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Korean-Japanese co-production Tokyo Showers

I think SBS’s upcoming joint Korean-Japanese production Tokyo Showers — buzzed-about as downtrodden singer Ivy’s comeback and acting debut — has the potential to go either way. I’m not expecting much of it based on the description, but it’s only four episodes, so it’s not much of a commitment either.

The story is described as centering around Koreans living in Japan, which on its own is an interesting perspective to take — perceptions are always shifted when viewing one culture through the lens of another, as opposed to normal kdramas (or jdramas). Then again, the 2004 Korea-Japan production starring Won Bin and Fukada Kyoko, Friends (also four episodes), had the same intention at mutual cultural understanding — but was rather bland in its unchallenging, simple approach. It made for a nice, pleasant — but forgettable — watch.

In the miniseries, a top actress, played by former Miss Korea Kim Sarang, meets and falls for sushi chef Kim Tae Woo, who’s focused on his business and little else. And then there’s Ivy, playing a Korean student dreaming of becoming a singer while working part-time in a restaurant. Rounding out the cast are Japanese actors Otani Ryohei — whom you may remember as the easygoing nice guy in SoulmateOkuda Erika, Yamamoto Gaku, and Inohana Mai.

As Tokyo Showers was filmed in Japan, stars Kim Sarang and Kim Tae Woo had a first-hand taste of the differences between Korean and Japanese styles of drama production. There were three main points:

(1) “Korean Time” versus “Japanese Time”

Kim Sarang: “If shooting is at 9 o’clock, everyone is ready for the actors to begin shooting exactly at 9. Therefore filming doesn’t go late, and there’s no need to stay up all night shooting. Thanks to the careful preparations, the filming stays right on schedule.”

(2) Actors As Family, or Special Guests

On Korean film sets, actors are like family; if troubles arise, everyone comes together to work through it. In Japan, actors are like special guests who receive special treatment. Kim Tae Woo: “The Japanese crew were serious about making sure the actors’ makeup was fixed and had a place to rest. I was very touched at the amount of care we received.”

(3) The Extent of Flexibility

If a Korean production encounters a clear day when a scene calls for rain, the crew films the scenes in nice weather first, then the scenes requiring rain (sometimes making the rain artificially). But in Japan, they wait for rain. Kim Sarang: “Korean crews are pretty flexible on set to handle various occurrences like accidents. On the other hand, it seems that even if something occurs that wasn’t anticipated, Japanese crews stick to their original plans.”

The drama held its press conference on May 19 — Ivy was conspicuously absent, although her nonattendance was announced in advance — and airs its first episode on June 2 after I Love You wraps.

Via Hankooki

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first?

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I'm always fascinated by these type of joint productions. I wonder how they act how scenes?

Does one actor speak Japanese while another speaks Korean? And then they just dub it?

Or subtitle it?

Or in the case of Friends they wend up speaking English?

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this drama reminds me a little bit of tokyo friends.. about four friends working in a pub.. & one of which is an aspiring singer.. cheesy jdorama fare but i enjoyed it scrumptiously with crackers :D

i think joint productions are really interesting too.. i still need to finish watching tree of heaven with lee wan & park shin hye.. it's absolutely beautiful seeing the japanese culture & scenery in the drama.. & the language abilities of the actors are quite impressive... i highly recommend ;)

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Yah, a K-J production...! I'm pretty excited to see how this pans out - and there's nothing more interesting than exploring the textured nuances of culture. And there's nothing like the gloss of high-profile celebrities to sweetly deliver social commentary. I'm disappointed it's going to only be 4 episodes though.... It'll be a great day when Korea and Japan, two leaders in drama production, get together a concoct a really~ good k-jdrama (....eheheh....I just realized that "j-k dramas" would be "just kidding" dramas) that's over 10 episodes and sets new standards in drama making ^^;;

Question: Is the drama When Night Comes also a co-production or is the setting just in Japan?

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I wonder why is it only 4 episodes. I mean Japan and Korean are making it. It should be grand. :)

Can't they make it at least double that?

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If anyone wants to see a really excellent, high production Japanese/Korean drama, check out "Rondo" It's actually a Japanese production with Choi Ji Woo and a couple other Korean actors. A-list actors, high budget, and intriguing storyline filled with action, suspense, and romance.

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"They wait for rain"

I think this is better practice. Sure, you should have SOME flexibility, I'm not going to disagree, but I like real rain. Artificial rain looks....artificial. It's really obvious most of the time.

And the Japanese idol syndrome is as big, if not worse than in Korea....I'm not surprised the cast gets special treatment. But then I don't believe they don't do that in Korea either.

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"Playing a Korean student dreaming of becoming a singer while working part-time in a restaurant."
That won't be too hard for her.

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oh yay, its Ryohei! he's so adorable in Soulmate. this doesn't look super appealing to me, but i hope it goes better than Friends did.

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I actually liked the Friends K-J drama a lot (Won Bin > FTW!), but the most notable bit is the part where Won Bin's character does his service. That part is essentially an commercial for the Korean military and a not very subtle message to Japan about Korean's ability to defend itself. As George Bush would say, don't mess with Seoul!

@sowhat,

Rondo didn't draw a very good response, but I thought it was a better Hong Kong-style thriller (a la Infernal Affairs) than, say, Time of Dog and Wolf. Oh and Ayaka's "I Believe" is LOVE!

@Miki,

I'd say both Japan and Taiwan have stronger idol industries than Korea. Seriously, all K-drama complaints about pretty faces that can't act go out the window if you consider that Sung Yu Ri's acting skills (pre-Hong Gil Dong) would be considered "average" in J-drama.

Most "headliner" J-dramas are targeted toward teenage girls (overall TV viewership in Japan isn't high anymore.) Thus the most popular J-dramas are usually ones with idols from Johnny Entertainment , and it's rare for a JE junior to have a kissing part in a show lest they alienate their audience. Most lead actresses (even Nanako Matsushima) started out as U15 idols and gravure. Korean netizens are notorious all over Asia, but part of that is due to the familiar relationship between stars and fans, hereas image management in Japan is much tighter. For example, Inoue Mao got heat from Arashi fans due to her casual interaction with Matsumoto Jun during public appearances. And when Nagase broke up with Ayu, implying it was mostly due to her, much of her fanbase completely turned on her.

The irony is that Japanese actors/actresses, even top tier, aren't paid nearly as well as their Korean counterparts. It's not that merely idols are treated unusually well, but if a drama botches a JE idol's image, Mr. Johnny Himself will end your career in J-drama.

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Hmm, Kim Tae Woo in a drama. I'm always curious when a movie actor decides to act in a drama. Will check this out because of him.

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SOULMATE HUNK!!!!

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Actually I love this drama, I really don't know why...

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hiiiiiiii..........i from malaysian fan 4 korean movie,how can i buy than more of korean movie...in malaysia is selected only...huhuhuhu...

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