It’s a great time to be an anime fan. Netflix hasn’t only been adding popular titles to their library, they’ve also fully embraced anime with five major projects to look forward to.
The five newly announced projects are: Rilakkuma’s Theme Park Adventure, Thermae Romae Novae, High-Rise Invasion, Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan and The Way of the Househusband. Each add to the diverse and never-before-seen catalogue of stories straight from our creative home in Japan.
Netflix says anime titles have appeared in the Top 10 list in almost 100 countries this year so far. Over 100 million households around the world chose to watch at least one anime title on Netflix (Oct 2019 – Sept 2020), growing by 50% year-over-year.
Titles like Seven Deadly Sins and BAKI have resonated with fans globally. Seven Deadly Sins became one of the Top 10 titles among all series and films in over 70 countries since its launch, and Baki in almost 50 countries.
There’s a total of 16 titles to be excited about. The first five on this list are completely new while the rest were previously announced and are expected to arrive in 2021.
Five new projects
Rilakkuma’s Theme Park Adventure
The production of the new series of Rilakkuma has been produced in stop-motion animation following the success of “Rilakkuma and Kaoru.” The series depicts an active day of incidents and meetings that take place when Rilakkuma, Korilakkuma, Kiiroitori, and Kaoru go play in an amusement park that is about to close.
Thermae Romae Novae
The very popular manga by Yamazaki Mari has been brought back to life in the present day in a new way (“Novae” means “new” in Latin). Based on the manga, new episodes created by Mari Yamazaki will also appear. Lucius, a bath designer in the Roman Empire, accidentally slips back in time to present day Japan and learns about Japanese bath culture in this comedy.
Based on the manga by Miura Tsuina (Ajin) and Takahiro Oba (Box!), this is an unpredictable and frightening survival story set in high-rise buildings that don’t reach the ground. The protagonist, Yuri, decides to survive in order to destroy this illogical world and kill the enemy wearing the “mask”, but what will she do?
Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan
This series consists of four strange episodes that Kishibe Rohan, the manga artist from “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable,” saw and heard in a destination he visited to collect material for the manga.
The Way of the Househusband
The most evil yakuza, Tatsu, is a legend in the underworld. He chose to walk away from the yakuza to become a full-time househusband!
Updates on 11 upcoming titles
EDEN (Coming May 2021)
A completely new story from director Irie Yasuhiro and the creators of the world, this sci-fi fantasy follows Sarah, a girl raised by two robots, as she confronts the world.
RESIDENT EVIL: Infinite Darkness (Coming 2021)
Known as the gold standard of survival horror games with over 100 million units from the game series shipped worldwide, “Resident Evil” has now been transformed into a Netflix original CG anime series. Three years after 2017’s CG film “Resident Evil: Vendetta,” technology has further evolved, creating the groundwork for a new series in unprecedented full 3DCG animation.
Vampire in the Garden (Coming 2021)
Once upon a time, there was a world where vampires and humans lived together in “Paradise”. This is the story of a young girl, Momo, and the vampire queen, Fine, who traveled in search of “Paradise.” This is a completely new work by WIT STUDIO, well-known for “Attack on Titan” and talented creators.
Yasuke (Coming Soon 2021)
In a war-torn feudal Japan filled with mechs and magic, the greatest ronin never known, Yasuke, struggles to maintain a peaceful existence after a past life of violence. But when a local village becomes the center of social upheaval between warring daimyo, Yasuke must take up his sword and transport a mysterious child who is the target of dark forces and bloodthirsty warlords.The story of Yasuke, the first African samurai who actually served the legendary Oda Nobunaga, will be released to the world.
Godzilla Singular Point (Coming 2021)
This series features a brand new staff and original story which depicts the young geniuses Mei Kamino, a female researcher, and Yun Arikawa, a male engineer, as they take on an unprecedented threat with their companions.
Pacific Rim: The Black (Coming Soon 2021)
There was a time when Kaiju rose from the Pacific Rim only to encounter gigantic robots, Jaegers, built to fight them back. That time has passed. Now, Australia has been overrun by Kaiju, forcing the evacuation of an entire continent. Left behind, teenage siblings Taylor and Hayley embark on a desperate search for their missing parents, teaching themselves to pilot a battered, long-abandoned Jaeger to help in their quest and give them even the slightest hope of surviving.
Transformers: War for the Cybertron Trilogy (Coming Soon)
The WAR FOR CYBERTRON continues with the second chapter, EARTHRISE! With the Allspark gone, Megatron is forced to confront the harsh reality that his Decepticons are trapped on a dying Cybertron while also fighting off the persistent threat of Elita-1 and her Autobots. Meanwhile, lost in the darkest reaches of space, Optimus Prime and his team embark on a desperate mission that will push them to the breaking point as they travel to uncharted new worlds to face spacefaring mercenaries, enigmatic figures from long ago and even their own creators.
Trese (Coming 2021)
Set in Manila where the mythical creatures of Philippine folklore live in hiding amongst humans, Alexandra Trese finds herself going head to head with a criminal underworld composed of malevolent supernatural beings.
