're wrong about freedom of speech, but neither have any direct relation to television. Fukawa admits that he's washed up on TV because of his attitude. Matsumoto makes her living from writing.

    Takaoka, on the other hand, happens to be married to Aoi Miyazaki, one of the most popular actresses in Japan. The tabloid press, which loves to pick on men whose wives are more successful than they are, would like nothing better than to see them divorce. The weeklies Bunshun and Friday demanded to know why Miyazaki hasn't left her husband over his comments. Matsumoto takes a different tack: "Why doesn't she publicly defend him?"

    The reason she doesn't do either is that she's protecting her own interests, which depend on TV, and Takaoka's beef is not so much with Korean pop culture but with Fuji, which presumably no longer hires him. For sure, his anger indicated latent resentment toward Korea, which is ironic since his most famous role was a Korean-Japanese character in the movie "Pacchigi," but his real complaint is against Japanese TV, whose reliance on Korean product is one aspect of a larger issue that he may see as a brake on his career. From 2 to 5 p.m. every weekday, Fuji TV broadcasts Korean dramas. According to a Fuji employee interviewed by the weekly magazine Gendai, these dramas garner a 4 percent audience share, which isn't great but is nevertheless "good for that timeframe," and "licensing Korean dramas is really cheap." The decision to run Korean content is a financial one.

    The circumstances surrounding Takaoka's dismissal are vague, but his agency relies a great deal on TV. According to a recent article in Shukan Post, the complacency of mainstream media pundits in the face of Japanese television's towering irrelevance is in direct proportion to the existing commercial networks' stranglehold on the airwaves. Citing countless examples of pointless programming, the article fixed TV's decline as starting in the 1980s, when the first wave of Japanese TV producers mostly idealists who entered the industry to change society were replaced by a new generation who wanted to make money. They didn't even solicit advertising. Sponsors threw money at them.

    The secret to their success was lack of competition. The five networks were given the rights to public airwaves practically for free, and the yearly usage fees remain ridiculously low. In Japan there are 128 TV stations that, altogether, pay about 5 billion a year in fees and make 3 trillion a year.

    According to the Post, politicians are in thrall to broadcasters because TV is seen as the only key to electability in Japan. When analog broadcasts stopped on July 24, it freed up 200 megahertz of bandwidth, an incredible resource for the nation, but rather than auction off frequencies to broadcast ventures, the government does nothing. There are rumors that the networks will receive some bandwidth to broadcast "one-seg" TV programs to cell phones, but the one-seg boom has passed, eclipsed by smart phones. Economic and Fiscal Policy Minister Kaoru Yosano has suggested that the reconstruction of Tohoku be funded by a tax targeting cellphone users. Relative to how much bandwidth they use, providers already pay 200 times what broadcasters pay for rights to the airwaves.

    Without competition, quality is an afterthought, and the Post shows how commercial TV became a game of one-upmanship. If somebody had a popular show, you copied the format. When this sort of thing goes on long enough, all shows become the same show. With ad revenues down drastically, the point now is to save money, and it's much cheaper to buy Korean dramas than it is to produce original shows. When Panasonic recently pulled its long-time sponsorship of the drama series "Mito Komon" TBS cancelled it, even though it was still popular, rather than look for a new sponsor. Programming, and thus public service, is no longer the prime task of broadcasters. TBS made more money last year from real estate than from advertising sales; and one reason home shopping is so prevalent on TV is that the networks now have their own catalogue sales subsidiaries. Fuji TV's is Dinos, which means a portion of the money Dinos makes over the air goes to Fuji TV. A professor interviewed by the Post says this is a violation of the Anti-monopoly Act (Dokusen Kinshi-ho).

    Takaoka's anger inflamed jingoistic resentments, but few media pundits identified the real source of his discontent, which was the sad state of Japanese TV. It doesn't mean he shouldn't apologize, but his inability to understand and articulate that discontent appears to be a symptom of the equally sad state of public discourse. When no one knows what they can or can't say, they never get the chance to learn how to say it.

Similar Threads

  1. Japanese Drama Recommendations
    By eeyore in forum Japanese/Korean Dramas
    Replies: 475
    Last Post: 02-07-10, 10:54 PM
  2. state of origin (NSW 07)
    By Corey in forum Sports Talk
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 06-14-07, 07:34 PM
  3. FRIENDS (Korean-Japanese drama)
    By cute_angel in forum Japanese/Korean Dramas
    Replies: 47
    Last Post: 02-15-07, 09:05 AM
  4. Replies: 10
    Last Post: 01-31-07, 11:38 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts