Anime Is Expanding Into Virtual Reality with Help From Bandai Namco

When it comes to virtual reality, the technology is still being tuned to its most perfect form. In the past few years, massive improvements have been made to the medium, and television audiences are waiting for the day they can enter their favorite shows. Of course, anime fans are no exception, and it turns out Bandai Namco wants to help those fans see their dream met.

Recently, Anime News Network shared the news after HTC confirmed plans to work with the overseas brand. Bandai Namco Pictures wants to bring virtual reality anime to HTC's various VR platforms moving forward. And if all works well, this could be just the beginning of VR gifts to come.

Spring 2021 Anime Top 10 Most Anticipated
(Photo: Shueisha / Kodansha / Cygames)

"By combining the original animation planning and production know-how that we have cultivated over the years with HTC's advanced technological capabilities and strength as a communications platform, we will be able to create an environment where fans can enjoy experiences together, transcending physical limitations, as if they were diving directly into the world of our creations from anywhere in the world," Ozaki Masayuki, the president of Bandai Namco Pictures, said in a recent statement.

According to partnership guidelines, HTC and Bandai Namco will work together to integrated anime-related content on VR platforms while creating new content as well. In fact, both companies promise brand-new content is coming in the next few months which will allow "viewers to enjoy new immersive animations and virtual social interactions."

Clearly, this partnership is exciting to think over, and it could mean big things for Bandai Namco's own anime IPs. The company brought Battle Spirits to life along with Welcome to Demon School, Iruma-kun. These could be some of the first anime series tested before Bandai Namco and HTC open up licensing offers elsewhere.

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This isn't the first time anime has delved into VR technology. Of course, the isekai genre tackles the idea of entering your favorite game or television show, and you only have to watch Sword Art Online to see that firsthand. Also, Funimation began working with VR last summer that brought fans into virtual theaters to watch big-name movies amidst the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

What do you think of this ambitious project? Which anime would you want to see in virtual reality...? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB.