Why is Netflix betting more and more on anime?

Over the past few years, anime have enjoyed increasing popularity. Yet, until recently, these anime series originating in Japan were considered a niche interest. Today, the tide seems to have turned since they are more appreciated than ever. Netflix has understood this and intends to take advantage of this resurgence in popularity for anime.

Popularity at the top

While anime appeared in Japan many decades ago, it took years for Japanese animation to capture the hearts of Westerners. Apart from a few licenses like pokemon, Olive and Tom Where Yu Gi Oh!, anime was only for “geeks”. But not necessarily in a good way. So, there was a time when anime fans were considered weird or apart. In short, outside the norm.

Fortunately, things have since evolved! First of all, the spectators realized that animes were not necessarily intended for children. This is a first step forward. Then, for a long time, people associated anime (and manga) with a very specific genre: that of shonen nekketsu, like Dragon Ball Z, naruto Where One Piece, where the power of friendship is master and in which it is fought hard. However, and fortunately, it is not only that. There are different genres of anime: science fiction, romance, thriller… There’s something for everyone. For this democratization of anime, we can thank the Internet and social networks. But not only.

More accessible than ever

In this rise in popularity of anime, SVOD are not there for nothing. Thanks to these platforms, anime are now more accessible. With more people willing to watch them, animes have gained notoriety. If some regret this period when anime were not “mainstream”, this democratization on streaming platforms is good. For everyone.

Indeed, in my time, watching an anime was far from an easy thing. Most of the time, we had to go to (very) dubious sites and walk on eggshells to avoid accidentally downloading a virus that was going to rot the family computer while Chantal, 52, offered us a hot night 2 kilometers away from our home. Some anime was shown on TV but it was rarely on the bigger channels. If you are even older, it was much more complicated without the beginnings of the Internet. For them, it was necessary to rely on Club Dorothée and VHS. And again… Not everything was available and we took what we could get our teeth into.

Screenshot from Netflix © Lemon Squeezer

If today you want to discover an anime, Netflix has a more or less rich catalog to start with. The streaming leader has managed to land some big names like naruto Where Hunter x Hunter, who have been squatting in its catalog for several years now. The SVOD does not stop there since it fights regularly to grow its catalog of anime. Note, among other things, the recent arrival of the first two collections of Detective Conanof JoJo’s Bizarre’s Adventure: Stone Ocean or the first season of Demon Slayer. Over the past few years, Netflix has managed to get its hands on landmarks like cowboy bebop Where Neon Genesis Evangelion. Something to delight fans of anime on the platform.

Regularly, Netflix confides to its subscribers that it does its best to recover the licensing rights of size like One Piece Where Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood which, for a blessed time, was available on the platform.

Netflix: a strategy focused on anime?

Faced with the enthusiasm generated by anime and Japanese animated films, Netflix has pulled out the fangs. While streaming platforms dedicated to Japanese animation have come to the fore and overshadowed it, with Crunchyroll and Wakanim joining forces, the streaming giant had to act.

In addition to offering big names in Japanese animation, we had to think bigger. This is how Netflix got into producing anime. Against all expectations, the SVOD does not turn out to be too bad in this area. It doesn’t work every time, that’s for sure, but Netflix has managed to lay down some nuggets. We think in particular of Devilman Crybabythe updated adaptation of the cult manga Devilman by Gō Nagai, following offbeat Saiki Kusuo no Psi-nan or, more recently, touching Solo Kotaro.

Netflix has understood that anime are working right now and that you have to bet on it. In addition to the purchase of large license rights and the production of anime, Netflix has taken it into its head to adapt it. Well, this is where it gets tricky. It is always difficult to adapt a written medium and this is all the more true when it comes to a manga or an anime. Netflix has already tried it. Not without breaking a few teeth. We remember the disaster of Death Note in 2017, then that of cowboy bebop Last year. But nothing stops the giant with the red N who, like an enraged shonen hero, does not intend to give up. And tackles the adaptation of a monument of Japanese animation: One Piece.