In an announcement that left much of the anime community in utter shock, Netflix revealed their plans to dedicate $8 billion for the production of anime and films, which is a whopping 33% increase compared to what Netflix had planned on spending in 2017. With the upcoming anime line-up from Netflix looking promising, let’s look at some of the implications.
First off, and this is an obvious one, Netflix is a mammoth in the entertainment industry at the moment. Hosting the latest and greatest can only take a distributor one place, and that place is success. Netflix’s decision to spend $8 billion on what is a fairly niche medium of entertainment would obviously be somewhat of a surprise to the anime community. It’s possibly the best ever attempt by any corporation to cause a paradigm shift of anime to the mainstream side of entertainment. I mean, 30 anime productions in one year really is quite the number, with half of them being Netflix Originals.
Now what could this stunt by Netflix lead to? The answers are endless. More shows, better quality of shows, better working conditions for animators and so on. The repercussions are for the most part positive. Large moves like these are capable of revolutionizing the anime industry. How so? Having Netflix in charge and better budgeting could lead to changes in the very functioning of anime studios, such as the pay hierarchy, the reliance on freelance animators and so much more.
So, what about us fans? Better anime, prettier anime, and high quality stuff are to be expected, no doubt. But the 50% of shows that aren’t Netflix originals are going to be shows that Netflix licenses. That means those shows will be airing in Japan weekly, while we sit here and wait for Netflix to release it all together. With the weekly viewing lifestyle being integral to the anime community, it really isn’t that surprising that people have shaky faith in Netflix’s business model. But honestly, is that even so bad? With gargantuan titles like Saint Seiya, Violet Evergarden and Devilman Crybaby well on their way, Netflix really seems to want to cement their place in the anime world.
This comes at a time when Netflix is aiming to branch out to foreign content, with it releasing its first German, Italian, Swedish and Danish series. With the humongous jump in foreign content coming in 2018, Netflix looks to be hoping to vastly increase their subscriber count, and seem to be betting pretty big on anime to help them do the job.