In a boost to its Japanese content ambitions, Netflix has signed a five-year strategic partnership with The Seven, a production company subsidiary of Tokyo Broadcasting System Holdings (TBS Holdings). Under the agreement, The Seven’s creative team “will produce multiple original live-action titles that will be exclusively available to Netflix,” the two partners said Tuesday. Financial terms were not disclosed. 

The new agreement builds on prior work Netflix has done both with TBS and  The Seven’s key creative team. Akira Morii, who leads development and production at The Seven, recently collaborated closely with the streamer as the driving producer behind its breakout Japanese original Alice in Borderland, which is set to return for a second season next month. Netflix has also picked up several TBS shows for its service, including Japan Sinks: People of Hope, The Future Diary, and Let’s Get Divorced.

Morii is already working with Netflix on several forthcoming Japanese originals — including Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead and Yu Yu Hakusho — and he will drive development for all of the live-action shows produced under the new partnership. Meanwhile, Tomofumi Akahane, The Seven’s visual effects producer (known for Assassination Classroom, The Confidence Man JP, among others), will helm the collaboration’s VFX needs. 

“The Seven’s mission is to deliver ‘compelling moments’ to audiences around the world with stories developed and produced in completely new ways, right here from Japan,” said The Seven’s president Tatsuo Sugai. “Today, our team is finally at the starting line. Joining us are producers with experience developing global titles, and a seasoned business team who will all have access to state of the art production facilities. In combination with our partnership with Netflix, we are full steam ahead to bring best-in-class stories to the world.” 

Added Morii: “The success of Alice in Borderland convinced us that stories from Japan can reach global audiences. It’s a great example that compelling visuals created with incredible attention to detail by Japanese local creators [can touch] the hearts of fans worldwide.”

The Seven team also has an agreement in place that will give it access to an expansive new production facility of over 10,000 square feet, currently under construction in Midoriyama Studio City in Yokohama, Japan. The facility is expected to be one of the largest and most up-to-date soundstages in the Tokyo metropolitan area, which is currently direly short on studio space amid a growing boom in local production. 

Midoriyama Studio City, Yokohama

Courtesy of Netflix

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