Anyone who’s been following the world of anime industry news lately may have noticed some interesting things going on. We’ve seen announcements for live-action TV series for both Cowboy Bebop and One Piece from Tomorrow Studios. We just enjoyed a week of Twitch streaming a Crunchyroll anime marathon, despite the fact that Amazon owns Twitch and has their own anime platform, Anime Strike. And then there’s the news that Sony Pictures TV is aiming to secure a substantial majority stake in long-time U.S. anime distributor FUNimation. With all this shuffling around and posturing, I was curious to know when Netflix, among other platforms, would be getting into the mix.
Turns out that Netflix announced its expanded anime slate from Tokyo just yesterday. The details on the 12 new series coming to the streaming giant, which also includes an animated Godzilla film, come courtesy of Netflix themselves. (We’ve previously reported on that movie as well as the live-action adaptation of another series coming to Netflix, Knights of the Zodiac: Saint Seiya.) This is great news for anime fans, especially those who are newer to the medium and are looking for titles to check out but maybe don’t know where to find them.
Here’s a look at anime titles coming to Netflix and trailers for a few that are due up soon:
Created, directed and executive produced by LeSean Thomas (Children of Ether), the series follows the adventures and exploits of S.A.M, a high-end, royal-class friendship droid who’s joined by a quirky, discarded maintenance robot and a brash, deadly fugitive. Together, the unlikely trio embarks on an unforgettable journey in a fantastic and dangerous world in search of S.A.M’s best friend, the heir to a powerful kingdom under siege. Twelve episodes are being produced by Manga Entertainment Ltd, Nada Holdings and Satelight (Macross Delta).
Writers: Natasha Allegri (Creator of Bee & Puppycat), Anne Toole (Writer’s Guild nominee for “The Witcher” video game), Nilah Magruder (M.F.K. web series) and LeSean Thomas, among others.
Story Editor – Matt Wayne (Justice League Unlimited, Niko & The Sword of Light)
An unprecedented Great Holy Grail War begins…
Fourteen Heroic Spirits gather for an apocryphal Holy Grail War. In a city called Fuyuki, seven magi and their Heroic Spirits once clashed in a Holy Grail War. But amid the chaos of the Second World War, a magus made off with the Grail. Decades later, the Yggdmillennia clan holds the Grail high and secedes from the Mage’s Association, declaring their independence. Angered by the move, the Association sends assassins after them, only to have them wiped out by a Yggdmillennia Servant. The choice is made to fight Servants with Servants, and the Holy Grail War system is expanded to two factions of seven Servants each. A Holy Grail War of unprecedented scale — a Great Holy Grail War — begins in Trifas, Romania.
The series stars Natsuki Hanae, Maaya Sakamoto, Koki Uchiyama, Miyuki Sawashiro, Junichi Suwabe, Saori Hayami, Shunsuke Takeuchi, Koji Yusa, Ryotaro Okiayu, Makoto Furukawa, Rumi Okubo, Tetsu Inada, Mitsuru Miyamoto, Satoshi Tsuruoka, Ai Nonaka, Kei Shindo and Sakura Tange.
Fate/Apocrypha is an ANIPLEX/A-1 Pictures production. The series will be 25 episodes that premiere in the US and Canada on November 7th and everywhere else, except Japan, on December 2nd.
Live. Bet your life on it.
There is one absolute rule in gambling — at the end of the day, there is a winner and a loser. The winner gains riches and prestige, while the loser is branded a failure and left with nothing. In the silence leading up to the moment that separates winners and losers, instincts are sharpened and desires reach the point of ecstasy. This is a harsh microcosm of life in a capitalist society. Why are people captivated by a world filled with risk? What lies beyond the madness? As the class system of modern society crumbles, an unprecedented adrenaline-pumping anime sweeps the world.
Based on the manga by Homura Kawamoto and Toru Naomura (Serialized in Monthly Gangan Joker published by Square Enix), 12 episodes of the series are being produced by MAPPA. Kakeguruistars Saori Hayami, Minami Tanaka, Tatsuya Tokutake, Yuki Wakai, Karin Nanami, Mariya Ise, Yu Serizawa, Tomokazu Sugita, Mayu Udono, Ayaka Fukuhara and Miyuki Sawashiro.
