JP Shodo


Watch Anime to Improve Your Japanese


For those of us who don't get to be fully immersed in Japan (even while living in Japan), it is imperative to enjoy as much exposure to the language as possible. And there can be few other sources of entirely natural, yet clearly spoken Japanese outside of Anime. The problem is that a number of Anime characters talk in a quirky way, much like American cartoon characters may talk. They also speak so quickly that it can be hard to pick up new vocabulary from watching with English subtitles alone.

The way to use Anime to your advantage is to have access to the Japanese subtitles, and listen while reading the text of the original language.

A Japanese-American blogger by the name of Tofugu (he has a silly sense of humor, to warn you) has a video where he describes this process:


I have compiled a shortlist of a few Anime series I have watched and can recommend, along with the links to their subtitles (open the text files with a regular text editor, or use your smartphone which should open them automatically as text):

Sword Art Online: EpisodesSubtitles

Death Note (TV Show): EpisodesSubtitles (the first two are for the Death Note movies; the "Lion" one is for the TV show)

Madoka Magica: EpisodesSubtitles

Click here to browse other Japanese subtitles for Anime shows. I've only watched a handful so far so I can't recommend them all, but I bet most any would be very useful. These subtitle text files are intended for loading onto an actual video file, but just using them as a script is equally useful. Look for the time stamp next to each subtitle, and compare it with the minute and second of the part of the show you are watching on screen, and they will match.

Have fun!



© 2012-2017 Luke Amadeus Ranieri