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 best ones to watch are the Netflix originals as you have often have a choice of English or Japanese subtitles (or no subtitles at all). Depending on your language level you could watch a series that you already have watched in English and then rewatch with the Japanese subtitles to focus on how the Japanese. Using Japanese subtitles also 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?). Finally you can then move on to not using any subtitles to really test your listening comprehension skills.

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 moving forward more and more Japanese language content is to be added, 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.

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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)

Good Morning Call (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)

Samurai Gourmet (Japanese/ Japanese audio description/ English subs)

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

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

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

Terrace House: Aloha State (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)

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)

Durarara!! (English/ no subs)

Elfen Lied (English subs)

Fate/ Stay Night unlimited Blade Works (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)

Kill la Kill (English/no subs)

Knights of Sidonia (English/ no subs)

Kuromukuro (Japanese/English/ no subs)

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

Mushi-shi (English/ no subs)

Rurouni Kenshin (English/no subs)

Samurai Flamenco (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)

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)

Departures (English/ no subs)

Gantz: 0 (Japanese/English/ no subs)

Harlock Space Pirate (English/ no subs)

Little Witch Academia (Japanese/ English/ no subs)

Persona 3 the Movie: #2 Midsummer Knights Dream (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 for example), 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 traditional Japanese culture. There are 54 epsiodes, 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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