Netflix, the mastodon of the SVOD market, has great news for fans of Japanese and Korean animation.
A meaningful announcement
For a number of years now, Netflix has seemed so friendly to fans of Japanese animation. The streaming giant is determined to establish itself as a serious competitor to specialized platforms such as Wakanim or ADN. After Netflix added its catalog of popular animated series like Naruto Shippuden, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Death Note, The Seven Deadly Sins, Sword Art Online, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, or even One-Punch Man, it signed a hefty deal with Ghibli, making it all Can distribute films from the legendary studio founded by Hayao Miyazaki (Princess Mononoke) and Isao Takahata (Tomb of the Fireflies).
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Netflix has also replaced cinemas and only distributed Japanese animated films, such as the film Ni no Kuni, which is set in the universe of the Level 5 video game of the same name, and Héros Modestes. , second film from Studio Ponoc, founded by Studio Ghibli alumni such as Hiromasa Yonebayashi. It would be wrong not to mention the original Netflix productions like the excellent Castlevania series or the more anecdotal Knights of the Zodiac.
In Variety’s columns this week, we learn that Netflix has just signed a deal with three Japanese studios (Anima & Company, Science Saru and Mappa) and the Korean animation studio Mir. If those names don’t ring, these partnerships say a lot about Netflix’s oversized ambitions. Indeed, the signature with the Mir studio reminds us that the SVOD leader wants to be something other than a simple distributor. They also want to be producers. Indeed, it is this Korean studio that is responsible for the production of the animated series The Witcher: The Wolf’s Nightmare, which fans of the Andrzej Sapkowski universe are eagerly awaiting.
Signing these juicy contracts therefore enables Netflix to achieve two pragmatic goals, to say the least: first, to flirt with fans of Japanese animation by offering original content; To save production costs, sub-contract Asian animation studios. Netflix isn’t the first studio to take the Asian outsourcing option. The animated series Family Guy (21st Century Fox) and Justice League Unlimited (Warner) were produced in part in South Korea, where production costs are lower than in America.