Korean dramas are taking flight in Japan. Three remakes are being aired in Japan next month alone. Analysts say that the results reflect the local producers' understanding of Korean drama, which shows its increased quality level, and their want for the unique sensitivity of Korean dramas.
Japanese contents have been reflected in the Korean drama market since a long time ago. It was in the mid 2000s that Korean dramas started adapting Japanese comics, and some examples are "White Tower", "Boys over Flowers" and "The Queen of Office".
This trend accelerated more recently, and there have been so many remakes, such as "Matrimonial Chaos", "Hundred Million Stars from the Sky", "The Banker", and the currently airing "Absolute Boyfriend", that it's hard to enumerate them now.
Cultural similarities between the two countries are cited as the reason behind the boost in imports. Tv columnist Jeong Seok-hee says, "Dramas should be fresh, but at the same time they should not be unfamiliar. The fact that they are fresh and that it is easy to bring plots and compositions of works between two similar Asian cultures can be seen as an important factor".
The simple feeling of Japanese dramas can also be seen as one reason. Yoon Seok-jin said, "There are fanatics who are crazy about Japanese dramas, which are characterized by everyday sensibilities. Domestic producers' positive view of this area may also be one of the reasons for boosted imports".
However, Japan has recently taken to remaking Korean dramas. Japan is broadcasting remade versions of Korean dramas on 3 Japanese broadcasting stations just this July. Besides "Incomplete Life", "Signal" and "Good Doctor", which have previously been remade in Japan, the export movement seems to be getting more active.
Fuji TV is sending out Lee Joon-gi's "Two Weeks" (MBC 2013), in which a man who is framed for murder struggles to save his daughter who is sick with leukemia. In the Japanese remake, popular actor Miura Haruma takes on the lead.
"Sign" (SBS 2011), written by Kim Eun-hee and starring Park Shin-yang, is broadcasting on TV Asahi. It was Korea's first forensic drama, which rated 25.5%. Omori Nao, who is the lead Japanese actor said, "The original was so good that I feel pressure, but I'd like to make a work that presents a step forward in flavor".
"Voice" (OCN) can be seen on Nippon TV. It's a thriller about the agents at a 112 call center, and the third season, "Voice 3", is already in progress on OCN. Columnist Jeong said, "As the Korean drama market and investment scale grow, the overall level of things such as the sets and effects used grow along with them".
Some say that this demand for new 'flavor' is reflected in the need of Japanese broadcasters for fresh takes amid intensifying competition for content. Critic Yoon says, "It is hard to simplify, but Korean dramas have a strong emotional side compared to Japanese ones, and their narratives tend to be dynamic. It can be seen as an effort to find a new creative way, as it approaches viewers differently by supplementing points that are not in local dramas".
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""Two Weeks", "Sign", "Voice", a 'Remake Boom' for Korean Dramas in Japan"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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