Cologne - Eight Matchdays down, 26 to go. The 53rd Bundesliga season is in full swing and already a different picture is being painted to the previous campaign. Accordingly, bundesliga.com is focussing on the issues providing the brushstrokes at this early stage of the season.
Here, we put a selection of Japanese imports under the microscope...
Brought in as a like-for-like replacement for Shinij Okazaki from FC Tokyo, Yoshinori Muto scored his first goals on just his second start against Hannover 96 on Matchday 3, helping himself to a Bundesliga brace in less time than any of his Japanese predecessors. Skillful, quick and industrious, he has already developed a wonderful understanding with Yunus Malli.
Shinji Kagawa showed glimpses of his creative best towards the end of Jürgen Klopp's tenure as Borussia Dortmund head coach in 2014/15, but he appears to have found top form under Thomas Tuchel. As well as starting all eight of die Schwarz-Gelben's top-flight outings and completing the full 90 minutes in five of them, Japanese football's No.1 star has scored five goals and chipped in with four assists in 13 appearances in all competitions.
Yuya Osako's second full season in a 1. FC Köln shirt got off to a dream start with a well-taken goal from the bench in the 3-1 win over VfB Stuttgart on Matchday 1. He missed the Billy Goats' next two games through injury and appeared as a substitute in the 6-2 defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt, but has been included in the starting line-up ever since, impressing, above all, with his ability to pull opposition defenders out of position.
Only ten games shy of making his 200th Bundesliga appearance, Makoto Hasebe remains as formidable an opponent as ever in the centre of midfield for Eintracht Frankfurt. The 31-year-old, who won the 2008/09 Bundesliga title with VfL Wolfsburg, is one of the Eagles' more understated performers, but one whose no-frills approach gives the likes of Alex Meier and Luc Castaignos the security and freedom to truly express themselves further up the park.
After sitting out preseason and the first three Bundesliga games of 2015/16 with a metatarsal fracture, Hiroshi Kiyotake has wasted no time at all in rediscovering his old playmaking ways. The 25-year-old registered an assist in a 3-1 defeat to VfB Stuttgart, before scoring a stunning chest-and-volley in the Lower Saxony draw against VfL Wolfsburg three days later. It was also from his corner that Salif Sane netted the only goal of the game against SV Werder Bremen to give the Reds their first win of the season on Matchday 8.