October 12, 2022

Sleepeeer Hit!

A worthy companion piece to Bakuman, the live-action Sleepeeer Hit! [sic] is a informative and entertaining guide to the manga publishing business in Japan (the title translates as "Print the Second Edition!").

While Bakuman focuses on the mangaka, Sleepeeer Hit! explores the manga industry mainly from the perspective of the editors, publishers, and booksellers. It provides an insightful look at how story and art, and art and commerce, are inextricably intertwined.

The series leads us through the life and death of a manga, from acquisition to cancelation, including a poignant scene in which the company president takes two of the new hires on a pilgrimage to the warehouse where unsold books and magazines are being shredded.

The outstanding cast includes Yutaka Matsushige (Solitary Gourmet), Joe Odagiri (Midnight Diner), and stars Haru Kuroki (Hanako's sister in Hanako and Anne) as an energetic novice editor.

The series is free on Rakuten Viki (ad-supported 480p resolution). The ad-free HD standard tier is $4.99/month or $49.99/year. There is also a premium tier for recent releases.

The Japanese language programming on Rakuten Viki mostly eschews anime. It features live-action adaptations of popular BL and shoujo manga, with a few series and movies in the mystery and food genres, plus a couple of quirky human melodramas like Sleepeeer Hit!

Though as you might expect with live-action television from Asia, K-drama dominates the catalog.

Rakuten Viki is available online and has apps for the major streaming services.

Related links

Bakuman (review)
Rakuten Viki
Sleepeeer Hit!

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