To ex or not to ex in Love Transit

In my search for more Japanese reality TV shows that are easy to access through streaming, I stumbled upon one via Amazon Prime, of all places. Having seemingly exhausted Netflix’s lineup of dating shows from Japan, Love Transit’s hook felt different enough to catch my attention.

Since it is currently airing at the time of writing, however, please do keep in mind that my opinions and statements may change over time with later episodes releasing after this article is published.

What is Love Transit?

Love Transit
Guessing whose ex is whose is harmless enough until it isn’t

So, what’s the hook? Love Transit has a “lovers reunited” kind of setup, since all of its contestants are appearing on the show alongside their exes. Living all together under the same roof, Love Transit sets out to explore if it is possible for love to restart between a former couple — or will individuals opt for a new love to blossom? In any case, who their exes are is a secret to both the audience and other participants.

It’s important to note before we really get into it that Love Transit is not originally for Japanese TV, but was established in 2021 as a dating show from Korea called EXchange. Love Transit is seemingly regarded as the replacement for Terrace House, and although it’s clear the two shows have similar budgets and production values, the editing and content of Love Transit could not be more different to its infamous “predecessor”. It’s a mixed bag of sorts, as its rather specific strengths may not be to the liking of the majority of potential viewers.

So is it actually any good?

Love Transit
Seeing how my opinions change from person to person is the best part of the show if you ask me

In all honestly, Love Transit is a good enough watch, but with some major caveats. There is always something going on at the very least, and the show never runs out of steam. This makes for quite an unusual and fast-paced Japanese dating show. The key pull to the show is the initial intrigue of who exactly are exes, then the eventual confrontation between said exes upon their gradual and eventual reveal.

But any amount of depth to it is dependant on the intentions of all of the participants. Some exes are on the show in an attempt to rekindle their past relationship, while others only agreed to appear on it to find someone new. Some are blatantly lying, while others have simply had a change of heart. But that’s only the basics of the most simple dynamics that are caught on camera here.

The bonds that develop from there are quite varied due to said motivations. As the show develops, we start to see rivalries develop, as well as fellow hard-pressed exes offering up helpful guidance to those who find themselves most affected by the show’s setup. Some scenes outwardly sting and are hard to watch due to such dynamics. On several occasions, the male participants mention changing for their exes, when that is never a good approach to take in a relationship. It’s quite a hard watch when moments like this occur.

The participants’ ways of conversing with one another is easily the most interesting takeaway for the show due to the ever-changing tension of their living situation and activities they partake in as both a group and when going out on dates. Its hosts’ reactions and the show’s editing, meanwhile, leave a lot more to be desired. The host commentary is appallingly dull, making having four of them in the “discussions” section disastrous, since none of them have any interesting input about what is happening on the screen.

Actors Kanechika Daiki, Matsuoka Mayu, Isomura Hayato and MEGUMI are the permanent commentators of the series, and none of them bring anything worthwhile to the panel. They may as well have been completely omitted in favour of showing us more of the participants’ daily lives.

Love Transit also makes some interesting choices on what is chosen to show of said participants. How its episodes are chopped up to more closely follow certain exes and couplings for each one makes for obvious bias towards certain participants. It will surely shock everyone which female participants in particular are sidelined, since they seem to initially be the most potentially popular within the house.

Love Transit

The whole production has some surprising choices, in fact. The show takes place in a hotel initially, but subsequently moves into separated accommodation that splits up the entire group by the later episodes. The smaller living spaces lend themselves to the brewing tension and emotional gravity of the situation, but for some viewers this may come too late.

This is because the initial hook is quite addictive, as the audience will likely attempt to guess whose ex is whose before the flashback of their initial reunion in a café is revealed. Once this is eventually solved, much of the intrigue of the show is effectively thrown out, especially if you have not yet grown particularly fond of any of its participants. But on that note, many first impressions you might have about the show’s participants will quickly change.

It’s the only redeeming aspect of the show once the exes are revealed. The relationships involving the exes are complex, differ completely in nature and progress at an entirely different pace compared to each other relationship within the show, resulting in quite unexpected dynamics and dilemmas for each pair.

But if you’re not actively rooting for a participant who is still vying for the attention of their own ex instead of focusing on improving themselves first, then there’s not much worth sticking around for with the show in the long run. As one can expect for a show like this, there is a lot of heartache to be expected from it, and when the biggest gems among the participants are so ruthlessly sidelined by both the camera and their own exes, it can be a lot tougher of a watch than one would expect.


Love Transit is nowhere near as diabolical as REA(L)OVE, but it’s also not nearly as poignant as Love Village. This will undoubtedly tide you over until Is She The Wolf? releases later this year on Netflix. That’s definitely one to look out for. As of now, catch Love Transit exclusively on Amazon Prime.

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Lilia Hellal
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