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5 variety, comedy, and dating shows lead Netflix’s Japan slate of unscripted content

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Netflix revealed an exciting Japanese slate of unscripted content, from outrageous variety shows to unique dating formats. At the APAC Unscripted Showcase, Netflix Japan Content Manager Dai Ota shared a peek at five reality series that feature Japan’s unique entertainment culture.

“We’re excited to move into a new phase of our content strategy, ramping up our investments in unscripted and bringing new concepts to the screen. We want to elevate the unscripted category with great production values and storytelling from Japan’s most innovative creative voices,” Ota said.

Japanese reality series have captured global audiences and Netflix is continuing to pursue fresh ideas across genres with 15 titles currently being developed. “We are committed to being the go-to destination for immersive, authentic and must-watch unscripted experiences,” Ota added. 

LIGHTHOUSE features musician-actor Gen Hoshino and comedian Masayasu Wakabayashi (from the comedy duo Audrey) embarking on a six-month conversation based on “single-line journal” where they share their personal stories, struggles, and fears with each other and the viewers. Gen Hoshino created the opening song “Mad Hope” featuring Louis Cole and Sam Gendel, as well as five ending songs inspired by his conversation with Wakabayashi in the episodes. This creative approach to comedy showcases two of Japan’s top entertainers as you’ve never seen them before. It premieres on Netflix on August 22.

Dating show Is She The Wolf? is a series that originated as Who Is The Wolf? on ABEMA, featuring some female and/or male contestants with secret identities as ‘wolves’ who were not allowed to fall for anyone. Netflix worked with ABEMA to appeal to a broader audience and experiment with storytelling. The series will be available worldwide on September 3.

In its first season on Netflix this year, dating show Love Village broke new ground by featuring ordinary people aged 35 to 60 searching for love — the first time a Japanese reality show focused on this demographic. Season 2, coming soon on Netflix, will continue fleshing out this creative concept with new contestants and returning fan-favorite emcees Atsushi Tamura and Becky. 

Last One Standing has been described as the Squid Game of unscripted comedy. The first season on Netflix last year saw Japanese comedians competing to improvise funny stories in their own words, while they play roles in a serious drama series. In the upcoming Season 2 premiering on October 10, a new group of Japan’s comedians will be sharing more of their own stories. This new season continues to be helmed by top creator-producer Nobuyuki Sakuma.

Love Like a K-Drama is an innovative hybrid where K-Drama romance meets acting competition as four Japanese actresses and four Korean actors are paired up to try and land lead roles in six K-dramas. It features lively commentary from studio emcees Haruna Kondo (Harisenbon), Aa-CHAN (Perfume), Shusuke Fukutoku (Jarujaru), Hayato Komori (GENERATIONS), and Maria Tani. It premieres on Netflix on November 28. |

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