The drama is one of the best tools to know a culture, to know what the country is teaching its people, what is the soul of the country, also what kind of problems that the country has.
I do watch some American dramas, like the popular American Horror Story, The Orange Is New Black, The Walking Dead, etc. And, I love them. They are all good stories. However, American doesn't make dramas that is close to life. Instead, American make great movies that some of them are like the mirror of the society. No another country can make movies better than American. That's how I see it.
In my memories ,Chinese dramas are mostly too heavy or maybe the right word is too serious. It's always about life or death related to the country, to the job, to whatever the important things out there. It never make me feel what I see is close to me. My dad is a Japanese culture fan. He has many Japanese novels and took me to watch Japanese movies. I also started to watch Japanese drama since I was 10 years old. I stopped watch Chinese dramas around age 14. One reason was I wasn't able to since I lived in school and there was no time for TV shows, and another reason was I came to US at age 18. And, back in 1998, the internet only had Yahoo and MSN. Blockbuster was still around and renting out videos. There was no way for me to watch the newest Chinese drama on YouTube.
At the same time, I was trying to explore the new world that I was living in. My English sucked at that time. I couldn't understand anything people say but that didn't kill my curiosity. I tried to watch TV, but couldn't understand a thing. Then I had a chance to meet couple wonderful Japanese students. I used my curiosity on them since I did know some Japanese culture and this "history thing". I became close to them, my first Japanese friend: Condo Mayumi and Yagihashi Noriyuki. A sweet girl and a gentle boy who both from Sapporo, Hokkaido. From them, I had my first foundation of Japanese culture. Later on, I had my good friend/roommate, Kinjio Chie, from Osaka. She showed me more about Japan. The way girls talk, walk, act, cook, smile, dress-up and crying at night because of missing her boyfriend. That culture started to speak to me more and more.
By the time, I came to CT. I was already in love with Japan. And, during that time (2003), Korean drama started to taking off in Asia. I still remember the first popular Korean drama which talks about this poor but beautiful nice girl had wrong parents, and fall in love with her real brother, and had a rich handsome guy chase after her, and had leukemia. I tried to watch it but I couldn't after few episode. Two major reasons: 1. I can't stand how women always yell at each other, how when women eat, they put their knee up like gangster, how every women in the drama are mean bitch except the main poor girl. I started to wondering is that what Korean woman is like? Is that what the culture is like? I don't like it at all. 2. The main girl found out that she has leukemia and about to die in episode 9, maybe. But after 5 episode, she still alive and well. What a hell? Are you kidding me? I couldn't understand why this drama become so popular!! And, that was it. I never watched another Korean drama or movie after that. Well, I tried to watch more. But every time when I heard they talk, I can't stand it because it always sounds like they are yelling to each other and sounds mean. Don't get me wrong. I fully know that Chinese sounds just like that to people who don't speak Chinese. That's why Chinese is not my favorited speaking language. I'd rather prefer Japanese.
It's not dislike a culture or a country. Japanese language and culture just speak to me. I feel it. I never lived in Japan in a single day, but it just speak to me. It's very strange thing and I don't really know how to explain it. One of my friends who I use to be close with told me:" You are just in love with Japan now, so you are blind. Everything is good for you about Japan. You are at the honeymoon stage." That was back in 2005. And 9 years later, I guess I am still at the honeymoon stage.
What Japanese drama attracts me is not only it shows how people live. But it always close to your heart. Many actresses in Japan aren't actually amazingly beautiful like the Chinese and Korean ones or hot and sexy like the American ones. They are beautiful girls who you can see in the real life, the girl next door. Like their actresses, Japanese dramas are really close to life. It make you feel it could happen in real life. It might really happened before. A lot of Japanese dramas are about family, teenagers and normal people. It always try to send couple message out, how I see it: 1. never give up. 2. put others' first. 3. It is a beautiful thing to sacrifice yourself for others. 3. Man should always work hard, try the best for his family. 4. Woman should always be content, virtuous, kind, be a mature woman who has a young heart and always smile. 5. No matter what, always try to be polite. 6. Family matters. I just love that!
That is the whole explanation of why I like Japanese drama most. So, stop asking me why I watch mostly Japanese drama, you! ;)