Extensive listening challenge 👂 (2022)

All done, post is now a wiki!



I guess with that, have at it everybody!


I want to make listening more of a focus this year, but I’ve no idea what would be good goals at all. I’ve no listening habit to speak of, mostly I just watch something whenever I’m in the mood and have time. :sweat_smile:

I guess I’ll make myself a table and figure things out as I go.

I’ll continue watching Yu Yu Hakusho and (from time to time) One Piece and the other random anime I’m very irregularly watching already. I think it’d be nice to get back into Terrace House and Love Wagon too.

It’s great hearing about all these movies and shows since I don’t really know about many. I’ll probably be getting some inspiration from these.

Edit: just made my table… Is terrace house a variety show? :thinking:


I think I’ll join. Although reading has bigger priority for me, I still wanna make a good start here as well. Focusing on things I can watch with Japanese captions, so I can practice both listening and reading.

Started watching the anime Komi can’t Communicate last year on Netflix with Japanese closed captions. It is a bit fast for me, not the ideal first candidate, but I stuck with it and I’m 7 episodes in already. A second season is also confirmed, so that motivates me even more to keep going.

Part of my year goals I wanna watch through at least 10 different anime/drama series and one movie. Of course I’ll still watch/listen things outside that I might not fit into my own challenge.


Up until now, I’ve been pretty inconsistent with my listening practice. Some days I’d listen to different podcasts/videos/watch anime for an hour or more and other days I did nothing. The most consistent exposure I get to Japanese is playing Genshin Impact with the Japanese audio every day.

So, to ease myself into regular practice, I’m giving myself one achievable goal to listen to Japanese for 15 minutes every day - and then I also have the other goals that I can complete when I have time in the next 6 months.

I think that even with the goal of 15 minutes/day, I’ll probably start listening to more than that since it’s not a large commitment. It’s sort of like when you trick yourself into doing more work by telling yourself you just need to do one problem, but then you do all of the problems in the set because you have momentum.

From my experience with language learning, the biggest hurdle is getting comfortable with listening and speaking, so I’m really glad @rodan got the ball rolling on this challenge!



Thanks! Yeah the movie is a hard sell outside of some movie nerd subcultures, for sure. The runtime doesn’t help. It’s interesting you mention Antiporno cause I did actually quite like that one – really when it comes to the thematic stuff Sono is doing I like Tag a lot; that one I only disliked in a filmmaking sort of way. It felt… messy to me, not in the good way. But I did write a bit in a review of it as well about women in media being exploited and treated as disposable for male enjoyment. Seems the video essayist and I came to pretty similar conclusions on that one. Thanks for sharing that video, by the way! It was good. Unfortunately I haven’t seen Guilty of Romance yet, but I want to.


According to wikipedia it’s a リアリティ番組, but I don’t know if that is a subset of variety shows or not. :woman_shrugging:

Hooray, extensive listening thread for 2022! I’m excited to get going.

I haven’t made my table yet, but my goals are:

  1. listen to 12 audiobooks
  2. finish 20 dramas raw
  3. watch 250 variety show episodes (preferably raw but sometimes I can only find things with subtitles)

And then I’m also watching some anime, which I didn’t make a goal for. I think I’ll put it in the table as well just to keep track.

I finished my first drama already, so here goes:

  1. 最愛
    Quality: ★★★★½
    Enjoyment: ★★★★½
    Ease of understanding: ★★½

In terms of listening comprehension, it was difficult because of dialect, a confusing plot and a lot of characters, and sometimes discussion of business and pharmaceuticals, etc. It was a good enough show that I often resorted to checking the Japanese subtitle file for lines that I didn’t understand raw.


OMG. LOVE 最愛。 I’m only 4 episodes in though :sob: I have so many series going at once. I also struggled with the dialect a bit but definitely found the business meetings way harder to understand comparatively. My business vocab is bare minimum right now.

