Groundbreaking “At 25:00, in Akasaka” Marks First International Boys’ Love Co-Production by TV Tokyo and GagaOOLala

  • Innovative International Co-Production: TV Tokyo and GagaOOLala launch the first-ever global Boys Love series, tapping into a manga with over 1.2 million sales.
  • Economic and Cultural Influence: Leveraging Japan’s $1.7 billion BL market, the series demonstrates the economic viability and extensive reach of niche genres.
  • Content Strategy and Fan Engagement: The series challenges traditional BL narratives, expanding its appeal and showcasing progressive trends in Asian media consumption.

View Press Event Video Recording:

Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UgLeWQKvzhg

Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JaSRLP82ZrM&t=879s

View Press Event Photos & Key Arts:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1u7hqf8gitehGrUw3pVesodgiP-VTLSj5?usp=sharing

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60 Seconds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIBQLGxGoL4

20 Seconds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ucs0Mxy3I0

TOKYO, April 16, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — In a groundbreaking partnership, GagaOOLala, the world’s largest LGBTQ+ streaming platform, has teamed up with TV Tokyo to launch “At 25:00, in Akasaka,” the first-ever co-produced Boys Love (BL) series. Adapted from a manga that has garnered over 1.2 million sales, this series is a significant milestone in BL cinema and television. The collaboration was celebrated at a press conference on April 15th at TV Tokyo’s headquarters, marking a major event in the industry.

The press conference featured the eagerly awaited public debut of leading actors Kiita Komagine and Taisuke Niihara, alongside co-stars Takuma Usa and Shoma Nagumo. The event was graced by distinguished guests including Hiroaki Saiki, Head of International Business at TV Tokyo, and Jay Lin, Founder and CEO of GagaOOLala, highlighting the project’s global appeal and influence.

Hiroaki Saiki shared insights into the collaboration, stating, “Since 2022, we have fostered a robust relationship with Portico Media. For ‘At 25:00, in Akasaka,’ we have utilized their insights from the earliest planning stages, making strategic adjustments to enhance the series’ accessibility for international audiences, especially in Taiwan, where GagaOOLala is based.” He added, “With digital platforms, content can now quickly reach a global audience. GagaOOLala’s extensive worldwide reach is a testament to its influence, and we are eager to partner with GagaOOLala to deliver high-quality content to fans around the globe.”

Jay Lin commented on the significance of Japanese BL dramas, observing their soaring popularity and the substantial 66% increase in new BL series from 2021 to 2022. “The strength of Japanese BL dramas lies in the robust BL economy here, generating over $1.7 billion annually—a testament to the collaborative efforts among manga publishers, streaming platforms, and TV networks,” said Lin.

He further emphasized the three major advantages of the JapanTaiwan collaboration: high economic value, superior production quality, and diverse thematic content. Lin highlighted how the partnership positively influences surrounding Asian countries and praised the intriguing premise of “At 25:00, in Akasaka,” which could captivate a broad audience beyond traditional BL fans. With the 30th Anniversary of Tokyo Pride and anticipated advancements in LGBTQ+ rights in Asia, there is a promising horizon for further acceptance and celebration of queer stories.

“The captivating element of ‘At 25:00, in Akasaka’ lies in its exploration of what happens if the BL characters truly harbored romantic feelings for each other,” Lin explained. “Would the fans mind? Would they even notice? Should the actors keep their relationship a secret, or might it endear them even more to their fans? This theme is incredibly fascinating as the core of BL is the fantasy of male-male romance, which has indeed catapulted many idols to mainstream fame.”

Kiita Komagine and Taisuke Niihara shared the unique challenges they faced during the production. Due to the series’ meta-structure, a “play within a play,” the actors were required to memorize two sets of scripts, presenting a formidable challenge. They also noted that filming kiss scenes was particularly memorable. To bring authenticity and charm to these moments, they consulted intimacy coordinators and sought advice on the most appealing angles for on-screen kisses, experimenting with various chin positions to capture the dreamy essence of the manga’s style, all aimed at delivering the most romantic and thrilling experiences to their fans.

The plot follows Yuki Shirasaki (Taisuke Niihara), a rookie actor who seizes his chance during an audition and lands a role opposite the popular senior actor, Asami Hayama (Kiita Komagine), in a BL drama. As Shirasaki grapples with the pressure of his first major role, Hayama proposes that they enter into a “relationship for the sake of their roles” until filming concludes. This pseudo-romantic involvement off-screen leads to a poignant and beautifully crafted love story that delves into the complexities of relationships within the entertainment industry.

GagaOOLala will begin exclusive global streaming, with the exception of Japan, starting April 18, 2024, at 11:30 PM GMT+8. New episodes will be released weekly on Thursdays.

Fact Sheet

Title: At 25:00, in Akasaka

Synopsis: When Shirosaki, an underdog stage actor gets cast in a gay drama series, he is surprised to learn that he will be working with Hayama, his charming clubmate from university who is now a popular actor. During production, Shirosaki realizes that he will need some inspiration and goes to find some where the local gay people hang out. What he didn’t expect was to meet Hayama there, which eventually leads to a drunken kiss. He soon finds himself confused and conflicted about his feelings as he struggles to keep his emotions contained on-screen…

Category: Gay, Romance, Japan

Season/Episode: First Season, 10 episodes in total

Time Length: 30 minutes / per episode

GagaOOLala Global Premiere: April 18, 2024

Languages in: Japanese

Subtitles in: Traditional & Simplified Chinese/English/Bahasa Indonesia/Spanish/Thai

Production Company: TV Tokyo, The icon

Producers: Satoshi Egawa (TV Tokyo), Takaya Chiba (TV Tokyo), Ayano Kimura (The icon), Miyako Furubayashi (The icon)

Copyright: © “25 o’clock, in Akasaka” Production Committee

Social Media:

GagaOOLala

TV Tokyo

Instagram @ gagaoolala.official

@25ji_akasakade

Facebook @ Gagaoolala

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TikTok @ gagaoolala.official

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X/Twitter @ GagaOOLala

@25ji_akasakade

Offical Hashtag: #25時赤坂で

YouTube @ GagaOOLalaOfficial

Official Website

https://www.tv-tokyo.co.jp/25jiakasakade/

Press Contact:

GagaOOLala/Portico Media

TV Tokyo

Global Public Relations and Brand Lead

Sherry Liu

sherry@porticomedia.com

TV Tokyo Promotion Department

Natsuki Hamada

n-hamada@staff.tv-tokyo.co.jp

Tomo Watanabe   

watanabe777@staff.tv-tokyo.co.jp

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