Anime Is Huge For Netflix, Streaming Giant Announces 5 Shows On The Way

Netflix's anime team has five new shows on the way, including a Jojo's Bizarre Adventure spinoff, a bloody horror show, and one about a relaxing bear.

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It seems like Netflix is in the news more for cancelling shows than it is for making them lately, but the streaming giant still has tons of stuff in the works. Netflix announced five new anime this week along with some data that points to just how well the medium is doing for the company.

"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, Netflix's chief anime producer, at the two-hour Netflix Anime Festival 2020 virtual event, embedded below.

The company has seen 50% growth year-over-year, and Netflix subscribers in 100 million households watched anime through the service in the last year, with anime titles making Netflix "top 10" lists in almost 100 countries. Netflix has also grown its Japanese acquisition staff from just one person in 2016 to ten at the current point.

The five newly-announced shows span a variety of genres and tones.

Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan - This miniseries is a spinoff from the popular Jojo's Bizarre Adventure series focusing on Rohan Kishibe, the manga artist from the "Diamond is Unbreakable" story arc.

Thermae Romae Novae - This is the story of an ancient Roman bath designer named Lucius who finds himself transported to the other great bath culture, modern-day Japan. Lucius learns about Japanese bath culture in this comedy based on Mari Yamazaki's original manga of the same name.

High-Rise Invasion - Based on the manga from Miura Tsuina and Takahiro Oba, this story is set in a series of high-rise buildings connected by rope bridges. High school student Yuri Honjo finds herself in this strange environment where she's pursued by masked killers. Expect lots of death and blood in this one.

The Way of the Househusband - Legendary gangster Tatsu walked away from his life as a member of Japan's yakuza to become a stay-at-home husband. The title, The Way of the Househusband ("Gokushufudou" in Japanese) comes from the combination of the words "Gokudo" which means (roughly) "The Ultimate Way"--this is the word yakuza typically use to refer to themselves--and "Shufu," which means, pretty literally, "stay-at-home husband." It's a title that comes out weird in English but is pretty amusing as a play on the contrast of these two male roles in Japanese culture.

Rilakkuma's Theme Park Adventure - Japanese mascot character Rilakkuma, the relaxing bear, stars in a stop-motion animated show about a day of incidents that take place when he plays in a soon-to-close theme park.

Most of these anime have rough 2021 release windows, though High-Rise Invasion is currently set to release in February 2021 specifically. In addition to these five shows, the other previously-announced titles include Spriggan, Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness, Godzilla: Singular Point, Eden, Vampire in the Garden, Yasuke, Pacific Rim: The Black, Transformers: War for Cybertron, Trese, B: The Beginning Succession, and Baki Hanma. Yasuke in particular stands out. The anime is a fictionalized retelling of the life of Yasuke the black samurai, and actor LaKeith Stanfield (Sorry to Bother You) will lend his voice to the titular character.

Some of these titles, like Rilakkuma's Theme Park Adventure and Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness don't fit the typical Western definition of anime, but Netflix Anime included them in its event, so we thought they were worth mentioning here.

You can check out the entire Netflix Anime Fest 2020 below.

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