Amazon unveils first Korean original series

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Amazon has announced its first Korean original series, a live-action drama based on popular Japanese property The Idolm@ster, developed by Bandai Namco Entertainment.

The Korean series, TheIdolM@ster.KR, will stream exclusively on Amazon Prime Video beginning in early 2017 and will be localised into several languages, including Japanese and English.

Amazon Prime members will able to watch the series simultaneously with the Korean TV broadcast through the Amazon Video app.

Originally an arcade game launched in 2005, The Idolm@ster has also been released in video and smartphone game versions, been adapted into anime and manga and generated live performance concerts and hit singles. Along the way, the fictional idols have gained legions of fans in Japan and across Asia.

The live-action Korean drama series follows a group of young women as they embark on a career in the entertainment industry and stars Korean idols, along with other Japanese and Thai hopefuls.

James Farrell, head of content, Asia Pacific Prime Video, described the series as “the perfect combination of Japanese idol culture and Korean drama power.”

Yozo Sakagami, series supervising producer, Bandai Namco Entertainment, said: “The Idolm@ster 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.”

Amazon recently announced a slate of Japanese originals, including Kamen Rider Amazons, Happy Marriage, Uchimura Summers Second and Crayon Shin-chan: Alien vs. Shinnosuke.