Over the course of the next year, Disney+ plans to add a various Japanese films and series, spanning a variety of genres and eras, to its platform.

Credit: Screaming Rant

In this article, we look into and introduce the Japanese dramas and documentaries that are coming to Disney+ over the next year.

1. A Town Without Seasons

Credit: TMDB

“A Town Without Seasons”, by Kankuro Kudo, finally premieres on Disney+ Star on August 9th. Kudo plays the roles of planner, director, and screenwriter in this emotional drama based on Shugoro Yamamoto’s novel “A Town Without Seasons.” The story takes place in a makeshift city, where the lives of its inhabitants weave a tapestry of joy and sorrow.

While this is the novel’s second adaptation for the screen, the first being a 1970 film by Akira Kurosawa, Kudo’s version breathes new life into the cult favourite.

A work of painstaking efforts by Kankuro Miyato

The plot revolves around the residents of this city, which was rebuilt after the Nani disaster twelve years ago. People have found a glimmer of hope in the midst of their hectic lives here, in the aftermath of tragedy. Shinsuke Tanaka, a.k.a Hanjo, arrives in this city as a man devoid of dreams and ambitions. However, fate takes an unusual turn. Hanjo rediscovers hope and purpose in the lives of the city’s residents, eventually leading to his own life’s rebuilding.

Latest film featured an all-star cast

Masatoshi Nagase, who gained prominence for his role in “New Kamen Rider,” gives an outstanding performance as the lead character, Shinsuke Tanaka. Tatsuya, a pivotal character who supports Hanjo at the heart of the story, is played by Taiyo Nagano. Meanwhile, Daichi Watanabe plays Okabe, Tatsuya’s teammate and the son of a liquor store owner.

Story Background

“A Town Without Seasons” takes place in a city where eighteen special households have been relocated due to the “Nani” disaster. These residents, who are struggling to make ends meet, face eviction if their monthly income exceeds 120,000 yen. Hanjo, desperate for work, accepts a position that pays up to 10,000 yen for reporting on the lives of the city’s residents. He had no idea that this experience would have such a profound impact on him, as he began to empathise with their perseverance in the face of adversity.

The story unfolds as rumours of the demolition of the temporary housing spread throughout the city, capturing viewers’ hearts in its emotional embrace. “A Town Without Seasons” by Kankuro Kudo is a work of heartfelt dedication and creative brilliance. This drama is a testament to its creator’s boundless talent, with its compelling narrative and powerful performances. As they embark on this modern journey of hope and humanity, audiences will have a poignant and unforgettable experience.

2. NCT 127: The Lost Boys

Credit: NME

In 2016, a group of ambitious boys bid farewell to their childhood and fearlessly stepped onto the world stage, basking in the radiant spotlight of fame. Amidst the incessant flashes of cameras, hectic interview schedules, and the unwavering support of loyal fans, NCT 127, the most anticipated rookie group of recent years, officially emerged. Now, in the heat of this summer, they momentarily pause their relentless journey to reflect on their remarkable rise to becoming one of Korea’s most representative boy bands. “NCT 127: The Lost Boys,” the latest original documentary on Disney+, offers audiences worldwide a chance to revisit the years of hard work and transformation that led them to where they stand today. The documentary will exclusively premiere on Disney+ on August 30th.

Four Chapters

The upcoming documentary, “NCT 127: The Lost Boys,” is divided into four distinct chapters. It features NCT 127 members Taeyong, Johnny, Taeil, Yuta, Doyoung, Jaehyun, Jungwoo, Mark, and Haechan. Together, they candidly share their individual stories of growth, shaped by diverse backgrounds and values. The documentary delves into their lesser-known childhood experiences, their rapid rise to international stardom, and the untold struggles and tears they’ve endured over the years. Each episode of the documentary focuses on two to three members. Throughout, they relay their deepest emotions and stories that have been hiding within their hearts. Furthermore, fans can look forward to exclusive performances and interviews, eagerly anticipated by Disney+ viewers.

The documentary paints a comprehensive picture of NCT 127’s journey, revealing the highs and lows of their career. From their humble beginnings to their current global success, “The Lost Boys” shows us the true essence of what it means to be an idol in the competitive world of K-pop. It’s a celebration of their achievements and a heartfelt tribute to the unwavering support of their fans; whose love and dedication have played an integral role in their success.

