If you’ve read my latest post here or follow me on Twitter, you might have heard that I’m going to Japan this year. We’re just visiting Tokyo, but there’s so much to do and so much I want to see, that we won’t be bored.
My interest began many years ago, but I was already Pokemon daily and regularly watched Dragonball Z, Sailormoon, or other dubbed anime on Jetix. But there is one other pop culture franchise that truly launched me into the otaku world: Kingdom Hearts.
I’m not even talking about the game (which is amazing), but the TV ad that ran before it came out. I loved Disney and Final Fantasy, and Kingdom Hearts had both. The anime look just completed it.
The ad had the amazing soundtrack done by Utada Hikaru. The song is called Simple and Clean in English and Hikaru in Japanese. I fell in love with that song and I spend two hours looking for it online. I don’t remember if the ad actually mentioned it, but I missed it. The Japanese version popped up first and later I found the English version. But I was hooked.
I explored more of Utada’s music and found Maaya Sakamoto later. She’s also a well known seiyuu. One of the shows she did was Escaflowne which was one of the first animes I watched.
From there on, I went into jdrama. Kimi wa Petto was my first, with Matsumoto Jun. I loved his acting and looked him up. He is the concert master of the boyband Arashi. He provides the MC when necessary when they do live performances.
I just found out there’s a remake of Kimi wa Petto on Viki from a few years ago and I might have to watch it now…
Arashi was the biggest snowball. From there I found more jdramas, other Japanese artists and connected more with the Japanese culture from watching their variety shows. If you need something fun to watch, try finding episodes of Himitsu no Arashi with English subs. Below is a highlight reel of things they do.
All of the Arashi members did their own shows and series. By watching most of what they’ve done, drama or real life things, my knowledge and interest in the Japanese culture became larger.
My wish to visit Japan and see the places from the series in real life, taste the foods that they showed, but most of all, I want to try the sweets.
Come back later to follow me as I prepare for the trip of a lifetime. If you want to know more about something specific (like my obsession with Arashi or Pokemon) let me know in the comments below so I can dedicate a separate post to it.