[fusion_dropcap boxed=”no” boxed_radius=”” class=”” id=”” color=””]N[/fusion_dropcap]etflix is vastly expanding the number of Netflix Original anime in 2018. Among the included titles are Devilman Crybaby, Aggretsuko, Children of the Whales, and many more. Some of the Netflix originals air on Japanese televisions before they are rolled out on Netflix in international territories. This is the case for Dragon Pilot- Hisone and Masotan, which is listed on Netflix’s site but has no international streaming launch date.
The Piano Forest, another show which is airing in spring 2018 in Japan, has a placeholder page on Netflix although the series has a general international launch window of Fall 2018. Other Netflix Originals have begun to be released directly to Netflix such as Devilman Crybaby directed by Masaki Yuasa and produced by Yuasa’s animation studio Saru. B: The Beginning and A.I.C.O. Incarnation both premiered their first seasons on Netflix in March 2018 without a television broadcast in Japan.
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Netflix is investing a reported $8 billion dollars in Netflix Original content in 2018. There are 30 Japanese animated Netflix originals among the 700 Netflix Original properties listed for release in 2018. Titles which are scheduled for release in Summer 2018 are the second part of Swordgai The Animation, the first part of which was released in April 2018 as a Netflix original, and the 2018 TMS Entertainment animated adaptation of Baki. Another Netflix Original anime is Lost Song which is presently airing on Japanese televisions and, as with other Netflix Original anime, is simulcasted on Netflix Japan. An international launch date for Lost Song’s streaming is not listed on Netflix’s site as of May 2018.
Violet Evergarden received a simultaneous broadcast in countries across the globe, such as Canada and the United Kingdom; the series later received a digital release in the United States once it concluded airing in Japan. In 2017, Netflix released the live action, United States-based theatrical length adaptation of Takeshi Obata’s and Tsugumi Ohba’s original Death Note manga. In addition, Netflix released the six-episode, Toblerone themed Neo Yokio animated series. For theatrical length Japanese animated Netflix original films in 2018, Netflix released Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters. Netflix also released the live action adaptation of Hiromu Arakawa’s original Fullmetal Alchemist manga.
Aound 90% of Netflix’s anime viewing audience lives outside of Japan in areas across the globe with 10% living in Japan itself according to Netflix vice president Todd Yellin in an interview in 2017. As of April 2018, Netflix has 125 million subscribers globally with 7.41 million more added in the first quarter of 2018. Previously, the projected estimates had been 4.95 million new subscribers.
Netflix also announced partnerships with anime studios such as Production I.G., Bones, and Wit Studio. Dragon Pilot Hisone and Masotan is being animated by Studio Bones. Mari Okada is attached to the project as writer. The third season of My Hero Academia is being animated by Studio Bones as well. Funimation and Crunchyroll are releasing the series in select regions as it airs in Japan. Funimation will release the new entry in the Attack on Titan series as it airs in Japan beginning this summer. Attack on Titan is also being animated by Studio Wit.
The parent company of many of the Japanese animation studios involved with the partnership with Netflix, including Xebec, Production I.G., and Studio Wit announced a partnership with NTT Plala to produce more content with NTT Plala acquiring 4.98% shares in I.G. Port. It is clear that Netflix views anime as a popular, expanding market. Amazon Prime Video, a competitor to Netflix in the internet video streaming landscape, closed their Anime Strike Channel in the United States in January 2018. Amazon Prime Video suffers from reported issues such as unsubtitled episodes. Anime Strike, in particular, received complaints online for its expensive pricing.
Netflix’s director of anime, Taito Okiura, is invested in anime as an industry. He co-founded David Productions, the Japanese animation studio which produced the animation for an adaptation of Hirohiko Araki’s original Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure manga which has since aired on television in the United States as a part of Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim animation block. Okiura had sold David Productions to Fuji TV. Currently, David Productions is animating a new reboot of the sports classic Captain Tsubasa which is being simultaneously broadcasting in France in addition to streaming online in Japan. Taito Okiura was also a producer for the Afro Samurai anime which Samuel L. Jackson voiced a key role for.
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While Netflix is investing $8 billion dollars in original content in 2018, there has been a rather significant spike from $6 billion dollars invested in Netflix Originals in the previous year. In 2016, Netflix invested $5 billion dollars in Netflix Originals. One of the reasons Netflix states it is producing such a large amount of anime is the inexpensiveness of anime in addition to its popularity globally. Netflix had $20 billion dollars of debt and liabilities as of 2017. It will be interesting to see Netflix’s growing interest in anime and how it will affect the Japanese animation industry in addition to Netflix itself in the future. Netflix has other anime productions in development among their 30 Netflix Original anime in 2018 such as Cannon Busters, Knights of the Zodiac: Saint Seiya, and the stop-motion anime Rilakkuma Series.
Netflix is expanding into the Japanese animation industry further and further with their Netflix Originals content. In 2018, this involves 30 new anime series and films, from a total of 700 Netflix Original titles, as part of an $8 billion dollar investment into their original titles as a whole. Netflix’s original anime ranges from shows broadcasted on Japanese televisions to anime series which are streamed specifically on Netflix in addition to theatrical length films such as Godzilla: Planets Of The Monsters as well as live action films such as Fullmetal Alchemist and Death Note. Netflix’s anime viewership is spread out across the world with 90% of the subscribed Netflix anime viewer-base living outside of Japan with 10% in Japan itself. Taito Okiura, Netflix’s director of anime, has passion for the medium however the company has $20 billion dollars in debt and liabilities. As this fascinating business venture unfolds, in the meantime, there is, at the very least, a mountain of Devilman Crybaby and Aggretsuko fan art to browse on social media.