Hello Readers? For those who don’t know, Tadoku is about to start-up again, so look into that fun reading contest when you can!I’ll be joining this time in force, but I’ll post that up closer to so keep an eye out!
Okay, Down to the Nitty Gritty! Earlier this week I received a comment from a reader and realized a little later that I had not ever really talked about great and legit/or not legit sites and resources for media! Wow! How’d I miss that one? Here’s the lovely comment:
I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind giving out a little advice for things to put in my immersion environment. I haven’t gotten to the point where I can fuel my environment for more than a day or two. I understand that repetition is great for learning this, but its to the point where the media I have feels like a chore. My main problem is the lack of music, and I hate having to resort to piracy. -Andy
While writing out lists of movies and music and artists that I like wont help any of you, let me get you started on a way to get media around you if you’ve not really sure how to go about it.
When we think about the forms of immersion around us, what are some of the things we find we cross the most? Do you watch a lot of tv? Do you browse the internet a bunch? Do you listen to music while you do things? The more specific you can get about what you really like and do, the more you can mold Japanese into your life.
I know a lot of people complain often in the beginning of headaches and so on from listening to Japanese excessively (like when sleeping), and if you’re not use to hearing things going on constantly before then it could cause that. I’m not a person to jump into things with zeal, but rather let it creep into my life. If you find that you’re having headaches from the constant bombardment of music, try smooth speakers instead. It doesn’t matter if you don’t understand, or cannot always follow, or if you’re always even actively listening. This might help clear up the headache issue. I for instance love to listen to music a lot. But when it comes closer to bed, I prefer talking to music. I didn’t really realize that I was this way until I started questioning things and tried a few experiments to try to get rid of a small headache I’d get at night.
Alright, onto the juicy, just note that this post is assuming you do not live in Japan (because otherwise if you were in Japan you wont have to resort to piracy, you can walk out your door to the local store instead!)
ラジオ / Radio:
LastFM.com – What better than a legit radio site? If you hate pesky blabbers, then this is the place for you. I hear Pandora Radio is very similar but I’m not sure how their Japanese music base is in comparison. So if you at bare minimum you can type in ‘Japanese’ and get Japanese music. As you listen you can favorite artists, ban songs you don’t like from ever playing again, and then help refine your search. For instance, if you’re a fan of Gackt, then type in his name and you’ll get more music that is like his. Everyone once in a while you’ll get some weird song that’s not Japanese, but the style is technically the same.
サイマルラジオ – (simulradio) – If you love radio, with both music and speakers, then this site is the mecca for you. Simul basically means that you’ll be listening to the broadcast at the same time it plays. Just make sure your stuff is up to date on your computer. I personally use VLC player to listen in. It’s a great site and unlike Last.fm where you can get artist names and song names, sometimes you’re a little screwed if you’re new listening to radios like normals :). These are active stations broadcasting in Japan.
Crunchyroll: One of the best legit sites out there to get Japanese Anime is CR. If you shell out the little bit of money for the anime membership you can get subtitles taken out, higher resolution videos, and no commercial interruptions. I have to admit at times I do hate that there are a lot of anime that isn’t put up, but being able to watch awesome shows like 銀魂 just one after playing in Japan is really nice. While their drama section for Japan is just…horrible, their selection of anime is pretty diverse.
D-Addicts: Sadly if you’re tight on cash finding out how to get a hold of Japanese Dramas is hard. There are tons of sites like this too, and sadly I wish there was one that was more legit and I could pay for like CR. Also on a side note, I don’t like to purchase expensive dramas without knowing what their about when I do have cash. Supposedly having a digital copy of something isn’t illegal unless you’re burning them to sell, or don’t buy the hard copy? I’m not sure, international laws get shaky and there are so many interpretations. I personally think if you view a few episode to see if you like it, then buy it, nothing is wrong. The forum is well done as well as the dramawiki articles, so if you find something you like, or actors or what not, you can search for more from them easily.
Gyao [ ギャオ ]: If you’re a clever mouse and can change your ip’s origin to Japan, then this is another internet mecca site for a lot of shows and is legit.
Keyhole: poor audio and video quality, but this little program is nice for being able to see Japanese tv online. Maybe one day they’ll have this available to us in the US in a higher quality version that I wouldn’t even mind paying ridiculous amounts of cash for!
Livestation: While the channels that are Japanese are legit to be played, its shopping type channels and news. Well, I did have fun with it for a while and it was fun to watch people getting excited over a lot of weird things. Their shopping channel isn’t so bad when they’re talking about food!
NonstopTube: This site is a lot of fun, and acts kinda like a tv. It basically does an endless stream of playing from what ever subject you type in. So if you want a maintenance free immersion for the day, this can be somewhat helpful.
Youtube LeanBack: pretty much like NonstopTube. Arguably better or worse?
Odoroku: Lots of TV shows to watch, go on, I know you want to
ニコニコ動画 / NicoNico Douga: If you’ve never heard of this site, you NEED to go get signed up quick! This is the most awesome youtube like but way better site for Japanese. Not only can you find a bunch of really nice random stuff, but you get to read real Japanese people commenting on the things you’re watching. I can spend hours on this site easy, and have found a lot of dubbed into JP movies on it too.
Stickam Japan: This site is a streaming site and there are a lot of crazy things on it. There are a lot of sites out there similar to this one, so if you find yourself really enjoying it, a little more digging will help you find others like it, including Justin TV.
Kinokuniya: While this store is more known for books, they do sell DVDs and CDs. You can go through either their physical store or their online store. I personally feel that it would be a little ridiculous for me to try to find the variety of Japanese good shops near you, so really, just check out the ol’ google and or yellow pages in your area. You might be surprised there are shops near you with cds and dvds just inches away. (I found out there is a huge mecca of stores that is only 5 hours away! That’s not so bad!)
Amazon.jp: Who doesn’t know how amazon works? Pretty straight forward and lots of variety and reviews of goods!
Flutterscape: Want something that wont ship? Send a request for an item and put shoppers to work for you. They charge you for shipping, the cost of items, and usually a small fee for their time to do it. This is a really nice site.
White Rabbit Press: While this site is limited on the media front, it does have a few fun things on it that could keep your immersion environment up.
PlayAsia: Video games everywhere here! Nothing like a good ol’ game to keep the blood pumping.
YesAsia: A mecca of variety.
ITunes: There is actually a large number of Japanese music and such here on the Itunes world. Browse to your heart’s content! As for accessing the ITunes for Japan, I’m not sure how that works, so you’re on your own!
I’ve used a good bit of these sites and I’m sure there are many more out there too. But nothing says legit like a store! I hope you found these links useful, and if you readers have more to add, drop them in the comment box below for me to add!
Found yourself with lots of sites and don’t really know how to get them into your daily life? Stay tuned for the next article!