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Netflix Signs 5-Year Contract with Japanese Producer Aki Isoyama

Netflix is venturing further into the Japanese entertainment landscape with a new exclusive partnership. The streaming giant announced on Thursday that it has signed a five-year deal with renowned Japanese producer Aki Isoyama to create and distribute a variety of series and films. This move aligns with Netflix’s ongoing strategy to bolster its investment in Japanese content.

Isoyama has been instrumental in the success of several recent Japanese dramas on Netflix. One such hit was the time-traveling comedy, Extremely Inappropriate!, which topped Netflix’s most-watched list in Japan for three consecutive weeks this spring. The series revolves around a single father mysteriously transported from 1986 to the present day, becoming a cultural sensation in Japan. The show explores Japan’s shift towards progressive ideals with its humorous portrayal of an anachronistic character who retains attitudes and habits from the 1980s, sparking nostalgic yet critical reflections on social change.

Another notable project from Isoyama and Netflix was Let’s Get Divorced, released globally last June. The drama, tinged with humor, depicts a seemingly perfect Japanese couple deciding to face the underlying issues in their marriage, challenging traditional norms of marital harmony in Japan.

"Isoyama’s work consistently captures the zeitgeist, posing deep questions while remaining captivating and charming," said Kaata Sakamoto, Netflix’s head of content in Japan. "She is a master storyteller who showcases Japan and its culture in an uplifting and entertaining way. We’re excited to see what new stories Aki Isoyama will create with Netflix, highlighting Japan’s allure to a global audience.”

Isoyama is already developing her first series under the new agreement. This upcoming project, described as featuring a "never-before-seen style," marks another collaboration with her long-term screenwriting partner, Kankuro Kudo, known for his work on Extremely Inappropriate and Let’s Get Divorced. Netflix plans to reveal more details about this project soon.

"Netflix offers many kinds of local stories, and I saw this partnership as an opportunity to add more uplifting works from Japan," Isoyama remarked. "I want to share a different side of modern Japan beyond period dramas and traditional imagery often seen in foreign films. With streaming amplifying our stories to global audiences, cultural barriers are breaking down, diversity and freedom in storytelling are increasing, and even Japan’s traditional business practices are evolving. I want to create optimistic, human-centered works that reflect today’s reality.”

This partnership with Isoyama is part of a broader trend for Netflix as it continues to forge alliances with leading Japanese creative talents. The company has previously teamed up with Tokyo-based creators like The Seven, responsible for Alice in Borderland and the adaptation of Yu Yu Hakusho. Additionally, Netflix has collaborated with Babel Label Studio, the team behind The Journalist. High-profile Japanese filmmakers, such as Hirokazu Kore-eda, who ventured into streaming with The Makanai, and veteran writer Yuji Sakamoto, who wrote the Netflix film In Love and Deep Water, are also part of Netflix’s expanding roster.

Source: Particle News