True Love and Belly Laughs: A Preview of Japan’s 2022 Unscripted Slate →

Japan’s love affair with unscripted content goes back to the 1950s and remains one of the country’s most dominant forms of entertainment. From comedy shows to competition shows, Japan’s lean-back variety programs offer the sort of comforting entertainment people have come to expect from television, while reality shows tap into a great enthusiasm for living vicariously through the real-world adventures of on-screen personalities.

Reality shows such as Ainori and Terrace House were in fact some of the first to truly resonate with our Japanese audiences, and our recent success with unscripted shows proves that this appetite is still growing, with our latest unscripted comedy series Last One Standing quickly rising to No. 1 in the Overall Top 10 (Japan) after its premiere.

We’re currently developing 15 unscripted projects, seven of which are either already available or launching this year. The new slate includes a rich variety of unscripted genres, from comedy, reality television to documentaries.

Fans of dating shows can look forward to Love Village as well as a new season of The Future Diarywhile Love is Blind: Japan is now casting for its second season, which is set to launch next year. We are also rolling out a wide selection of documentaries ranging from LiSA Another Great Daywhich celebrates the titular artist’s career as one of the top singers of wildly popular anime theme songs, and Sing, Dance, Act: Kabukifeaturing former-idol-turned-actor Toma Ikuta’s immersion in the world of New Kabuki, to Tokyo Crime Squad: The Lucie Blackman Case (Working Title).

Stories that travel

As a global studio, we try to entertain both local and global audiences. Unscripted shows allow us to accomplish both in interesting ways. 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.

When we brought love is blind to Japan, we focused on not forcing the participants to do anything that felt culturally uncomfortable. If they wanted to bow instead of kissing when they first met, or if they weren’t ready to discuss intimate topics, that’s fine. If they wanted to break up before the big day, that’s fine. As a result, you see the participants being themselves, which ends up making them both relatable and fascinating for their cultural differences.

It’s the simple yet provocative concept of the format that lends itself to such adaptations, and whereas love is blind originated in the US, these formats can come from anywhere in the world. For example, Iron Chef was a groundbreaking show in Japan before being adapted internationally and now being rebooted as a Netflix series.

But being on an unscripted show can be stressful, and in particular, participation in dating shows requires those on-screen to be vulnerable, which takes a lot of mental fortitude, especially in the age of social media.

To make sure the cast and crew are prepared for the experience, we take meaningful steps to create a respectful environment throughout the production process, and put support systems in place for them.

We will continue to hold ourselves to a high standard when producing unscripted content in Japan. We believe that it is possible to create enjoyable and authentic programming while putting the well-being of our cast first.

please click herefor more details on the upcoming unscripted titles.

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