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Japanese doramas are live action soap-operas. Unlike the soap-operas here in the U.S., the Japanese doramas are usually only 9-12 (1 hour long) episodes. With such a set timeframe, the story had a definite, beginning, middle and end (unlike the U.S. where characters are often "resurrected" to continue the show). These doramas tend to (but don't always) focus more on the characters and relationships rather than pure action etc...