Learning Japanese can be a long process. It will probably take some time to master the language, especially if you are not entirely familiar with it. As a Japanese language enthusiast living outside of Japan, one of the biggest problems you will likely encounter is the lack of native Japanese speakers to listen to and converse with. The lack of practice can be a detriment to learning Japanese, as immersing yourself in a new language is one of the best ways to quickly pick up a foreign tongue.
Fortunately, there are several alternatives for you to listen to Japanese conversations every day without interacting with native speakers. Aside from taking your learning out of the classroom by incorporating your lessons into your daily life, one of the best methods you can try is watching entertaining and informative Japanese shows. Let us share with you some of the most fun and popular shows to watch for you to improve your Japanese skills quickly.
Ainori is a top-rated and well-loved Japanese program that debuted as early as 1999. The series initially ended in 2009 but returned under the name Ainori 2 in 2010. In 2017, the show was rebooted by Netflix, and there are currently three seasons available on the streaming platform.
Ainori is a hybrid dating and travelogue show that follows the journey of seven strangers across different parts of the world while travelling in a pink van. Their main goal is to find a love interest among the other contestants and return to Japan together. Since the show involves daily interactions between native Japanese speakers, conversational Japanese is spoken throughout the various episodes, making it an excellent programme to watch and learn the language.
2. Terrace House
Like Ainori, Terrace House is a popular reality programme in Japan that follows the journey of six strangers who live together in a house. In many ways, it is similar to the hit show in the West, Big Brother. In this show, viewers watch the six strangers go about their daily lives and develop their interpersonal relationships with one another.
Because the show typically involves natural and unscripted conversations, Terrace House is an excellent programme for those looking to learn the Japanese language, especially those seeking to incorporate conversational Japanese phrases into their daily lives. If you are an advanced learner, Netflix also offers additional commentary on the show by host Ryota Yamasoto for viewers to dig into.
If you are a fan of anime and are trying to get a good grasp of the Japanese language, Aggretsuko is the kind of series you should be watching. This show is unlike the typical cute anime series that you would expect from Sanrio, the company behind the famous Hello Kitty. It is a more stirring and profound program, following the life of a 25-year-old red panda office worker who works for a sexist boss and sings heavy metal at night to get rid of her stress – sounds fascinating, doesn’t it?
While the show is not recommended for younger audiences, this compelling anime series is an apt show for beginner and intermediate learners of the Japanese language. A majority of the show’s spoken Japanese features everyday conversations, so you will most likely find many suitable words, phrases, and sentence structures to incorporate into your vocabulary.
4. My Hero Academia
If you prefer a faster-paced show with a little more challenge, then you can try My Hero Academia, which is one of the current trending anime series on Netflix. The show revolves around Izuku Midoriya, affectionally known as Deku, who is one of only a few people born without innate superpowers in a world where everyone has a unique gift.
Although the show also features a variety of basic Japanese vocabulary, My Hero Academia contains a more complex narrative, introducing intermediate and advanced-level aspects of the Japanese language to convey its plot. Hence, it is an ideal program for those who are already familiar with the language and looking to practice Japanese extensively.
Watching Japanese shows is undoubtedly a fun and inspiring way to learn Japanese. Japan has plenty of great shows that not only allows you to gain familiarity with the language, but also introduce you to many riveting aspects of the Japanese culture. Watching shows like Ainori, Terrace House, Aggretsuko, and My Hero Academia can speed up your learning process for one of the most fascinating languages in the world.
On top of watching Japanese shows, it is highly recommended that you take up Japanese classes to truly master the language. Here at Japanese Explorer, we have a variety of classes that will provide you with the resources and materials you need to learn the Japanese language effectively. Furthermore, by enrolling in our classes, you will get the opportunity to meet a community of people who are as eager to learn Japanese as you do.