I wonder if we’ll end up overlapping on other dramas? I’m currently binging 密告はうたう even though I should be finishing my other series…


Oh nice! 最愛 really pulled me in fast; it was quite the experience from beginning to end. Apparently two of the producers (I think) on 最愛 have a history of working together, and in looking at other things they’ve done I see Unnatural, which I loved as well, so I’m thinking to try to watch some of their other stuff, too.

I am also prone to watching way too many things at once, lol. If we both do that, surely at some point we’ll overlap again! :blush:

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I haven’t seen Unnatural but just looked and 新井順子 also worked on MIU404 which I enjoyed a lot and there’s a review on MyDramaList suggesting it’s similar due to the same screenwriter (as Unnatural - different than 最愛 though. This lady).

Hope we catch each other on the same series again some time :smiley:

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Great to see some people talking about Japanese movies here. Love Exposure is also one of my favorite movies of all time. Big fan of Sion Sono and Takashi Miike in general.

Also big thanks for the list @Thaisthetic! I usually have no problem with Japanese movies if there are Japanese subtitles, but I find that there’s a big drop off in comprehension when there are no subtitles at all, so I need to work more on my listening in that area (even though there’s no way that I could realistically keep up with posting everything that I watch here).


About audiobooks, any tips on where to find them? I’ve been able to find older stuff that’s copyright free on YouTube, but wondering if there’s any good way to get ahold of newer stuff as well.


Have you checked the Japanese version of Audible? The Japanese Kindle store is really good, maybe audible is decent as well?


Hanty’s Listening Challenge Detailed List

I’ve decided to start on my list on what I plan to listen to here. I’m not planning to tackle everything on the lists, but rather I made them to serve as a reference point of what I’d like to try to get through.

Films (including animated)

I’ve seen most of these movies before, but I watched them just before I came to Japan. My public library had a bunch of DVDs available for rent including a great variety of foreign films, so I got to pick up a lot of movies that looked interesting. I’d like to add some Akira Kurosawa films on the list at some point too, but as you might notice, I’m a Kirin Kiki and Kore-eda fan, so they were my main priority for this list. I love when they collaborate in movies, but it’s a terrible shame that they will no longer be able to. :frowning:

Live Action Dramas
Title Subtitles Challenge Viewing Episode Review Start date Last updated
Hanzawa Naoki (半沢直樹) None All episodes Rewatch 0/10 N/A N/A N/A
Hanzawa Naoki Season 2 (半沢直樹2) 英語 All episodes 1st time 0/10 N/A N/A N/A
Legal High (リーガル・ハイ) 英語 All episodes Rewatch 0/11 N/A N/A N/A
Legal High 2 (リーガル・ハイ2) 英語 All episodes 1st time 0/10 N/A N/A N/A
Say I Love You (愛していると言ってくれ) 日本語 All episodes Rewatch 0/12 N/A N/A N/A
Under One Roof (ひとつ屋根の下) 英語 All episodes 1st time 0/12 N/A N/A N/A
Under One Roof 2 (ひとつ屋根の下2) 英語 All episodes 1st time 0/12 N/A N/A N/A

I don’t really watch TV dramas, but these were all ones my husband recommended and watched together. 愛していると言ってくれ is really good not only for listening practice but for reading because one of the protagonists is deaf so he uses sign language to communicate (and so do some of the other characters who communicate with him). Since you can’t hear him speak, Japanese subtitles are provided. Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough kanji knowledge and had to rely on my husband for translation at the time. As for Legal High, if you’ve seen Hanzawa, it’s the same actor except his personality is the complete opposite. It’s a funny show but between the legal terminology and the super speedy talking, it’s difficult to fully appreciate without English subtitles.

