Friday, August 19, 2016
10 years on...and more to come! Thank you for your support!
Today marks an important milestone in Dorama World's history as it celebrates its 10th anniversary! 10 years is a very long time in this Internet age. From the early days as a forum to a blog, it's been amazing to be able to share my passion and thoughts about Japanese dramas, movies and J-ent in general with like-minded people. Thank you for reading my posts all these years and sharing your compliments, comments and criticism during this time.
Even with the growing popularity of the Korean wave where the TV stations ditched J-dramas in favour of their Korean counterparts, I was glad to be able to interact with everyone who still loved J-dramas like I do even though there were many people who said that it was the end of J-ent's popularity outside of Japan. During times when we could hardly get any J-dramas when cheap VCDs (albeit pirated) were no longer flooding in from Taiwan and China, it was tough trying to keep the passion going since online streaming sites were not prevalent then. Even if you want to support them by buying original DVDs, the exorbitant prices and lack of subtitles (some of the releases come with English subtitles now although the quality can be uneven) are still a deterrent. When it was the era of BitTorrent sharing, downloading the dramas was a huge test of our patience especially if you had crawling Internet connections which could drop anytime. We've witnessed all these trends come and go. We've experienced lots of pain points along our journey to watch J-dramas. Although things still remain less than rosy, there have been improvements. It's easier to find J-dramas through mobile phone apps and online streaming sites now. More people are going to Japan for travel thus they are able to buy original drama DVDs from the shops there. There are more locally-targeted cable TV stations in Asia now like Waku Waku Japan and GEM which provide lots of new and old Japanese dramas for you to pick from.
However, the future for J-dramas is still fraught with difficulties. With falling viewership figures, J-dramas are said to be unable to score high unlike those in the 80s to early 2000s. However, I beg to differ as seen from huge hits like "Hanzawa Naoki" or "Shitamachi Rocket" in recent years. That means if you have something good, it will attract viewers. Another anomaly still remains where those widely praised and talked-about don't fare so well in terms of ratings like the recent "Boku no Yabai Tsuma". Much as we may all agree that ratings do not reflect the quality of a drama, they mean a lot to TV stations since this is how their performance is assessed and how they secure advertising income. The problem is, they are too caught up with domestic ratings and would not try to sell their dramas to overseas locations unlike what the Koreans are actively doing. Just look at how they even try to restrict access to their online trailers by banning IPs which aren't in Japan! Trailers are supposed to be there for a reason. If they can't be accessed, how do you expect interest and demand in your productions to be stirred up? How would you know if potential drama buyers are among those fans who want to check out your trailers? In a world when many people want to push up their YouTube viewership figures, this mentality of controlling the number of viewers just strikes me as absurd. Here we are trying to give free publicity to these content producers but what they are doing seems to be a move aimed at pushing us away. It is indeed discouraging at times to see this happen because they really need to be more proactive and aggressive in selling their content to the world and not be content with achievements in the domestic market only.
Despite all these, we continue to be linked through our passion for Japanese dramas, movies and entertainment. To me, Dorama World exists to be the bridge and gathering point for like-minded people like us. I sincerely hope that you will still be around to celebrate the blog's next anniversary and many more to come and that you will find this to be an useful resource in your journey of enjoying Japanese entertainment.
As part of the celebration, I would like to open up this post for you to ask me questions on anything related to the blog and J-ent. Just comment on this post and I'll try to answer your question soonest. To start the ball rolling, here are some common questions or complaints I received so I think it's good to address them now on this occasion in case I get these questions again:
Why are your news translations "outdated"?
Simple - lack of time and resources. Dorama World is a one-man-operation and I have a day job. If you pay attention to the timing of my posts, many are in the late evening hours or past midnight which is when I finish my work. There was a time when the delay in posting my stories was quite significant (days and weeks after the story first came out) but I am trying to reduce it as much as possible. Then again, I can't promise to be as quick as those sites with staff members or those who have more flexibility with their time. Dorama World is never positioned to be a news site anyway since the main aim is to share J-dramas' information and my reviews after all.
Why did you not post this article's translation?
Erm, for a start, I can't possibly read all the articles that come out every day. My main sources are Nikkansports, Sanspo, Yomiuri Hochi, Sponichi, Oricon and Yahoo! Japan. Anything outside of these, it depends on whether I happen to come across them. Due to time constraints, I hope that you understand that I can't post translations on everything especially if they aren't related to J-dramas, J-movies or people who are involved in these areas e.g. the comedians or newscasters or TV hosts.
Why do you post so few reviews nowadays?
Again, time is the issue. It takes me a long time to write a review, more so if I want to do it for every episode. If I post an episodic review, that tells you how much I love the drama (to the extent of doing that which is so tiring). Even for a single review for the entire drama, it takes me more than a few days since I constantly rewrite the post. Sometimes, writer's block comes into the picture when I find it so difficult to squeeze out a few words. Writing reviews does kill a lot of brain cells and is very taxing on the mind so please be patient with me in the meantime.
I would like to contact you on something so how can I do that?
If you are following the blog's updates through Facebook and Twitter, please drop a direct message there if it's something you want to ask privately. Otherwise, you can always write a comment on the blog post or comment on the Facebook topic or reply to my tweet. However, I would appreciate if you can at least leave a nickname if you are commenting because I find it so difficult to tell who the three Anonymous comments in a single post are from one or more people. When I reply, I don't even know how to address you if you don't provide your nickname so even telling me that your name is A would be better than calling you Anonymous which may be rude to you.
Before I end this post, I would like to inform you that I will be sending out a short survey to get your views on the blog and whether the new changes I've introduced e.g. posting of trailers on Facebook and Twitter are well-received. Please participate in that so as to help make Dorama World an even better resource for everyone!
With that, thank you once again for your support for the past 10 years!