Live-action Korean drama series based on popular Japanese ‘THE [email protected]’ franchise to debut early 2017

SEOUL—August 25, 2016—After the overwhelmingly positive response from customers following the announcement of more than a dozen Japanese originals, Amazon is pleased to announce its first Korean Amazon Original Series—THE [email protected]—a live-action drama series based on the popular Japanese content THE [email protected] series developed by Bandai Namco Entertainment. The series will stream exclusively on Amazon Prime Video beginning in early 2017 and will be localized into several languages, including Japanese and English. Amazon Prime members can watch the series simultaneously with the Korean TV broadcast through the Amazon Video App for streaming or download on Fire tablets, Fire TV Stick, Amazon Fire TV, iPhones, iPads, Android phones and tablets, select smart TVs, game consoles and online at www.amazon.co.jp/primevideo.

Since its debut as an arcade game in 2005, 'THE [email protected]’ series has metamorphosed into video and smartphone game versions, been adapted into anime and manga, and even generated live-performance concerts and hit singles. Along the way, the fictional idols have gained legions of fans in Japan and across Asia. Now the franchise is to become a live-action Korean drama series. THE [email protected], set in the world of Korean entertainment production, stars Korean idols of course, as well as other Japanese and Thai hopefuls. Like the original game, the drama follows a group of young women as they embark on a career in the entertainment industry, and depicts their sweat and tears, their hopes and dreams.

“We are excited to be collaborating with Bandai Namco Entertainment and Interactive Media Mix (IMX) to bring the first Korean Amazon Original series to Amazon Prime members globally,” said James Farrell, Head of Content, Asia Pacific Prime Video. “THE [email protected] is the perfect combination of Japanese idol culture and Korean drama power. The idols include K-Pop sirens as well as Japanese and other international singers, and we’re confident that ‘THE [email protected]’ fans and viewers alike all over the world will become addicted to watching their careers bloom.”

“Born as a game and beloved by many fans in Japan ‘THE [email protected]’ is about to evolve again with IMX” said Yozo Sakagami, Series Supervising Producer, Bandai Namco Entertainment. “’THE [email protected]’ has previously only existed in the fictional world, but now, in a fascinating experiment, it will become a live-action TV drama for the first time. It’s the story of girls overcoming problems they experience in society, maturing as idols, and making their dreams come true. I hope the unique intimacy of live-action drama brings not only Korean fans, but global fans to cheer on the girls. Personally, I can’t wait to see the drama series completed.”

“Since the foundation of our company name, IMX, we’ve aimed at becoming a two-way content business between Japan and Korea that mixes a variety of media. This project fuses the fantastic Japanese intellectual property ‘THE [email protected]’ with Korean drama and K-Pop that is enjoyed around the world,” said Sohn Il-Hyung, IMX Representative Director. “In addition, with Amazon distributing, the show can be seen by a global audience. I’m really delighted to work on this project that fulfills our dreams. What makes the project unique is that, rather than have actresses play the idols, girls who want to become idols play themselves in this mix of reality and fiction. We hope that producers all over the world will cheer on our idols as they grow.”

Amazon is investing heavily in the development of original series for Prime Video, including Japanese dramas, comedies, documentaries, kids and variety shows. Amazon has announced 15 new Japanese Amazon Originals, including Kamen Rider Amazons, PRIME JAPAN, RAKUEN, Hapimari (Happy Marriage), Uchimura Summers Second, Crayon Shin-chan: Alien vs. Shinnosuke, Baby Steps and more available for Prime members in Japan. To learn more, visit: www.amazon.co.jp/PrimeVideo.

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