Japan-Taiwan BL Series ‘At 25.00 in Akasaka’ Set by TV Tokyo and GagaOOLala

Leading Japanese broadcaster TV Tokyo and Taiwan-based LGBT streaming platform GagaOOLala will this month release “At 25.00 in Akasaka,” a live-action drama series in the popular Boys Love (BL) genre.

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Based on a popular manga by Natsuno Hiroko, the underlying comic has sold over 1.2 million copies. The series explores the romance between a renowned actor and an aspiring talent, cast as leads in a BL drama that wins the hearts of audiences worldwide. The lead roles are portrayed by Niihara Taisuke and Komagine Kiita.

Credit for the origins of the BL genre is contested between Japan, Taiwan and Thailand. But it has now become a significant cultural phenomenon in East Asia.

The BL market was worth $1.85 million in 2020 in Japan. And some $111 million of foreign investment went into producing Thai BL content in 2021, TGV Tokyo and GagaOOLala said without quoting sources. They also calculate that 220 BL and Girl’s Love (GL) shows were produced in Asia in 2022.

“Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand emerge as major content hubs, contributing to a genre that challenges stereotypes and fosters global acceptance of LGBTQ individuals through powerful storytelling,” the companies said. “Taiwan’s commitment is evidenced by a significant $300 million investment from its National Development Fund to support international co-productions, with a keen focus on queer content as a key aspect of its soft power strategy.”

“We envision ‘At 25:00, in Akasaka’ as the inaugural venture in a series of impactful collaborations,” said Jay Lin, the founder and CEO of GagaOOLala.

The companies plan a major launch event in Tokyo on April 15 and will begin releasing the show from April 18. GagaOOLala will be the exclusive global streaming platform, outside of Japan, with new episodes released weekly on Thursdays.

“It’s an honor to see my solitary creations reach everyone in a new form, enriched by the talents of a dedicated production team and cast. Witnessing ‘At 25:00, in Akasaka’ transform from paper to a vibrant three-dimensional world is both surprising and thrilling,” Natsuno said.

“This collaboration, including the readers, has been a valuable journey. I hope the reimagined piece brings joy to many,” she added, expressing anticipation for the audience’s reception of this collaborative endeavor,” she added.

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