Viki

Which Japanese dramas/movies do you really want to watch on Viki? 🇯🇵 🏯


#62

Viki has added a few new Japanese dramas - though I think a couple are just movies, not series - but again, every single one of them is… any guesses?

A Rom-Com.

I watched “You, Me and Bach” because although it is yet another in a long, long list of Romantic Comedies, I thought the context of violin lessons and music would at least make it a little more interesting, and it did, up to a point. There were a couple of flaws and at 10 episodes it was too short, but the characterizations were good and the actors were all excellent and memorable in their roles.

But… RomCom. Like all of the new ones and most of the older ones.

Dear Viki: Can we please have some J-dramas that are something other than Romantic Comedies?

A doctor show ('still waiting to see “Dr. X” because a.) I’m a heroine addict and b.) Yonekura Ryoko has been a fave heroine since her stunning performance in “35-sai no Koukousei.”)
Or a police / detective show (I would die to see “Joker” with Masato Sakai or “Zettai Reido” with Ueto Aya again.)
Or an X-Files-like paranormal sci-fi show like “Galileo” or “Subete ga F ni Naru?”)
Or a school drama - which focuses on something other than romance - like the mega-intense “Life” with Kitano Kii and Fukada Saki, or “Edison no Haha” with Itoh Misaki?
Or a topical drama like “Asakusa Fukumaru Ryokan” (I and II) with the legendary Nishida Toshiyuki, “Voice” with Ishihara Satomi of “Pretty Proofreader,” “Ushi ni Negai wo” with Osugi Ren and Toda Erika…

… or any of the hundreds of newer dramas from these same genres?

Romantic comedy is an enjoyable genre, but when that’s literally the only genre available at Viki, it’s a powerful incentive to just go tune in to Amazon Prime or Netflix or Crunchyroll or Hulu - whose lineups of Japanese dramas are paltry as well, but at least they have a variety of genres to choose from.

Please give us some variety. We’re starving out here!


#63

so true!! and so many lost licenses, I know thats a hard thing, but gosh sao many dramas and we cant watch , scifi, detectives, mysteries, maybe a vampire in the mix,


#64

I had to read that five times before I understood what you actually meant to say :joy::joy:

Danger-Less Detectives seem to be the only non-romance jdrama here…


#65

@vivi_1485

Well. the ‘‘e’’ there makes all the difference, but it was hilarious when I had to do a double look and said: SAY WHAT?! Just joking.

PS> Hope she/he never forgets that so important ‘‘E’’ in there.


#66

Vivi, I started watching “Danger-Less Detectives” but the lead characters (if I remember right,) are basically slackers, not people you can root for, and the whole mood was so silly that it seemed like fluff. I may go back and give it another chance sometime, but it’s pretty dismal as detective shows go.

Right now I’m watching “An Incurable Case of Love” a.k.a. “Love Lasts Forever” - a Rom-Com with medical professionals that follows the old formula of “Nerdy, klutzy newbie falls for superstar way out of her league and it magically happens.” The best of that formula was “Mischievous Kiss” - mostly because Honoka Miki was so perfectly cast and played the female lead so perfectly (just avoid MK II at all costs - instead of funny and endearing she becomes clingy and creepy.) “Love Lasts Forever” is a whole tier beneath that level, but still enjoyable so far. I just want to watch something a little more serious and engaging for a change.

I suppose I should start diving more into K-dramas - “Strong Girl Bong-Soon” and “Oh My Ghost” were pretty good - but my interest in Korean culture is maybe 1/4 my interest in Japan, and I’m studying Nihongo, not Korean, so there’s no language interest. It just seems really weird that a Japanese media company - Rakuten/Viki - has such a comparatively tiny and narrow selection of J-dramas.

I just hope that they sometimes read these forums and take note of what people are requesting. But yeah, maybe it’s a problem with wrestling licenses out of the Japanese TV companies. Maybe they need to do a Terunofuji-type Hatakikomi in the negotiating room. :thinking: Ok, maybe not a good idea. But at least a “ganbarimasu!” or two should happen.


#67

It’s nice to see that Viki is adding something new to the Japanese drama lineup, but again… Romantic Comedies! Auuugh!

