Japanese Hit Series Midnight Diner Comes to Netflix 10/21


Midnight Diner depicts the ups and downs of life as they play out in a small diner in the backstreets of the bustling city center. Based on the manga series of the same title by Yaro Abe, the first TV drama series of Midnight Diner began in 2009 in Japan. Despite that it was broadcasted in a late-night time slot, the series had garnered increased attention with each episode. The second series was broadcast in 2011, and the third in 2014, with the movie Midnight Diner released in January 2015. Despite playing in only 80 theaters across Japan, it became a box office hit, taking in 250 million yen and bringing in an audience of more than 200,000. Its popularity has expanded to South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and other countries across Asia, inspiring domestic adaptations of the show. This amazing popularity has led to the second film Zoku, Shinya Shokudo (Midnight Diner Part 2) slated to be released in November 2016. In the runup to the film’s release, Netflix will begin streaming the new series of the TV drama series Midnight Diner on October 21 in 190 countries worldwide.


In both the movie and drama series versions, Kaoru Kobayashi stars as the diner’s owner, Master, who maintains a comfortable distance from his customers. Kobayashi inhabits the character with such a distinct presence that it is unthinkable now to picture anyone else in the role. The regular customers we have come to know and love are played by Mansaku Fuwa, Toshiki Ayata, Ken Mitsuishi, Yutaka Matsushige and Joe Odagiri, who will be joined by Mikako Tabe and Kimiko Yo, reprising their guest-starring roles in the first film. In addition, the new series will feature guest appearances by an array of talented actors including Reiko Kataoka, Koen Kondo, Yoshinori Okada, Ah-sung Ko, Mamiko Ito, Yuma Yamoto, Kotaro Shiga, Mitsuru Hirata, Kosuke Toyohara, B-Saku Sato, Hirofumi Arai, Yoshiyuki Morishita, Tamaki Ogawa, Toru Kazama, Junko Miyashita and Akito Inui, who bring new flavors to the world of Midnight Diner.


Director Joji Matsuoka, who won a Japanese Academy Award for Tokyo Tower: Mom and Me, and Sometimes Dad, has been part of the series since the first TV adaptation and painstakingly created the world of Midnight Diner. He is joined by spirited directors such as Nobuhiro Yamashita, Tatsushi Omori, Shotaro Kobayashi, Fumio Nomoto and Yasuhiro Yoshida. In addition, art director Mitsuo Harada, who has also been involved since the first drama series along with director Matsuoka, has transformed the 10,675-square-foot warehouse set into a backstreet easily mistaken for the real thing with his meticulous attention to every detail. Food stylist Nami Iijima, known for her work on the NHK drama series Gochisosan as well as other TV series and commercials, is responsible for the numerous dishes presented by Master. The featured dishes, such as the regular menu item pork miso soup set, tan-men, omelet rice, tonteki and other seasonal delicacies will make your mouth water. The original foodie drama series has gripped not only Japan, but also Asian countries. Enjoy Midnight Diner to your heart’s content when it is streamed from Netflix to the world.


The other star of the show: the appetizing dishes by Nami Iijima that will make you want to actually visit for some solo-drinking session


Along with his trademark phrase that goes, “as long as I have the ingredients I will make it”, Master cook various dishes. The series opens with tan-men, and moves on to serve omelet rice, tonteki, ham cutlets and other dishes that are far from high-end, but all are nostalgic and everyone is certain to have some memories they want to share tied to each dish. From everyday dishes to the seasonal New Year’s Eve noodles and o-sechi (New Year’s dishes), you will be visually entertained by each and every new episode.


Food stylist Nami Iijima was always ready backstage with the standard dishes: pork miso soup set, tarako, red Wiener sausages, pickles and other dishes for the regular customers on the set. Hot items were served hot and cold items were served cold for the right timing to be shot. Such meticulous attention to detail makes the magic happen, and even while actors are playing their role, they actually indulge in each delicay.  The genuine content can be seen through the screen, stimulating the appetites of the show’s viewers.