Netflix wasn’t kidding when it told the world it was coming for anime. The company just announced a brand-new business alliance with several top animation studios in Japan.
According to Anime News Network, the partnership was announced early Wednesday morning. Netflix has agreed to co-produce anime titles with studios Production I.G, Bones, and WIT Studio. The deal will also allow Netflix to stream those co-produced titles in 190 different countries.
Netflix says this deal will help strengthen its anime line-up for its global user base. The company called its new partnership a “win-win-win” scenario for paid subscribers, creators, and the anime industry as a whole.
So far, there are few details about the deal going around, but Anime! Anime! has shared a few. Translators have said Netflix’s streaming rights seem to only extend to the anime titles it co-produces. Right now, it seems this alliance will simply ensure Netflix is the sole distributor for any shows it does like Devilman Crybaby. Netflix will get say on where a show is distributed and whether TV networks can license out those distribution rights.
As far as creative control goes, it seems like Netflix will have a role similar to the ones TV networks have abroad. The company will have representatives on specific production committees with its allied studios, so Netflix will have some voice in its shows’ creation process.
Right now, there is no word on what kind of projects Netflix is looking to co-produce with I.G, Bones, or WIT. The latter company is busy with Attack on Titan as its third season will debut this summer. Bones is preparing for its second season of My Hero Academia, and I.G has its hands full with FLCL.
Fans are interested to see how Netflix's emerging presence within the anime industry will effect upcoming titles. Last year, the company turned heads when it announced it would be setting aside a large portion of its $8 billion budget in 2018 for anime. Netflix confirmed it would be releasing 30 original anime titles like Devilman Crybaby, a film that is being considered a critical success by both fans and critics.
Do you think Netflix can help streamline the anime industry's distribution woes? Hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to let me know and talk all things comics, k-pop, and anime!