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Re: [tlug] Recommendation on watching European/American/Independent movies/TV programs in Japan?

Hi Curt,

Thank you so much, there is so much information here so together with other replies I think I have pretty good explanation for my wife 😊

We tried Netflix last year but she wasn't impressed... Still, the streaming (stressing not "downloading" 😊) alternatives to the so-called-"legit" ones give her better results 😊 😊


-----Original Message-----
From: Curt Sampson [] 
Sent: Sunday, October 8, 2017 10:11 AM
To: Tokyo Linux Users Group <>
Subject: Re: [tlug] Recommendation on watching European/American/Independent movies/TV programs in Japan?

On 2017-10-07 00:59 +0900 (Sat), wrote:

> My wife wants to know how to watch
> European/American/Australian/International/Independent movies/TV 
> programs in Japan in a β€œlegit” way while willing to pay whatever the 
> enterprise for the β€œrent” they seek.

There's really no one best way to do it; each option has its own advantages and disadvantages. I've found Netflix to be the best overall because they're more likely to include all the various regionally-popular subtitle languages (Japanese, English, Korean, and possibly Chinese) on a non-English European film. In-region discs (rented or purchased) come second on this score, and Hulu is very poor in this regard. That said, there will be other factors; each has shows you can get (or can't get at a reasonable price) elsewhere. For example, Hulu tends to have some BBC stuff (such as _Life on Mars_) that's otherwise available only as import editions.

(For what it's worth, my strategy is to subscribe to both Netflix and Hulu in Japan, at a bit over Β₯2000/month for the pair of them, and occasionally buy an imported Blu-ray or DVD. I kept my U.S.
PlayStation 2 as much to play region 1 DVD titles as to play its

On 2017-10-07 00:51 +0800 (Sat), Raymond Wan wrote:

> NetFlix, Hulu, whatever are convenient but one downside is that movies 
> and tv shows are usually available for just one of them due to 
> licensing agreements.

Not quite as often as you think, in my experience; there's a surprising amount of duplication between Netflix and Hulu (though Hulu tends more often than Netflix to be the one that has it a few months earlier). (This was not the case when Netflix first came out here,

On 2017-10-07 23:30 +0900 (Sat), wrote:

> I think this is a niche market worth exploiting...   any bright
> enterprising person working with some venture capital?? 😊

The difficulties in that are enormous, and nothing to do with technology (except inasmuch as technology made it cheap and easy to ship information across the globe). For a sense of the problem, see:

On 2017-10-07 16:14 +0100 (Sat), Darren Cook wrote:


Yup. Here's an older one pointing out the same thing:

On 2017-10-08 00:11 +0800 (Sun), Raymond Wan wrote:

> When I visit Japan, I find it strange that the same movies has no 
> English subtitles at all.  Clearly someone has done the work of 
> translating...and the subtitles take up very little space...why not 
> include them?

I can think of two reasons off-hand:

1. Including them isn't free. The company has to get hold of them, put them on their particular image and do the whole release and QC process for them. Nor is this risk free: they can get complaints from paying customers and demands for refunds if they mess up the subtitles.

2. They might have to pay another publisher/distributor, or another subsidiary of a global publisher/distributor, for the subtitles. (See the Charles Stross blog link above.)

> PS:  Darren, loved the Oatmeal comic!  I, too, have been hoping that 
> Game of Thrones would appear on Netflix.......

The first six seasons are available on (once known as, for what it's worth.

Curt J. Sampson      <>      +81 90 7737 2974

To iterate is human, to recurse divine.
    - L Peter Deutsch

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