As it has so many other entertainment landscapes, Netflix hopes to take over anime-viewing around the world. And to do that, the company is throwing massive amounts of money behind the acquisition of classic shows, as well as the production of brand new ones. The strategy makes sense: According to metrics released by Netflix, Seven Deadly Sins became one of the Top 10 titles among all series and films in over 70 countries since its launch. Baki has done the same in almost 50 countries.
Early on Tuesday, out of the official Netflix Anime Festival 2020 in Tokyo, the company gave fans the full understanding of how hard they’re moving into the anime space, with first looks at a number of announced shows, and plans for five new titles. Among the splashiest were the IP-driven titles: In 2021, Netflix plans to bring new installments of Resident Evil and Pacific Rim to life through animation.
Here are the first looks, with descriptions from Netflix:
Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness (2021)
Known as the gold standard of survival horror games with over 100 million units from the game series shipped worldwide, Resident Evil has now been transformed into a Netflix original CG anime series. Three years after 2017’s CG film Resident Evil: Vendetta, technology has further evolved, creating the groundwork for a new series in unprecedented full 3DCG animation.
Original Work/Production/Supervision: Capcom Co., Ltd. Full 3DCG animation production: Quebico. Production: TMS Entertainment.
Pacific Rim: The Black (2021)
There was a time when Kaiju rose from the Pacific Rim only to encounter gigantic robots, Jaegers, built to fight them back. That time has passed. Now, Australia has been overrun by Kaiju, forcing the evacuation of an entire continent. Left behind, teenage siblings Taylor and Hayley embark on a desperate search for their missing parents, teaching themselves to pilot a battered, long-abandoned Jaeger to help in their quest and give them even the slightest hope of surviving.
Netflix also used the anime festival as a launchpad for five new titles. Find the loglines, creatives, and first look images below. Surprisingly, none of these shows come from SARU, MAPPA, and Studio Mir, who recently announced partnerships with Netflix — so expect the streamer to announce even more shows in the near future.
Rilakkuma’s Theme Park Adventure (TBA)
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, dwarf. Written by Takashi Sumita & Makoto Ueda, Europe Kikaku. Animation Production: dwarf studios, TYO Inc. Production: San-X Co.,Ltd. Cast: Mikako Tabe (Kaoru)
Thermae Romae Novae (TBA)
The very popular manga by Yamazaki Mari 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 Mari Yamazaki will also appear. Lucius, a bath designer in the Roman Empire, accidentally slips back in time to present day Japan and learns about Japanese bath culture in this comedy.
Original manga: Mari Yamazaki / Animation Production: NAZ.
High-Rise Invasion (2021)
Based on the manga by Miura Tsuina (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 (2021)
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 (2021)
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 Kosuke 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.