TV Anime
Title Subtitles Challenge Viewing Episode Review Start date Last updated
Ansatsu Kyoushitsu (暗殺教室) None All episodes Rewatch 22/22 N/A 3月5日 3月8日
Ansatsu Kyoushitsu Season 2 (暗殺教室) None All episodes Rewatch 25/25 N/A 3月8日 3月19日
Battle Doll Angelic Layer (機動天使エンジェリックレイヤー) None All 1st time 26/26 N/A 3月15 3月17
Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon (美少女戦士セーラームーン) None All 1st time 10/46 N/A 3月3 3月3
Bokurano (ぼくらの) None All Rewatch 24/24 N/A 2月6日 2月14日
Cardcaptor Sakura (カードキャプターさくら) None All 1st time 0/70 N/A N/A N/A
D. Gray-man (ディー・グレイマン) None All Rewatch 1/103 N/A 3月17日 3月17日
Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken (旦那が何を言っているかわからない件) None All 1st time 13/13 N/A 3月19日 3月22日
Donten ni Warau (曇天に笑う) None All Rewatch 0/12 N/A N/A N/A
Gin no Saji (銀の匙) None All Rewatch 11/11 N/A 2月26 2月27
Gin no Saji 2nd Season (銀の匙2ndシーズン) None All 1st time 11/11 N/A 2月27 2月28
Kimetsu no Yaiba: Mugen Ressha-hen (鬼滅の刃 無限列車編) None All 1st time 7/7 N/A 2月24 2月24
Kimetsu no Yaiba: Yuukaku-hen (鬼滅の刃 遊郭編) None All 1st time 11/11 N/A 2月25 2月26
Made in Abyss (メイドインアビス) None All 1st time 1/? N/A 3月20日 3月22日
Monster (モンスター) None All Rewatch 74/74 N/A 2月13 2月24
Princess Tutu (プリンセスチュチュ) None All Rewatch 0/38 N/A N/A N/A
Sazae-san (サザエさん) 日本語 Currently airing episodes 1st time 1/? N/A 1月9日 1月11日
Shingeki no Kyojin The Final Season Part 2 (進撃の巨人) 日本語 All 1st time 4/? N/A 1月15日 2月4日
Shinsekai Yori (新世界より) 英語 All Rewatch 25/25 N/A 1月31日 2月14日
Spice and Wolf (狼と香辛料) None All Rewatch 0/13 N/A N/A N/A
Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari (うどんの国の金色毛鞠) None All 1st time 12/12 N/A 2月28日 3月2日
Wolf’s Rain (ウルフズレイン) None All Rewatch 0/26 N/A N/A N/A
Yakusoku no Neverland (約束のネバーランド) None All 1st time 12 N/A 1月28日 1月28日
Yakusoku no Neverland 2nd season (約束のネバーランド2) None All 1st time 11 N/A 1月28日 1月30日

Most of the anime are ones I watched while I was still in university and doing the MAL Challenge (watching 100 series a year). So watching them again is long overdue and something to look forward to now with Japanese knowledge.

Variety Shows
Title Subtitles Episode Count Last updated
あなたは小学 5年生より賢いの? 日本語 2 1月14日
チコちゃんに叱られる! 日本語 0 N/A
YOUは何しに日本へ? 日本語 0 N/A

I don’t really like Japanese TV except quiz shows or if I’m learning something new, hence the ones I chose on the list. YOU is either loved or hated by viewers, but even though some interviews are kind of ridiculous, there are some really heartwarming episodes too. I like that they check up on some of their old guests to see how they’re progressing.


Audiobook.jp is where I get all my books. I tried ListenGo for a short while too, but their subscription model I don’t like, browsing the site is a pain, and I had weird issues where the last few seconds of chapters would be cut off.


I decided to join in since I really want to move myself to do more listening this year. I did a different format since the mediums I do listening on vary depending on how I’m feeling, but I want to try and consistently do some amount of listening. I’m going to do a lot of things I’ve already seen before at least in the beginning so I don’t worry about missing plot as much, and maybe later when I’m more comfortable may venture into new territory. We’ll see how things go. Oh also and for now at least I’m using subtitles where possible, though would like to eventually move to listening without.



I just had my first 1-1 open conversation practice with a Japanese teacher and it was ROUGH. I’ve been studying for 8 months, I’m currently enrolled in a Beginner 2 class at my Japanese language school, but as soon as I was being asked simple direct questions in Japanese my mind went blank.

