Highlights from Netflix Anime Festival 2020

Netflix Anime Festival 2020
Image: Netflix

At the Netflix Anime Festival 2020, a global fan livestream held yesterday in Tokyo, Japan, Netflix announced five new original projects, adding to the streaming platform’s ever-growing slate of diverse and never-before-seen content from its creative team in Tokyo. In addition to this announcement, there were also a number of cast reveals and first look debuts for 11 of their previously announced titles.

Netflix Anime Festival 2020 has proved that Netflix as an anime content provider is doing its best to stand with more entrenched platforms like Crunchyroll and Funimation. Their commitment to expanding and diversifying their anime section is commendable, and I and quite a few of my friends are fans of a number of their titles.

But it’s not just my friends and I who are watching these shows; over 100 million households watched at least one anime title in the past year, which is up 50% from the previous year. Anime titles appeared in the Top 10 list for over 100 countries, as well, with shows like Seven Deadly Sins and Baki in particular showing massive global popularity.

“In just four short years since launching our creative team in Tokyo, Netflix has expanded the reach and overall audience of anime – a category conventionally seen as niche,” said Taiki Sakurai, Chief Producer, Anime, Netflix at Netflix Anime Festival 2020. “Given the success of shows such as Seven Deadly Sins and Baki, we are excited now more than ever to challenge ourselves to expand our aspirational anime programming for fans around the world.”

“To do so,” Sakurai went on to say, “we will continue to invest in new talent, and promote diversity from within. We’re excited to announce welcoming Anand Varna, our second Gobelins Fellowship student to our Creative team through our successful multi-year program with the French institution.” 

Here are some of the highlights from Netflix Anime Festival 2020, which included cast reveals, first look debuts, and teaser trailers for 11 previously announced titles from Netflix’s slate of upcoming anime – including Godzilla Singular Point, Pacific Rim: The Black, and Yasuke – and the announcement of five new titles to be added to the lineup.

The cast announcement was for EDEN, which was announced at last year’s festival, and includes Marika Kono, Kentaro Ito, Kyoko Hikami, and Koichi Yamadera.

But the biggest news out of Netflix Anime Festival 2020 are the five new titles, which will start debuting on the streaming service in 2021: Rilakkuma’s Theme Park Adventure, Thermae Romae Novae, High-Rise Invasion, Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan and The Way of the Househusband. These titles join recently announced projects such as Army of the Dead: Lost Vegas, Cyberpunk: Edgerunners, and Masters of the Universe: Revelation.

Image: Netflix

Rilakkuma’s Theme Park Adventure

The production of the new series of Rilakkuma has been produced in stop-motion animation following the success of “Rilakkuma and Kaoru.” The series depicts an active day of incidents and meetings that take place when Rilakkuma, Korilakkuma, Kiiroitori, and Kaoru go play in an amusement park that is about to close.

Director: Masahito Kobayashi, dwarf.
Written by: Takashi Sumita & Makoto Ueda, Europe Kikaku.
Animation Production: dwarf studios, TYO Inc.
Production: San-X Co.,Ltd.
Cast: Mikako Tabe (Kaoru)

“OMNES THERMAE ROMAM DOCUNT” in Latin “All baths lead to Rome” in EN. Image: Netflix

Thermae Romae Novae

The very popular manga by Yamazaki Mari has been brought back to life in the present day in a new way (“Novae” means “new” in Latin). Based on the manga, new episodes created by Mari Yamazaki will also appear. Lucius, a bath designer in the Roman Empire, accidentally slips back in time to present day Japan and learns about Japanese bath culture in this comedy.

Original manga: Mari Yamazaki
Animation Production: NAZ.

Image: Netflix

High-Rise Invasion (coming 2021)

Based on the manga by Miura Tsuina (Ajin) and Takahiro Oba (Box!), this is an unpredictable and frightening survival story set in high-rise buildings that don’t reach the ground. The protagonist, Yuri, decides to survive in order to destroy this illogical world and kill the enemy wearing the “mask”, but what will she do?

Original story: Tsuina Miura.
Manga: Takahiro Oba.
Director: Masahiro Takata.
Series Composition: Toko Machida.
Character Design, Animation Director: Yoichi Ueda.
Music: tatsuo, Yoichi Sakai.
Animation Production: ZERO-G.
Cast: Haruka Shiraishi, Shiki Aoki, Akira Sekine, Junya Enoki, Yuichiro Umehara.

Image: Netflix

Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan (coming 2021)

This series consists of four strange episodes that Kishibe Rohan, the manga artist from “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable,” saw and heard in a destination he visited to collect material for the manga.

Based on a story by Hirohiko Araki, Shueisha Jump Comics.

Director: Toshiyuki Kato.
Character Designer: Shunichi Ishimoto.
Animation Production: david production.
Cast: Takahiro Sakurai.

Image: Netflix

The Way of the Househusband (coming 2021)

The most evil yakuza, Tatsu, is a legend in the underworld. He chose to walk away from the yakuza to become a full-time househusband!

Based on a story by Kosuke Oono.

Director: Chiaki Kon (Nodame Cantabile, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Eternal the Movie.)
Series Composition: Susumu Yamakawa.
Production Studio: J.C.STAFF.
Cast: Kenjiro Tsuda.

Which of the reveals or announcements out of Netflix Anime Festival 2020 are you most excited about? Let us know in the comments!

Source: press release

Author: Jamie Sugah

Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.

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