Netflix is making a big push to expand its Japanese entertainment catalog. At over 90 titles ranging from K-On to Alive in Borderland, Netflix is going to push for more originals and feature films that go beyond mere adaptations.
Japanese content has reached the Top 10 in over 50 countries, Netflix Japan announced in a press release, “in addition to over 120 million households that have chosen to watch at least one anime title — more than double the number of households in 2018.” As such, the platform is working closely with studios and creators to bring anime, adaptations, and feature films to international audiences on the streaming service.
At Netflix Festival Japan 2021 today, the streaming giant announced dozens of new projects, including live-action adaptations of classic manga and anime à la the company’s Cowboy Bebop adaptation.
Each of the projects originates in 20th-century manga like the live-action drama adaptation of the shōnen manga hit Yu Yu Hakusho. The story of an underworld detective first ran in Weekly Shōnen Jump in 1990 and remains a classic for fans of the genre. Details are sparse, but the feature is aiming for a Dec. 2023 release.
Simply titled Gundam, Sunrise and Legendary are collaborating on the franchise’s first live-action feature film. Debuted in 1979, Yoshiyuki Tomino’s fatalistic mecha manga about imperialism and war has since become one of the biggest franchises around the world. While there’s no release date, we did get a look at the first piece of concept art from the project, featuring a fiery Mobile Suit. Jordan Vogt-Roberts (Kong: Skull Island) has come on as director while Saga, Paper Girls, and Y: The Last Man comic writer Brian K. Vaughan will write the film’s script.
After finishing up Cowboy Bebop this month, Tomorrow Studios will turn its attention to an even greater undertaking: One Piece. Mangaka Eiichiro Oda will serve as executive producer on what is being called a “live-action drama series.” In a press release, Netflix stated “manga creator Eiichiro Oda and Weekly Shōnen Jump were confident they could overcome the many assorted hurdles and realize this miracle of a project.”
One Piece began publication in Shueisha’s Weekly Shōnen Jump in 1997 and recently surpassed 100 volumes in print, while the anime will air its 1000th episode on Nov. 21. Matt Owens (Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) will serve alongside Oda as executive producer and write the screenplay. Steven Maeda is the series’ showrunner.
There were no dates for One Piece either, but with the team gathered it looks to be a show worth waiting for.