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Netflix ‘Betting Big’ on Japanese Movies & Shows to Power Platform Into the Future

Jeff Kotuby

Netflix is looking for its next big East Asian hit if its latest initiative is any indication.

Netflix recently hosted its “Netflix Festival Japan 2021” event, showcasing future Japanese animated and live-action shows and movies that will be headed to the platform. Among the animated properties making their way to Netflix at some point in the future were the next chapter of “Seven Deadly Sins,” “Kakegurui Twin,” “Tiger & Bunny 2,” a new entry in the “Detective Conan” universe, and, of course, the wildly-anticipated anime adaptation of “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean.”

Unlike its action-focused anime offerings, Netflix is bringing a variety of Japanese live-action shows and movies to its platform. Netflix announced new entries into the “Ultraman” and “Gundam” universes, a documentary following Japanese actor Toma Ikuta, a talk show starring Japanese comedy duo Chidori, a Japanese version of “Love is Blind,” and a movie titled “Love Like the Falling Petals.”

“Our next big bet is expanding feature films. Japan is home to extraordinary talent who shape the cinematic history of the world.,” said Kaata Sakamoto, Netflix’s vice president of content for Japan. “With creators as diverse as the ones we work with today, we’re excited to play a role in the history of great local talent finding their voices and delivering them to audiences everywhere.”

Netflix reported substantial growth in anime viewership over the past few years. According to its report, over 120 million households have chosen to watch at least one anime title on Netflix — more than double the number of households in 2018. The clubhouse leader in anime content has to be Crunchyroll, which was recently acquired by Sony for almost $1.2 billion, but other platforms are seeing the value in adding anime to their libraries. On-demand services like Amazon Prime Video have built up their anime libraries over the past few years, and even free TV streaming services like Tubi and Cinedigm have harnessed the power of anime for their platforms.

Suffice to say, it doesn’t look like anime is a “fad” for Netflix (or in general, either) nor is it restricted to basements and backrooms anymore.

  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure

    October 6, 2012

    Follow the intergenerational feud between the Joestar Family and various forces of evil, the most prominent of which is Dio Brando and his followers.

  • The Seven Deadly Sins

    October 5, 2014

    The “Seven Deadly Sins”—a group of evil knights who conspired to overthrow the kingdom of Britannia—were said to have been eradicated by the Holy Knights, although some claim that they still live. Ten years later, the Holy Knights have staged a Coup d’état and assassinated the king, becoming the new, tyrannical rulers of the kingdom. Elizabeth, the king’s only daughter, sets out on a journey to find the “Seven Deadly Sins,” and to enlist their help in taking back the kingdom.


    April 2, 2011

    In an alternate New York City protected by a band of superheroes called NEXT, veteran Wild Tiger is forced to team up with rookie Barnaby Brooks Jr.

  • Case Closed

    January 8, 1996

    The son of a world famous mystery writer, Jimmy Kudo, has achieved his own notoriety by assisting the local police as a student detective. He has always been able to solve the most difficult of criminal cases using his wits and power of reason.

  • Ultraman

    April 1, 2019

    Decades ago, a hero from the stars left this world in peace. Now, the son of Ultraman must rise to protect the Earth from a new alien threat.

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