From nabbing streaming rights to classics like Neon Genesis Evangelion, to co-producing new series ranging from adaptations of its own shows to icons like Ultraman, Netflix is leaning all the way in on anime lately. And now it’s going even further, with the help of a beloved, weird Capcom game.
Last night Netflix confirmed a trio of new partnerships with Japanese animation studios – Anima, Sublimation, and David Production – to develop several new shows to air worldwide on the streaming service, alongside its previous deals with Production IG and Bones. Alongside the previously revealed Altered Carbon spinoff and Ghost in the Shell: SAC _2045 the deal means three additional anime will be heading to Netflix over the next few years.
Bones – perhaps best known currently as the animation studio behind the global phenom that is the My Hero Academia anime – will produce the 2012 Mark Millar/Leinil Francis Yu comic book series Supercrooks, about superpowered criminals re-uniting for one last heist before retirement. Meanwhile, David Production will adapt the Hiroshi Takashige and Ryōji Minagawa supernatural sci-fi manga SPRIGGAN, about a shadow war fought to protect highly advanced technological artifacts from an ancient civilisation being used by sinister corporations. Beyond that, the company also separately announced another animation deal with Powerhouse, the studio behind the excellent Castlevania animated series, to create an original anime series inspired by Greek mythology called Gods & Heroes, that follows a bastard son of Zeus who is cast out of Olympus before being tasked with saving the worlds of Gods and Humankind from destruction.
Cover art for Supercrooks and SPRIGGAN, as well as the new poster for Powerhouse’s Gods & Heroes.
But perhaps the most interesting addition of all to Netflix’s slate is Sublimation’s adaptation of Dragon’s Dogma. First released in 2012, Dragon’s Dogma (directed by Capcom legend Hideaki Itsuno, the man behind Power Stone and Devil May Cry) was a traditional fantasy RPG in which the player created a lowly peasant whose heart is stolen by a giant dragon. That theft doesn’t kill them, but instead transforms them into the legendary Arisen, a supernatural champion with the power to summon an army of interdimensional myrmidons called Pawns, and sends them on a quest to reclaim their heart while exploring and defending the mystical duchy of Gransys from monsters and other nefarious threats.
The weird, occasionally brilliant game is known for having a wildly varied combat system – letting you do everything from hack-and-slash, cast bonkers magical spells, or even vault atop the backs of the massive mythical creatures you were often battling – having an incredible cheesy J-Rock opening song (sadly removed from later re-releases), and the simple fact that Wolves hunt in packs, Arisen. It quickly developed a cult following after its release, and although a sequel has yet to happen – a Japan-only MMO spinoff never made it out West – the anime is at least something for fans of the game to while away their time with while hoping to see more of its fondly quirky world in video game form.
It’s becoming very clear in recent months that anime is something Netflix is making a priority for itself as it expands its original content. If it means extremely interesting series like these are getting greenlit, then consider us very excited for what else could reach the streaming service’s animated shores soon enough.