Learn Japanese with Netflix?

I’ve recently joined Netflix and it is turning out to be a pretty good resource for practicing Japanese, even though I am in the UK. It turns out that there are a few Japanese dramas available on Netflix UK, in addition to quite a few anime series and a handful of films.

The Japanese content on Netflix is a good way of working on your Japanese comprehension, as you can choose whether to have the English language subtitles on or off. The best ones to watch in terms of Japanese study are the Netflix originals (known as Netflixオリジナル作品) as you more often than not have the option to choose Japanese subtitles or Japanese closed caption (CC).

Here are a couple of ideas on how you can incorporate watching Netflix into your study routine (depending on your language level of course!):

  • You could watch a series that you already have watched in English and then rewatch with the Japanese subtitles to focus on how much of the language you can understand without looking anything up. The main advantage of using Japanese subtitles is that it will be much easier to pause and then look them up in the dictionary when you encounter new words or phrases.
  • Watch using Japanese subtitles only, or try watching without any subtitles to really test your listening comprehension skills. Whilst this seems the most difficult and scary to do, the nature of TV will help fill in a lot of the important context of what is happening. It is also the best way to get used to the language being spoken at a natural speed (rather than at a slow speed as it tends to be in most language study materials).

Whilst I don’t always watch things more than once, I find that rewatching a series allows you to more accurately identify what aspects of the language you need to focus on (ie. is it vocabulary that is hindering your comprehension or is it grammar?) as you do not need to pay attention to the storyline as much. If it is not vocabulary or grammar, then it is often your listening comprehension letting you down.

What I find most useful about Netflix is that some videos can now be downloaded for offline viewing on the app which now makes it much easier to study on the go. The main downside with Netflix at the moment, however, is that there is not much in the way of variety: rom-com and food lovers, in particular, are likely to find something to enjoy here, but others may struggle.

I hope that more Japanese language content is to be added in the future, and this certainly seems to be the case – Netflix will notify you when content that relates to your interests is added. Another thing I’ve noticed which I hope will get fixed is that the subtitles are in white, which can be a bit tricky to see depending on the scene.

Image result for netflix

I’ve compiled a list of Japanese language content that I’ve found on Netflix UK below (those that have options for Japanese/English or no language subtitles are given in brackets).

NB: this does not include content that has been dubbed into English (eg. Pokemon X & Y, Yugi-oh!) or Manzai.

Dramas & TV

Atelier (Japanese/ English/ no subs)

Blazing Transfer Students (Japanese/ English/ no subs)

Erased (Japanese/ English/ no subs)

Final Fantasy XIV: Dad of Light (Japanese/ English/ no subs)

Good Morning Call [Seasons 1 & 2] (Japanese/ English/ no subs)

Hibana: Spark (Japanese/ English/ no subs)

Japanese Style Originator (Japanese/ English/ no subs)

My Little Lover (Japanese/ English/ no subs)

Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories (Japanese/ English/ no subs)

Million Yen Women (Japanese/ English/ no subs)

Samurai Gourmet (Japanese/ Japanese audio description/ English/ no subs)

Playful Kiss Season 1 (Japanese/ English/ no subs)

Playful Kiss Season 2 (Japanese/ English/ no subs)

Saboriman Kantarou (Japanese/ English/ no subs)

Terrace House: Boys and Girls in the City (Japanese/ English/ no subs)

Terrace House: Aloha State (Japanese/ English/ no subs)

The Many Faces of Ito (Japanese/ English/ no subs)

 

Anime

009 RE: Cyborg (English/ no subs)

Ajin: Demi Human (English/ no subs)

Aldnoah Zero (English/ no subs)

Attack on Titan (English/ no subs)

Black Lagoon (English/ no subs)

Black Lagoon: Roberta’s Blood Trail (English/ no subs)

Bleach [Seasons 1-3] (English/ no subs)

Blood Lad (English/ no subs)

Blue Exorcist (English/ no subs)

Case Closed (English/ no subs)

Code Geass : Lelouch of the Rebellion (English/ no subs)

Cowboy Bebop (English/ no subs)

Cyborg 009: Call of Justice (Japanese audio description/ English/ no subs)

Cyborg 009 vs Devil Man (Japanese/ English/ no subs)

