Netflix shares the Featurette for ‘The Makanai: Cooking for the Maiko House’, the first Netflix series by acclaimed creator Hirokazu Kore-eda.
Released on January 12, the series has remained in Japan’s TV Top 10 for six consecutive days. It also entered the Top 10 in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, and Israel, attracting attention not only in Japan but around the world.
Acclaimed creator and Palme D’Or winner Hirokazu Kore-eda serve as showrunner, director, and writer for the nine-episode series, co-produced by Netflix, Story Inc., and BUN-BUKU Inc.
The series is based on the manga MAIKO-SAN CHI NO MAKANAI-SAN by Aiko Koyama (Weekly Shonen Sunday). Set in the Geiko district of Kyoto, the protagonist Kiyo becomes a Makanai (person who cooks meals) at a house where Maiko (apprentice Geiko) lives together. The story depicts the everyday life of Kiyo and Maiko Sumire, her childhood friend who came with her from Aomori to Kyoto, amid a vibrant world of Geiko and Maiko courtesans and delicious food.
The comic won the 65th Shogakukan Manga Award and is a best-seller with over 2.7 million copies sold.
Alongside Kore-eda, Genki Kawamura(Confessions, Villain, Your Name, MIRAI) served as a producer. Up-and-coming directors such as Megumi Tsuno(Ten Years Japan), Hiroshi Okuyama (Jesus), and Takuma Sato(Any Crybabies Around?) individual episodes.
Nana Mori plays Kiyo, the Makanaiat the Maiko House, and Natsuki Deguchi plays Sumire, who comes from Aomori with Kiyo and is believed to be a “once-a-century talent” as a Maiko. Aju Makita plays Ryoko, the high school daughter of the manager of the MaikoHouse. Keiko Matsuzaka plays Chiyo, the previous manager of the MaikoHouse who still plays a key role in its operation. Ai Hashimoto plays Momoko, the most popular Geiko. Mayu Matsuoka plays Yoshino, a former peer of Momoko who decides to return to the path of Geiko. Takako Tokiwa plays Azusa, the manager of the MaikoHouse and Ryoko’s mother.