Japan, a country with such greatness (technology, culture, culinary, entertainment, and such).. It’s not all about the blooming sakura or sumo wrestling, it’s far more about something else.. (in my case :D)
I grew up (or you can say ‘am growing up’) with Japanese-based entertainment ‘system’ and I like it very much. Now, not that I mention I don’t like my own country and not being a loyal and good citizen but, this is just a matter of personal interet, right? 😀
Nope, I’ve never been to Japan in my life, but I’m sure Japan will be my destination of travelling one day. I’ll make sure to pay Japan a visit AT LEAST once in my lifetime.
Now let’s see, what do I love about that country :
I’ve started to play game since I was 5, with Nintendo for the first console I’ve ever played and in my 2nd grade of elementary, my parents bought us (my bro and I) Sony Playstation X (which is developed in Japan as well), and I’ve started to be an addict-like at that time. I woke up at 5 AM just to play game even I had to go to school at 6.30 AM, after school, after nap time, after dinner, it was all about video games (yet I’ve got good grade all the way along).
The games I played was developed mostly by Japanese game developers. Let’s say some like SquareEnix (formerly Squaresoft) who released some well known titles such as Final Fantasy (series), Chrono Cross, Chrono Trigger, The Last Remnant.. Then there’s Natsume the developer of Harvest Moon (series). Or another like Capcom who developed Megaman (series) and Resident Evil (series). And some companies like Konami, SEGA, and so on. Those companies built up my childhood and shaped my skill in anything that a video game can provide (quick and critical thinking, reflexes, coordination, decision making, and many others).
Chrono Cross (PS1 / PSX)
Harvest Moon : Back to Nature*
*one of the game with many people and characters in it but have no violence, fighting, blood spilling act and any other adult materials
My childhood and early teenhood was full with anime but not my late teenhood and my current self haha. I don’t find nowadays animes suit me anymore (heavy and semi-similar storyline, some full of adult materials, same style of drawing, too-noisy-OST). Maybe there’re nowadays animes that suit me but I don’t know it yet.
Back in my childhood we have Doraemon (a famous cartoon by Fujiko F. Fujio about futuristic robot cat with a lot of gadgets to help a miserable child that get bullied, have bad mark and a lot of misfortune from his environment) and Crayon Shinchan (daily life of a naughty boy towards his family, friends, teachers, and neighbours). With light and daily life storyline, coped with cute style of drawing, light tone color, and not intense action among every characters, this is a good choice of anime.
Next are Let’s & Go and Beyblade. Yes! Children love toys and would love anime about it. Let’s & Go was about an adventure of a pair of brothers who want to be the best mini 4WD cars racers and meanwhile Beyblade have similar storyline but with tops.
Besides, we also have animes with stronger storyline (episodic with more conflict between main character(s) and their rivals) such as
Flame of Recca.
But what’s on top about it, the drawing style was 90% different between each anime. Actually that give big enough impact for me for choosing animes. Those animes didn’t make me feel like watching the same ones by each and every title.
As for music, I don’t give full attention to one spesific genre (to all music around the world, not only Japanese music). I sometimes like rock/metal, sometimes just slow pop, or Japanese enka, sometimes rock n roll like The Beatles, and so on, just depend on the mood.
Since I was in 6th grade in elementary, when I had breakfast just before I went to school, usually the local radio station play Fujii Fumya‘s True Love, that’s where my love grows for Japanese music. I like that song, and since I watched a lot of anime at that time which had a lot of great OST, I know more and more about Japanese music, usually pop and metal songs were used as animes’ OST. Flame of Recca‘s Nanka Shiawase, Samurai X‘s 4th Avenue Cafe, Sobakasu, Moncole Knight‘s Just Fly Away, and sooooooo on.. Those are only a few of them.
Now in my early teen hood, I started to crave video games’ OST like Final Fantasy Series‘, Chrono Cross‘s, Crash Team Racing‘s, Gran Turismo‘s, and many many more. Those song come from different genres (pop, orchestral, surf rock, metal, modern jazz, and such). Moving to my current life, I started to pay more attention to Japanese singers and idols. These 3 is my favorite :
Ebisu Muscats (idol group, 2008-2013)*
*consist of AV & gravure artist (well I don’t like their solo career anyway), their style of music was cheerful, fun, upbeat, full color and dynamic, not forgetting of the cute girls themselves
Depapepe (duo -Yoshinari Tokuoka & Miura Takuya-, still actve)
*this duo accoustic guitarist have some style of music, some are slow mellow, some are high in beat, some are just relaxing, some are old song recomposing, and the rest, you may find it yourself 🙂
Kiroro (duo -Chiharu Tamashiro & Ayano Kinjou-, still active)
*despite not releasing any new song this days, this duo was active in releasing songs in 90’s and early 2000’s, have the voice like angels (clear, touching, and relaxing at the same time even they sing an upbeat song)
Not forgetting, some musician like Ayumi Hamazaki, Noriko Sakai, L’arc en Ciel, Ayaka, Hitomi Shimatani, Ruppina, BoA, Shiratori Emiko, Utada Hikaru, and so many many more are also my favorite, but mostly I just listen a few songs from every musician beside those 3 that I’ve stated above. Like I said before, I like a lot of musician and that’s depend on the mood hahaha.
- TV Show!
Ow Yeah! Japan has some great TV shows, including drama and game/reality/variety shows.
I’ve watched some great drama (mostly about pure comedy or comedy with a bit of romance as side story) like Hana Kimi (2007), Ashita Ga Aru Sa (2003), Stand up! (2006), Boys on the Run (2010), Detective Conan (2007), GTO (1998, remake in 2012 and 2014), and so on. I’ve tried to find new comedy Jdrama but still no result. Around 2013 to nowadays, the most dramas I can find are about romance, detective, life lesson, or profession. *Please inform me more about comedy Jdrama, the really really funny ones :D*
Now moving to TV show (3 kinds included). Ebisu Muscat (while still active) had their own TV programme that talk about many things or doing many small games. Around 2014 till now, I’m crazy for a variaty show staring
Gaki no Tsukai team.
Gaki no Tsukai is a team consist of 5 comedians : Downtown (duo -Hamada Masatoshi & Matsumoto Hitoshi), Yamasaki Housei (currently named himself Tsukitei Housei), and Cocorico (duo -Tanaka Naoki & Endou Shouzo). These five comedians have good comraderie, doing skits together like cooking, game show about tasting and guessing food, messing around with each other and many other kind of game show, in studio or outdoor. Hilarious to the maximum point! Hahahaha. They also have new year broadcasting programme called Batsu Game, with different theme for each year, these 5 have to endure the environment and are not allowed to laugh for 24 hours (or else they’ll get butt-smack punishment :D). Of course the backstage team has prepared funny act and skit around them just to make them laugh and get smacked! Hahaha. (You may want to watch this programme).
You can put ‘Dero’ in Youtube and watch a great gameshow from Japan, find it yourself, watch it and tell me your opinion :D. That’s one of the example of creative gameshow and I like that but unfortunately not many are English subbed, and yes, I don’t understand the language :S
Well, actually there’re some more of Japan’s point of interest, but maybe next time. 😀
This is part 1!! Stay tuned for the next part..
*any credits of pictures go to the owner, I only use it for sharing purpose*