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Why Netflix is Instrumental to Future Anime Success


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Netflix is slowly developing a foundation in the Anime category. For many viewers, the Los Gatos, California company may represent their first exposure to the popular Japanese cartoon genre. Netflix recognizes the success of anime and has successfully launched several exclusive franchises and specials alongside licensing key properties such as Attack on Titan and Naruto, among others. Their presence in anime cannot be discounted as it is instrumental for anime to grow.

Not just a streaming service

With over 137 million users, Netflix is a behemoth of streaming, providing easy access to content. To satisfy this large user base, original programming has been developed. There are over 30 original anime shows available exclusively on Netflix including popular licensed properties such as Castlevania and Godzilla, to name a couple.

Originals, classics, and more

Netflix has quickly become the home of franchises that might not have received release elsewhere. Anime style cartoons such as Voltron: Legendary Defender have found success with the popular streaming service. Netflix has also picked up a new entry in Ultraman and Neon Genesis Evangelion, both of which are set for release later in 2019.

How anime is different from Western animation

Anime has a distinct art style that is hard to pinpoint alone. When compared to Western animation, though, it is more apparent. Anime features characters with accentuated facial features such as large eyes, more detailed clothing, and a wider range of facial animations, among other details.

Western animation is more utilitarian in design. This art style is often more fantasy based - characters have impossible body shapes, usually large protruding teeth, bulbous heads, etc. Quite a contrast to anime art styles, which might be exaggerated in certain features but not in these ways.

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Netflix’s gamble on anime could pay off huge

Valued at about $16 billion in 2016, anime is showing signs of steady growth. Licensed products run the gamut of toys to video games to movies. Anime gaming includes console, computer and mobile games of various types. There's even an anime slot machine by Microgaming that features five reels, three rows and fifteen paylines. Netflix entering the anime market could be a hedge bet of sorts ensuring they have access to the lucrative licensing side of entertainment. This includes toys such as action figures and manga.

The future of anime is bright

Anime is not all locked up by Netflix as there is competition for the rights to classics and new properties. Crunchroll, an anime focused streaming service, has over 40 million registered users with over 10 million monthly active users. While those numbers pale in comparison to Netflix’s total subscriber base, it is easy to pinpoint how many Crunchroll users are subscribed for the anime content. Crunchyroll is one of the few anime focused streaming options available.

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Anime represents many stories that do sometimes go wild with the story. If you dig into the various properties available you will find a deep ocean of content that covers serious topics as well. Don’t let the art style fool you - there are some deep stories being told via those detailed animation cells. Anime could explode in the near future if enough viewers are able to access it, something services like Netflix increasingly make easier to do.