Viu Continues Race for Korean Drama and Expands in Japanese Anime

Multi-territory Asian streaming platform Viu is to launch four new anime titles and six Korean dramas as part of its second quarter slate update. The moves keep up fierce competition in the region for both categories of content.

The four Japanese animated series are season five of shonen anime title “My Hero Academia”; “The Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime: The Slime Diaries,” a spin-off from “That Time I Reincarnated as a Slime” series; gag-comedy isekai title “I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level”; and “Zombie Land Saga Revenge,” a zombified take on the idol genre. They will be available in selected territories within 24 hours of launch in Japan.

The company is launching romance drama Doom at Your Service, premiering in May. Produced by CJ ENM / Dragon Studio, it is labeled as the second Viu Original series hailing from Korea. It tells the story of a web editor with a terminal illness unintentionally summons up a god who can grant her wish to live as she pleases for 100 days. It stars A-lister Park Bo Young (“Strong Woman Do Bong Soon”) and singer-actor Seo In Gook and Lee Soo Hyuk. The series is directed by Kwon Young Il (“Suits, “Search: WWW” and “My Unfamiliar Family”).

Other Korean shows on Viu are supernatural drama “Sell Your Haunted House starring veteran Jang Na Ra and K-popper Jung Yong Hwa returning to the screen after military service; a third season of “The Penthouse,” in which three women fueled by revenge, greed and desire fight for a symbolic property in Hera Palace;

From June, the platform will also carry a fourth season of “Voice 4,” in which experts solve urgent real-time incidents received through emergency hotline calls. The new season will be set in Jeju Island, known for its tourist attractions. Viu also has legal drama “Devil’s Judgement” which centers on a judge who does not believe in judgment and makes rulings to satisfy the public, until an assistant judge starts to question his motives.

Viu has already begun streaming Chinese historical action romance series “The Long Ballad” in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. Adapted from a popular Chnese comic, and starring leading Xinjiang actor Dilraba Dilmurat, the series follows a princess whose family was murdered in a coup. To exact revenge on the new emperor, she takes the guise of a man and enlists in the army.

It has also been reported that Viu has other originals in production in other parts of its region. These include: “Black,” and “Keluarga Baha Don” in Malaysia; “Still” in The Philippines; a new version of “Ugly Betty” in South Africa; and “Assalamualaikum Calon Imam” in Indonesia.

Rights to Japanese (and Korean) animation are increasingly being contested by global and regional streamers, with many trying to catch up with Netflix. Sony may also make a leap in the category if its bid for Crunchyroll is allowed to go ahead by the U.S. Justice Department.

The competition for Korean series rights is even hotter. Chinese streamer iQIYI has ventured into Korean production for play outside mainland China, while unconfirmed reports say that Disney Plus has made an entry into the category with a high-priced pickup. Netflix has said that it expects to invest close to $500 million on Korean content in the current calendar year.



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