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When you think of Disney animation, anime isn’t necessarily what comes to mind. But it seems as though Disney is trying to change that perception moving forward. The mega-corporation sees the global success that Japanese entertainment has and they want a piece of it. And with Disney Plus being wildly successful with its original Marvel and Star Wars content, they’re moving forward with new originals like never before.
At the recent AnimeJapan convention, Gaku Narita and Takuto Yawata spoke about the future of Disney Plus and anime. Narita is the Disney Plus executive director of original content. Yawata is the head of animation. The things they had to say sound very promising to anime fans worldwide.
Disney Plus Anime
The first Disney Plus foray into anime is with Star Wars: Visions. A compilation series of anime short films detailing multiple Star Wars stories. It came out last year to critical and fan acclaim, currently holding a higher Rotten Tomatoes score than even The Mandalorian. They’ve yet to announce that a Season 2 for the show will be coming. But it is hard to imagine them not wanting as much as possible from the successful blend of two of the internet’s most popular nerd cultures.
It seems like Star Wars: Visions was a small dip of the toes into anime for Disney. Now that they know it can be successful on their platform, they’re going all in. Narita and Yawata said anime will be one of the primary ways Disney plans on diversifying their streaming content moving forward.
Already they’ve announced several upcoming anime projects that will be exclusive to the platform. The popular manga series Summer Time Rendering will be streaming on Disney Plus when it premieres later this month. A supernatural mystery/thriller with a manga that has an impressive cult following in Japan. For non-Japanese speakers, the show will only have subtitles at the premiere. And it is currently unknown when an English dub is coming.
Other anime series coming to the platform include Disney: Twisted Wonderland, Yojohan Time Machine Blues, and Black Rock Shooter: Dawn Fall.
Marvel, Star Wars, & More
Disney seems intent on making Disney Plus the Netflix killer. The recent addition of a “maturity filter” on their platform shows their plan to add more adult content in the future. Pair that with over a dozen MCU and Star Wars projects still coming down the pipeline, and it’s a good time to be a geek with a Disney Plus subscription.