‘Pacific Rim’ Anime Series Heads Huge Netflix Originals Slate in Asia
A “Pacific Rim” anime series and Chinese-language “Triad Princess” are among a slate of new shows unveiled by Netflix on Thursday, part of the global streaming giant’s push to expand significantly its original-content operations in Asia.
Other new titles include post-apocalyptic anime series “Cagaster of an Insect Cage” from Japanese studio Gonzo; Philippines-set alien impostor series “Trese,” from Shanty Harmayn’s Base Entertainment; survival adventure “The Stranded,” from Thailand’s GMM and H2L Media, executive produced by Ekachai Uekrongtham, Gary Levinsohn, Steven Sims, Billy Hines, and Christian Durso; and spooky Thai tale “Shimmers,” by directors Wisit Sasanatieng (“Tears of the Black Tiger”) and Sittisiri Mongkolsiri.
The shows were unveiled at a two-day event called See What’s Next: Asia, hosted by Netflix in Singapore. Previously announced Netflix productions in Asia include India’s “Sacred Games,” Japanese anime series “Devilman Crybaby” and Korean variety comedy “Busted.”
A Japanese anime version of “Altered Carbon” was also announced at the Singapore event. It is set in the same universe as the Netflix live-action sci-fi series, where the second season is in production at Skydance Television. “Altered Carbon” is written by Dai Sato (“Cowboy Bebop,” “Samurai Champloo”) and Tsukasa Kondo and produced at animation studio Anima.
Also announced during the sessions was a theatrical release in December for the Andy Serkis-directed feature “Mowgli.” Netflix chief Reed Hastings also confirmed a second season for upcoming Korean period mystery action series “Kingdom.” The first season will be released in January.
“The beauty of Netflix is that we can take never-seen-before stories from South Korea, Thailand, Japan, India, Taiwan or elsewhere, and easily connect them to people all over Asia and the world,” Hastings said. “More than half of Asian content hours viewed on Netflix this year are viewed outside the region, so we have confidence that our upcoming slate of Asian productions will find fans in their home countries and abroad.”
“Pacific Rim” expands upon the story of the first two live-action movies and follows two siblings – an idealistic teenage boy and his naïve younger sister – who are forced to pilot an abandoned Jaeger across a hostile landscape in a desperate attempt to find their missing parents. Production is set at Legendary Entertainment with co-showrunners Craig Kyle (“Thor: Ragnarok”) and Greg Johnson (“X-Men: Evolution”).
“Triad Princess,” set in Taiwan and directed by Neil Wu, sees a woman defy her family to become an undercover bodyguard for a famous actress at an agency, where she must navigate the unfamiliar world of glitz, glamour and love. The cast is headed by Eugenie Liu and Jasper Liu. Production is by Singapore’s MM2 Entertainment and Goodfilms Workshop.
Another new show is “Yasuke,” an anime set in a war-torn feudal Japan of mechs and magic, and where a retired ronin must take up his sword in order to transport a mysterious child. The show is created, directed and executive produced by LeSean Thomas (“The Boondocks”), and produced at animation studio MAPPA (“Yuri on Ice,” “Kakegurui”). Grammy nominee Flying Lotus will compose the music and Lakeith Stanfield voice the protagonist.
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