I’m counting half a dozen new dramas and all of them are Rom-Coms. All of them. How many of these will be enough before we can get some other genres? It’s as if Viki is stuck in the misconception that Rom-Coms are the only type of drama that people will watch. Yes, there are a bunch of great Rom-Coms, but at a certain point the viewer has to ask “Do I really care to invest the time watching yet another one of these?” The monolithic, tunnel-vision fixation on that specific type of program to the exclusion of anything else, has gotten incredibly boring, also incredibly frustrating.

Why are there no doctor shows, no cop shows, no science-related/X-Files-type shows, no detective shows, no mysteries, just… Romantic Comedy after Romantic Comedy after Romantic Comedy.

Please give us some variety.


#68

I have to say that the best Japanese dramas/movies are Doctor/ Detective and suspense or mystery etc. so they are really short changing us, by adding dramas that don’t meet the different taste from different viewers have. So far I haven’t watched anything from Japan here at this site because halfway through the episode I find that is not my taste of Japanese drama to watch.

I have to say that Japan Sinks: People of Hope 2021 ‧ Drama ‧ 1 season it’s an awesome example of a great drama/series, and I’m looking forward to part 2 of this series some time soon. Too bad is only available on NTFX. Wished they had it here because I know viewers that appreciate Japanese dramas would definitely love this one. WORTH WATCHING!


#69

More crime drama such as Saiai, Shinhannin Flag, Anata no Ban Desu, Cold Case, Tengoku to Jigoku, Unnatural, etc.


#70

I want a oldie that I really liked when I watched: Switch girl. I even read the manga. It aired on 2011 and it’s quite funny.


#71

How about some of the NHK Asa Dora, like Carnation or many others. They are GREAT for language learning, great story lines and some showcase Japanese historical people. It’s sad to see sooooo many K-dramas and so few J-dramas. It looks like Japanese is only interested in anime, which personally I’m not interested in.


#72

A simple contrast: As lousy as my local cable system is - Los Angeles’ Charter/Spectrum monopoly - just last Sunday I stumbled onto KXLA on channel 19, and to my shock I discover that they’re running “Doctor X!”

I’ve been wanting to see “Doctor X” for years because it stars Yonekura Ryoko, who’s been my favorite heroine since her electrifying performance in “35-sai no Koukousei” (which latter Crunchyroll had on their service before they embraced cowardice and went 100% Anime.)

Since I immediately recognized Toshiyuki Nishida in the role of the hospital administrator, I knew this has to be Doctor X Season #2 or later, because he’s played that role since Season 2 but did not appear in Season 1.

Needless to say I’ve got the DVR set to record this automatically (it comes on at 7pm Pacific time on Sunday nights,) I’m wondering why a low-rent cable channel in Los Angeles can run this series but Viki can’t. I really want to start with Season #1 of Doctor X, but it’s not available.

If I ever get to the point of reasonable Nihongo comprehension I will just buy the full DVD set (the original DVDs apparently do not have English subs,) but I am at somewhere in the middle of JLPT N5 level, which means it will be years before I have that comprehension.

So Doctor X Season 1 would be another great choice for Viki to expand its variety. And in a quick YT search for Season 1 trailers I found this, which is apparently another non-Viki outlet that’s running the show - but again, Season 3 onward, not Season 1. But still: If even obscure media outlets like these are able to license this kind of show, why not Viki?


#73

I would love to watch one particular asian romance drama. But it is not in Viki anymore. And I do not remember serial name. A young girl wants to save her sick father. The family does not have the money for the necessary surgery and she is fertilized. She does not want to give up the child, but it is taken away from her and she does not know who the surrogate family is for her son.It is romance, protagonist has cancer in the end.


#74

Hello!

I’ve put in Viki film requests for some of the classic films from Japan that were made back in the '50s - '70s by some of the greatest directors and cinematographers of Japanese cinema. But they aren’t something rom/com lovers may appreciate so I can see why they aren’t here on Viki. And many of the ones made in the '50s are black and white.

I used to watch them on TV when I was a kid in San Francisco. Well, when I was in Grammar school they were mainly Godzilla movies. :laughing: But when I was a teenager they were the masterwork films. :heartpulse: The last time I saw one of them was about 45 years ago, then college and working took all my time after that so I never saw them again. I’ve been looking for them for years.

