As I’ve said in several other posts, Japanese dramas are a great source for learning conversation skills, including common expressions and vocabulary. However, depending on the drama, there will be more or less coverage of stuff that you would actually be able to use yourself. For example, a drama where the main character is a scientist might involve a whole bunch of science domain-specific terms that are great if you are into science but less useful if you’re not.
“Everyday Miracle” is a Japanese drama which I watched part of a few years back, and recently I happened to watch a part of an episode when I had nothing else convenient to watch.
As I listened to the dialog, I noticed there was something unique about it I hadn’t seen in any other recent dramas. The lines feel awkward, somehow bare-naked honest. In Japanese I would call this “飾らない”, which is something like “unadorned”. It’s not just the lines themselves, but how they are delivered. Not in a quick burst but in pauses and stutters. It’s both the incredible scriptwriting and professional cast which makes the overall experience something special and precious. In some sense I feel like the dialog is extremely close to real life conversation, as opposed to many modern dramas which have dramatic or showy lines. Interestingly enough, this drama is actually pretty recent (2009), but the scriptwriter (山田 太一 “Taichi Yamada”) is in his 80s, and I think it’s his old-fashioned sensibilities that keep this drama so unique and touching. Besides the lines themselves, you’ll get to experience a touch of classic Japanese customs as well as residences.
Apart from linguistic and cultural reasons, Yukie Nakama (仲間由紀恵) does an excellent job playing the female lead, and her performance is another reason to watch this drama.
To be honest, I haven’t seen the series to it’s end so I am not going to make a judgement about the story, which is why I’ve made this post’s title as ‘recommendation’ instead of ‘review’. But it’s quite dramatic, with racy topics you wouldn’t normally expect (like suicide) being key parts of the plot. For that reason, I wouldn’t recommend this for kids.
But regardless of how the series ends, for anyone looking to become fluent in Japanese, especially someone not living in Japan, this drama is a perfect way to hear some dialog that’s a bit closer to real life Japanese than some other shows.
(Note: if you haven’t tried my latest mini quiz on particles で and に, please check it out here: testmoz.com/450945)
1. “Everyday Miracle” is my personal translation of the title. I have also seen it referred to as “Unsurprising Miracle” or “Ordinary Miracles” by others. Whether the word miracle should be plural or not would require me seeing the entire series, which I have not done yet.