B: The Beginning Succession (Coming Soon 2021)
After Keith and Koku solved the incidents successfully , the world has regained its composure. In the months since then, Keith returns to the RIS to conduct his own investigation, and Koku is living a peaceful life with Yuna. They are visited by Kirisame, who was once supposed to have broken up with Kurou in death at the Faura Blanca Institute.
Baki Hanma (Coming 2021)
The story finally unfolds into a full-blooded clash between Baki Hanma and his father, Yujiro Hanma, who is known as the “strongest creature on earth.” The climax of the Baki universe, which depicted the “strongest parent-child brawl in history of the world” in the original manga, has been adapted into the long-awaited anime!
The legendary manga that took the world by storm in the 1990s has been vividly brought to this animated series by utilizing 2D drawings and 3DCG. The legacy of an outstanding civilization that once existed on this planet is said to still be hidden in various parts of the world. The military of major powers has intervened in the excavation and research of this mysterious and powerful heritage, and has begun battling over it. At the same time, an organization called “Spriggan” is working to seal up this ancient civilization. This is a high speed action series featuring battles over ancient relics!
TikTok is still most downloaded entertainment app amid controversies
In the United States and the Philippines
What does the world think about the recent TikTok controversies? Throughout the entire year, the American government has hounded the Chinese video-sharing platform for alleged cybersecurity issues. Amid all the legalistic battles, the controversy aimed at a more cultural change: dissuade users from installing the app. Has that worked at all? Apparently, it hasn’t.
According to a study conducted by iPrice Group, TikTok is still the most downloaded entertainment app in the West and in Southeast Asia. Contrary to expectations, the platform is still popular in territories where it, theoretically, should have fallen.
The United States, the seat of the controversy, is on top, edging out China, TikTok’s own home country. Meanwhile, the other countries in the top ten are mostly in Europe or Southeast Asia.
Among this esteemed list, India remains on the eighth spot. The South Asian country recently banned the app back in August, making its entry a surprise. Although, since the survey was conducted between January to September, India will likely drop off in a future list.
The Philippines, on the other hand, is only on the 11th spot. The study suggests that the country was an early adopter before the 2020 surge. True enough, the Philippines hosted the platform during its early days. Back then, users went on singing duets with strangers. Now, TikTok is a hodgepodge of dancing trends and memes.
For most countries, Netflix trails not too far behind as the second-most downloaded entertainment app. The third spot is more varied including Amazon Prime Video and Disney+.
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Disney just released a Filipino Christmas video
Guaranteed to make you cry
Though most Filipinos would argue for September, November marks the perfect staging ground for Christmas all over the world. Not too close but close enough, the month is the perfect time to celebrate the coming holidays with Christmas-themed media. Right on cue, Disney just released a Filipino Christmas video guaranteed to make you cry.
On the global company’s UK Facebook page, Disney introduced its ad for Christmas 2020. A breath of fresh air from the company’s usually American leanings, the ad starts of in 1940 Philippines on presumably Christmas Day or thereabouts. A Filipino child greets her father coming home from work. After being greeted with a mano, he gives her a Mickey Mouse doll.
Almost immediately, the child flashes forward to 2005 when she, now as a grandmother, has moved to the United Kingdom and shares the doll with her granddaughter. The lola-apo combo create a yearly Christmas tradition: crafting a parol while playing with the Mickey Mouse doll. Naturally, as the years go by, the apo grows up, finds other priorities in life, and leaves her lola alone for the first time. When she comes home, she finds… well, you’ll have to see for yourself. It’s a tearjerker.
(Bonus: if you want to add a more depressing layer to your Disney tears, 1940 was a year before Japan invaded the Philippines. The lola did not have a good time after that Christmas. That doesn’t even mention the strangely missing parents from 2005 onwards.)
Coupled with the upcoming film Raya and the Last Dragon, Disney’s Filipino ad sets up a more inclusive future for Southeast Asia in popular media. At the very least, it accurately portrays how beautiful a Filipino Christmas can be.
Netflix is testing a Netflix channel
With scheduled programming
Is it hard to find something to watch on Netflix? After months of staying at home, most of us would have already blazed through our backlog of old to-watch titles. If you’re in that all-too-familiar struggle for a new show to binge through, Netflix is brewing up a solution for you. Besides the newly introduced Shuffle feature, Netflix is testing a Netflix channel.
In France, the global streaming platform is testing a traditionally styled content channel called Netflix Direct, as reported by Variety. Available for Netflix subscribers, the linear channel will show content from Netflix’s content library through scheduled programming.
The new channel will eliminate the burden of choice — a welcome benefit for some users. “Maybe you’re not in the mood to decide, or you’re new and finding your way around, or you just want to be surprised by something new and different,” Netflix said.
Currently, the platform is testing the channel in France where cable television is still prominent. Though it already debuted officially, the channel will broadcast at a larger capacity sometime in December. If it performs well in France, the channel might debut in other territories.
Besides the linear channel, Netflix is also testing a “Shuffle Play” button, selecting a new recommended title for users after every use. With the new developments, the platform is slowly making it easier to watch new titles without getting bogged down in a flood of choices.
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