Netflix is expanding the worlds of Pacific Rim and Altered Carbon through original anime projects. The streaming giant is home to hundreds of original TV shows and movies, but one area they're looking to improve upon is their worldwide reach. In order to do so, anime is becoming a greater focus for them, and they're using known properties to help achieve their goal.
With over 125 million subscribers, Netflix is the home to just about any form of entertainment one can want. They've got everything from superhero, rom-com, horror, drama, and documentary shows that release new seasons constantly - not to mention their growing library of original films. The company is looking to expand their dominance by curating content focused more towards growing Asian markets. One of the most popular forms of content in these countries is anime. Netflix has original anime series' like Devilman Crybaby, Aggretsuko, and B: The Beginning as part of their library, but they've now announced plans to grow this corner with several new shows.
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THR shared the news that Netflix just announced at their first content showcase in Asia. The streaming service announced plans for a Pacific Rim anime series and an Altered Carbon anime film. The Pacific Rim series will be run by Thor: Ragnarok's Craig Kyle and X-Men: Evolution's Greg Johnson. Altered Carbon does not yet have a director, but is being written by Cowboy Beebop's Dai Sato. These are just a few of the newly announced projects, which also include original series' Cagaster of an Insect Cage from Koichi Chigira, Yasuke led by Lakeith Stanfield's voice, and Trese.
Netflix getting involved with the Pacific Rim franchise comes after the sequel did not perform nearly as well as Legendary hoped. The Guillermo del Toro-directed first film was such a hit overseas that the Chinese box office is one of the only reasons why a sequel was made to begin with. Unfortunately, Pacific Rim Uprising was not the start to a larger franchise on the big screen. With there being no indications that a third movie is on the way, an anime series for Netflix aimed directly at the same audience who loved the first film could be a great way to keep the franchise alive. The series will follow an older brother and younger sister who must pilot a Jaeger to try and find their missing parents.
The announcement of an anime Altered Carbon movie on the other hand is an example of Netflix expanding their own original content. The first season of Altered Carbon starred Joel Kinnaman, and debuted earlier this year on the streamer. It was eventually renewed for a second season but with Anthony Mackie taking over in the lead role. Details on the anime movie are scarce at this point, but it'll be set in the same universe as the live-action series, and "will explore new elements of the story mythology."
With these two new major anime projects and the others mentioned before, Netflix should be able to find an even larger audience in Asia, which is their goal. But, in targeting known IPs for the two biggest announcements, they also can appeal to a worldwide audience. Netflix's CCO Ted Serandos stated, "More than half of Asian content hours viewed on Netflix this year are viewed outside the region," so even though the Pacific Rim series and Altered Carbon movie are specifically aimed at Asian markets, Netflix can still reach other anime fans around the world.