May 30, 2020

dLibrary Japan update

When I first started streaming with Netflix, I hoped it would continue to build its library of live-action Japanese content. Alas, Netflix is the latest service to discover that there simply isn't a big audience for localized Jdrama in North America.

Or, for that matter, anywhere else, which is why anime makes up 80 percent of Japan's broadcast television overseas exports.

So while Netflix has been busily licensing anime movies and series, and producing anime content for its Netflix Originals catalog, it hasn't added any new live-action scripted Japanese programming. That means dLibrary Japan has the VOD market mostly to itself.

Over the past year, dLibrary Japan has taken that responsibility seriously, evolving from a usable but clunky beta site into a fully functioning streaming provider.

At the end of May, dLibrary Japan revamped the website, making much needed modifications to the Continue Watching list and significantly improving content discovery. The only critical thing left on the to-do list is to move the new features over to the app.

A few bugs remain. The "remember me" login checkbox doesn't remember me for very long. And to get picky, "details" is spelled wrong on the website.

There is still no way to search the website but they've added scads of genre categories and subcategories, making it easy to narrow down selections. You can always search the catalog using the app.

One of the new categories is subtitled content. Though it has less than two dozen titles, five of them are NHK Taiga dramas. At fifty or so episodes each, these historical epics alone might be worth a subscription if you haven't seen them before.

dLibrary Japan is mostly Japanese-only (you can navigate the site in English or Japanese), and is acquiring that Japanese-only content at a brisk clip, adding several new series or seasons a week. I'm looking forward to seeing how the site will grow in the future.

dLibrary Japan is supported on most browsers. There are apps for Android smartphones and tablets, Apple iPhone and iPad, Apple TV, and Roku.

Related posts

dLibrary Japan
Netflix in Japanese
TV Japan and NHK World

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