Netflix continues to go hard on Japanese anime. The streamer unveiled a three-picture deal Wednesday with Tokyo-based anime powerhouse Studio Colorido.
Netflix previously partnered with Colorido on the global release of the well received feature A Whisker Away in 2020. Netflix is aggressively expanding its anime output — the company says it will release 40 new anime titles in 2022 alone — but Wednesday’s deal is its first pact with a prominent studio known primarily for making anime features.
The first release under the deal will be Drifting Home, directed by Hiroyasu Ishida, premiering on Sept. 16. Netflix dropped a new trailer (below) for the title and noted that the film also will be released theatrically in cinemas in Japan. The new partners also said one of the other films under the agreement will be directed by Tomotaka Shibayama, co-director of A Whisker Away. That project is expected to be ready for release in 2024.
“Studio Colorido has some of Japan’s finest animation creators who have been producing best-in-class original animated features over the last 10 years,” said Netflix’s Director of Japan Content, Yuji Yamano. “This partnership extends our growing film slate in Japan, and also adds to our collection of more ‘lean-back’ and family-friendly stories.”
Netflix recently has been highlighting the strong value of Japanese anime to its service — both within Japan and globally. The company said earlier this spring that over half of its global subscribers watched some anime in 2021, and over 90 percent of users in Japan consumer content in the category.
Anime is thought to be especially valuable in Asian markets, where Netflix still has room for growth. The Asia-Pacific region was the lone positive point in the company’s disappointing first quarter earnings statement, which sent its share price plummeting. In its letter to shareholders last week, Netflix said it was “making good progress” in the Asia-Pacific, with “nice growth in a variety of markets including Japan, India, Philippines, Thailand, and Taiwan.”