I FOUND SOME OF THEM just recently! So for my birthday, I’ve been watching some of my favorites. If you are interested in watching some masterworks that ARE NOT rom/coms or anime, come to our drama lovers group on Discord. https://discord.gg/8ChtBjnF

I am running Rashomon at 5:30 PM Mountain Time - Wed Jan 26

Cinematography by Kazuo Miyagawa

Rashomon

Directed by Akira Kurosawa • 1950 • Japan
Starring Toshiro Mifune, Machiko Kyo, Masayuki Mori

A riveting psychological thriller that investigates the nature of truth and the meaning of justice, RASHOMON is widely considered one of the greatest films ever made. Four people give different accounts of a man’s murder and the rape of his wife, which director Akira Kurosawa presents with striking imagery and an ingenious use of flashbacks. This eloquent masterwork and international sensation revolutionized film language and introduced Japanese cinema, and a commanding new star by the name of Toshiro Mifune, to the Western world.

Restored by the Academy Film Archive, the National Film Center of the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, and Kadokawa Pictures, Inc. Funding provided by Kadokawa Culture Promotion Foundation and The Film Foundation.


#75

For me, Jdramas have a certain flavor to them that is very unique. I’ve only seen less than 15 Jdramas, but most of them have been riveting. Some Jdramas I would like to see on Viki:

Gomen, Aishiteru (Japanese remake of Kdrama I’m Sorry, I Love You)

Ai Nante Irane Yo, Natsu (original story of the Kdrama remake That Winter, the Wind Blows. I would even say it rivals the remake, and I really like TWTWB)

Liar Game (again, it’s the original of the Kdrama Liar Game. I like both Liar Games, each has its unique acting)

Zeni Geba (a psychological drama that just astounded me and I still think about it randomly now and then. I don’t even know how to start describing it–a man wants revenge on money would be the best way to put it).

Karamazov no Kyodai (Japanese adaptation of Dostoyevsky’s novel The Brothers Karamazov. I enjoy reading his work, so I had to watch the Jdrama adaptation).

I try to stay away from detective and law dramas for certain reasons, so I can’t recommend any Jdrama crime shows except for maybe Galileo, which I watched several years ago back when it was on Viki.


#76

Apparently Viki has changed its menu structure, at least as it appears via Roku, where you can no longer even filter programs by country of origin. This is intensely frustrating and a huge waste of my time. The only option is to scroll. And scroll. And scroll. And scroll…

So when I go to the Home icon and scroll down to “Viki Picks” and “Latest Releases,” the vast majority are (big shock,) Romances, originating from Korea and Mainland China (the same Mainland China whose totalitarian government is imprisoning and torturing religious and political dissidents, right now as we sit here,) with a few BL shows from Thailand (of no real interest to me because I’m not gay,) and a couple of single-play movies from Japan.

In terms of its content, particularly content from Japan, Viki is getting noticeably worse. Whoever is running Viki does not seem to care what its viewers want to see - which means if new management and a new policy don’t happen, Viki will likely go the route of AZN-TV: straight into bankruptcy.

Why are the people who have the ability and infrastructure to bring streaming Japanese TV to the English-speaking world, so completely oblivious to the pent-up demand for Japanese TV in America and elsewhere? When will these people finally wake up? I’m at the point of wondering whether I should even continue my subscription - if it weren’t as inexpensive as it is, I would already have canceled.

This is just frustrating - and frustration is not something I consider to be a value in life.


#77

There seems to be some problem with Roku and Viki rn, because there have been quite a few complaints about it. You can still filter by country using the website or app.
I dont think it’s Viki’s or other streaming services’ fault that jdramas are so scarce. I’ve heard that jdrama copyright laws are crazy and Japan isnt even really interested in exporting them, so international streaming services have a hard time obtaining licenses. Its not the streaming services but JAPAN who is oblivious/just doesnt care about the pent-up demand overseas. There’s an MDL discussion about it too
https://mydramalist.com/discussions/japanese-drama-movies/37259-why-aren-t-there-many-jdramas-on-netflix?page=2

According to a user, there are lots of jdramas on J-Netflix but not in other countries. Japan is just not interested in exporting or promoting their shows like K and C. Its hard to gain access to really popular romcoms(the most popular genre) so its understandable that getting less-popular genres like mysteries is nearly impossible. Seems like your options are
(1) wait for streaming services to gain enough popularity in Japan though we don’t know when that could happen
(2) get a VPN
(3) move to Japan (LOL)
(4) watch using fansubs from various Twitter/Discord teams dedicated to doing the impossible :grimacing:


#78

Maybe that is the main cause why not much content is offered here at RViki site because it has the cause and effect factor of being inexpensive.

