Here’s a Guide to Watching Movies in a Japanese Cinema
A list of dos and don'ts if you're thinking of watching a Japanese drama or anime in the movie theater in Japan.
1. Fukikae (dubbing) Version
When you book a ticket, you will see two versions, 字幕 jimaku and 吹替 fukikae, although it is the same movie. This happens only with international movies because jimaku means the subtitle in which it is translated with subtitles but the with the original actors’ voices. On the other hand, fukikae means the dubbing in which the actors speak in Japanese.
2. Do Not Take Food from Outside
There are always food and drinks sold at the cinema. If you are keen on cutting down on the spending, you might feel the food available can be a little bit expensive. But if you’re thinking about bringing your own, think again, because it’s frowned upon.
3. Laugh Silently, Cry Silently
No matter how fun or how sad it is, Japanese people watch silently in the cinema. If you want to expose your feelings as you watch, going to a video rental shop or watching by streaming services might be a better option for you.
4. Get Seated Before the Starting Time
We know that there are always commercials and trailers before the movie actually starts. However, Japanese people tend to get annoyed if someone sitting in the same row passes in front of them even through the commercials.
5. Do Not Kick
Even if you do not intend to do so, you might kick the front seat by mistake when you cross your legs. The person sitting in front of you might be bothered by the sudden poking, so be courteous to others.
6. Do Not Leave the Seat Until the Light Turns on
If you are hasty person, you might want to get out as soon as the credit roll comes up. Most of Japanese people sit and appreciate the movie until the very last minute.
7. Take Garbage With You
Do not leave the garbage of your food and drinks at the seat. They prepare the trash can just right outside of the cinema so dispose them there. It is for cleaning up faster for the next showing.
(2 July 2019)