Have you heard this question by new comers?
Because that's the easiest most accessible at the moment. There are no apps for Japanese (or Chinese or Thai or Taiwanese) dramas yet as far as I know. I am doing my part raise awareness of Japanese Dramas in general and not just romances. So if you are part of the "fringe" Asian Tv watchers feel free to step up and post the things you like and participate in the feed games, because for every person that posts there are 30 that just lurk.
-get's down off soapbox--
I don't know why I feel I have to post this, I was looking for another community like this one thinking I could cross share information but there isn't one that I could find. I thank all the staff at MDL for providing this place cause my rl friends think I am crazy for watching Japanese Television. Here I have a place to talk about a show I just watched without getting the glazed over look.
(btw if you type in "Japanese Drama" in Google MDL does not come up only if you type Asian drama, but I know Meta tags are tricky).
Thank you for you time : )
It's actually simple, as for Japan - it's still a very closed country. Korea has been opening to the West while Japan still refuses to open completely.
For example, music: Japan is still selling DVDs and Blurays with music videos while Korea stopped doing that and turned to YouTube hence the huge views and increased popularity. It is very rare to see full Japanese music videos on YT and they are usually just teasers.
The same applies to anime and dramas, when you go to official websites, most of the access is restricted unless you live in Japan, they are not trying to promote their stuff, the marketing is bad because they do not even focus on foreigners.
And as for MDL being Kdrama heavy, it is just the consequence of the stuff I mentioned above. Korean dramas are simply more accessible and popular.
I agree with the points mentioned above in terms of restricted access. For instance, with the censorship in China and lack of access to sites like YouTube which is how a lot of Korean media gets its popularity boost, since as mentioned before, they (as in drama networks in China, Taiwan, Japan) don't tend to expand and diversify their access to overseas audiences and focus more on popularity within their respective countries. Due to censorship, there's only a handful of social media sites such as Weibo which are primarily used to boost popularity in China as an example, and since it's pretty much aimed just at native Chinese speakers, that limits the reach quite a lot since there's limited access to English/International versions of the site and people don't often have accounts for the social media sites that are most in use in China (and tend to frequent more to Twitter, Youtube, Facebook, etc).
I know official sites/apps like Viki for instance do post Chinese, Taiwanese and Japanese dramas too, even though the access to those is very much dependent on if the licensing is obtained and also region locks that can often be in place.
EDIT: For me personally, it's often personal preference with regards to how each country's dramas tend to be executed. As an example, although I'm ethnically Chinese myself, I find the fact that dubbing is prominent in Chinese dramas to be a little off-putting as the voices aren't often the actor's own voice, so it can come across unnatural/odd to me.
I got into kdrama mainly because a lot of it got subbed by fans. I want to watch stuff from other countries but a lot of it isnt subbed yet. Japan gets all the fansubbing for their anime and manga which I watch. I think its like that for most people, kdramas get more subs while others not so much. But I cant really say why kdramas get more subs made, probably the first country to really promote overseas or at least be open. China is really closed off with their own youtube google facebook alternatives and locked down internet. Japan seems more open but they still have their own alternatives. For Taiwan and such, I think most people just know very little about them.
Also I think the rise in K-Pop popularity in the west also gets people interested in other korean media, especially when a lot of K-Pop stars end up in kdramas, fans go watch them and get subs done.
The South Korean government has subsidized and worked with Movie, TV & Music producers. I would say their efforts were much more coordinated compared to Japan's attempts to export culture.
As Ceki mentioned - Japan is much more insular and inward looking. Japanese customers first, Japanese customers second, Japanese customers third. It's really that bad. If you are not a Japanese customer in Japan - the message is "you don't matter". Contrast that with South Korea where sometimes they provided translators/subtitlers to put their dramas out their for foreign customers. At cost to the South Korean government and probably the studios too - they put the content out their. Now they are reaping the rewards of that long-term strategy of treating foreign customers well.
