Netflix, the streaming giant that now claims more than 100 million subscribers, is building up its selection of anime with original content. The service, which already licenses a slate of anime shows, will soon include exclusives from the studios behind “Cowboy Bebop” and “Ghost in the Shell.” By offering titles that can only be found on the platform, the Netflix hopes to swoop up the anime fan base of Crunchyroll and Funimation. This push into original content is nothing new for the company, which recently announced plans to make original content 50% of its offering.
The new anime line-up follows in the footsteps of the platform’s other originals, including Castlevania and the upcoming Assassin’s Creed series.
Among the new shows is “Devilman Crybaby,” a 10 episode series that focuses on two friends who encounter a demon from the underworld. One of the friends merges bodies with the demon and transforms into Devilman— a person with the powers of a demon and the soul of a human. The show is a Science SARU production and will launch on Netflix in Spring 2018.
Other shows that are expected to premiere in 2018 are “B: The Beginning,” which follows an investigator on the case of a serial killer who could be part of a wider criminal organization; “Sword Gai: the Animation,” a story about a boy who fuses with a demonic sword to battle hordes of monsters; “A.I.C.O. Incarnation,” which takes place in Japan during the year 2035 and features a dangerous artificial life form and an unwitting young girl who may have ties to the synthetic organism.
Anime may be a growing trend in the US, but it is huge in places like Japan and the Philippines, and with a majority of Netflix subscribers being from overseas doubling down in this type of content could prove to be beneficial.