I once interviewed a Japanese TV network executive about the market for selling non-animated drama series overseas. He said Japanese producers primarily make dramas for domestic consumption, and, if they sell them abroad, then it's just a fortunate, but unintended, consequence. In the past, this was easier because Japanese production values were higher than they were in many Asian and Middle Eastern countries. However, as local productions improved, these countries have less reason to import Japanese shows, so producers now push content sales — typically, story lines of Japanese TV dramas — to overseas broadcasters who adapt those stories to their own situations using local talent.

This might be difficult with TBS Television's "Naoki Hanzawa," which scored the largest audience share of any Japanese TV drama during the Heisei Era (1989-2019). Originally broadcast in 2013, "Naoki Hanzawa" took place in the world of Japanese banking, and followed the titular character's quest to exact revenge against a banker who ruined his father's company. The plot particulars would be difficult to adapt outside of Japan, given its reliance on Japanese business practices. The series was popular in Taiwan, but Taiwan has always had a special cultural relationship with Japan, which once colonized the island.

The inevitable sequel is now being shown on TBS after being delayed three months due to the COVID-19 crisis. This time, the producers are doubling down on the drama's Japanese qualities. Not only is the story specific to Japan, but the presentation itself is best appreciated by someone with an understanding of Japanese aesthetics.