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Hit Netflix reboot 'Queer Eye' casting gaze on Japan in new episodes

From left, Jonathan Van Ness, Tan France, Antoni Porowski, Bobby Berk and Karamo Brown will perform lifestyle makeovers on four Japanese people in Tokyo in February, for the hit original Emmy-winning show "Queer Eye." (Photo courtesy of Netflix/Kyodo)

LOS ANGELES (Kyodo) -- The "Fab Five" from Netflix's hit reality series "Queer Eye" will take their makeover talents to Tokyo this year for special episodes, the media streaming company has said.

The five TV lifestyle consultants -- Karamo Brown, Bobby Berk, Jonathan Van Ness, Tan France and Antoni Porowski -- will learn from Tokyo "tastemakers" about Japanese culture, including cuisine, fashion and design, to transform each participant seeking help via the show.

"The Fab Five are truly the ambassadors of self-care and compassion that the world needs now more than ever," the show's creator, David Collins, said in a statement on Wednesday. "Filming in Japan is a wonderful opportunity for us to work with four deserving heroes that will help showcase the incredible traditions and customs of their country."

Each of the four episodes of the Emmy Award-winning show is expected to star one Japanese man or woman "hero" representing one of a number of backgrounds and chosen from a large applicant pool.

The unscripted program, which found success as a reboot of "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" that ran for five seasons beginning 2003, casts a person in need of a lifestyle makeover in each episode.

"Queer Eye" currently has two seasons -- both filmed in the American state of Georgia -- available on Netflix, with a third that takes place in Kansas City, Missouri, expected to premiere later this year.

"We're in Japan!" will debut globally in 2019 after the third season's release.

On Thursday, Netflix Japan announced a competition on Twitter that would send one "Queer Eye" fan to the set in February to meet the show's stars.

"As a gay American living in Osaka, it would be such an honor to meet the Fab Five," Parker Rom, 27, posted on Twitter, using the Japanese-language hashtag to enter the competition.

"Queer Eye has inspired me to live my life to the fullest and to be honest and open about my queerness. I hope they can spread love and acceptance of LGBT people to Japan!"

According to a recent survey of 60,000 people across Japan by advertising company Dentsu Inc., about one in 11 Japanese in the 20-59 age group identify as LGBT.

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