Anime/Manga, Japanese
Comments 4


So I’ve been home for a couple days now, relaxing, (though I probably shouldn’t be quite as carefree as I currently am), reading 우행시, and marathoning Death Note!

I think this is one of those animes that all fans of anime HAVE to see if they haven’t seen it already.  Scratch that.  It’s an anime that even people who are NOT fans of anime have to see if they haven’t seen it already.  I’d read the original manga too but it’s nice to listen to spoken Japanese and my sister says the anime is pretty faithful to the manga anyway.

The plot centers around a seventeen-year-old boy who finds an otherworldly notebook that gives him the ability to kill anyone whose face he knows and whose name he writes in said notebook.  Needless to say, he gets carried away.

death note meme

That meme cracks me up.

Anyway, I think I joke a lot about how my two semesters of college Japanese went in one ear and straight out the other, but surprisingly I can understand quite a bit of the dialogue in this show!  Entire conversations, even.  It’s interesting that listening and speaking was (is) always pretty challenging for me in Korean but comes much easier to me in Japanese.  (And for obvious reasons, *cough* KANJI *cough* reading and writing in Japanese is 10000000 times harder for me in Japanese than Korean.)

Now, Death Note is VERY dialogue heavy which, from a storytelling point-of-view, is off-putting at times.  There’s a lot of “telling” and not enough “showing.”  Exposition is important but too much detail at once can throw off dramatic pacing – and sometimes this show falls victim to that.  But it’s still one of the best animes I’ve seen to date!

One of the nice things about having so much dialogue is that I pay attention more to what’s being said.  And I’ve come to pick out A LOT of Japanese words that sound similar to their Korean counterparts.  Like the following:

  • 結局 (けっきょく):  결국
  • 滿足 (まんぞく):  만족
  • 延期 (えんき):  연기
  • 意味 (いみ):  의미
  • 理由 (りゆう):  이유

Most of the grammar constructions sound familiar, too, because I learned them in class.  Hearing them being used in dialogue, though, gives me more of a sense of nuance.  For example, it helped me understand when it’s more appropriate to use ~(し)てくれる vs. ~(し)てもらう.  And the fact that ~かもしれません can be shortened to ~かも.

Now I understand what my Japanese 先生 meant when she said we should try to watch at least 30 minutes of  an anime/drama everyday – you learn a lot.  I kind of regret not putting in much effort into my Japanese classes back when I was taking them!  But for now I’m okay with this passive learning process.  It’s fun! :)

Edit:  Thanks to Korean Vitamin for correcting my  lousy Japanese haha.


  1. あら、日本語の勉強を始めたんですか。日本語は韓国語とすごく似ているので、すぐにマスターできるでしょう。頑張ってくださいね。ええと、ちなみに、”見中”이란 일본단어는 없어요. 블로그 제목「デスノート鑑賞中」로 바꾸는 게 좋아요.


  2. Hey Archana, long time. :) I see you’re watching Death Note, one of the most neat anime out there. By the way, I got to the fact which you told me some months back about Korean resembling to our native language Marathi and I couldn’t agree more. Seriously, it’s one major fact and I was surprised to find out that how close they both are when it comes to vowels and consonant match ups.

    By the way, how are your Japanese studies going? Oh by the way, can you read Kanji well? Saw your post where you were reading the manga of OHSHC. Pretty good. :)


  3. goingby says

    A LOT of Japanese words that sound similar to their Korean counterparts.
    -> Exactly speaking, Japanese was derived from Korean. Old Korean pronunciation went to japan and became Japanized. Grammatically the two are 99% same. Everyday expressions or words (like 하나, 둘, 여러가지, 아침, 살다…….) have exact rules converting from Korean to Japanese. If you’re interested, see a book ,
    or refer to


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