VOD platform, Rakuten TV, has bought Neo Studios’ documentary series, The Giants.

The Giants is billed as an unprecedented exploration of the unique and intriguing lives of some of the greatest Sumo wrestlers in history.

For the first time, a documentary series will shed a light on the lives of the greatest icons in Sumo, featuring the stories of the non-Japanese wrestlers who became the first Foreign Champions & Grand Champions of Sumo, paving the way for many others to travel to Japan to pursue a career as professional wrestlers.

The story focuses on the Hawaiian-born wrestlers who fundamentally changed the face of sumo, such as Konishiki Yasokichi, one of the heaviest sumo wrestlers in history and first non-Japanese-born wrestler to reach Ozeki and Musashimaru Koyo, second foreign-born wrestler to reach the rank of Yokozuna, winner of 12 top division championships. Both champions will be some of the exceptional protagonists that will introduce viewers into this unique discipline.

“The Giants is a very unique documentary series,” stated Teresa López, EU Content Director at Rakuten TV, “this documentary series reinforces our commitment to developing quality, free original content through our Rakuten Stories. We are strongly focusing on sports content that captures the brand’s DNA and core values of empowerment and optimism through stories that showcase the human side of sports and all the effort and determination behind greatest victories.”

J LaLonde, The Giants Director, said: “The Giants tells the story of four Hawaiian former Sumo-wrestlers, who went from being outsiders to become legends of the sport. The show is a celebration of their remarkable journeys and of one of the world’s oldest and least understood sports. We’re in the midst of shooting the show now and I can’t wait for people to get the chance to see it later this year.”

Anouk Mertens, Executive Producer of The Giants, added: “The Giants had an incredible impact on the world of Sumo and it’s a story that’s never been told. Our heroes will take us behind the curtain, to show what it took to get to the top and what life was like when they got there. From their iconic status to the historic customs, the diets and the fitness routines, viewers will learn that life as an elite Sumo athlete is unlike any other sports star on the planet.”

The Giants is a Rakuten TV original documentary series produced in collaboration with NEO Studios. It will consist of three 30-minute episodes that will be available for free and exclusively on Rakuten TV from summer 2021.


Jon Creamer

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