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Netflix continues to go big on Japanese anime.
The streamer on Tuesday unveiled plans to produce five new original anime series, adding to a slate of 11 original anime projects that were already in the works. The new projects were teased during a live-streamed fan event called the Netflix Anime Festival 2020.
While sharing the plans, Netflix revealed some data that demonstrates how Japanese anime has become one of the company’s most bankable content categories. Netflix said that over the past year, more than 100 million households around the world chose to watch at least one anime title on the service, representing growth of 50 percent year-over-year. Anime titles also appeared in Netflix’s top 10 list in nearly 100 countries in 2020 so far.
“In just four short years since launching our creative team in Tokyo, Netflix has expanded the reach and overall audience of anime — a category conventionally seen as niche,” said Taiki Sakurai, Netflix’s chief producer of anime. “We are excited now more than ever to challenge ourselves to expand our aspirational anime programming for fans around the world.”
Netflix’s first anime title, Blame!, premiered in 2016. Since then, the streamer has inked production partnerships with 10 Japanese anime studios. The company’s in-house anime team in Tokyo has grown from one acquisition executive to a staff of more than 10 over the same period.
Here is the information that Netflix released about its five new anime projects.
Rilakkuma’s Theme Park Adventure
The production of the new series of Rilakkuma has been produced in stop-motion animation following the success of Rilakkuma and Kaoru. The series depicts an active day of incidents and meetings that take place when Rilakkuma, Korilakkuma, Kiiroitori and Kaoru go play in an amusement park that is about to close.
Director: Masahito Kobayashi. Written by Takashi Sumita and Makoto Ueda, Europe Kikaku. Animation Production: dwarf studios, TYO Inc. Production: San-X Co. Cast: Mikako Tabe (Kaoru)
Thermae Romae Novae
The popular manga by Mari Yamazaki has been brought back to life in the present day in a new way (“Novae” means “new” in Latin). Based on the manga, new episodes created by Yamazaki will also appear. Lucius, a bath designer in the Roman Empire, accidentally slips in time to present-day Japan and learns about Japanese bath culture in this comedy.
Original manga: Mari Yamazaki
Animation Production: NAZ.
Based on the manga by Tsuina Miura (Ajin) and Takahiro Oba (Box!), this is an unpredictable and frightening survival story set in high-rise buildings that don’t reach the ground. The protagonist, Yuri, decides to survive in order to destroy this illogical world and kill the enemy wearing the “mask,” but what will she do? Original story: Tsuina Miura. Manga: Takahiro Oba. Director: Masahiro Takata. Series Composition: Toko Machida. Character Design, Animation Director: Yoichi Ueda. Music: tatsuo, Yoichi Sakai. Animation Production: ZERO-G. Cast: Haruka Shiraishi, Shiki Aoki, Akira Sekine, Junya Enoki, Yuichiro Umehara.
Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan
This series consists of four strange episodes that Kishibe Rohan, the manga artist from JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable, saw and heard in a destination he visited to collect material for the manga.
Based on a story by Hirohiko Araki, Shueisha Jump Comics. Director: Toshiyuki Kato. Character Designer: Shunichi Ishimoto. Animation Production: david production. Cast: Takahiro Sakurai.
The Way of the Househusband
The most evil yakuza, Tatsu, is a legend in the underworld. He chose to walk away from the yakuza to become a full-time househusband!
Based on a story by Kousuke Oono. Director: Chiaki Kon (Nodame Cantabile, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Eternal the Movie.) Series Composition: Susumu Yamakawa. Production Studio: J.C.STAFF. Cast: Kenjiro Tsuda.
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