Netflix appears to be taking the world of anime quite seriously. However, given the complexity involved in licensing popular Japanese anime, the global leader in online streaming, could take the plunge into creating original anime, hints a job listing the company posted recently.
Netflix has become one of the most popular streaming platforms for the generation of TV lovers who are referred to as “chord-cutters.” However, when it comes to anime, the company has been struggling to find a firm footing. Although Netflix is making some progress, the platform appeared content with streaming only a handful of old series, and dabbling in funding a few of its own. But that will all change soon, indicates a job listing that Netflix put up recently.
Netflix is looking for a director to steer its anime division. If the listing is any indicator, the best new anime for 2017 might not come from Crunchyroll or Funimation, but could very well be one of Netflix Originals. Netflix has clearly indicated its interest in expanding its anime footprint, and knows well that the world is quite complex from a legal perspective. With several regional restrictions, other companies have to skillfully manage their content, and ensure the least amount of time is spent between the release of the original anime in Japan and its debut in English-speaking regions or Western countries.
— Kristine Don (@kristinedon28) January 10, 2017
The job listing for the director of Netflix’s anime division reads:
“Netflix is recruiting for a Director in our International Originals group to be based either in Beverly Hills, CA, or in Tokyo, Japan. The Director will be a key member of the team, responsible for identifying and developing original anime content. The Director will be responsible for developing local anime television shows from companies and independent producers for digital streaming in all Netflix territories globally.”
The job listing is quite interesting owing to its requirements. It is quite apparent that Netflix isn’t interested in grabbing streaming rights. Incidentally, the world of anime licensing is quite simple as far as American streaming companies are concerned. Platforms like Funimation and Crunchyroll regularly license anime series from Japan. These popular anime series are then dubbed or subbed in English and streamed in other countries. The platforms do not bankroll an anime project or even pitch an idea about popular manga series to foreign studios for their consideration.
However, with Netflix entering the segment, the way anime shows are made, licensed, and streamed in English-speaking regions could undergo a fundamental change. In the past, Netflix has tested the waters with original content inspired from series like Little Witch Academia and Seven Deadly Sins, reported Comic Book. The job posting clearly implies Netflix wants to significantly boost its anime catalog. The director will be tasked with “evaluating [and] develop[ing]…High-quality anime content that will engage anime fans.”
— ComicBook NOW! (@ComicBookNOW) January 9, 2017
While other companies that focus on streaming anime to the western world reportedly accept whatever they can lay their hands own, Netflix could shift the paradigm. The director of anime at Netflix could cherry-pick an immensely popular Japanese manga that’s never been animated, and develop an anime. If Netflix is able to pull this off, it could easily influence the taste of anime fans in the western world or even define trends in the segment.
Anime is making a huge comeback in the United States. Shows like Dragon Ball Super and Attack on Titan, have managed to capture the attention of a lot of anime fans who were tired of waiting for their favorites series to land in America. Moreover, given Netflix’s global presence, anime fans across the world who are interested in watching licensed shows, make the streaming platform the go-to site.
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