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TV Review: ‘Hibana’

23 June 2016 1:46 PM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Making people laugh is no joke in “Hibana,” a profoundly reflective and achingly tender look at Japan’s vibrant, cutthroat comedy scene. Adapted from Matayoshi Naoki’s bestseller and helmed by five filmmakers, the 10-episode Netflix Original Series chronicles the decade-long trajectories of two manzai artists, whose careers are strewn with more tears than laughter. Made with an exquisitely cinematic eye “Hibana” is a polished product that targets a discerning audience from among the 190 territories where it aired.

The series was shot in chronological order, covering one year per episode, with festival regular Ryuichi Hiroki (“Kabukicho Love Hotel”) as supervising director and contributor on three episodes, while the remaining duties are split between helmers Kazuya Shiraishi, Shuichi Okita, Yasunori Mouri, and Shinji Kuma. Despite the directors’ diverse styles, the work boasts remarkable continuity, giving the Netflix-Yoshimoto Kogyo collaboration greater artistic cache than Netflix’s previous popcorn co-productions with Fuji TV: “Atelier” and “Terrace.”

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- Maggie Lee

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1 item from 2016


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