Culture through TV shows?

To explore the Japanese culture, I decided to watch a Japanese TV show called: “Death Note.” I heard about this show from my brother who loves to watch anime. What a better show to watch then one that is recommended by an anime junkie. He was very excited to watch it with me in Japanese.

The first scene was a group of high school students in a class. The students were dressed very well in suits and ties. I noticed students would stand up to speak and were referred to by their last names in the class. All these things could be because of the setting and culture of this show.

Outside of the classroom, we learn that the show is based in a city. We know this because the scenery is mostly buildings, and there is a combination of people walking, riding bikes, and driving cars. This is very similar to an American city. I also noticed the cars drove on the opposite side of the road as to what we are used to in the US.

This show is based on a smart high school boy named Light who found this book called the death note. The death note was dropped in the human world by the death god. The way the book works is Light writes down names of people he wants dead, and they die within seconds after. I found it really interesting how everything is in Japanese except for the book. The death god tells him the book is in English because English is the most common language in the human world. The fact that they have gods in the show may demonstration another a cultural aspect. I looked up the most common religion in Japan and it is Shinto. This religion believes in multiple gods. So that is probably why they have multiple gods in the show.

Another thing I noticed is how the god ate as well as in other anime shows that I have seen. Eating food in these shows is very exaggerated; a lot more exaggerated than in American shows. This may be because in the Japanese culture it is polite to slurp and be loud while eating.

All in all, this show did a great job in depicting Japanese culture. Although, this show wasn’t made to show off the culture, it was a great way for me to explore a different culture in a way that is entertaining.

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