7:07pm PT by Bryn Elise Sandberg
'Pacific Rim' and 'Altered Carbon' Anime Projects Among Netflix's New Slate of Asian Originals
Netflix is furthering its global push. At the company's first-ever content showcase in Asia, the streamer unveiled a collection of new original series and films from Japan, Taiwan, Thailand and South Korea.
The projects — which include a Pacific Rim anime series and an Altered Carbon anime feature — join 100 new and returning originals across eight countries in Asia through 2019, as Netflix increases its investment in Asian stories and storytellers. Netflix’s first forays into the space included crime thriller Sacred Games (in India), anime series Devilman Crybaby (in Japan) and variety comedy Busted! (in Korea) this past year.
“Asia is home to the world's great creative centers, producing some of the most compelling films and series of today,” said Ted Sarandos, chief content officer for Netflix. “The beauty of Netflix is that we can take never-seen-before stories from South Korea, Thailand, Japan, India, Taiwan or elsewhere, and easily connect them to people all over Asia and the world. More than half of Asian content hours viewed on Netflix this year are viewed outside the region, so we have confidence that our upcoming slate of Asian productions will find fans in their home countries and abroad.”
In addition to the new projects, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings announced the second-season renewal of Kingdom at the end of the day. The series, which will start streaming on Jan. 25, follows the mysterious death of a king and development of a strange plague.
The following projects were announced at the "See What's Next: Asia" event, which hosted over 200 media and influencers from 11 countries across Asia.
Pacific Rim. Returning to the epic battle of Kaiju and Jeagers, this original anime series will expand upon the story of the first two live action movies and follow two siblings — an idealistic teenage boy and his naïve younger sister — who are forced to pilot an abandoned Jaeger across a hostile landscape in a desperate attempt to find their missing parents. Co-showrunners: Craig Kyle (Thor: Ragnarok) and Greg Johnson (X-Men: Evolution). Production Company: Legendary Entertainment (Kong: Skull Island; Pokemon: Detective Pikachu).
Altered Carbon. This anime feature, set in the same universe of the Netflix live-action sci-fi series (second season in production from Skydance Television), will explore new elements of the story mythology. Writer: Dai Sato (Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo) and Tsukasa Kondo. Animation Studio: Anima.
Cagaster of an Insect Cage. Set in a post-apocalyptic world where a mysterious disease “Cagaster” turns people into giant murderous insects, this manga-based series follows the struggle of a young couple to stay alive. Directed By Koichi Chigira (Last Exile, Full Metal Panic!). Animation Studio: Gonzo (Hellsing, Afro Samurai).
Yasuke. In a war-torn feudal Japan of mechs and magic, a retired ronin must take up his sword when he is charged with the task of transporting a mysterious child who dark forces want to eliminate. Created and directed by LeSean Thomas (The Boondocks, Cannon Busters), who is also serving as executive producer. Grammy nominee Flying Lotus will compose the music and be an executive producer on the show. Lakeith Stanfield (Atlanta, Sorry to Bother You) will be the voice of the protagonist “Yasuke” (based on the historical samurai of African origin who fought with Oda Nobunaga). Animation Studio: MAPPA (Yuri On Ice, Kakegurui).
Trese. Set in a Manila where the mythical creatures of Philippine folklore live in hiding among humans, Alexandra Trese finds herself going head to head with a criminal underworld comprised of malevolent supernatural beings. This anime series is based on the Philippine graphic novel by the same name, created by Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo. Executive producer: Jay Oliva (Wonder Woman, The Legend of Korra). Produced by: Shanty Harmayn and Tanya Yuson at BASE Entertainment, a studio based in Jakarta and Singapore.
The Stranded: 18-year-old Kraam survives a devastating tsunami along with 36 of his fellow students at an elite private high school on a remote island in the Andaman Sea. As mysterious events start happening on the island, it quickly becomes clear that no one is coming to rescue them and Kraam must lead the students to rescue themselves. Director: Sophon Sakdaphisit. Production companies: GMM Grammy (this will be the first Netflix original series since the GMM Grammy multi-title deal) and H2L Media Group. Executive producers: Ekachai Uekrongtham, Gary Levinsohn, Steven Sims, Billy Hines and Christian Durso.
Shimmers: a drama series about five teenagers at an isolated school in Northern Thailand. Over a school break, they find themselves haunted by the ghosts of their pasts, only to discover they are threatened by a much more terrifying mystery. Directors: Wisit Sasanatieng and Sittisiri Mongkolsiri.
Triad Princess: a Taiwanese original series. Growing up in the shadow of her Triad father, Angie craves an independent life of her own. Defying her father's wishes, she takes on a gig as an undercover bodyguard for a famous actress at an agency, where she must navigate the unfamiliar world of glitz, glamour and even love. Key cast: Eugenie Liu and Jasper Liu. Director: Neal Wu; production companies: MM2 and Goodfilms Workshop.