Netflix to Launch 40 Original Anime Series in 2021

According to Bloomberg, Netflix is looking to solidify its hold over the Asian streaming market, and in trying to do so will release 40 original Japanese-style anime series this year, almost double as many as it usually releases.

With stark competition from AT&T Inc., Apple’s Apple TV+ service, the Disney+ streaming service, and others in the U.S. and Canada, the North American market is quickly approaching a saturation point.

With over 5 million subscribing households in Asia, half of which consume an average of 5 hours of anime-style shows every month, Netflix feels confident in Asia being its next big market.

Netflix discovered the recipe for success in the Asian market after last year’s Demon Slayer, which became the fourth highest-grossing film globally and Japan’s best-selling title ever before making its way to Netflix.

Netflix also saw immense success with original titles Blood of Zeus and Castlevania that make use of the same format, and the many Studio Ghibli anime movies available on the streaming service are some of the best content it has to offer.

“We want to be able to pride ourselves as being the top entertainment destination with good quality content”, said Taiki Sakurai, Netflix’s chief anime producer, in an interview. “The growth of our business is directly connected to the growth of our anime.”

Netflix made the announcement during a virtual animation expo from Japan.

Currently under development at Netflix are a myriad of titles that will appeal directly to Asian audiences, such as the original anime series Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness based on the Japanese video-game franchise of the same name, as well as adaptations like Keanu Reeves’ BRZRKR that leverage the Japanese-style anime format but are a shoo-in for success in both the Asian and North American markets.