A K-drama fans’ guide to J-dramas

J-dramas to watch on Viu
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We love binge-watching K-dramas all day. But have you ever wondered if there was more to your drama binging life out there?

Enter: J-Dramas! Sure, you’ve probably heard of Japanese anime; it is loved by die-hard fans from across the world! But J-dramas are just as addictive.

Fun-fact: J-drama is pronounced as “J-dorama” because of the way Japanese form their syllables.

If you love K-Dramas but want to see more Asian dramas, you should definitely try J-dramas next.

How good is the acting?

J-dramas Dear Sister

Dear Sister

You might have heard that Japanese stars aren’t great actors. It may seem like it but it comes down to how they intend to play out their shows.

Actors tend to overact in most Japanese dramas but we’d argue that it’s just how their show is supposed to feel. Japanese actors suit their skills with the overall mood and script, leaving the viewers with smiles on their faces.

How much romance is there?

J-dramas Nodame Cantabile

Nodame Cantabile

K-drama tends to be centered around romance in most of their hit series, regardless of genre. For J-drama, you will mostly find romance confined to shows in the romance genre.

Not every story is a love story nor does it have to be! This gives their shows a better depth as you’re not always just looking at the romantic side of things.

How long are the shows?

J-dramas Crazy for Me

Crazy for Me has ten episodes

To put it simply, J-dramas runs are shorter than K-dramas.

K-dramas tend to stretch their stories up to 20 episodes at 60 minutes per episode. J-dramas usually have only about 8-12 episodes, each running for 30-60 minutes.

This is good because the shows don’t feel lengthy and the storyline ends pretty quick. It can also be bad for some as they may like that extended sense of drama/romance.

How good are mangas and manhwas being adapted into dramas?

J-dramas Switch Japanese Drama

Switch (2012), adapted from a popular manga series

The ratings of drama adaptations depend on the mangas and manhwas (Korean webcomics) fan-base size.

The popularity of Japanese manga being adapted into dramas is high due to the HUGE global fan-base. Live-action manga characters are introduced with photos and teasers before the premiere to get fans excited about the dramas.

Isn’t it amazing that your favourite manga characters come to live on screen?!? Even best plots are shown EXACTLY alike in both manga and dramas.

What are the Best J-dramas Genres?

J-dramas Cher: Three Star Lunch Japanese Drama

Chef: Three Star Lunch (2016)

Besides romance, we recommend watching crime and food J-dramas.

Crime genres mostly have the dynamic investigation duos or teams solving cases. The catch? The quirky conversation between different characters and smooth & fast-paced cinematography that put you on the edge of your seat.

Who doesn’t like Japanese food? The Japanese know how to prepare and ENJOY their food. Close-up of food and watching people eating happily will make your mouth drool.


J-drama is starting to become as popular as K-drama, from romance to mystery with trendy and relatable storylines. And it’s with good reason! J-dramas offer up a different sort of drama that Asian drama fans would love.

Entertain yourself with more J-dramas on Viu.

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Written by Lu Yin Wai

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