The relationship between these two things is very simple, one thing makes something else happen. For example, if we eat too much food and do not exercise, we gain weight, right?

In order to keep the prices down on subscription cost (that by your own admission is inexpensive), they also have to keep cost down to a minimum as they provide the vast variety of dramas/movies/shows etc. they have here.

So basically within their budget right now, they can only offer a certain amount of Japanese shows/movies/dramas etc. since they also have to offer so many other dramas/movies/shows like they do, from all around the world.

Like Netflix, HULU, Disney plus. they offer so many, many, wonderful up to date dramas/movies/variety shows, and so, so, much more. But in order for us viewers to get all these ‘‘Goodies,’’ we need to PAY the PRICE, and is not some cheap change either. I can tell you that much because I pay the price, and in my opinion, is worth every penny I spent in there. But…can you afford to pay more somewhere else? Mainly, is it offered in your part of the world?

shakalabbit
This is just frustrating - and frustration is not something I consider to be a value in life.

I agree with what you are saying about the value of life, and the fact that frustrations should not be part of our life. For that same reason, if you can, find other alternatives of entertainment, to replace the lack of Japanese dramas in here. Doing that (in my opinion) would be such an awesome thing to do for yourself, and the well being of your state of mind. Frustration brings anger and anger can bring health issues like High Blood pressure, Heart Disease etc. No one needs that in their life so do the research and love yourself enough to find a solution to get rid of needless frustrations in your PRECIOUS life.

I am blessed to have Netflix/Prime that have so many wonderful variety of Japanese content which I fully enjoy on a daily basis, and I hope you can have that in your life, too. The Journalist and Japan Sinking are awesome series (I highly recommend them).

Good Luck.


#79

I remember a couple of Japanese series I really liked, mostly a bit older.

  • Gokusen: the granddaughter of a yakuza leader, who is the heiress to the clan, becomes the homeroom teacher of a class filled with delinquents.
  • Atashinchi no Danshi: Chisato who is always on the run for debt collectors, gets married with Shinzo who will pay her debts if she will be a mother to his 6 adopted sons (some of which are her own age), so they will learn the meaning of family.
  • Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge: 4 students are offered free board-and-lodging if they turn the niece of the house owner into a lady.

#80

@medstudent314590

Are these on Netflix? I’m telling you, I have a huge list of Japanese dramas I’ve already seen on NTFX, but I’m currently watching [The Journalist] and [Japan Sinks]. The variety of Japanese content in there is immense. I also see a lot of Documentaries, and many great Detective series.

[Memoirs of a Geisha] from 2005 was priceless. I loved that story from beginning to end. The FL and ML and rest of cast members were so in tune with their respective roles. I hope they make more like that one, but so far found nothing yet.

Thanks for the info. We’ll be looking into them.


#81

angelight, as I’ve posted a bunch of times here, though I can’t speak for anyone else I would be happy to pay four to five times the current $5 a month Viki charges if they a.) got some shows that were NOT Romantic Comedies and b.) introduced more Japanese shows on a regular basis.

I’ve watched about all of the J-dramas in Viki’s catalog that I want to, so other than diving into Korean dramas - a culture I have almost no interest in - there’s nothing left for me here.

The only remaining option - Amazon Prime abruptly axed a bunch of their Japanese dramas a couple of years ago, and Netflix insists on doing remakes rather than presenting the originals - is to keep cramming Nihongo and just buy the original series DVDs from CDJapan and try to understand them without subs.

What is most annoying is the clear indication that nobody at Viki is listening or seems to care, even about something as bonehead-simple as variety. People are asking for variety and even in the few new shows they’ve gotten recently, Viki is solidifying itself as a single-genre streaming service - it’s Rom-Coms and only Rom-Coms. Maybe they should change the name from Viki to Rom-Com.com.

Again, like any given genre those are ok for awhile and there are some certifiably excellent shows within that genre (like Jimi ni Sugoi! Koetsu Garu Kono Etsuko, a.k.a. Pretty Proofreader,) but it’s like eating nothing but hot dogs every single day with no variation. It gets old, and all you want to do is go and eat something else.