Masi Oka Bringing a J-Drama to the US

Posted by Tim Sheehy on Apr 12, 2012 in Japanese TV, Television |


I’m actually really excited about this. Former Heroes star-turned-producer Masi Oka plans to adapt Keizoku 2: SPEC for US television. For those who might not be familiar with the series, Keizoku 2: SPEC is a Japanese television drama about a pair of detectives who investigate cases often labeled unsolvable using special abilities. In a sense, it kind of reminds me of Sherlock or House M.D. but with a bit more intrigue. As far as I’m aware, this will mark the first time a Japanese drama is being adapted by Hollywood, so its kind of a big deal. The American cast should be announced later this May.

Live-action Japanese television dramas are a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine. I know Korean dramas are bit more of the rage right now, but the fact of the matter is that I just find Japanese dramas easier to follow. Unlike their Korean counterparts, Japanese dramas tend to rarely last more than a season, with only ten to twelve episode runs — usually half the number of the average Korean drama. While some might consider that annoying, I prefer that sense of closure most Korean and American television programs tend to lack. In addition, Japanese names tend to be easier to keep track of, but I think that’s really a matter of personal preference.

Still, this is really great news for anyone who’s fond of Japanese dramas in general. Although the first Keizoku aired in 1999, the recent series Keizoku 2: SPEC proved to be far more popular, even leading to a feature film that just hit Japanese theaters this month. Let’s hope Oka can do the show justice, and maybe, just maybe it could pave the way for more adaptations in the years to come.

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