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Japanese Anime Is Growing Success Story for Netflix

Patrick Frater
·3-min read

Streaming giant Netflix says that Japanese style animation, better known as “anime,” is becoming a common global currency. And that it intends to produce more of it.

The company said that over 100 million households globally watched at least one anime title on the platform between October last year and September 2020, and that figure represents an increase of more than 50% on 2019.

Anime titles appeared in top ten lists in almost 100 countries so far this year. Its Seven Deadly Sins became one of the top 10 titles among all series and films in over 70 countries since its launch, and that Baki did the same in almost 50 countries.

The company Tuesday announced five additional projects, making a total of 16 in the pipeline for future release: “Rilakkuma’s Theme Park Adventure”; “Thermae Romae Novae”; “High-Rise Invasion”; “Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan”; and “The Way of the Househusband.”

The five new original projects and 11 previously announced ones were presented to fans in a live-streaming event. The event was also used to unveil the Anand varna as the winner of Netflix’s second Gobelins Fellowship student award in partnership with the French Gobelins institution.

“Rilakkuma’s Theme Park Adventure” is a stop motion series that follow the adventures of Rilakkuma and friends. Direction is by Kobayashi Masahito, with production by Dwarf Studios, TYO, and San-X.

The popular time travel manga series “Thermae Romae” by Mari Yamazaki, which has already spawned two live-action feature films, gets another spin. Animation production is by NAZ.

“High-Rise Invasion” is a frightening survival story based on the manga by Miura Tsuina (“Ajin”) and Takahiro Oba (“Box!”). The protagonist decides to survive in order to destroy the illogical world and kill the enemy wearing the “mask”, but what will she do? Production is significantly advanced – under director Masahiro Takata, character designer and animation director Ueda Yoichi – at production house ZERO-G, ahead of an early 2021 launch.

“Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan” consists of four episodes that Kishibe Rohan, the manga artist from “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable,” saw and heard as he traveled to collect material for the manga. It is based on a story by Hirohiko Araki for Shueisha Jump Comics and is directed by Toshiyuki Kato. Animation is by David Production.

Based on a story by Kosuke Oono, about a notorious yakuza gangster who decided to change his ways completely, “The Way of the Househusband” series is set for a 2021 release. It is directed by Kon Chiaki (“Nodame Cantabile,” “Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Eternal the Movie”) and produced at J.C. Staff.

Last week Netflix expanded its roster of anime suppliers, by signing production deals with Anima & Company (owner of NAZ), Science Saru and Mappa from Japan, and with Studio Mir based in Korea. The new deals took its anime partnership count to nine.

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