BLACKPINK, ARASHI & BTS: Asian Music Documentaries To Watch On Netflix

Idol culture on- and off-stage

This past couple of months have been pretty generous to BLACKPINK’s fanbase, BLINKS. After coming back with an amazing single (How You Like That), releasing a collab with Selena Gomez (Ice Cream) and dropping their first official album (The Album), we’re also getting a BLACKPINK documentary on Netflix titled Light Up The Sky.

As seen on the trailer, Lisa, Jisoo, Jennie and Rosé will let fans in on their lives as trainees as well as their ascent to international fame, plus, their lives behind-the-glitz and glamour of the K-pop world. Sounds exciting, right? But did you know that this isn’t the only Asian music documentary you can catch on Netflix right now?

While waiting for BLACKPINK’s documentary to arrive on Netflix this 14 October, check out these other Asian music documentaries about different idol cultures from across the region.

ARASHI’s Diary: Voyage

ARASHI, dubbed 'Japan’s national idols' by their fans, marked their 21st year in the industry last 15 September. They gained huge commercial success and international recognition when they released their 18th single Love So Sweet, which was the theme song of the second season of Hana Yori Dango (the Japanese iteration of Meteor Garden/Boys Over Flowers). However, despite their ongoing success, the group announced that they will be going on hiatus at the end of 2020, much to the shock of their legions of fans.

Their Netflix documentary gives a peek at how they’re currently spending their final year prior to the hiatus, covering highlights such as their collaboration with Bruno Mars and D’Mile, their performance in the new emperor’s accession, their music video shoot in Los Angeles, and their 5x20 tour, which was their last concert run in 50 domes across Japan last year.

Ride On Time

Featuring male idol groups from the same agency as ARASHI, Ride On Time is an anthology which dives deep into the culture of one of Japan’s biggest idol agencies, Johnny & Associates. Groups like King & Prince, SixTONES, KAT-TUN, Hey! Say! JUMP!, and even idol-trainees like Kansai Johnny’s Jrs. share their own thoughts on debuting, committing their youth to Japan’s entertainment industry, and the struggles of keeping up with the pressures of fame and personal expectations.

The first season of the documentary series also shed some light on the life of the concert staff behind some of the biggest and most mind-blowing performances of these idol groups. Zooming in on the dedication and the artistry that goes behind the larger-than-life delivery of some of Japan’s biggest music personalities, Ride On Time is not one to miss if you’re curious about what separates J-pop from other musical niches in the region.

The BNK48 Series 

It’s interesting to explore Thailand’s entertainment industry and how they shape their local personalities into taking command of their own style and music. BNK48’s documentary series covers just that.

Yes, you read that right. Thailand also has its own idol group and they’re thriving more than ever. Featuring Thibaan + BNK48, BNK48 Girls Don’t Cry, and One Take, the BNK48 Netflix music documentary series covers the various struggles and challenges these girls go through, from conceptualising their own music to performing on stage to dealing with conflicts between members and the raw emotions that pour into being top-selling idols.

2015 The Dream Concert

Are you a fan of BTS, EXO, Got7 and other K-pop idol groups? Make sure you don’t miss out on 2015 The Dream Concert. Perhaps not a lot of fans are aware that this exists on Netflix, but this music documentary showcases one of the biggest K-pop festivals at the time, held at the Seoul World Cup Stadium.

Just like the Grammys or the Oscars where some of the biggest names in the industry come together for a prestigious event, 2015 The Dream Concert owns up to its name as, well, a K-pop fan’s dream.

(Cover photo from: @blackpinkofficial; Wikicommons Japanese Station - YouTube – CC BY 3.0)

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