Netflix, one of the largest online streaming services, held the “Press Conference to Consider Better Methods to Expand Anime Contents” on Feb. 25, 2020.
Netflix announced new efforts to further advance the development of original Japanese anime, and expansion of stories with originality unique to Japan.
Netflix also announced a partnership with 6 creators who represent Japan, including CLAMP, Kibayashi Shin, Ootagaki Yasuo, Otsuichi, Ubukata Tow, and Yamazaki Mari.
At the press conference, Ookawa Nanase from the manga group CLAMP, famous for amongst others “Card Captor Sakura” , and Kibayashi, who is the original author of “The Kindaichi Case Files”, participated as guests for panel discussion.
They talked about the reality of anime industry, and expressed their expectations for the future of the anime industry and this partnership.
There were 3 topics up for discussion. The 1st topic was “the reasons, expectations, and impressions for this partnership”.
Kibayashi commented on it by mentioning that he participated in original novels and dramas from the beginning, and he explained the reason why he decided to participate by saying, “I did not have an experience participating in an original anime from the beginning. I found a meaning there”.
Ookawa mentioned that all 4 members of CLAMP have Netflix memberships and enjoy their entertainment before adding, “TV is an important form of media that many people can watch, but aglobal release is something only video streaming can do. It was an honor to be offered, and I'd love to be in the project”.
The 2nd topic was “the reality and goals of the project”, and Kibayashi commented, “TV programs need sponsors and there are regulations that it must be followed. People cannot get rid of the mindset that anime is for children. I believe we must think about those things while progressing the project”, and continued, “Recently, even manga has been shaking up the ways it's expressed and distributed,, so I feel we ought to also improve in a similar way. I think that the change can occur because Netflix has more freedom than TV”, showing more expectation toward video streaming.
Ookawa mentioned the problems at the anime production environment by saying, “The sponsor problem is one issue, but Japanese business gained revenue by selling Blu-ray and DVDs. The industry could not get out of that method for a long time. Of course it is a good thing that there are higher sales of Blu-ray and DVDs, but there are times when less goods and Blu-ray will be bought by the fans, even though the anime is wonderful. This has created an environment where it's become harder and harder to produce wonderful anime.”.
The 3rd theme was”The creators and anime industry that coexist with the changes brought by video streaming service”.
Kibayashi said that project has already begun, and he is feeling momentum of creating anime on Netflix. He commented on the merit of Netflix that allows globalize release, “In the future, speed is important. Speed is important for anything you do. It feels like everything can become obsolete within 5 years of release, and we've been too slow to keep up.. Speed is important for world with internet. And in this day and age, that goes for things like anime and creativity too.”.
Oosaka additionally commented, “I believe now is the time of a great change in anime industry. Anime production requires both time and money. Sometimes freedom is limited because you have to move in accordance with the opinions of the production committees in the movie or TV industry. I am looking forward tothese changes both as the creator and a viewer”.
This partnership does not have a pre-determined structure for planning and development.
Sakurai Taiki, the chief producer of Netflix anime mentioned the benefit of this project for the production studios and anime industry by saying, “by owning the rights to the original work more funds will be available”, and “fewer people means fewer people are required for meetings, and fewer distractions.”,
Kirin commented with a smile on the 2nd merit by saying “it is a very wise method”. Sakurai followed, “The producers of the product will not waste time because they can make decisions by themselves, and do not have to ask questions about it to others before making a decision”.
Smooth and speedy creation methods will also allow creators to maximize their anime creating abilities..