Netflix Sets Anime Programming Slate With 12 New Series, ‘Godzilla’ Movie

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Netflix has a new philosophy when it comes to anime: go big or go home.

The internet streamer announced a pick-up of a dozen new anime series and one feature, a significant investment that will make Netflix a new home for first-run original animation produced in Japan. Prior to this, most of Netflix’s anime content was licensed, but not exclusive to the streamer; for example, One-Punch Man has also had a run on its competitor, Hulu.

This intensified focus on anime puts Netflix on a collision course with anime-only subscription services like Crunchyroll and Funimation, the latter of which was acquired earlier this week by Sony Pictures Television Networks.

Netflix’s key advantage here is scale. The company boasts 100 million subscribers compared to its leading competitor in the anime space, Crunchyroll, which recently passed the 1 million mark. While Netflix doesn’t offer anywhere near the variety of Crunchyroll, it needs just a couple of original hits to start convincing anime fans to add Netflix to their monthly subscriptions.

But this isn’t necessarily a winner-take-all scenario. Netflix’s investment in anime could benefit the niche services as well, because Netflix is opening up Japanese animation to tens of millions of casual tv viewers who would’ve never considered subscribing to an anime-only subscription video service. Netflix’s exposure could potentially create millions of new fans who would then want to dive deeper into the art form through the more specialized services.

Two of the more high-profile pick-ups in Netflix’s 12-series anime binge are LeSean Thomas’s Cannon Busters (pictured at top), which grabbed online attention after raising $156K on Kickstarter to produce a pilot, and Devilman Crybaby, a Go Nagai creation that is being turned into a 10-episode series by Masaaki Yuasa (Mind Game, The Tatami Galaxy, Ping Pong).

A complete list of series, most of which appear slated to premiere in 2018, can be found below, with Netflix’s official descriptions:

Devilman Crybaby

 

The protagonist Akira Fudo (Koki Uchiyama) learns from his best friend, Ryo Asuka (Ayumu Murase), that an ancient race of demons has returned to take back the world from humans. Ryo tells Akira that the only way to defeat the demons is to incorporate their supernatural powers, and suggests that he unite with a demon himself. Akira succeeds in transforming into Devilman, who possesses both the powers of a demon and the soul of a human. The battle of Devilman and Akira Fudo begins. The series, comprised of 10 episodes, is a Science SARU production and will launch on Netflix globally in Spring 2018.
Original story: “Devilman” by Go Nagai.
Director: Masaaki Yuasa
Screenplay: Ichiro Okouchi
Music: Kensuke Ushio

B: The Beginning (formerly titled Perfect Bones)

netflix-sets-anime-programming-slate-with-12-new-series-‘godzilla’-movie Netflix Sets Anime Programming Slate With 12 New Series, ‘Godzilla’ Movie
Netflix Sets Anime Programming Slate With 12 New Series, ‘Godzilla’ Movie
In a world powered by advanced technology, crime and action unfold in the archipelagic nation of Cremona. Koku, the protagonist. Keith, the legendary investigator of the royal police force RIS. A mysterious criminal organization. A wide variety of characters race through the fortified city as it is beset by the serial killer, Killer B, and a chain of crimes in this suspense drama by director Kazuto Nakazawa and Production I.G. The series is comprised of 12 episodes and is a Production I.G. series that is set to debut globally on Netflix in Spring 2018. B: The Beginning stars Hiroaki Hirata, Yuki Kaji, Asami Seto, Hiroki Touchi, Minoru Inaba, Ami Koshimizu, Toshiyuki Toyonaga, Shintaro Tanaka, Atsushi Goto, Toshiyuki Morikawa and Kaito Ishikawa.
Original: Kazuto Nakazawa x Production I.G.
Directors: Kazuto Nakazawa, Yoshinobu Yamakawa
Producer Rui Kuroki
Screenplay: Katsunari Ishida
Character Designer and Key Animation Supervisor: Kazuto Nakazawa
Color Designer: Narumi Sakai
Art Supervisor: Yukio Nagasaki
Music: Yoshihiro Ike
Editor: Junichi Uematsu
Song: The Perfect World
Song-Arrange-Guitar: Marty Friedman
Bass: KenKen (aka LIFE IS GROOVE/RIZE/Dragon Ash)
Arrange-Programming: Koji Fujimoto

