‘Love Village’ and ‘Last One Standing’ Add New Seasons as Romance, Comedy and Fantasy Lead Netflix’s Japanese Live-Action Slate

Reality TV series “Love Village” will add a second season and comedy talk show “Last One Standing” will add a third as part of Netflix’s 2024 live action offering. The slate, revealed on Thursday, is long on romance, comedy and fantasy.

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Earlier this month, consultancy and research firm Media Partners Asia said that Netflix is the second most watched SVOD platform in Japan (behind Prime Video) and the third most-watched premium streamer (behind Tver and Prime Video). While re-runs boost other platforms “original dramas and variety have had clear acquisition impact for Netflix,” Media Partners Asia said in its latest report, and cited “Love Village” and “First Love” as leading examples.

“Last One Standing,” in which comedians must narrate stories that are both personal and funny or face elimination, hails from United Productions and comedy talent agency Yoshimoto Kogyo. A third season will be available in 2024, but is currently undated.

“Love Village,” produced by En Network, sees eight singles, age 35-60, relocate to the countryside in order to find love. The first season played in the streamer’s Japanese top ten for six weeks and the returning episodes will upload later this year.

Romance is also on the cards in “Drawing Closer,” one of three new feature films on the Japan slate. Produced by Nikkatsu and Django film, it is written and directed by Miki Takahiro as an adaptation of best-selling novel about lovers living on borrowed time. Nagase Ren and Deguchi Natsuki star.

Other film titles are the previously announced “The Parades” and “City Hunter,” which release on Feb. 29 and April 25, respectively. Directed by Fujii Michihito, “The Parades” depicts a woman in a monthly pageant in which the recently dead attempt to reconnect with the living. Suzuki Ryohei and Morita Misato head the cast of the action adventure manga-to-film adaptation “City Hunter,” directed by Sato Yuichi.

Other highlights include the “House of Ninjas” series in which a dysfunctional family of retired ninja warriors is forced to take on new missions. Directed by Dave Boyle and produced by Toho Studio, the show has a cast headed by Kaku Kento, Eguchi Yosuke, Kimura Tae, Kora Kengo, Makita Aju and Yoshioka Riho, and uploads next week (Feb. 15).

Ayano Go and Toyokawa Etsushi head the cast of “Tokyo Swindlers,” a series adaptation of a bestselling novel by Shinjo Ko. The crime-drama about real estate scamming is directed by One Hitoshi, produced by Nikkatsu and Booster project and has an unspecified 2024 release date.

Hailing from Kadokawa and director Suzuki Osama, “Queen of Villains” tells the tale of an anti-hero female wrestler who develops a cult-like following. Starring Yurian Retriever, Karata Erika and Goriki Ayame, it too has an unspecified 2024 release date.

Romance series include the already available “Love Deadline,” a reality-TV show from Kyodo Television, and the upcoming drama “Beyond Goodbye,” in which a woman falls in love with the man who received her late former fiance’s heart. The original show is written by Okada Yoshikazu, directed by Kurosaki Hiroshi and stars Arimura Kasumi and Sakaguchi Kentaro.

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