K-drama, C-drama, TW-drama and dramas: what’s the difference?

the success of the series Round 6 (or Squid Game), released by Netflix last year, in addition to the Oscar for Best Picture Parasite (2019), continue to arouse the public’s curiosity for Asian content, whether serial productions or films. The fact is that the streaming platforms available in Brazil seem to be very engaged in distributing this type of format, mainly because they have already understood the new tastes of the public.

Despite this, many are still confused by some terminologies. There are K-dramas, C-dramas, TW-dramas, BLs, dramas… in short, many things that can really leave your mind flooded with information. For that reason, with this list, you will understand the difference of all these subgenres once and for all. Enjoy!

(Hunan TV/Netflix/Playback)(Hunan TV/Netflix/Playback)Source: Hunan TV/Netflix

What is a drama?

In the Japanese language, it is common for some foreign terms to be part of the natives’ vocabulary. This is the case with hamburgers, buses and drama, for example, the latter being used to designate series that are generally romantic and are intended for different types of audiences. Thus, the dramas emerged, whose term ended up being adopted to designate the Asian series as a whole. But there are many differences between all of them.

So, in summary, a drama is basically a Japanese series whose protagonists may, or may not, engage in a romance that will last for every episode. Some examples are Hyaku Man En No Onna-tachi?available on Netflix, and In Time With Youavailable on Viki, a stream entirely dedicated to fans of the genre.

(Fuji TV/Playback)(Fuji TV/Playback)Fonte: Fuji TV

The difference between K-Drama, C-Drama and TW-Drama

Now that you know what a drama is, it’s easier to understand what other terms are used to designate Asian series. Therefore, most of them involve the initial of the native country and the word “Drama”. Within this context, a K-Drama is basically a series held in South Korea, with warm romances between the protagonists.

Some very famous examples include Boys Before Flowers, Crash Landing on You, O Rei de Porcelana e Love Alarm. All of them are available on Netflix with their respective complete seasons. The streaming giant has been betting big on these contents and, weekly, new K-Dramas arrive on the platform.

(Netflix/Play)(Netflix/Play)Fonte:  Netflix

The same happens with C-Dramas, series from China, and TW-Dramas, which come directly from Taiwan. Among the most famous productions of this first one to see on Netflix are Between Reason and Emotion, Our Secret Place, Meteor Garden e Friend shoulder. In the field of Taiwanese series, in streaming, it is possible to find The Perfect Match, Love Storm, KO One, A Princesa da Mafia e The Devil Punisher.

What are BLs?

And it’s not over yet! There are still other types of Asian dramas, like BLs, which literally mean Boys Love. That is, these productions are focused on romances between two protagonist boys and are usually aimed at the LGBT+ audience.

Although it is still a sub-genre on the rise, there are some series of this niche present in Brazilian streaming, as is the case of Love by Chance, Second Chance, Oxigen e Tharn & Typewhich are available on Viki.

A good part of the BL series are produced in Thailand and are usually studied by academics from all over the country, but countries like South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and China are also investing in the format.

Other differences between drama series coming from Asia

In addition to the most visible differences between these productions, especially regarding their nationalities, there are others that are also very relevant and can say a lot about each of them. It is common for dramas, for example, to have a maximum number of episodes and duration, something that has become a consensus among filmmakers and viewers.

Also known as J-Dramas, these series usually have an average of forty minutes in length, going up to 15 episodes in a single season that are released over three months when they are shown by television stations. But in streaming, these settings can be modified.

(Korean Broadcasting System/Playback)(Korean Broadcasting System/Playback)Fonte:  Korean Broadcasting System

Meanwhile, K-Dramas can have up to 25 episodes in a single season. In fact, it is very difficult for these series to be renewed, as they are designed to have their narrative well developed in this space of time. And attention: each chapter can easily exceed the 45-minute mark, even exceeding the one-hour mark per episode.

Blending large amounts of episodes and long runs are C-Dramas, which can run up to 60 episodes in a single season — and they are rarely renewed. The same goes for TW-Dramas, with the difference that there is a lot of variation between formats; there are series with few episodes and long duration and many episodes with average duration.

Did you like the text? Be sure to take advantage of all our tips to learn more about the world of Asian series!

Leave a Comment