A.I.C.O. Incarnation

netflix-sets-anime-programming-slate-with-12-new-series-‘godzilla’-movie Netflix Sets Anime Programming Slate With 12 New Series, ‘Godzilla’ MovieIn a world powered by advanced technology, crime and action unfold in the archipelagic nation of Cremona. Koku, the protagonist. Keith, the legendary investigator of the royal police force RIS. A mysterious criminal organization. A wide variety of characters race through the fortified city as it is beset by the serial killer, Killer B, and a chain of crimes in this suspense drama by director Kazuto Nakazawa and Production I.G. The series is comprised of 12 episodes and is a Production I.G. series that is set to debut globally on Netflix in Spring 2018. B: The Beginning stars Hiroaki Hirata, Yuki Kaji, Asami Seto, Hiroki Touchi, Minoru Inaba, Ami Koshimizu, Toshiyuki Toyonaga, Shintaro Tanaka, Atsushi Goto, Toshiyuki Morikawa and Kaito Ishikawa.
Original: Kazuto Nakazawa x Production I.G.
Directors: Kazuto Nakazawa, Yoshinobu Yamakawa
Producer Rui Kuroki
Screenplay: Katsunari Ishida
Character Designer and Key Animation Supervisor: Kazuto Nakazawa
Color Designer: Narumi Sakai
Art Supervisor: Yukio Nagasaki
Music: Yoshihiro Ike
Editor: Junichi Uematsu
Song: The Perfect World
Song-Arrange-Guitar: Marty Friedman
Bass: KenKen (aka LIFE IS GROOVE/RIZE/Dragon Ash)
Arrange-Programming: Koji Fujimoto

 

Sword Gai: The Animation

netflix-sets-anime-programming-slate-with-12-new-series-‘godzilla’-movie Netflix Sets Anime Programming Slate With 12 New Series, ‘Godzilla’ Movie

A weapon that has drawn the blood of countless victims becomes legend, and at times takes on a life of its own. When such a weapon’s human host is filled with hate and murderous intent, he becomes a demonic combination of weapon and man that thirsts only for slaughter.
An organization has faced these dangerous beings over the centuries. A young man named Gai is destined to live as a weapon. As humans are enthralled by their weapons’ power, epic battles unfold with the fate of humanity in the balance in this battle action fantasy. The series will debut globally on Netflix in Spring 2018.
Screenplay: Toshiki Inoue

 

Rilakkuma Series (working title)

netflix-sets-anime-programming-slate-with-12-new-series-‘godzilla’-movie Netflix Sets Anime Programming Slate With 12 New Series, ‘Godzilla’ MovieEver since its merchandise first went on sale by San-X in 2003, the “Rilakkuma” character has enjoyed immense popularity especially among women. After being featured in many merchandising and industry campaigns, it is now widely recognized both in Japan and abroad. To mark its 15th anniversary, Dwarf Studio now brings to bear its world class stop motion animation skills to produce the first animated series featuring “Rilakkuma.”
Rilakkuma is a soft toy bear who showed up one day to live with an office worker named Kaoru. He spends his days lounging around the apartment. Although there’s a zipper on his back, what’s inside is a mystery. He loves pancakes, rice omelets, custard pudding and “dango” rice dumplings. His friends are Kaoru’s pet bird Kiiroitori and a small white bear cub named Korilakkuma who also showed up out of the blue.
The series, comprised of 13 episodes, is produced by Dwarf and is the first stop motion animated series featuring “Rilakkuma”.

 

Knights of the Zodiac: SAINT SEIYA

netflix-sets-anime-programming-slate-with-12-new-series-‘godzilla’-movie Netflix Sets Anime Programming Slate With 12 New Series, ‘Godzilla’ Movie

The series follows modern day adventures of young warriors called “Knights”, who are sworn protectors of the reincarnated Greek goddess Athena. Each Knights wears a powerful armor based on their chosen zodiac constellation, and are called Knights of the Zodiac. They aid Athena in her battle against powerful Olympian gods who are bent on destroying the humankind. The series is comprised of 12 episodes and is produced by Toei Animation.
Based on Original Stories and Characters Created by: Masami Kurumada
Director: Yoshiharu Ashino
Story Editor & Head Writer: Eugene Son
Character Design: Terum Nishii
Armor Design: Takashi Okazaki

 

Godzilla

netflix-sets-anime-programming-slate-with-12-new-series-‘godzilla’-movie Netflix Sets Anime Programming Slate With 12 New Series, ‘Godzilla’ MovieSince it was first released as a feature film in 1954, Godzilla has become a colossal cultural icon loved by millions around the world. The 2016 release of “SHIN GODZILLA”, directed by Hideaki Anno, reinvigorated the franchise with a novel and realistic depiction of the iconic monster story, earning 82.5 million US dollars at the box-office and capturing the imagination of new and old fans alike. Now in 2017, GODZILLA evolves in an unexpected direction as a feature-length animated film.

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