Amazon is developing a live-action Korean drama series based on Bandai Namco’s The Idolmaster series — the pop music rhythm game and idol-raising sim — that will stream exclusively on Amazon Prime Video sometime in early 2017.
Dubbed The Idolmaster.kr, the Korean spin on the 11-year-old Japanese music game franchise will follow a group of young Korean, Japanese and Thai women "as they embark on a career in the entertainment industry, and depicts their sweat and tears, their hopes and dreams." The Korean Idolmaster drama will be translated into multiple languages, including English and Japanese, and air globally.
"We are excited to be collaborating with Bandai Namco Entertainment and Interactive Media Mix (IMX) to bring the first Korean Amazon Original series to Amazon Prime members globally," said James Farrell, head of content for Asia Pacific Prime Video, in a release. "THE IDOLM@STER.KR is the perfect combination of Japanese idol culture and Korean drama power. The idols include K-Pop sirens as well as Japanese and other international singers, and we’re confident that ‘THE IDOLM@STER’ fans and viewers alike all over the world will become addicted to watching their careers bloom."
"It’s the story of girls overcoming problems they experience in society, maturing as idols, and making their dreams come true," said Yozo Sakagami, series supervising producer at Bandai Namco Entertainment, in a release. "I hope the unique intimacy of live-action drama brings not only Korean fans, but global fans to cheer on the girls."
Amazon’s announcement of its Idolmaster Korean drama comes just a few months after the company announced a slate of original programming for Amazon Prime Video in Japan, including Kamen Riders Amazon, Hapimari and Crayon Shin-chan: Alien vs. Shinnosuke.
The Idolmaster series kicked off in 2005 with the arcade release of The Idolmaster. Since then, more than a dozen console and mobile games have been released, as have multiple seasons of anime. The most recent game in the franchise, The Idolmaster Platinum Stars, was released for PlayStation 4 in Japan last month.
Correction: This post has been updated to reflect the number of episodes of The Idolmaster anime that have aired over the past decade.