Netflix adds 30 new anime series
What this means for streaming powerhouse
Anime—a popular Japanese cartoon style—seems to be on the rise as more people are starting to flock to the genre. Shows like Death Note or Full Metal Alchemist are inciting conversations that people want to be apart of and has created a huge fan base for anime lovers across the globe. Netflix is taking note of the growing interest and has ultimately decided to add to its extensive library with 30 new, exclusive anime series and movies. While there isn’t a definite list of what specific anime content fans can anticipate seeing, they can expect to revisit some cult classics. Not only will Netflix reach out to a more expansive user base by doing so, but it could possibly bring itself out of its financial turmoil as it competes with other streaming services.
While Netflix is a fairly new company—set to celebrate its 21st birthday this year—it has become a successful powerhouse, completely changing the way modern TV and movies are produced and consumed. But this shift hasn’t come easy. Recently, Netflix announced that they have raised $800 million dollars of debt, bringing their total long-term debt to over $3 billion—and a large portion of that new money will likely go to fund the company’s efforts in producing original content—including original anime content.
In hopes of breaking this vicious cycle, Netflix thinks anime fans and users who flock to the service will help the company reach record numbers and sales to keep it as one of the top streaming service providers. But for anyone who knows economics, they know that in order to bring in these records and sales, there are investments that must be made, adopting a “spend money to make money” mindset.
Overall, Netflix plans to spend a total of $8 billion on original content for 2018, and a sizable chunk of it will be invested in adding new anime. Some of these will include their own original anime series such as Neo Yokio—an American-Japanese co-produced animated television series created by Vampire Weekend frontman Ezra Koenig. Additionally, they have also recently debuted a live-action movie adaptation of the beloved anime and manga series Death Note and are producing a series based on the popular anime and web comic, Mob Psycho 100.
While 90 percent of people who watch anime are from Japan, the genre has been starting to receive some newfound popularity in the US that has certainly caught the attention of Netflix. In the past, it has been sidelined and seen as something that was “nerdy” or “geeky,” but it has recently started to trend. Additionally, celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Michael B. Jordan are bringing attention to the popular Japanese cartoons. Kim K. recently dyed her pair pink in inspiration of an anime character and Michael B. Jordan stated on Twitter how he’s a fan of Naruto and Bleach. It’s too soon to say how the new anime series will change the game for Netflix and affect the provider’s user base, but one thing is certain: audiences are in for hours of action-packed, vibrant, and fantastical programs.