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Disney Plus Reveals New Push Into Anime

Just a few years ago anime streaming was the preserve of specialist sites such as Crunchyroll, Funimation Now, Daisuki and The Anime Network. As the mainstream streaming boom really took hold we saw major players such as Netflix, Amazon and latterly HBO Max enter into both licensing and funding Japanese animation. Now it turns out that even Disney Plus is making a push into the anime world.

Original content is a key part of Disney's strategy for their streaming offering. As well as new original series and movies from the likes of Pixar, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Disney TV Animation, Marvel and LucasFilm, Disney is also commissioning local content in international markets from outside producers. Having previously revealed plans for originals from Europe, the Mouse House has been teasing their slate for Asia and The Pacific in an online showcase.

Among a total of 18 new originals that are planned to be produced over the coming year, Disney announced four  new anime titles:

  • Black Rock Shooter Downfall A brand new anime adaptation of the popular multi-media franchise, that has already spawned manga, video games, music merchandise and a 2012 anime from Fuji TV. The series will be written by Makoto Fukami ( Pysycho Pass, Resident Evil Vendetta).
  • Summer Time Rendering  A tale of suspense set on a secluded island of Hyogashima. Based on the hit manga by Yasuki Tanaka, one of  the most successful series on Jump+.
  • Yojoan Time Machine Blues Adaptation of the novel by Tomohiko Morimi, a sequel to the cult fave The Tatami Galaxy. A timey-wimey mystery sci-fi comedy.
  • Twisted Wonderland  Anime adaptation of the hit mobile game. The concept, characters and designs come from Yana Toboso, creator of Black Butler,  and the series focuses on characters based on spins on various Disney Villains.

Release dates and more information will be forthcoming nearer release. Disney notes that streaming availability may vary by region, however we would expect all the series to be available everywhere that Disney Plus operates. Depending on the content of the series and how suitable it is for the Disney brand, some or all of them could wind up moving to Hulu in the US instead. Outside the US, Disney Plus has the Star brand for less family friendly series and movies, so it will probably end up there. Considering Disney Plus Star is home to the likes of Deadpool, Y The Last Man and The Walking Dead in places such as the UK, we can't see any of those series as being too much.

This news comes just weeks after the arrival of the first Disney Plus Original anime, the LucasFilm anthology Star Wars VisionsMore collaborations of LucasFilm and even Marvel with Japanese studios might be on the cards, too., among other potential exciting projects. Who knows.... maybe even the long requested Kingdom Hearts adaptation could finally happen?

Summer Time Rendering