The series will premiere in 2018 on Netflix, everywhere except Japan.
“You… are not human now.”
Bones, the animation studio behind such world-renowned titles as “Psalms of Planets EUREKA SEVEN” and “My Hero Academia,” and Kazuya Murata, director of “Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet” and “Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos” team up to present an original bio sci-fi action series.
In Japan in the year 2035, an accident known as the “Burst” occurs during a research project, spawning an out-of-control artificial life form called “Matter” that has spread throughout the Kurobe Gorge. The research city that was once hailed as the hope for humanity is cordoned off by the government. Two years later, 15-year-old Aiko Tachibana, who lost her family in the Burst, learns something unbelievable from Yuya Kanzaki, a new student at her school. A secret is hidden within her body, and the answer to the puzzle lies at the “Primary Point” that was the center of the Burst. Aiko resolves to infiltrate the restricted area, escorted by a team of divers and with Yuya as her guide. When boy meets girl with the fate of humanity in their hands, what new truth will come to light?
The series comprised of 12 episodes is produced by Bones, whose notable works include “Psalms of Planets EUREKA SEVEN” and “My Hero Academia.” The series will debut globally on Netflix in Spring 2018.
Nobody knows the real Devil.
To mark the 50th year of Go Nagai’s career, his hit series “Devilman” returns as “Devilman Crybaby.” Lauded as an “eternal masterpiece” that could never be completely recreated in moving images, the entirety of Devilman will finally be portrayed in Devilman Crybaby. The director is Masaaki Yuasa, the world-renowned creator known for his work on many high-quality titles such as “Ping Pong the Animation” and “Mind Game.” The series will also feature a screenplay by Ichiro Okouchi and music by Kensuke Ushio. A team of Japan’s top creators gathers to take on the anime adaptation of a legendary manga.
The protagonist Akira Fudo (Koki Uchiyama) learns from his best friend, Ryo Asuka (Ayumu Murase), that an ancient race of demons has returned to take back the world from humans. Ryo tells Akira that the only way to defeat the demons is to incorporate their supernatural powers, and suggests that he unite with a demon himself. Akira succeeds in transforming into Devilman, who possesses both the powers of a demon and the soul of a human. The battle of Devilman and Akira Fudo begins. The series, comprised of 10 episodes, is a Science SARU production and will launch on Netflix globally in Spring 2018.
‘B: The Beginning’ (a.k.a. ‘Perfect Bones’)
The series is comprised of 12 episodes and is a Production I.G. series that is set to debut globally on Netflix in Spring 2018.
B: The Beginning stars Hiroaki Hirata, Yuki Kaji, Asami Seto, Hiroki Touchi, Minoru Inaba, Ami Koshimizu, Toshiyuki Toyonaga, Shintaro Tanaka, Atsushi Goto, Toshiyuki Morikawa and Kaito Ishikawa.
Original: Kazuto Nakazawa x Production I.G.
Directors: Kazuto Nakazawa, Yoshinobu Yamakawa
‘Sword Gai: The Animation’
An organization has faced these dangerous beings over the centuries. A young man named Gai is destined to live as a weapon. As humans are enthralled by their weapons’ power, epic battles unfold with the fate of humanity in the balance in this battle action fantasy. The series will debut globally on Netflix in Spring 2018.
Screenplay: Toshiki Inoue
An all-new, classic fantasy starring Yukari Tamura and Konomi Suzuki as the two heroines.
Rin (Konomi Suzuki), an energetic girl who loves to eat, lives in a verdant frontier village.
Deep within the royal palace in the bustling capital city, the songstress Finis (Yukari Tamura) spends her days in solitude. Both share a special power no other person has. A miraculous power that can heal wounds, create water and stir the wind — the power of song. Guided by destiny, the two young women each face an arduous journey with the power of song. The shadow of war looms over the kingdom, tainting even the miraculous songs with the blood of innocents. Loved ones meet their deaths as silent screams echo through a stone prison. As two destinies intersect, will the final song be one of despair, hope or…? The series is comprised of 12 episodes, and is a LIDENFILMS x Dwango co-production.
