It looks like Disney is finally jumping on the anime hype train. Following Hulu and Netflix and even Amazon, it seems one of the biggest streaming giants out there is ready to play into fandom's hand. After all, The Walt Disney Company just announced it has formed an alliance with Kodansha on all sorts of anime titles. The news went live at the Asia-Pacific Content Showcase in Singapore, and it was there industry executives were told Disney+ is working on exclusive licenses and original projects with Kodansha's assistance.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney will get first dibs on anime titles based on Kodansha manga, and that does include season two of Tokyo Revengers. The anime is slated to adapt the Christmas Showdown arc next year, and it will launch exclusively on Disney+ and Disney+ Hotstar this January.
"We are thrilled to deepen our strategic collaboration with our long standing partner Kodansha on such an exciting genre," Carol Choi, Disney's executive VP of original content strategy in APAC, said at the event. "Japanese anime fills the white space in our content development plans and we believe this expanded collaboration will be a game changer in Disney's future animation strategy in Japan. We look forward to bringing the anime titles and prized IP by Kodansha to the world stage."
Anime's Hollywood Takeover
This move is just one of the latest Disney has made with anime. Not long ago, Studio Ghibli surprised its fans by launching a surprise Star Wars short on Disney+, and this comes after the service ordered an original anime anthology titled Star Wars: Visions. This fall, Disney also worked out a deal to stream Bleach's new anime and backlog exclusively. So of course, it makes sense Disney would want a big-name partner for future anime deals, and Kodansha was the company to strike the deal.
Of course, anime has become a focus for streaming services globally including Amazon and Netflix. According to Parrot Analytics, the demand for anime globally rose 118% over the last two years which makes it one of entertainment's fast-growing sectors. As manga sales rise internationally, anime is taking over everything from cable to movie theaters. And now, it seems Disney is ready to expand its mark on the booming industry.
What do you think about Disney's move into anime? What kind of projects would you like the company to tackle? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB.