"Japanese dramas, also called dorama, are a staple of Japanese television and are broadcast daily. All major TV networks in Japan produce a variety of drama series including murder romance, comedy, detective stories, horror, and many others. For special occasions, there may also be a one- or two-episode drama with a specific theme, such as a drama produced in 2007 for the 60-year anniversary of the end of World War II.
Japanese drama series are broadcast in three-month seasons, with new dramas airing each season. The majority of dramas are aired weekdays in the evenings around 9:00 p.m., 10:00 p.m., or even 11:00 p.m. Dramas shown in the morning or afternoon are generally broadcast on a daily basis, and episodes of the same drama can be aired every day for several months, such as NHK's asadora, or morning dramas. The evening dramas, however, air weekly and are usually nine to twelve episodes long, though sometimes there will be an epilogue special made after the final episode if the drama has been a huge success.
Japan has four television seasons: Winter (January–March), Spring (April–June), Summer (July–September), and Autumn or Fall (October–December). Some series may start in another month though it may still be counted as a series of a specific season.
One characteristic of Japanese drama that differentiates it is that each episode is usually shot only a few (two to three) weeks before it is actually aired. Many fans have been able to visit their idols shooting scenes even as the show is still airing." SOURCE
"Voice acting in Japan has far greater prominence than in most other countries. Japan's large animation industry produces 60% of the animated series in the world; as a result, Japanese voice actors, or seiyuu, are able to achieve fame on a national and international level.
Besides acting as narrators and actors in radio plays, and performing voice-overs for non-Japanese movies and television programs, the seiyuu are extensively employed as character actors in anime and video games. Popular seiyuu, especially female ones such as Kikuko Inoue, Megumi Hayashibara, Aya Hirano, Aya Hisakawa, Mitsuki Saiga, Nana Mizuki, Romi Park, Rie Kugimiya, and Yui Horie, often have devoted international fanclubs. Some fans may watch a show merely to hear a particular seiyuu. Some Japanese voice actors have capitalized on their fame to become singers, and many others became live movie or television actors.
In Japan there are around one hundred and thirty voice-acting schools. Broadcast companies and talent agencies often have their own troupes of vocal actors. Magazines focusing specifically on seiyuu are published in Japan, with Voice Animage being the most well known and longest running.
The English term character voice (or CV), has been commonly used since the 1980s by Japanese anime magazines such as Animec and Newtype, for a voice actor associated with a particular anime or game character. Conversely, the Japanese term seiyuu is commonly used among English-speaking anime and game fans for Japanese voice actors." SOURCE
"Bara ("rose"), also known as the wasei-eigo construction "Mens' Love" (menzu rabu) or ML, is a Japanese jargon term for a genre of art and fictional media that focuses on male same-sex love and desire, usually created by and for gay men. The bara genre began in the 1960s with fetish magazines featuring gay art and content. Besides bara manga, also called gei comi ("gay comics"), and illustration, a number of bara erotic games exist, as well as novels and memoirs. Bara is mostly a Japanese phenomenon, with limited western exposure through manga scanlations and online homoerotic art communities. While bara faces difficulties finding western publishers, it has been described as "the next big porn wave coming out of Japan."
Bara can vary in visual style and plot, but typically features masculine men with varying degrees of muscle, body fat, and body hair, akin to beefcakes, or bears (kuma) in gay culture. While bara usually features adult content (sometimes violent or exploitative) and gay romanticism, it often has more realistic or autobiographical themes, as it acknowledges the taboo nature of homosexuality in Japan.
Western commentators sometimes refer to bara as "yaoi", but yaoi is largely created by and for women and features idealized bishonen who frequently conform to the heteronormative formula of the dominant and masculine seme and effeminate uke characters. By contrast, bara is considered a subgenre of seijin (men's erotica) for gay males and resembles comics for men (seinen) rather than comics for female readers (shojo/josei)."
"A kotatsu is a low, wooden table frame covered by a futon, or heavy blanket, upon which a table top sits. Underneath is a heat source, often built into the table itself. Kotatsu are used almost exclusively in Japan, although similar devices are used elsewhere.
There are two kinds of kotatsu used in Japan today, differing in the configuration and the type of heating:
Electric: The modern style of kotatsu consists of a table with an electric heater attached to the underside of the table. This evolved from a clay pot with hot coals placed under a table. The kotatsu is usually set on a thin futon, like a throw rug. A second, thicker futon is placed over the kotatsu table, above which the tabletop is placed. The electric heater attached to the underside of the table heats the space under the comforter.
"Male characters who wear glasses are referred to as megane, megane otoko or meganedanshi. The most common stereotype associated with the term, especially in youth-oriented stories, is the ubiquitous "Class Representative" (iincho); a well-doing, charismatic but sometimes bossy student who is respectful of authority. This usually earns them the respect of good students or contempt of slackers." SOURCE
"Moe: is a Japanese slang word. One expert claims it is derived from a Japanese word that literally means "budding," as with a plant that is about to flower, and thus it can also be used to mean "budding" as with a preadolescent girl. Since the word is also a homonym for "burning" pronounced moe, there is also speculation that the word stems from the burning passion felt for the characters. The word has come to be used to mean one particular kind of "adorable", one specific type of "cute", mainly as applied to fictional characters.
The word is occasionally spelled Moé, and was originally related to a strong interest in a particular type or style of character in video games, anime or manga. "Moe!" is also used within anime fandom as an interjection." SOURCE
"Tankobon, with a literal meaning close to "independently appearing book", is the Japanese term for a book that is complete in itself and is not part of a series (similar to a monograph), though the manga industry uses it for volumes which may be in a series.
In English, while a tankobon translation is usually marketed as a "graphic novel" or "trade paperback", the transliterated terms tankoubon and tankobon are sometimes used amongst online communities. Japanese people frequently refer to manga tankobon as komikkusu, from the English word "comics"."
"Ahoge, literally foolish hair, is a visual cue common to Japanese and . Consisting of a single, often large, lock of hair sticking out from the top of the head, it is most often used to identify foolish, bumbling or carefree characters. In the west, Alfalfa from The Little Rascals would be the most identifiable character with what could be considered an ahoge."
Wednesday's Word of the Day is fudanshi, a rarely seen species who like to hide at con's for fear of the rabid fujoshi, who paddle the fudanshi furiously with yaoi paddles and force them to kiss.
"Men who, like fujoshi, enjoy imagining relationships between characters in fictional works when that relationship is not part of the author's intent may be called fudanshi ("rotten man") or fukei ("rotten older brother"), both of which are puns of similar construction to fujoshi. Be warned that fudanshi and fukei are not necessarily fans of BL, although the terms are most often used in that sense — and, if a fanboy himself claims to be a fudanshi or fukei, it's almost certainly the case."
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