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Anime On Netflix: A Million-Dollar Investment

Netflix is positioning itself as a great anime platform, since, little by little, it has incorporated new content.

Still from the series 'Saint Seiya: Knights of the Zodiac'

The arrival of new streaming platforms on the market caused Netflix to lose part of the content monopoly it had. Photo: YT-Netflix

LatinAmerican Post | Ariel Cipolla

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Leer en español: Animé en Netflix: inversiones millonarias para fortalecer la industria

The arrival of new streaming platforms on the market caused Netflix to lose part of the content monopoly it had. Although it was never the only application used to watch movies and series online, it is true that it agglomerated the most important market share. In other words, it was the undisputed leader in this field.

By 2021, it only gained less than 4 million subscribers, instead of the more than 6 million they had predicted. The company expected to exceed 210 million users, after reaching the record of 200 million. However, this lack of subscribers is due to the emergence of different platforms.

For example, Amazon Prime Video, the HBO or Disney Plus service are some of the platforms with the most varied catalogs. However, this does not mean that there are no other "niche" alternatives that Netflix is considering to increase its production capacity. One of them is anime, to which Netflix is paying more and more attention.

It is important to mention that, in order not to lose subscribers, Netflix is making million-dollar investments in general. For example, for 2021 it allocated 14,000 million euros, the highest figure to date. Now, a good portion of this will go towards the purchase of licenses and the creation of original anime.

The objective? To be able to compete with CrunchyRoll, the main anime platform on the planet, which this year was bought by Sony Pictures for an amount of 1,175 million dollars. 

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Perhaps the most prominent anime on Netflix is One Piece. One of the longest anime in the world, which belongs to the three most popular in history (along with Dragon Ball and Naruto) began to be part of the platform. That is, they acquired the license to transmit it, and, monthly, they upload new episodes with their own dubbing.

They have even acquired the rights to make a live-action adaptation of this anime. However, One Piece is not the only important acquisition that Netflix has made. On the contrary: it has some important exclusive licenses.

Perhaps the most relevant are Little Witch Academia, FullMetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Neon Genesis Evangelion, One Punch Man, Naruto, Fairy Teil, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Inuyasha, Death Note and Shingeki no Kyojin.

Any anime fan knows that all these productions are some of the most recognized in the industry, so having these licenses helps many people get started in this world of Asian productions. Now, the truth is that there are also many relevant indigenous creations.

For example, in 2017 Netflix had announced that it would allocate 8 billion dollars not only to acquire new anime, but also to create different original productions, such as movies. In this sense, the idea was to generate original series and films, as happened with Knights of the Zodiac: Saint Seiya, a remake of the original series.

The results are really good: Variety said that, according to statistics, more than 100 million screens around the world saw at least one anime title on the platform in the period of a year. This implied an increase of more than 50% after this last investment.

One of the main production companies associated with Netflix is Production I. G, one of the best-known studios in Japan. For example, it was recently announced that they will make a Terminator anime series, which demonstrates the possibility of converting stories originally intended for movies into "Japanese" format.