Netflix is really pushing the boat out with its original offerings this year. They’re planning to release 700 original movies and series in 2018. What’s more, 30 of them will be anime. And if that’s not enough, Netflix is going to be working with some of the biggest names in anime today, including director and producer Taito Okura. Okura is Netflix’s new Director for Anime Operations. Hiring Okura is part of Netflix’s attempt to beef up their production team with first-rate players. And if Okura’s track record is anything to go by, Netflix is going to be producing some pretty epic programming.
Some people don’t take anime seriously, and that’s a mistake. A year ago, Wired Magazine reported that only ten percent of anime viewers live in Japan. The genre has gone international and is quickly going mainstream. And it’s on its way to becoming a major market force. Netflix is getting ready to play.
Here’s a first look at some of the anime titles that Netflix will release in 2018. From dark and disturbing to cute…and disturbing. There are detective stories, science fiction adventures, and tales set in fantasy worlds that will make you gasp with wonder. If you’re already a fan, Netflix has what you want. And if you’re new to anime, this is a great time to get started.
Two new original anime series are scheduled for streaming release on March 9. They’re clever, they’re well done, and they’re waiting for you on Netflix.
The year is 2037. Two years earlier, a biological research project went terribly wrong. As a result, an artificial life form called “Matter” spread throughout the Kurobe Gorge. The Gorge is now quarantined off. Fifteen-year-old high school student Aiko Tachibana, whose parents were killed in the event, learns that her body contains a secret. What’s more, the key to the secret lies in the quarantine area. Girl meets boy, and they hold the fate of the world in their hands.
It sounds like exciting stuff, and the trailer is exciting as well. You can watch it below.
B: The Beginning
B: The Beginning is a crime drama with supernatural and science fiction elements. Set in a world powered by advanced technology, the detectives of the Royal Investigation Service hunt down a serial killer who goes by the name of “Killer B.” The killer likes to carve the letter “B” near the victims, and seems to have a streak of vigilantism. The victims all seem to be villains of some sort. As Killer B’s internet fame grows, the Royal Investigation Service brings in an outsider, Keith Kazaa Flick. Soon, detectives realize, the killer may be closer to them than they think. It’s an intriguing premise, and it’s getting some good press. But it’s definitely not for kids. You can watch the trailer here.
Other Netflix Anime Originals in 2018
Aside from A.I.C.O. Incarnation and B: The Beginning, Netflix’s 2018 offerings are shaping up to be spectacular. Take a look.
Fans of anime horror will love Devilman Crybaby. Netflix is adapting the wildly popular 1970s manga and anime franchise of the same name, for the small screen. With plenty of sex, violence, gore, and supernatural themes, this isn’t one for the kids. Here’s the setup:
The world is under attack by demons. Ryo Asuka wants to expose them. Ryo’s friend, Akira Fudo, is fighting them a different way — by bonding with one. Hence the name, Devilman. Akira takes on demonic superpowers, yet keeps his human qualities like kindness and empathy. Together, amid a panicking world, they fight for humanity. Watch the trailer below.
Twenty-five-year-old Retsuko is a red panda who works in a large company’s accounting department. Right. Are you with us so far? Her supervisors and coworkers keep piling on the work. Retsuko doesn’t object, even though, inside, she’s furious. What’s a panda to do? Blow off steam singing death metal in a karaoke bar, obviously. Given the stressful life of Japanese “office girls” like Retsuko, it’s probably more common than you think. What’s not to like? It’s even made by Sanrio. Aggretsuko is cute. It’s cathartic. And it’s metal as heck. The fifteen minute episodes will begin airing in April.
S.A.M. is a high end, royal class friendship droid. Along with a quirky, discarded maintenance robot and a deadly fugitive, they embark on a quest. The goal? To find S.A.M.’s best friend, who is the heir to a powerful kingdom under siege. This adaptation was crowdfunded, so you know it has a good sized following. With an all star writing and production team, this one, when it’s finally released, is going to be big fun.
Children of the Whales
The Mud Whale is a utopian island that floats across the surface of an endless sea of sand. Nine out of ten inhabitants of the island have special powers, called saimia. Saimia is a gift, but it also dooms the user to an early death. Fourteen year old Chakuro is the island’s archivist. He and his friends have come across other islands, but have never met a human who wasn’t from the Mud Whale. One day, Chakuro visits another island and meets a girl who will change his destiny. It’s an intriguing premise, and you can get a sneak peak in the trailer below. Coming to streaming on March 13.
Deep within a palace, the singer Finis spends her days in solitude. In a village on the frontier, another girl, Rin, lives an energetic and happy life. Both girls share a special power. They can heal wounds, create water, and control the wind through song. The specter of war hangs over the kingdom, and both girls set out to seek their destinies. What will happen when those destinies intersect? This twelve episode series will stream worldwide in the summer of 2018. But you can watch the trailer right now.
These are just a few of the anime projects that Netflix has in the pipeline. Diverse, innovative, and unique — and something for almost every taste. We can’t wait to see what unfolds over the coming year.
Featured Image: Video screengrab A.I.C.O/Netflix via YouTube.