Netflix is further boosting its Japanese live-action content slate with a multi-picture deal with Tokyo-based studio Babel Label. The partnership gives Netflix exclusive access to multiple titles produced and created by Babel Label for the next five years.
The studio, a subsidiary launched in 2013 by Japanese media company CyberAgent, is home to creators such as writer-director Michihito Fujii, winner of best director and best film at the 2020 Japan Academy Awards for The Journalist. The film was later adapted by Netflix as a series in 2022.
Netflix has grown increasingly bullish on Japanese live-action content over the past few years. The second season of the streamer’s Japanese sci-fi thriller series Alice in Borderland set a new record as the company’s most-watched Japanese show ever, taking the top spot on Netflix’s global non-English TV list with 61.2 million viewing hours over its premiere weekend in late December 2022. Last week, the company kicked off its 2023 Japanese releases with the launch of The Makanai: Cooking for the Maiko House, the first streaming series from acclaimed Japanese auteur Hirokazu Kore-eda (Shoplifters, Broker).
“We really enjoy the shows that Babel Label produces with all their talented filmmakers like Fujii, who is a well of borderless, groundbreaking storytelling and stylized aesthetics,” says Kaata Sakamoto, vp content Japan at Netflix. “We hope that through this partnership, we can bring even more must-watch shows to our local live-action slate that our members all around the world will be able to enjoy.”
Added Hisato Yamada, Babel Label’s CEO: “We are delighted that this partnership deal will bring Babel Label’s works to the world. By developing projects together with Netflix, we are committed to develop great stories from Japan and produce them into global hits.”
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