If you enjoyed Altered Carbon, as did I, Netflix is bringing a follow-up to the series, but in anime form. Fans of the Pacific Rim movie franchise (which itself is based on an anime) will also have something to cheer about. A Pacific Rim Netflix Original anime is coming too. The two headliners are part of a slate of 17 new original Asian titles announced at its “See What’s Next Asia” event in Singapore.
The content showcase is the first-ever by the company in Asia, as it bets big bucks on the region. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos made delivered opening keynotes, followed by appearances by House of Card’s Robin Wright, Narcos’ Diego Luna and Michael Pena, Mowgli’s Andy Serkis, and more.
The Pacific Rim original anime series expands upon the story of the first two live action movies, yes, more epic battles between Kaiju and Jaegars. The plot follows two siblings – an idealistic teenage boy and his naïve sister, who are forced to pilot an abandoned Jaegar across a hostile landscape to find their missing parents. Co-showrunners include Craig Kyle (Thor: Ragnarok) and Greg Johnson (X-Men: Evolution). The series is produced by Legendary Entertainment, the folks who did Kong: Skulled Island and Pokemon: Detective Pikachu.
The Altered Carbon anime feature is set in the same universe of the live-action sci-fi series (the second season is currently in production). It is written by Dai Sato (Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo) and Tsukasa Kondo; produced by animation studio Anima.
Other anime titles in the works include Cagaster of an Insect Cage, Yasuke and Trese.
Cagaster is set in a post-apocalytic world where a mysterious disease “Cagaster” turns people into giant murderous insects. This manga-based series follows the struggle of a young couple to stay alive. This anime is directed by Koichi Chigira (Last Exile, Full Metal Panic!) and produced by animation studio Gonzo (Hellsing, Afro Samurai).
Yasuke tells the story in war-torn feudal Japan of mechs and magic, based on the historical samurai of African origin who foudh with Oda Nobumaga. It is created and directed by LeSean Thomas (The Boondocks, Cannon Busters), who also serves as Executive Producer. Grammy nominee Flying Lotus will compose the score, while also an Executive Producer for the show. Lakeith Stanfield (Atlanta, Sorry to Bother You) will be the voice of Yasuke. The anime is produced by MAPPA (Yuri On Ice, Kakegurui).
Trese is set in Manila where the mythical creatures of Philippine folklore live in hiding amongst humans. This anime series is based on a graphic novel of the same name by Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldissimo. Executive Producer: Jay Oliva (Wonder Woman, The Legend of Korra); produced by Shanty Harmayn and Tanya Yuson at BASE Entertainment (Jakarta and Singapore).
Netflix currently boasts more than 130 million customers, with the vast majority in US, Latin America and Europe. Asia is a huge untapped market for the company, although the region only makes up a small percentage of its user base at the moment.
The company is betting big on Asia, which is also a source of talent and content. It plans to spend USD8 billion on content this year, although it’s unclear how much exactly goes to Asia.