Abema TV English Guide | Switch - TheFamicast.com: Japan-based Nintendo Podcasts, Videos & Reviews!


Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Abema TV English Guide | Switch

A new streaming service is available on the Japanese Switch eShop - Abema TV. Relatively unknown to those of you in the west, Abema has been a staple on many smart TVs and smart devices over the past several years in Japan. It’s completely free to download and you can try it out RIGHT NOW (you can find it here). But you may be wondering how to navigate everything. Well, that’s where we come in. 

Although Abema’s website does say that it is possible to watch videos on the service outside of Japan, this was something I couldn’t try for myself. Keep that in mind when trying this out. Also, even if you can view it outside of Japan, the service is geared toward Japanese people who live outside of Japan in that case. So, yeah. You probably won’t be getting any English. But that's where we come in. 

Starting Up
When you start up the app, you will be asked to put in your age and then they ask if you are male, female, or prefer not to say (in that order from left to right). After that, you are asked to select one or more shows, movies, anime or programs that you are interested in. Once you do that, press the big yellow button. After the server complies some content that you’d potentially be interested in based on what you choose, you’ll be thrown into the app. 
You will then be brought to a screen that is showing some live TV content. There are a number of different channels that you can scroll through with the joystick/d-pad. This includes the likes of news, dramas, anime, a hip hop channel, racing, fishing, shogi and mahjong. This is all available for free. 

Video on Demand
At the top of the screen, you click over to the second tab which is labeled video. From here is where things are a bit hit or miss. Abema does have a premium option that requires a subscription fee of ¥960 per month (a little over $8 USD). While there are quite a few categories to search through here, many of the titles or shows that you click on will have a yellow “premium” underneath the title and runtime. I didn’t check through EVERY title on the service, but more often than not, the content here required the paid subscription. Not only that, but if you’re looking to watch western movies on the service, it seemed like about half of them featured Japanese dubs. 

TV Guide
Next to the video on demand section, is a button that brings up the live program schedule. It’s all in Japanese, but there are some pictures there that might help you if you don’t speak/read the language. There’s really not a whole lot more to say about this other than the fact that navigating the menu can be a bit finicky. 

Other than that, there is a “search” option, a “favorites list,” and then settings. 

While I do think it is nice to have access to another video app on my Switch, I’m honestly not really blown away by the content here or anything. Video quality is also mediocre at best and if you don’t know Japanese, you might have a hard time getting around. The app is free, so if you’re looking to try something out or just watch some Japanese content, give it a try. Everyone else, this video might be all that you need.  

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