The image of Japanese Drama was completely absent overseas.
A girl walks through a dark forest, a steel door opens to reveal a huge AI, and the glasses she wears flicker. Then, with an alarm, light emanates from the tips of three towers, forming a ring.
Just in the first few minutes of the first episode of 17-Year-Old Empire (NHK Sogo), the mysterious texture of the images and sounds, like an anime or a drama, is enough to make one shudder.
“I am the person in charge of the Saturday drama slot. As a first step, I started the process of researching overseas for producers to find out what would be interesting to present to the world today.
I found it difficult to answer the question, “What do you think of when you hear the words ‘Japanese drama’? I was quite scared that this would be a task like throwing something out into space.
As we proposed various motifs to foreign countries, we became interested in Japanese technology and AI, and we decided to use the image of Japanese animation to aim for a fusion of animation and live-action with the keywords AI, science fiction, and Japanese animation.”
says Kei Kunha, who is in charge of overseeing the production of the film.
Joining the creative team is private TV drama producer Ayumi Sano (now at Kantele), who has worked on “Quartet” (TBS) and “Soyota and the Three Former Husbands” (Kantele), with a script by Reiko Yoshida of “K-ON” and “Violet Evergarden” fame. The series, “Youth, Politics, and Science Fiction Fantasy,” attracted much attention from drama and animation fans even before it began airing.
Interview and text by： Wakako Takou
Born in 1973. After working for a publishing company and an advertising production company, became a freelance writer. She interviews actors and others for weekly and monthly magazines, and writes drama columns for various media. His main publications include "All Important Things Are Taught by Morning Drama" (Ota Publishing), "KinKiKids: Owarinaki Michi" and "Hey!Say!JUMP: When 9 Tobira Open" (both from Earls Publishing).