What's The Deal With Adapting Japanese Entertainment Into Taiwanese Or Chinese Drama?


Whether you like it or not, not so many stuff we see these days are completely original.  More often than not, I can only say something like, "It's not really a matter of which came first but who did it better and that we acknowledge where we borrow our ideas."  I thought about it that Meteor Garden was very first Chinese series that I watched from start to end.  Only later did I find out that Meteor Garden was actually based on a Japanese Anime and Manga called Hana Yori Dango.

Hana Yori Dango began as an adaptation from scratch, while the script is not entirely original but all the footage has start from scratch starting from the set as a live adaptation of Hana Yori Dango.  The whole story shifts from Japan to Taiwan (Republic of China), Japanese characters were given Chinese names more or less equivalent to their counterparts like Daoming Si is equivalent ti the surname Doumyoji or Shan Tsai is equivalent to the name Tsukushi.

In a cultural context, I have noticed that while browsing through Chinese channels whether they are from Taiwan or China, they hardly show Anime.  From what I heard, even the children there usually watch live shows instead of animation.  When I look at Chinese channels, even most of the portions of a children's hour programming are usually live.  Perhaps like how Super Sentai was adapted into Power Rangers (though Power Rangers also borrowed footage and costumes), certain Japanese companies had allowed certain Taiwanese companies to use their rights, pay royalties while actually producing all the footage from scratch.

I guess the reason why the adaptation was allowed was for this reason. is Japanese culture can be very different with Chinese culture.  Watching both Japanese series and Chinese series, I can observe how there are cultural differences.  It's just like why Super Sentai gets adapted or localized into Power Rangers for the Americans.  Likewise, you end up having Japanese media localized or adapted for the Chinese audience for cultural reasons.  Chinese entertainment and Japanese entertainment can differ in humor, amount of action scenes, writing styles and aesthetics.  Chinese humor can sometimes be less outrageous than Japanese humor, the way music is carried out in the soundtrack may sound different and you may notice that Chinese action films usually have more action from Japanese action films.

In doing so, they have reached the broad Chinese audience namely in places like China, Taiwan and Hong Kong.  If they didn't do any tailoring, I don't think the Japanese companies would have actually reached the Chinese audience.  Later, the shows which were localized for the Chinese audience would end up getting dubbed in Japan too, in a similar way that certain seasons of Power Rangers end up getting dubbed in Japanese.  This is after all, a part of cultural exchange.

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