I guess some congratulations are in order, Netflix.
Early this morning in Japan, Netflix revealed several first looks at the many different anime series it will bring to its streaming service next year. Many of the titles were previously-announced projects, but today Netflix gave us actual first looks at the series in action, as well as adding a few more titles to its 2019 roster.
The two titles that didn’t get trailers were the previously announced Saint Seiya: Knights of the Zodiac from Toei—an adaptation of the “Galaxy War” and “Silver Saint” arcs of Masami Kurumada’s beloved manga—due to hit Netflix worldwide in summer 2019, and GONZO’s newly revealed 7SEED, a post-apocalyptic drama following a group of specially-selected survivors in the wake of a meteorite smashing into Earth and wiping out most life, due out in April 2019.
Joining 7SEED in April are two more previously-revealed series that we did get trailers for, however. April 1st—no fooling—will bring Production IG’s adaptation of the Ultraman manga to the streaming service. Created by Eiichi Shimizu and Tomohiro Shimoguchi as a whole new take on the beloved Tokusatsu hero, the series follows a young man inheriting the Ultraman mantle from his father:
In a wildly different genre with, presumably, no giant-sized superheroes in sight, April 19 will also see the debut of Rilakkuma and Kaoru on Netflix. The lovable bear mascot’s first ever anime is actually a sumptuous-looking stop-motion animated series that pairs the adorable Rilakkuma with Kaoru, a young and frazzled office worker trying to navigate life.
As delightful as both Ultraman and Rilakkuma look, however, their reveals paled in comparison to the biggest news of Netflix’s roster: For the first time ever, Hideaki Anno’s seminal mecha/existential crisis anime Neon Genesis Evangelion will be made available for streaming worldwide starting spring 2019. Here’s a teaser that is, somehow, not set to one of the greatest anime opening themes of all time:
Evangelion’s distribution rights are a tale almost as traumatic as the series itself—it’s basically been impossible to own in modern formats outside of Japan for years at this point, without paying out the nose for out-of-print DVD collections. So not only is Netflix’s addition of all 26 episodes of the series—as well as the two movies Evangelion: Death True² and The End of Evangelion—practically miraculous for having navigated those rights, it means that one of the most influential works of anime ever made will now be more accessible than ever, for fans and newcomers (oh god, people watching Evangelion for the first time!) alike.
Suffice to say, between one of the all-time greats of the medium and some exciting looking new additions, next year is going to be an incredibly exciting time for Netflix’s push into anime distribution.
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