Lost Song will debut globally on Netflix in 2018.
Director and screenplay: Junpei & Morita
Original character design: Tomonori Fukuda
Lyrics: Aki Hata
Music: Yusuke Shirato
Background art: Dehogallery
‘Rilakkuma Series’ (Working Title)
Rilakkuma is a soft toy bear who showed up one day to live with an office worker named Kaoru. He spends his days lounging around the apartment. Although there’s a zipper on his back, what’s inside is a mystery. He loves pancakes, rice omelets, custard pudding and “dango” rice dumplings. His friends are Kaoru’s pet bird Kiiroitori and a small white bear cub named Korilakkuma who also showed up out of the blue.
The series, comprised of 13 episodes, is produced by Dwarf and is the first stop motion animated series featuring “Rilakkuma”.
‘Knights of the Zodiac: Saint Seiya’
KNIGHTS OF THE ZODIAC: SAINT SEIYA follows modern day adventures of young warriors called “Knights”, who are sworn protectors of the reincarnated Greek goddess Athena. Each Knights wears a powerful armor based on their chosen zodiac constellation, and are called Knights of the Zodiac. They aid Athena in her battle against powerful Olympian gods who are bent on destroying the humankind. The series is comprised of 12 episodes and is produced by Toei Animation.
Based on Original Stories and Characters Created by: Masami Kurumada
Director: Yoshiharu Ashino
Story Editor & Head Writer: Eugene Son
Character Design: Terum Nishii
Armor Design: Takashi Okazaki
The protagonist, Baki Hanma, trains with an intense focus to become strong enough to surpass his father, Yujiro Hanma, the strongest fighter in the world. Five of the world’s most violent and brutal death row inmates are gathering to face Baki. Their objective is to taste defeat — their unmatched strength and skill have led them to grow bored of life itself, and they now seek out Baki in the hopes that he can overwhelm and utterly crush them. In this crisis, other underground martial art warriors gather to fight by Baki’s side: Kaoru Hanayama, Gouki Shibukawa, Retsu Kaioh, and Doppo Orochi. An epic showdown between violent death row inmates and Baki and his friends begins!
More than 63 million copies of the original manga series have been printed and the series will be comprised of 26 episodes for Netflix, produced by TMS Entertainment.
‘Children of the Whales’
In a world covered by oceans of sand, 513 people live in complete isolation on the “Mud Whale,” an island-like ship adrift on the sand. Children of the Whales is an adaptation by director Kyohei Ishiguro and anime studio J.C.Staff based on Abi Umeda’s hit manga of the same name (serialized in Akita Shoten’s “Monthly Mystery Bonita”). Chakuro, the island’s archivist endowed with special powers, meets a mysterious girl named Rikosu as he investigates an abandoned ship that drifted up to the Mud Whale one day. It is the first time anyone on the island has made contact with someone from the outside world, but is it an auspicious sign that a new world awaits?
Children of the Whales stars Natsuki Hanae, Manaka Iwami, Yuichiro Umehara, Nobunaga Shimazaki, Mikako Komatsu, Daiki Yamashita and Hiroshi Kamiya. The series will debut everywhere except Japan on Netflix in 2018.
The animated movie takes the franchise into uncharted territory — a harsh world of the future in which Godzilla has dominated the Earth for the past 20,000 years, and a fateful final confrontation with mankind looms. The animated film stars Mamoru Miyano, Takashiro Sakurai, Kana Hanazawa, Tomokazu Sugita, Yuki Kaji and Junichi Suwabe. Prepare for the earth-shattering roar of a brand new GODZILLA, unlike anything heard or seen before.
Production Studio: Polygon Pictures
Directors: Kobun Shizuno / Hiroyuki Seshita
Original Story / Screenplay: Gen Urobuchi (Nitroplus), Sadayuki Murai