You may already be familiar with the US reality show Love is Blind on Netflix. In February 2022, the Japanese version, Love is Blind: Japan, was also released. The premise is the same — can a group of singles find love, without seeing their partner? — but the vibes are very different. The couples that hit it off get engaged in the "pods" — the rooms that they use for communication — go on a destination vacation in Okinawa, and then start living together once the pre-wedding honeymoon is over. The strength of their bond determines their decision at the altar.
This show will take you on the participants' emotional roller coaster. While it can be quite heartwarming and entertaining, it also has its fair share of drama. The couples work through their hangups and misgivings, and lay some pretty heavy baggage out there for the world to see. It can be quite painful to watch at times, especially for the highly-empathetic, so I'd advise not binging it all in one go.
But entertainment aside, while watching you'll likely pick up on a lot of conversational Japanese, especially vocabulary relating to dating and relationships. The level is probably best suited for an intermediate to advanced learner, but subtitles are available in both Japanese and English to help you follow along. Next time you’re browsing through options on Netflix, give the preview a shot to see if it’s for you!