Queer Eye We’re In Japan review: A new locale provides more tears

QUEER EYE: We're In Japan! - Credit: Bruce Yamakawa/Netflix
QUEER EYE: We're In Japan! - Credit: Bruce Yamakawa/Netflix /

Queer Eye: We’re in Japan premiered on Netflix on Friday, Nov. 1. Here’s our review of the new season of the Netflix original series.

Over the past four seasons of Queer Eye, the new Fab 5 have taken fans on an emotional journey with some serious feel-good television. Respectful of their “heroes”, empathetic and warm to others, and encouraging, the Fab 5 has inspired a whole new generation of people to be kinder to themselves.

Queer Eye, both the original and the reboot, has always been a uniquely American series. Despite its success in the US and international markets, attempts to have the series in different countries haven’t really happened. There was an attempt for a UK version during the originals heyday that lasted a season.

After four seasons as a Netflix original in the US, which proves that world still needs Queer Eye, cast and crew go global in the four-episode miniseries, Queer Eye: We’re In Japan! With the miniseries, it just shows that a change of locale can just make an already great series even better.

Japan has its own cultural and social norms that the Fab 5 have to take into consideration when doing a make-better for their four heroes. In telling their heroes to ignore what others say and embrace their true selves, their heroes blossom into happier and more confident people.

Honestly, the four heroes truly make the series shine. There is sweet and kind hospice nurse Yoko-san, who needs to put herself first. Kan, a young and gay man, has one foot out the door and needs to find his people in his country. Shy Manga artist Kae needs to carry herself with pride despite the harsh bullying of her past. Sound engineer Makoto needs to be able to truly be honest with his beloved wife that he doesn’t know how to reach.

It shows that struggles with self-doubt, communication, self-acceptance, and self-care are universal. There’s a transformative power in taking time for yourself and finding your place in the world.

With their trademark empathy and message of self-love, the Fab 5 and their Tokyo guide model Kiko Mizuhara help transform their lives for the better. The only complaint that I have is that Mizuhara, while charming and sweet, doesn’t have a lot of an impact on the heroes. It’s honestly great to see the Fab 5 learn in the locale as well. They do respect that they are in a different culture. While they bring an outside perspective, it comes down to lifting their heroes up.

Honestly, there should be more miniseries that sees the Fab 5 go all over the world. Netflix has a 20-minute episode on their YouTube page where the Fab 5 go to Yass, Australia, which is pretty great too. There should be more of it. Let’s see more of these miniseries of the Fab 5 going around the world to help others.

This show continues to be the best reality show on Netflix. The world and gentle message of the series is a balm to these weary and trying times. Queer Eye shouldn’t be just a uniquely American show, let it go as global as it can be.

Let things just keep getting better the world over.

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