My Jdrama consciousness awakened somewhere near the turn of the millennium – a time where Asia (my home), had seen around two decades of Japanese pop culture influences on the region. It was the time of Kimura, and more Kimura, the time of Love Generation, Beach Boys, S.O.S, just to name a few of the popular dramas. In my hazy memory of watching Japanese dramas on and off in the evenings, there is the figure of the hairdresser Okishima Shuji in a darkened room, eagerly sketching away a hairstyle entirely of his own creation (Beautiful Life) and the dashing figure of Onizuka sensei standing with arms outstretched in front of an aeroplane (the classic, brilliant GTO), among others.
I remember my sister and I, enamoured by the beautiful Yonekura Ryoko, tuning in religiously to Love Revolution every week, and also remember days of hurrying back from school to watch a young Ninomiya Kazunari (otherwise known as the talented Nino of Arashi), and Suzuki Anne, in Akimahende (the afternoon time slot was such a pain!). Of course, the heady delight of purchasing my first Jdrama VCD set, yes the “cheap” ones with fuzzy Chinese subtitles – Oyaji, which featured Okada Junichi in a supporting role, and which of course caught my attention due to my being a newly minted, and rather fervent, V6 fan.
Fast forward a couple of years, the internet speed’s a little faster, and online communities for Japanese dramas have become stronger. With many friends around the world I gushed at and laughed at the trio in Nobuta wo Produce, and on my way to school would jokingly enact “Nobuta Power Chunyuu~” with my schoolmate. At a stay-over at another friend’s house, we discovered the gem of Itazura na Kiss, and my UK literature and television loving friend herself purchased her own VCD set with fuzzy Chinese subtitles.
Now, the new version of the delightfully adorable and crazy show is being broadcast, and at this point in the 21st Century, I, like many Jdrama fans, have spent many days and many nights in front of the TV or computer with shows I have liked, loved, or absolutely loathed.
And this blog, is just a little part, of the Jdrama life.