Sunday, 8 November 2009

Currently watching: Hotaru no Hikari, Quiz Hexagon II

Hotaru no Hikari is a comedy drama based around the (mostly imaginary but still traumatic) love life of a grungy office worker lady who has to share a house with her uptight boss.

It touches on typical concerns of Japanese dramas of love and modern relationships. I say "touches on", although "hits with a hammer" would be more accurate. Japanese TV isn’t known for it’s subtlety and this continues that fine tradition. Watching the main character freak out when she gets a text from someone she fancies, or freak out because she didn’t isn’t terribly deft storytelling. Then again, when I jokingly said to a Japanese friend "but Japanese women aren’t really like that, are they?" she looked non-committal and changed the subject, so it may be spot on for all I know.

In terms of quality, it’s not terribly high – I started watching it months ago and twice I’ve found myself putting it to one side in favour of other more interesting stuff. It’s entertaining enough, but if I was being honest I wouldn’t watch it if I wasn’t learning the occasional useful phrase, for example, the Japanese refer to texts as "mails" and I’ve heard "otsukare sama deshita" ("thanks for your hard work") so often I reckon my pronunciation of it must be prefect by now.

Still, I’m seven episodes in so I may as well see it through to the end. Even if it’s clear as day what the end is actually going to be.

Quiz Hexagon II

I stumbled on a couple of episodes last year on d-addicts, and enjoyed it, despite its lack of subtitles. The witty banter goes over my head, but the games are easy enough to follow and pausing to read the kanji captions flashed on screen helps me understand what’s going on. I especially enjoyed the game where the stupidest member of the team reads out questions involving complicated kanji. It’s nice to see native speakers struggle with the written language as much as I do.

These days I can follow it on Daily Motion. It’s bubblegum for the eyes, right down to the vivid artificial colouring, but I enjoy it. It’s making such an effort to be entertaining that it would be rude not to laugh occasionally.

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