Global streamer Netflix has expanded its slate of unscripted entertainment programming in Japan.
The company says it has 15 shows in the comedy, reality television and documentary genres in different stages of development. Of these, seven will launch on the platform in the current calendar year.
Upcoming shows include: dating series “Love Village,” “The Future Diary,” and a second season of “Love is Blind: Japan,” which is now casting and will play next year. Japanese documentaries include: “LiSA Another Great Day,” which celebrates the titular artist’s career as one of the top singers of wildly popular anime theme songs; “Sing, Dance, Act: Kabuki,” featuring former-idol-turned-actor Toma Ikuta’s immersion in the world of New Kabuki; and “Tokyo Crime Squad: The Lucie Blackman Case.”
The update was announced in a blog posting by Kobayashi Mitsuko Koyabashi and Goto Taro, managers of live action creative, Japan. Their messaging attempted to straddle the local and the universal. “As a global studio, we try to entertain both local and global audiences. Unscripted shows allow us to accomplish both in interesting ways,” said Kobayashi and Goto. “Our priority for each local language show is to make sure it resonates with the respective local audiences, and when we stay true to each culture and make them as authentic as possible, the shows tend to tap into something universal.”
Reality shows “Ainori” and the since canceled FujiTV coproduction “Terrace House” were some of the first shows to resonate strongly for Netflix with Japanese audiences after it launched in the country in 2015. At the time country managers said that “Terrace House” was not typically something they would want to make as an original series.
However, the company has adapted to local conditions and has recently enjoyed success with unscripted comedy series “Last One Standing,” which became the most popular show on the platform in Japan after its premiere.
In November, Netflix put on a two-day presentation of some fifty new shows from Japan. The first day was dedicated to animation, the second to live-action.