In November of 2019, Netflix released Queer Eye: We’re in Japan, Netflix’s Queer Eye spinoff series. This four-part series follows Karamo, Tan, Jonathan, Bobby, and Antoni as they travel to Japan to help four individuals who need some life intervention from the fab five.
Queer Eye: We’re in Japan follows the usual format: an introduction to each of the participants and an explanation into why they have been nominated for a life remodel. Then Antoni helps him or her learn to cook a meal, Karamo gives them life advice, Bobby redesigns a home or a room, and Jonathan gives him or her a beauty makeover.
This Queer Eye series strays a bit from the original because the fab five must rely on translators to communicate with most of the show’s contestants. Despite the additional language and subtitles, Queer Eye: We’re in Japan is very much cut from the same cloth as the original. Queer Eye: We’re in Japan uses some key elements to make this edition just as heartwarming, inspiring, and entertaining as the Netflix original.
Queer Eye: We’re In Japan Is Endearing
In Queer Eye: We’re in Japan’s episodes, we meet Yoko, Kan, Kae, and Makoto. They each have a gut-wrenching and powerful story to tell. The series starts with a major heart tug with Yoko’s story, a nurse who opened a hospice after her sister died. As she focuses on taking care of her patients, she neglects her own life and looks down on her own image as a woman. Each story has some somber, but inspiring elements. The series helps audiences understand, empathize, and root for these four individuals. You want the fab five to inspire them to live their truth.
Queer Eye: We’re In Japan Addresses Cultural Differences
Instead of shying away from the fact that this series is set in Japan, and trying to Americanize it, the Netflix series embraces the Japanese culture, even having Antoni teach the four contestants how to cook dishes important to their culture and life. Queer Eye: We’re in Japan also tries to act respectful when dealing with another culture by not poking fun or labeling things as odd because it doesn’t fit with Western views, traditions, or beliefs. Instead, it discusses the differences to try to understand them.
Queer Eye: We’re in Japan Includes Japanese Celebrities
Kiko Mizuhara comes along for most of the journey; she helps the fab five explore Japan, as well as adding her own insight to help reinvent these four individuals' lives. Kiko is a model and actress who is very popular in Japan. Some of the contestants were more shocked to see her helping them than the Queer Eye guys. Makeup artist and Buddhist monk Kodo Nishimura makes a guest appearance on “Crazy in Love.” He helps Kan feel freer to embrace his sexuality and being different in Japan. Comedian Naomi Watanabe brings some comedy to “The Ideal Woman” as she and the Fab Five help Kae embrace her curves. For Americans watching Queer Eye: We’re in Japan who were unfamiliar with the three before, they get introduced to three new fascinating celebrities.
Queer Eye: We’re in Japan Is Short, Sweet, & Lighthearted
Instead of the usual eight episodes, Queer Eye: We’re in Japan is only four 50-minute episodes, making it an easy show to binge in one weekend. Like the main Queer Eye, this spinoff series lets the boys be the boys. They find themselves trying judo, creating romantic posters, and even using their sexpertise to help a couple get their groove back. Queer Eye: We’re in Japan is very much the same emotional junk food that fans of the original love.
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