James May: Our Man In Japan

This is a documentary is just a bringer of happiness! It aims for naturality, truth – the blunt kind – and looks at aspects and Japan’s culture and it’s people with respect.

The premise of this documentary series is that James May from Top Gear and Grand Tour goes to Japan from Hokkaido in the North to the southernmost island of Japan. He goes to see different things and is truly a natural and enjoyable host. He pokes fun at “fake” documentaries which twist reality and only go to the surface, framing Japan as exotic, while nothing else is explored about the people and letting us experience sides of Japan we may not have known. The people of Japan and its culture is shown respectfully and busts many stereotypes along the way with humour – with James pointing them out. It is a very self-aware documentary with a very self-aware host.

Two episodes in and we have seen him have a sleigh ride, help forge a Samurai sword and go to a 7 AM J-Pop concert surrounded by young working women and schoolgirls. He is always respectful, his translators get a spot as the second co-host in a way and if the weather is bad they improvise on the spot. It is a delightfully honest show with good humour, great respect as James always tries to say the correct things to people and does his very best at being courteous and learning while still knowing a lot. He isn’t going to gawk or make funny faces and show the places for tourists, but instead, he goes to the places we didn’t think to even imagine was possible, hidden away in the countryside where robots dwell. He is simply a delight!

He tries different things with both glee and knowing his own shortcomings – he has no ego. That is why this is something I recommend you watch if this seems like the documentary series for you!


Thank you for reading! 

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