Japanorama (2002– )

TV Series  |  Documentary
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A six-part TV series focusing on Japanese films, TV shows, anime, manga & culture, hosted by Jonathan Ross. Interviews include those with Lone Wolf and Cub comic writer Kazuo Koike, ... See full summary »

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Series cast summary:
 Himself - Host / ... (18 episodes, 2002-2007)


A six-part TV series focusing on Japanese films, TV shows, anime, manga & culture, hosted by Jonathan Ross. Interviews include those with Lone Wolf and Cub comic writer Kazuo Koike, director Takeshi Miike, and many more. Jonathan Ross visits the set of the current Ultraman TV series, allows two former Godzilla actors to stomp model buildings, and speaks with Japan's top animators. Clips include those from Ringu, Spirited Away, Audition, Godzilla pics, some of Akira Kurosawa's films, Babycart movies and many more. Manga artist Junko Mizuno, who is interviewed, provides cartoon characters that are used throughout the series. Written by Kendo

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Release Date:

9 June 2002 (UK)  »

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Referenced in Friday Night with Jonathan Ross: Episode #11.7 (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

Very, very good.
15 July 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I love Japan. I've never been there, but I have loved what I have vicariously experienced through the media since 1994, when I was 10. My interest has recently culminated in acquiring a job in Iida starting in 2009. In preparation for this I have been reading and watching as much material as I can get my hands on.

I found season two of Jonathon Ross' Japanorama, and thought it was worth a try. Like most people, I had previously though Ross to be a complete prick. However, this series is surprisingly fantastic.

There's something about Ross' frankness about his own obsession with Japan, mirroring mine so well, that relieves from his usual facade: "If you strip away the contact lenses, the clothes, the £500 haircut, and the endearing speech impediment which I have so carefully nurtured over the many years I have been on television, you would see the otaku lurking within". It's almost as if as Ross has made this show for himself as much as for the audience. That's most likely not the case, but any presenter who can promote that feeling is a true professional.

The series deals with some interesting aspects of non-mainstream Japanese life; from the predictable – anime, manga, garage kits, CosPlay and robots, to the radically alternative. Though I doubt they are truly underground, some of the cultural suggestions Ross gives are enlightened, and have introduced, at least to me, many artists and directors previously unknown.

Not only is his knowledge of different media on display, but his skill as a showman and interviewer is clearly evident – much more so than in his trashy talkshows – it is clever and often witty. Sometimes hilarious, helped along by his ability to laugh at himself.

Featured personalities include Mori Chuck, the ridiculous yet hilarious Hard Gay, Nigo, Junku Mizuno, Tadenobu Asano and Ichirou Mizuki – all worth investigating further.

To digress, who are certainly not worth further investigation, however, are dull, frumpy, hippy flannels The Magic Numbers. Why this band's supporting tour of equally awful Franz Ferdinand was deemed suitable for inclusion is anyone's guess. "Ary ga toe Japan" blurts out frontman Paddington Bear. What a nonce. "There's 9000 people here to see the rock concert of the night," he says before the show, "so might as well get backstage and get ready". How? By ironing your duffle coat? Stay off my television you overweight flower-sniffing arsehole.

Aside from that feces, the majority of the season was very, very entertaining. The tidbits of Japanese customs from Madame Shirota add the chance to laugh at another culture whilst at the same time realising how stupid our own is as well.

Essentially, this is very good entertainment, but should certainly not be considered a guide to the Japanese way of life. These light-hearted glimpses at the other side of the world are just that, and that is why they are so good.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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