Amazon has announced its first move into production of an original series in Korea. “The Idolm@ster.kr” is a live-action drama series based on Bandai Namco Entertainment’s popular Japanese “Idolm@ster” series.
Debuting in Japan in 2005 as an arcade game, “Idolm@ster” has been adapted into video and smartphone games, anime and manga, as well as live-performance concerts and hit singles.
Amazon’s live-action adaptation is set in the Korean entertainment scene, complete with managers, wannabes and hangers-on. The drama involves a group of girls as they embark on a career in the entertainment industry.
“We are excited to be collaborating with Bandai Namco Entertainment and Interactive Media Mix to bring the first Korean Amazon Original series globally,” said James Farrell, head of content, Asia Pacific Prime Video at a press event in Seoul on Thursday. “’The Idolm@ster.kr’ is the perfect combination of Japanese idol culture and Korean drama power,” he said. “The idols include K-Pop sirens as well as Japanese and other international singers, and we’re confident that ‘The Idolm@ster’ fans and viewers will become addicted to watching their careers bloom.”
“This project fuses fantastic Japanese intellectual property ‘The Idolm@ster’ with Korean drama and K-Pop that are enjoyed around the world,” said Sohn Il-Hyung, production house IMX’s representative director. “With Amazon distributing, the show can be seen by a global audience. What makes the project unique is that, rather than having actresses play the idols, girls who want to become idols play themselves in this mix of reality and fiction.”
Composed of Korean, Japanese and Thai members, the multinational girl band in the series is named “Real Girls Project.” The group released a single album and performed two songs on the stage after the press event.
Beginning in early 2017, Amazon Prime Video will exclusively stream the Korean series, while the content will be localized into several languages, including Japanese and English.