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Synonyms: dorama, drama, Japanese Drama, Jdrama
See also: c-drama, k-drama
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J-Drama is a term for Japanese TV shows, which are commonly called dramas in Japan. Some western fans also use the term "dorama",[1] taken from the Japanese spelling/pronunciation of the word. Many fans just call them dramas, but due to the rise in popularity of Korean and Chinese dramas in western fandom, it has now become more common to differentiate between country of origin with a J, K, or C.

Unlike US TV shows, which often run for years, Japanese dramas run a set length of around twelve episodes. This is due to the way TV is structured in Japan, with four seasons per year: spring, summer, autumn, and winter. While some popular dramas may eventually have a sequel (or even more rarely, two or more sequels), the vast majority run for only one season.

While the term drama is used, not all dramas are serious shows. Some can be comedies. However, they are all one hour long, with the exception of morning dramas, which run for fifteen minutes over a longer period of time. Popular dramas (both within and without Japan) are invariably nighttime dramas.

Drama-trading has been going on for years, first with VHS tapes, then DVDs. Now people primarily get their dramas through BitTorrent or download communities and many dramas are fansubbed, where previously non-Japanese-speaking fans had to rely on official subs aired in places with large Japanese communities, such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Hawaii.

It is only in recent years that any dramas have had fanfic fandoms. Previously they had many fans, but little fanfic. However, dramas such as Nobuta. wo Produce have become thriving small fandoms thanks to heavy pimping by BNFs such as Aja.

J-dramas also benefit from overlap with other areas of fandom. Various dramas, such as Hana Yori Dango, Hana Kimi, Tramps Like Us, and Zettai Kareshi--just to name a few--have been adapted from manga series with pre-existing fanbases (some popular manga are even adapted into TW-Dramas and K-dramas). Some dramas--such as Gokusen, Hana Yori Dango, and Perfect Girl Evolution--also draw in viewers when popular idols from Johnny's Entertainment star prominently.



  1. ^ JDorama.com, (Accessed 17 October, 2008)