Netflix to Invest Deeper Into Japanese Anime

In an exclusive interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the head of Netflix’s Anime department, Kohei Obara, said that “half of Netflix’s global subscribers watch anime.”

According to the news outlet, that’d be about 111 million people, given Netflix’s current subscription numbers.

Netflix has been around since 2007, but in Japan, they’ve only been operational since 2016. Considering the short lifespan, the numbers they’re pulling for anime are awe-inspiring.

Netflix learned a lesson about anime; translating it to live-action takes a particular type of anime and the perfect storyline to make it work.

In 2021, Netflix aired a live-action remake of cult classic Cowboy Bebop, only to cancel it after just one season. Despite apparent best intentions, the live-action remake of the popular late 90’s anime series received considerable backlash from die-hard fans.

Netflix is Looking to Diversify

The Japanese arm of Netflix has been investing in anime since 2016, but in the beginning, their titles were all heavy action films that dove into fantasy, sci-fi, and adventure.

However, they’ve capitalized on their investment year after year, and now they’re ready to invest in other, lesser-known anime genres.

With titles like Exception in the horror genre and Rilakkuma’s Theme Park Adventure-family/young viewers, Netflix seems poised to appeal to the masses with remakes and original selections making the cut for their anime investment.

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