Japan has never been lacking in the art and entertainment industry, but it has been greatly influenced by Western films such as those from Hollywood. This influence is said to have mainly occurred during postwar times when American soldiers were in the U.S. trying to help rebuild the country and improve the citizens’ lives. In today’s modern Japan, many Japanese teens know more about Western actor/actresses than most American teens.
It is a noted by many Japanese historians both in Japan and America that the Japanese were able to first see films around 1896. These films were known as “benshi” or rather “silent narrated films”; although music was always played and they were never “silent”; I am not really sure where the genre title came from and could not find it in any history textbook. Nonetheless, Benshi were seen by many Japanese people from 1896 until around the middle of the 1930’s. Today Benshi are once again becoming more popular by are characterized as “Neo-Benshi”. These “silent films” were black and white films that were shown on a big screen. In-person narrators spoke for the on-screen characters or told the story as a narration. It is said that these films were modeled after the traditional Japanese entertainment plays called Noh or Kabuki.
Although Benshi were first popular in the early 1900’s in Japan, many newer generations of teens prefer to watch the newer genre of films called Houga (Japanese movies) and Youga (Western movies). In fact, Japanese teens watch more Western films with subtitles than they do with Japanese films, excluding anime (animated films/cartoons). Unfortunately this is not the case in America. I do predict however with the increase of Bollywood in many larger American cities I see J-drama, K-drama, and C-dramas popularity rising in the nearest future.
So, to start off the trend of watching Asian films in America I have picked out this week’s Top Ten Asian Films for you to watch. This week’s film genre is one of my favorites: romantic comedies. Each film listed is safe for most ages within the entire family.
Top Ten Asian Romantic Comedies to Rent this Week:
1. Lunch Queen: J-Drama (Japanese drama)
2. Miss Gold Digger: K-Drama (Korean drama)
3. 100 Days with Mr. Arrogant: K-Drama
4. 200 Pounds of Beauty: K-Drama
5. Frivolous Wife: K-Drama
6. Mr. Handy: K-Drama
7. My Tutor Friend: K-Drama
8. My Big Love: C-Drama (Chinese drama)
9. North Korean Guys: K-Drama
10. Seducing Mr. Perfect J-Drama