I went into it knowing it would probably be rough and I was correct. Anyways, guess I can file this away under the “Other” listening category. My new goal is to understand and remember enough to make it like 3 minutes into a conversation without sounding like a total fool :,)

It was honestly a great reminder of the amount of listening/speaking practice I need to be doing to just avoid sounding like a toddler. I’ve gotten to an upper-intermediate level in Mandarin Chinese before (I’m now rusty in that, too), so I know it’s possible to get past this hurdle but I’m going to need to ganbatte pretty hard.

I’m truly amazed by all of you multi-lingual learners out there (and very jealous).

Anyways, 皆さま、頑張って!


For anyone looking for content I saw someone on Reddit linked AudioMovie.jp which I hadn’t seen before. I listened to a few minutes of 令和版・夜のミステリー and the quality seems good.

Also I’m probably going to finish 密告はうたう tonight and look forward to reviewing it. :smiley:


I think I managed to update the table without breaking anything! First time I’ve used that sort of heavier formatting here.

Wanted to check in because today I finished season 1 of からかい上手の高木さん. Using subtitles, it was probably the easiest show I’ve found yet for listening comprehension, and a nice confidence boost that hopefully I’m getting started on working my way up. I’ve been fighting to break through the listening wall. I have indeed stuck to one episode per day as I wanted, and sometimes 2.

As for the show? It’s cute. It very much feels like the “anime formula,” where I watch it and think “this is the most anime thing ever; this is what my friend who hates the whole medium imagines every anime is like.” I think it does it well though, haha. It’s cute, and I was pretty on board for their not-a-relationship by the end of the season. Sometimes Nishikata’s neurotic monologues are a little much for me, but overall, I’m into it.

Anyone familiar with the director Ozu might know how he largely made the “same movie” over and over – same actors, very similar plots, always the same general vibe and filmmaking techniques. Well, having read それでも歩は寄せてくる and now watched this, I’m convinced the original creator is taking the same path to his art: honing his techniques over and over to master the art of creating the largest possible foreheads.


Finished 密告はうたう!
Ahh so good! A cop has to investigate his colleagues on suspicion of being a mole and he struggles with doubting his fellow officers while simultaneously being ostracized by his org due to an incident where his partner was murdered…which likely is tied to the mole. Oh, and no one likes the police officers who investigate other officers.

I love this kind of intrigue. It has the perfect pacing to make it very bingeable. The only thing stopping me from finishing it sooner was the number of hours in my day after other obligations.
For people who don’t like violence this is mildly violent. There is on screen blood, but they go out of their way to edit so that you don’t see much for graphic injuries and such.
I’d put this at slightly below the difficulty of 桜の塔 for me. There aren’t as many new words, but the longer conversations sometimes were rough. I suspect this is the type of show where whenever I rewatch it I’ll wonder why I struggled at all; it’s right on that cusp. If I’m not simultaneously watching body language, trying to analyze the most recent developments in the story, AND parse Japanese it’ll surely be easier. :joy:

I also decided to try out some new shows today as I had a bit more time than usual. Gossip I didn’t even like enough to finish the first episode, but the first episode of3年A組 seemed super promising. It’s about a teacher who takes his classroom hostage. The only off thing about it for me is that it can’t seem to decide if it wants to be a comedy, a drama, or dark. Those all can be balanced/combined, but I don’t think it’s doing a good job of it. I still like it regardless and plan to continue watching, although I’m curious how it will progress as the hostage situation is “planned” to last 10 days, there are 10 episodes, and each day a student is killed which seems like maybe it’ll get strange after awhile? Like what is he doing with the bodies? He just dragged the first kid into a room but he blocked off the majority of the school so there’s limited space…?

You should have them watch 哀しみのベラドンナ/Belladonna of Sadness. As someone who isn’t into, I suppose you could call it “tropey anime”(?), I quite enjoyed that movie. It’s actually rentable on youtube and it’s more of a dark 70s art trip than what most people would think of when they hear anime. It is NSFW however for rape (central to the plot), copious nudity, and general violence IIRC