Death Note (English/ no subs)

Devilman Crybaby [Season 1] (Japanese/ English/ no subs)

Durarara!! (English/ no subs)

Elfen Lied (English/ no subs)

Eureka Seven [Seasons 1 & 2] (English/ no subs)

Fate/ Apocrypha (Japanese/ English/ no subs)

Fate/ Stay Night unlimited Blade Works (English/ no subs)

Fullmetal Alchemist (English/ no subs)

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (English/ no subs)

Gunslinger Girl (Japanese/ English/ no subs)

Gunslinger Girl –Il teatrino- (English/ no subs)

Gurren Lagann (English/ no subs)

Hunter X Hunter (English/ no subs)

ID-0 (Japanese/ English/ no subs)

Kill la Kill (English/no subs)

Knights of Sidonia (English/ no subs)

Kuromukuro (Japanese/English/ no subs)

Little Witch Academia (Japanese/ English/ no subs)

Magi Adventure of Sinbad (Japanese/English/ no subs)

Mushi-shi (English/ no subs)

Rurouni Kenshin (English/no subs)

Samurai Champloo (English/ no subs)

Samurai Flamenco (English/ no subs)

Space Dandy [Seasons 1 & 2] (English/ no subs)

Sword Art Online (English/ no subs)

Terror in Resonance (English/ no subs)

The Seven Deadly Sins (English/ no subs)

Tokyo Ghoul (English/ no subs)

Trigun (English/ no subs)

Vampire Knight (2 seasons – English/ no subs)

Violet Evergarden (Japanese/ English/ no subs)

Your Lie in April (English/ no subs)

Yuki Yuna is a Hero (English/ no subs)

 

Films

Battle Royale (English/ no subs)

BLAME! (Japanese/ English/ no subs)

Blue Exorcist: The Movie (English/ no subs)

Departures (English/ no subs)

Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods (English/ no subs)

Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection F (English/ no subs)

Fairy Tail: Dragon Cry (English/ no subs)

Fairy Tail: Phoenix Priestess (English/ no subs)

Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos (English/ no subs)

Gantz: 0 (Japanese/English/ no subs)

Ghost Pain (English/ no subs)

Halo Legends (Japanese/ English/ no subs)

Harlock Space Pirate (English/ no subs)

Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade (Japanese/ English/ no subs)

Magi: The Labrinth of Magic (English/ no subs)

Persona 3 the Movie: #2 Midsummer Knights Dream (English/ no subs)

Steamboy (English/ no subs)

The Birth of Sake (Japanese/ English/ no subs)

The Eternal Zero (English/ no subs)

 

At this stage, there is not quite enough content for me to recommend subscribing purely for learning Japanese (there appears to be a good selection of Korean and Taiwanese dramas compared to Japanese stuff), but if you already have a subscription I definitely recommend checking the Japanese language stuff out. Of the content I’ve watched, some of my favourites from the above list are Midnight Diner, My Little Lover and Rurouni Kenshin. However, my favourite, especially in terms of learning about Japanese language and culture is ‘Japanese Style Orignator’ as each episode focuses on different aspects of traditional Japanese culture. There are 54 episodes, some of which are up to 2 hours long so there is plenty to get your teeth stuck into!

What would be your recommendation for something to watch on Netflix? Have I missed anything from the above list? Let me know in the comments!

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5 thoughts on “Learn Japanese with Netflix?

  1. Phi says:

    I had fun watching Good Morning Call. I didn’t renew my Netflix since their catalogue here sucks (only a fraction of movie licenses compared to America).

    Agree that Netflix is a great place for watching Japanese content and it seems like they’re going to add more, since they’ve produced anime like Ajin and BLAME!, in which I think are both successful.

    One of my first post in WordPress was “How to Learn Japanese by Yourself” https://animeathena.com/2017/03/26/how-to-learn-japanese-by-yourself/. I’d appreciate to hear your thoughts on it, though I hardly speak Japanese anymore and that article is old haha.

    Like

    • Nihon&Beyond says:

      I am definitely impressed with the content that Netflix has put out so far, so I will be keeping my subscription for now – fingers crossed they keep up the pace!

      I’ll definitely check your post too 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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