Home to many anime series already — both original, like Castlevania, and hosted, like One-Punch Man — Netflix has been the less hardcore alternative to anime-focused streaming service Crunchyroll. Now, with a recent announcement that the world’s biggest streamer will be adding five new original anime creations for its viewers, it’s clear that Netflix is moving into original content in all sectors.
Two of these new shows, according to a release, are set in worlds that have already existed on screen: Pacific Rim and Altered Carbon. The two sci-fi series will have anime adaptations, with Pacific Rim’s focused on two young siblings forced to pilot an old Jaeger through a barren, dangerous, possibly Kaiju-infested land in search of their parents. Showrun by Thor: Ragnarok co-writer Craig Kyle and prolific animated Marvel writer Greg Johnson, the show will occur in the same universe as the two films.
Altered Carbon’s series is also set in the same world as its live-action companion, but with a super-vague pitch promising only to “explore new elements of the story mythology.” Cowboy Bebop’s Dai Sato is set to write alongside Tsukasa Kondo. This show will be joined by two literary adaptations and one original. Cagaster of an Insect Cage — a Koichi Chigira-directed post-apocalypse based on a manga — follows a couple attempting to survive in a diseased world transforming people into killer bugs. Trese, based on the Philippine graphic novel, blends Philippine folklore with a criminal underworld in its supernatural adaptation by Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldissimo.
Finally, the sole original show coming from the announcement, Yasuke, is based on the historical black samurai... but only loosely, because this feudal Japan has mechs and magic. Sorry to Bother You’s breakout Lakeith Stanfield voices the lead, while The Boondocks’ LeSean Thomas serves as creator and director. This ronin has to come out of retirement for one last job, and frankly, it sounds just crazy enough to be awesome.
With so much new anime in the pipeline, at least one of these will likely hit, which has been Netflix’s content strategy for the past few years: quantity to find quality. With a few successful western animations under its belt, it’ll be fun to see if that transfers over to anime.