[KineJapan] Netflix / Hibana

Japanese Cinema Discussion Forum kinejapan at lists.osu.edu
Sun Jun 12 22:26:44 EDT 2016

Dear Alex,

Thank you for raising this very interesting topic, Alex. I couldn’t make your discussion with the Hibana team in Frankfurt.  I wonder if you touched on some of the points below:

I hope someone will correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t Hibana the first non-English language serial to be given a global release with coordinated subtitling in so many languages with simultaneous release.  The import of this is large, and I don’t simply mean on when and how subtitling will be handled in the future.  Recently attending the  NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) show in Las Vegas brought home to me the many radical shifts in subtitling workflow that are on the near horizon.  But, the re-establishment of some vertical integration in the moving image entertainment industry—and the use of Japanese cultural content for this massive distribution to a niche market—are what make the product of essential study.

What interests me most, though, is the selection of Yoshimoto Koyo, and not a more “conventional,” non-studio aligned creative team. This must have elicited very strong reactions among the studios and among more cinematically self-identified independents, and that’s the place I wish the Japan Times article had gone.  Perhaps the writer did try that avenue and was unable to get something attributable for the article. Regardless, two central questions lie in Netlfix’s decision to experiment with a Japanese production for this (fairly) new model of targeted contents production and how Netflix will play with / against the established cinema production studios  in Japan and other Asian markets.

With best wishes,

From: KineJapan <kinejapan-bounces+jmhall=pomona.edu at lists.osu.edu<mailto:kinejapan-bounces+jmhall=pomona.edu at lists.osu.edu>> on behalf of Japanese Cinema Discussion Forum via KineJapan <kinejapan at lists.osu.edu<mailto:kinejapan at lists.osu.edu>>
Reply-To: Japanese Cinema Discussion Forum <kinejapan at lists.osu.edu<mailto:kinejapan at lists.osu.edu>>
Date: Saturday, June 11, 2016 at 12:14 AM
To: Japanese Cinema Discussion Forum <kinejapan at lists.osu.edu<mailto:kinejapan at lists.osu.edu>>
Subject: Re: [KineJapan] Netflix / Hibana

Thanks, Alex.  But Netflix has made this series available only to online streaming subscribers in the US, not to BluRay/DVD subscribers thus far.  In the past I found that Netflix had more older titles available through their BluRay/DVD services.

Bill Thompson
wct1 at columbia.edu<mailto:wct1 at columbia.edu>

On Fri, Jun 10, 2016 at 7:32 AM, Japanese Cinema Discussion Forum via KineJapan <kinejapan at lists.osu.edu<mailto:kinejapan at lists.osu.edu>> wrote:
Hello All,

just in case some don't know about this, Hibana, the first TV series produced by Netflix Japan is now available for viewing in all Netflix territories.

The series is based on the bestseller by Matayoshi Naoki, and was supervised by Hiroki Ryuichi – who also directed three of the ten episodes.

At Nippon Connection (where Hibana also screened) I moderated a talk event with the two main actors and director Kuma Shinji, and they talked a bit about how the series was designed around Hiroki's vision- and indeed it has a strong "Hiroki" feel to it. The series is pretty incomparable to conventional Japanese TV dorama on many levels, and feels a lot more cinematic than most film from Japan does at the moment. I found it a very promising start for Netflix Japan's production activities, and the distribution route creates all kind of possibilities. It can be a bit slow at times but it's definitely worth watching to the end (some very unexpected things happen).

Googling one of the other directors I just notices that the Japan Times had an artice on it yesterday:


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