Now that South Korean culture is being viewed as having "invaded" Japan (if you listen to some of the politicians) they're desperately trying to fight back. I doubt they'll succeed. The reality is their entire mentality needs to change and I'm not sure if they're open-minded enough for that radical of a change in their entertainment industries.
South Korea did get lucky with timing so part of it is luck but they also put in time and money and showed they valued exports and foreign business (China mostly but other places too). Japan is still much too inward focused and things like anime have succeeded in spite of this. Nintendo is a good example of an open-minded Japanese leader succeeding in part by valuing customers outside of Japan.
There's actually a TON of Chinese dramas available on YouTube (every Chinese drama on my completed list I watched them on YouTube and I could honestly link you a playlist)......but I understand Chinese so I don't use English subs. Unfortunately, not all the dramas on YouTube have engsubs. However, more and more are increasingly being subbed, especially the dramas that are popular in China will tend to get subs now.
There also seems to be a difference in taste of dramas between mainland China and international fans. A lot of the official YouTube channels that upload Chinese dramas are subbing them now, but they tend to sub the dramas that were more popular in mainland China and not necessarily the dramas that are popular amongst international fans. So for dramas that are more popular amongst international fans, I feel that intl fans will have to sub them on their own, but since the community is so small and subbing is so much work, I doubt many will do it. Subbing is a lot of work and often times subbers don't get the appreciation for their effort and fans just keep asking them to sub more or sub faster.
Also China's market is so huge that I don't think they feel the need to heavily export their content. For example, Princess Agents acquired more than 40 billion view just through online platforms, and that's not even accounting for views acquired through airing on television. But since it was really popular in China, it did get engsubs on its YouTube channel. There's also engsubs on YouTube channels for dramas like The First Half of My Life, Surgeons and others. And engsubs for the popular Chinese dramas on other subbing sites too. But subs for the less popular ones are definitely harder to find.....simply because they are less popular LOL.
@Knavery exactly. the Korean government sees Korean Drama and Music as an export that makes 5 Billion dollars a year (and growing) for Korea from overseas markets. They fund dramas, they fund the arts and they export.
The first free trade agreement regarding culture (for sale of music and television) was in the early 90s between Thailand and South Korea and was worth about 5 Million dollars. The next was between California and South Korea a few years later) and was worth 50 Million.
When government funds arts, arts grow.
Actually, about Japanese content and streaming, you can't find much at all on YouTube, Dailymotion, etc because Japan has some of the most strict copyright laws in the world. Have you ever tried to find an Arashi MV on Youtube?! They practically do not exist. Occasionally, you may get lucky and find a fan has uploaded something, but they will get removed promptly. Same with dramas. It is extremely hard to find streaming Japanese content of any kind.
As for the other countries and sites, there used to be a site that streamed Mainland Chineese and Taiwanese dramas. A lot were raw but some were subbed. I think it was Sugoideas.com.
Viki has a lot of Mainland Chinese dramas now. They also have some Taiwanese dramas. I have noticed, though, that with the rise in popularity of Mainland dramas these last couple of years, Taiwanese dramas are harder to find.
Kissasian still has the best collection of dramas that I can't find on Viki or Dramafever.
With Thai dramas, it is also hard to find content but I have found them on Youtube and Dailymotion.
I don't have much experience with Hong Kong dramas, but I have seen some on YouTube.
Finally, once in a blue moon, a random drama app will pop up in the Google Playstore. The ones I have found and tried over the years pretty much just access streaming sites like gooddrama or kissasian. They are usually removed pretty fast and the developers eventually lose interest in updating them, so they stop working.
Yes kdrama targets international audience but I also think production value is generally higher than China or Japan, with few exceptions. Kpop also helps. At least Japan has anime, China has nothing to boost its drama popularity, fyi Kpop and Anime are the most exposed to international/western population.
As for Japan, a lot of their media is not exposed enough due to copyright laws, I might be more into jpop if half of it was not deleted from the internet some time ago. I've downloaded songs that can no longer be found anymore.
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