Netflix J-dramas to study kanji

So I recently got back into Wanikani and have been trying to cram as many new kanji into my head as possible before going back to university.

As part of my immersion process, I’ve been watching J-dramas (or more accurately rom-coms) with Japanese subs to try to identify the kanji and vocab I’ve been studying every day.

My newest find on Netflix is グッドモーニングコール。

Even though I could barely make it through any kind of Japanese media a few months ago, all of a sudden I can understand 60%+ of what is being said.

Now I’m finding that it’s helping out with my WaniKani reviews because I’ve been hearing all of these kanji/vocab throughout the day.

Anyone else go through this before?

Even though I’ve been studying Japanese for a while, I feel like a just made a big breakthrough by switching to J-J study.

As a note, I have not visited Japan yet, so this is the closest I have come to immersion :sweat_smile:


I watched this one too! Lots of good vocabulary in there!

I’m not watching using Japanese subtitles just yet, just getting used to the sentence structure and the natural flow of conversation.


I watched Atelier a while ago. I liked the main character.


深夜食堂 (Midnight Diner) was a good slice-of-life show. I didn’t watch it with Japanese subs but there lots of kanji to read on signs, menus, etc. that I would attempt to figure out while watching.


Since I started studying (August of last year), I watched a ton o J-dramas with English subtitles. Even so, this helped me a lot to recognize many words in the wild and to see how regular conversation works. I’ve been tempted to watch some dramas with Japanese subtitles, but haven’t taken the plunge yet. Maybe it’s time.

On a side note, this site is a cool way to get accustomed to subtitles, as it only uses small clips with one sentence each.


This one is not a drama, but is fun to watch is “Japanese Style Originator.” You get to learn about various Japanese cultural topics and there’s lots of overlaid kanji and sentences to read on the screen.


I downloaded a Filipino movie on Netflix to watch on my trip. Turned out I could only watch it with Japanese subtitles (or Filipino Closed captions). I was able to follow pretty much all of the story! No listening practice, but some good reading practice. More than a few times I was too slow to finish reading the sentence before the next line though.

Also I love Good Morning Call! i watched it first before I started Japanese, now I rewatch every now and then with the JP subs, or none at all.

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Netflix doesn’t have a ton of shows so I’ve been looking around. There’s a free site called viki that offers some shows. I think their selection is mostly for girls but w/e practice is practice


Ya netflix doesn’t have a lot of good live-action japanese content. But if you can find them, here are my recommendations for jdramas (because even if its for japanese learning, its got to be a good show!)

  • Pride
  • Long Vacation
  • 男女7人夏物語
  • Nagi no Oitoma (currently airing)
  • Last Cinderella
  • Juuhan Shuttai
  • NHK Asadoras

For kanji immersion I normally read books. For listening immersion I watch tv listen to the radio and so on. Compared with books, I would think that the amount of kanji that one would learn through TV would be quite small.

So I would suggest that books (or to a lesser extent manga) may be more beneficial for your cram needs.

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I wish Netflix would release all the seasons and two movies they made for 深夜食堂. I saw them a while ago but not sure where to find them now.

I also saw a recent preview for the Chinese rendition which had Master dressing the exact same way along with a scar but completely different in other ways.

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The South Korean version was also good.

I enjoyed Stay Tuned! (チャンネルはそのまま!) It’s a sweet and funny show, but one of the running sub-plots is the main character’s near-constant terrible grammar and kanji errors as she attempts to write stories on deadline. Consequently, the show has a lot of on-screen writing and captions explaining Hanako’s grammatical misadventures. It looks like it was just a mini-series, but I would definitely watch a second season.


Replying so I can keep track of this thread and check these shows out when I can.



Even if you don’t like anime, I strongly recommend Sangatsu no Lion on Netflix. It has lots of dialogs with polite japanese.

I saw one of the movies at the Japanese Film Festival here in Sydney a few years ago and enjoyed them heaps, but I never really found the time to watch much of the series. (Or did I see both? Maybe I’ve seen both.)

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I’m low-key obsessed with グッドモーニングコール, I’ve watched it once through with english subs and now I’m going back and watching it with japanese subs, pretty much just as an excuse to watch it all over again! While we were in Tokyo in May we walked past the flats they used for the exterior shots of the first series! (I may have squealed)


グッドモーニングコール sounds good. I’ll check it out, thanks for the recommendation!

Although not a drama in its truest sense, テラスハウス is another show to get immersed in colloquial/everyday conversational Japanese. I’ve learned so much from that show :smiley:


I’ve been watching 全裸監督 lately, it’s pretty much R-Rated and language can be rough in many cases, but there is a lot of conversational dialogue in all levels of politeness. It also has full Japanese CC which helps with listening practice.

Nudity and Violence warning.