By Bryan Tan
Netflix has revealed their aspirations for anime, announcing on Tuesday (27 Oct) five new anime projects slated to be released in 2021 and beyond. The five new series will be diverse – Rilakkuma’s Theme Park Adventure, Thermae Romae Novae by Yamazaki Mari, High-Rise Invasion, Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan and The Way of the Househusband – and will supplement the already existing repertoire of Netflix Original titles such as Blame!, Devilman Crybaby and DoroHeDoro, all of which have resonated with fans around the world.
This is in addition to a line-up of 11 new anime projects which will be released throughout 2021. The announcement is welcome news as Netflix has been playing catch-up in an attempt to create more original content to up its game as a one-stop anime platform, and to attract a more global anime fan base, most of whom spend time on various other platforms to watch anime.
“I’ve never imagined that my work (Thermae Romae Novae) would be viewed by so many people all over the world. I travel a lot and it’s hard for me to explain to people about the work that I do, so they get confused. But if my work is on Netflix, then many more people will get to see my work without me having to explain what it is,” said Yamazaki Mari, creator of Thermae Romae Novae, at a virtual livestreamed press conference.
Anime titles have appeared on the Netflix top 10 list in almost 100 countries this year so far, and a staggering 100 million households have watched at least one anime title on Netflix. This number has been growing exponentially by 50% year-over-year.
“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. 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,” says Taiki Sakurai, Anime Chief Producer of Netflix.
Trese, coming up in 2021, is set in Manila where the mythical creatures of Philippine folklore live in hiding amongst humans. Alexandra Trese finds herself going head to head with a criminal underworld composed of malevolent supernatural beings.
Mecha anime fans can look forward to other upcoming titles like Pacific Rim: The Black, where titanic, Gundam-like jaegers duke it out against monstrous kaiju, giant monsters reminiscent of those in Ultraman, which have overrun the entire continent of Australia.
There is also Transformers: War for the Cybertron Trilogy, a spin-off from the beloved Transformers franchise. In this series, Optimus Prime and his team embark on a desperate mission that will push them to the breaking point as they travel to uncharted new worlds to face spacefaring mercenaries, enigmatic figures from long ago and even their own creators.