Netflix Japan Daily Top 10 Dominated by K-dramas Led by The King’s Affection and Squid Game

Every few years K-drama will get super popular in Japan, the trend starting with the granddaddy of them all Winter Sonata and continuing most recently into Crash Landing on You, with plenty in between. But those standalone hits did not seem indicative that K-dramas were fully mainstream there which makes sense since J-doramas are still being churned out in droves. With that said, Netflix has not capitalized on J-doramas and instead it’s focus and investment into K-dramas has yielded the medium conquering Japanese streaming viewing habits. The most recent Daily top 10 in Netflix Japan had 7 K-dramas on the list! Starting with The King’s Affection in the top spot, which I totally understand why J-viewers would love it as it’s so gorgeous to look at on top of a compelling story. Then it’s global hit Squid Game, followed by oldies Touch Your Heart, Crash Landing, then Itaewon Class. Then another Netflix produced drama My Name made the list, with the final K-drama in the top 10 being Hometown Cha Cha Cha. I’m sure not having much J-dorama selection available on Netflix helps direct Japanese viewers to the next most similar thing, I mean there is only so many times one can watch Alice in Borderland.


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Netflix Japan Daily Top 10 Dominated by K-dramas Led by The King’s Affection and Squid Game — 15 Comments

  1. The grip that crash landing on you has on Japan is insane. It was the no. 1 watched series last year in Netflix Jpn. And even in 2021 , it has the highest points for a kdrama(4th over all) .

    • Seriously though, it was THE drama that triggered the next Hallyu craze in Japan, with exhibitions, merch, mainstream TV show mentions and even government officials shoutouts. Kinda like how My Love From Another Star blew up in China. Hyun Bin and Son Ye Jin already had fans in the country from their previous works but they got full on fanbases established after CLOY hit big. If they ever get married, you bet the hype will be real there, a la Song-Song when they got hitched and China lost their mind too.

      I’m more and more shocked at how The King’s Affection continues to dominate, as it has been since the beginning tbh. It’s been in the worldwide Netflix Top 10 for weeks and it only seems to be getting bigger and bigger, even with Hellhound coming back along with other domestic releases. It’s a 20-ep drama too so I have no doubt it’s domination will continue. I’m happy to see rookies and lesser known actors in the drama flourish internationally though it’s success.

  2. Until now I still can’t get pass episode 5 of TKA. My sister been raving about it but me and my mom (being a super avid fan of sageuk and period C-dramas) still can’t get the appeal. I couldn’t complete one episode in a seating tbh. This has a lot to do with both the character of the male lead as well as Roowon’s acting. As for PEB, I still couldn’t help but see her as being outacted by the amazing child actress.

    Glad that the drama is doing well at the moment.

    • I can never watch a female pretending to be a male because it’s obvious she’s pretty and have small posture. For me the only acceptable female pretending to be male was Yoon Eun Hye in Coffee Prince.

      • For me Yoon Eun Hye worked because in the start she actually was not trying to pretend, that was just her vibe but the dude was an obtuse idiot.

    • I’m paused at episode 10 and am waiting for the drama to end before I decide to jump back in…it’s the 20 episodes that has me a bit jumpy. Yes, Rowoon is still green but it is more the story that has me iffy about giving 11 more hours to the show.

  3. Japan doesn’t have that much interest in promoting their dramas internationally and never have. I remember the angst back in the Dramafever days of fans constantly complaining about a lack of J-dramas and people explaining that it wasn’t for lack of trying. Korea uses k-drama and k-pop as soft diplomacy and Japan doesn’t care, but I hope their production companies sell out for some Netflix love because there are so many J-dramas I would love to see and I won’t visit the disreputable sites.

    Oddly enough, on k-drama sites where there are old time k-drama fans, Squid Game made hardly any impact. Been there, done that.

    • IMO japanese dramas just do not engage viewers as deeply as korean dramas. They are creative with their premises but feels like a touch and go in comparison to korean ones that delves deeper and allow viewers to languish in exploring the various feelings evoked through the painted scenario. Think harder, feel longer and hence the engagement. No surprise there on ranking on netflix. Alot of my japanese friends consume k-dramas and kpop like a drug.

      • J-dramas do slice of life and police procedural much better than k-drama imho. K-dramas do romance better generally; however, what I meant was there is actually an appetite for more j-drama content as per the constant requests I’ve seen drama watchers make over the years but Japan has never cared. I am open to content from Korea, Japan, Taiwan and sometimes China though I’m done with the filler in C-dramas. All dramas have their issues but no one can beat Korea for pushing their culture and there is definitely an appetite for it at Netflix because they are losing so much of their content because every company is starting their own streaming service.

    • @Kat – Netflix has its eyes on Japan, but is more focused on its anime content (eg Ghibli). Any disruption in j-dramas is going to take much longer time than k-dramas given that the industry is years (if not decades) behind in content globalization.

      • Yeah, there is always plenty of anime and I’m just not into it…”decades”…you are killing me! But, yes, they are behind.

  4. Japanese were pretty protected with the dramas and it became difficult to watch them, a lot of people turned toward Kdramas that were very accessible.

    It’s sad because Jdrama are pretty unique.

    The King’s Affection is doing great on Netflix since the beginning. I guess Korean prefered watch Red Sky on TV and later TKA.

  5. I have been a K drama addict for a long time & recently switched to J dramas for a change. I like that the no of episodes for each J drama is relatively short and they usually resolve any issues/mystery/cases within each episode. Also, compared to the K actors, the J actors have less make-up and look more ‘real’. I really don’t like the very obvious lipsticks on the male K drama actors, very off-putting for me. I am currently watching Japan sinks and I love it, much more than all the K dramas on the list. So sad that it is not ranked highly even in Japan itself. Is it due to a lack of promotion?

    • For the visual part, some Japanese actors were pretty feminine too with heavily plucked eyebrows, long hairs, small stature, etc.

      It depends a lot about the style of the actor.

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