Funimation CEO Addresses Hollywood's Growing Interest In Anime

Anime may have once been seen as a niche fandom, but the industry has come a real long way in the last decade. In the wake of a ‘90s boom, anime had a rough period in the years following, but titles like Dragon Ball and Pokemon have turned the trend line around. Now, anime is as popular as ever in the U.S., and it has nabbed the interest of several Hollywood studios.

So, if you have been concerned about anime’s piqued status, you should know there are fans in Hollywood ready to fight for the medium. For instance, Funimation CEO Gen Fukunaga is up on that list, and he just got real about Hollywood’s interest in anime adaptations.

Recently, Forbes did a piece on Fukunaga detailing the path he took to become the leader of Funimation. It was there the CEO stepped up to talk about what’s next for anime, and Fukunaga thinks that road leads to globalization.

“I think anime’s still got a long way to go. I think some important things will happen in the industry that’ll make it get there. There’ll be more global expansion,” the CEO said before nodding to Hollywood’s recent plans.

“I think Hollywood’s definitely picking up on it. I think there’s going to be, for example, large, live-action movie adaptations like Marvel did with comics,” Fukunaga said. “There’s already been some announcements that there’s several projects underway now.”

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Of course, Fukunaga is not wrong with this observation. Hollywood has picked up a very noticeable interest in anime, and it shows. In recent years, titles like Ghost in the Shell and Death Note have gotten U.S. adaptations, but reviews for the films were mixed at best. Moving forward, Hollywood has announced plans to adapt everything from Attack on Titan to One Piece, giving fans hope that Hollywood will get its live-action adaptations down sooner rather than later.

So, do you think Hollywood has a shot at getting anime right? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics and anime!