Japanese recommendations for immersion?

Hey everyone! I’m going to have a 6+ week break at the end of the month from work and pretty much any responsibilities due to having surgery and needing time to recover. Whenever I’m feeling well enough for it I’d like to use the opportunity to do some studying that I haven’t had time for. I’m currently like N3 level and prefer most studying to be some form of immersion. Textbooks just don’t work for me, and I am burned out from SRS at this point. I’d say I’m still kind of a beginner in that I can’t do it comfortably, but I’m at the point where I can do it and both get a lot of learning from it as well as still enjoy the content. Currently I’m switching between anime with subs that is Digimon and Net-juu no Susume, playing a bit of Pokemon Let’s Go on my Switch, reading/playing the VN Hanahira! And for pure listening I like to watch some youtube, mostly Vtubers but sometimes a few others.

I’d love to know if anyone has recommendations that are both around my level and fun to consume to either add to what I’m doing or replace my current content once I finish with them!

What you want to watch will ultimately depend more on what you consider enjoyable than anything else, but I personally watch almost every episode of this youtuber (who does “Let’s plays”). I find that the narrow domain that the game (Peglin) offers means I can know most words used sooner rather than later and rather focus on listening and enjoying than vocabulary and learning.

EDIT: Maybe the more generalized advice here would be to find something you enjoy but has a narrow scope.


VN novels, gatcha games like Heaven Burns Red and Error Game 404. Also check booklive.jp!

Maybe also ask in Natively forum.

I think VN is generally a good idea, as you can both rewind and speed up the reading. Probably also with audio.

Even if textbooks don’t work, grammar / learner-oriented YouTube might still work.


Ooh that forum as well as the site itself looks really cool! I’ve been kind of out of online communities for a while so I’ve never heard of it. Also yeah I do occasionally study grammar with YouTube channels, mainly either Japanese Ammo or 日本語の森. Otherwise I just look up online articles when I encounter a new grammar point and can’t decipher it myself

Not sure you count it as immersion, but you can set Netflix/Disney+ up with a second profile and set it as Japanese. You will then get Japanese audio and subtitles by default if they are available on a show. Disney+ has a LOT of content available this way. Netflix has some and has a ton if you use a VPN and set it to look like you are in Japan, of course.

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Always start with the things you like. For me I loved My Hero Academia at the time, and that was a big driving factor in starting to learn Japanese. While that series is on the harder side, the look ups and process of reading past the anime was a big motivating factor for me.

Echoing other folks here, pick something you like! I like to put on Let’s Plays in the background, so I’ve been working my way through つわはす’s Zelda playthroughs and will eventually start on his others, too. To be honest, he speaks fast enough that there’s a lot of things I don’t catch; but it’s good practice for my ear and there’s plenty of stuff I do understand too – not to mention picking up new stuff if he uses it a lot. (Learned キモイ when he came across the bugs in Twilight Princess’s Arbiter’s Grounds, lol.)

I’m also playing the 牧場物語ワンダフルライフ (Story of Seasons: Wonderful Life) remake for switch. This uh…may have been unintentional since I didn’t realize the copy I ordered was Japanese only, but it does work well for some casual reading practice with a low-stakes and not super complicated story.

Also also, I read manga in Japanese! In my case I’m (verrrrrrrry slowly) reading 名探偵コナン, which can be a bit hard for me tbh but I’ve read it in English and love the series, so the previous experience and the personal interest help to bridge the difficulty gap.
(It also gets into the ‘narrow view’ some folks mentioned, or at least some repeated kanji, because…yanno. Murder mystery. Crime show language. Murder, victim, murder weapon, blood spatter, deductions…)

does conan have furigana?

because it was the first anime i really loved, but i’m still not sure about reading it. some other more mature manga without furigana give me some serious headaches, especially since i forget the names immediately after they show them the first time with furigana…
also where do you start with conan? it’s like a million volumes. same with the anime.

From the beginning. And that’s a lot of reading :smiley:

If you know Conan and the other characters, you can also try the spin-off stories like the movie-based volumes or the Zero series.

I’m in Love with the Villainess, Tearmoon Empire, Sacrificial Princess, Raeliana, Raven of the Inner Palace, Love of Kill, Life Lessons with Uramichi Onnisan, My Happy Marriage.

These are some anime you can try watching.

Taisho x Alice all in one you can switch between english and Japanese anytime while playing the game.

When the Japanese language learning video game comes out you can just have the settings on fluent.

If you’re looking for more natural, conversational Japanese, I always highly recommend reality shows like Terrace House. I find shows like these to contain more dialogue that is mimicable and useable in my own conversations, should that be your aim.

Yeah! I think it’s got furigana on pretty much everything (kanji-wise), which is really helpful.

And like @WeebPotato said, you really do just start from the beginning, lol. It’s a murder mystery series, so it can go a pretty long time in between actual plot development because there will just be murder/robbery/case of the week chapters.

I’m not sure about for the manga, but I do know a guide someone made for the anime that tells you what episodes are “main plot” vs like…character development, or side stories, or filler, etc. I can find it and post it if you’d like. And the spin offs they mentioned are a lot shorter – like the comedy series following one of the criminals, or Zero’s Tea Time, etc.

My Happy Marriage is SO cute! Definitely seconding that one <3

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Breaking Bad/Squid Game in Japanese dub

I watched the live action movie on a plane recently and was positively surprised so can recommend that one as well!

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Personally the amount of text put me off of ever reading it. You’re basically reading a book. The anime words better as a shut your brain off and watch mystery show, which is was got me hooked in the first place. Dang, now I wanna watch Conan season 2.

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the live action movie was quite good. i thought so too. though I had some problem without subs since (at least to me) some of the japanese sounded old schooly and i guess the fantasy aspect doesn’t help with that.
but the visuals were quite cool. especially the beginning with the flower thingys on the ceiling.

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the problem with the start from the beginning approach is, that i still remember many of the early cases from the anime (i loved that one and always had to tape it on VHS because I came back late from school)
and also the amount of volumes there are. it is always intimidating to start a series that is so long and still going.

On Netflix, you can watch

Midnight Diner
Spy x Family
Chibi Maruko Chan
…and others, whatever you can find…
sports anime (Major, Blue Lock, Slam Dunk, etc.)

Those are a nice mix of slice of life and entertaining for me, and most of them feel fairly realistic in their use of Japanese. There are a few more. I like Showa era kinda dramas too when those are on TV and you can probably find some online. Sazae San is another classic animated series that is enjoyable at this level. You might find something on Youtube.

Yes, I had some problems with that as well. Watching it on a loud plane made it only harder.