“NCT 127: The Lost Boys” is a must-watch for both NCTzens and fans of K-pop alike. It offers an intimate look into the lives of these talented young men, reminding us of the dreams and aspirations they had as boys and the remarkable journey they’ve embarked on to fulfill them. Whether you’re a dedicated fan or a newcomer to the world of NCT 127, this documentary promises to be a captivating and inspiring experience for all.

3. Yuzuru Hanyu Ice Story 2023 “Gift”

Since officially retiring after the previous Winter Olympics, Yuzuru Hanyu’s departure has left many of his adoring fans feeling melancholic. Despite the fact that he no longer competes internationally, he continues to contribute to and promote figure skating in a variety of ways. The upcoming Disney+ documentary “Yuzuru Hanyu Ice Story 2023 Gift” is a fitting tribute to his enduring legacy.

The documentary, which is set to premiere on July 14th, is personally produced by Yuzuru Hanyu and skilfully directed by renowned choreographer MIKIKO. It depicts Yuzuru Hanyu’s first solo performance, “GIFT,” in detail, encompassing the entire creative process. In addition to the two-and-a-half-hour performance, the documentary takes an unprecedented approach. Throughout, we can see behind-the-scenes footage and intimate interviews before and after the performance. This film promises to show a different side of Yuzuru Hanyu. Also, to provide a deeper understanding of his journey to realise his ice skating dreams.

An Immersive Viewing Experience

Director MIKIKO excels in fusing technology with art, elevating performances to a whole new level. Coupled with the accompaniment of the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, “GIFT” becomes an extraordinary spectacle of figure skating. Even if we are unable to witness the event in person, Disney+ allows us to immerse ourselves in the electrifying atmosphere. Alongside exclusive interviews with Yuzuru Hanyu, this documentary provides an opportunity for fans and non-fans alike to gain a deeper appreciation for the artistry of figure skating.

The documentary’s focus on Yuzuru Hanyu’s first solo performance reveals his growth as an artist. That, and his determination to constantly push the boundaries of his craft. As we witness the passion and dedication he pours into each step and jump, we gain insight into the heart and soul of this remarkable figure skater. “GIFT” represents not only a milestone in his career but also a celebration of his indomitable spirit.

For Yuzuru Hanyu’s devoted fans, this documentary is a precious gift that captures the essence of his mesmerizing performances. For those new to the world of figure skating, it serves as a captivating introduction, showcasing the beauty and complexity of the sport. Through “Yuzuru Hanyu Ice Story 2023 Gift,” audiences can witness the artistry and emotion that define Yuzuru Hanyu’s extraordinary journey in figure skating.

4. House Of The Owl

The highly anticipated Japanese drama “House of the Owl” premieres in the fall of 2023. The drama features an outstanding cast, including veteran actor Mitsuru Tanaka and up-and-coming performer Makoto Nitta. The protagonist of “House of the Owl” delves into the life of a celebrity problem solver. He often finds himself saving politicians and business leaders from embarrassing situations. Frequently, his family is caught up in the chaos. And although he is widely respected for his abilities, he is currently facing the greatest challenge of his life.

In this riveting drama, Mitsuru Tanaka and Makoto Nitta play father and son for the first time. Actor Mitsuru Tanaka is also a skilled dancer, giving him a unique perspective on the entertainment industry. However, we look forward to the performance of Makoto Nitta; a handsome young actor who is set to appear in live-action adaptations such as “One Piece” and “Saint Seiya”. This heightens excitement for their potential chemistry on screen. The audience is in for a treat as they bring this riveting story to life through their performances.

Sociopolitical Drama

In “House of the Owl,” the protagonist’s extraordinary skills weave together an intriguing mix of political intrigue and personal drama. As he takes on high-stakes cases, he must not only defend the honour of powerful people. Additionally, he must also deal with an incident that has the potential to alter Japan’s entire political system. The intrusion of the protagonist’s family into the conflict adds a new level of intensity. It is full of emotion and drama as it delves deeper into the web of power, secrets, and moral dilemmas.

The pairing of Mitsuru Tanaka and Makoto Nitta is exciting. This is because their distinctive skills  are likely to enhance each other and make for a more compelling drama. We are definitely looking forward to their performances and the storyline of “House Of The Owl”. It is sure to be a compelling and thought-provoking look at the shadowy side of politics; and the measures taken to keep its secrets safe.

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