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Netflix Orders Batch of Japanese Animation, Including ‘Saint Seiya’ Reboot

Fans dress up as classic manga character Saint Seiya at a convention this month in Washington

Netflix has ordered more than 20 new animation titles in Japan, including a reboot of the classic anime and manga “Saint Seiya.”

Greg Peters, Netflix’s chief product officer, announced the new batch of animated series in Tokyo earlier this month. He said that 90% of the Japanese animation titles carried by the streaming service are watched in territories outside of Japan. He also said Netflix was focused on working with Japanese studios and production companies to meet the high demand for animated shows.

Two announced titles that have caused a stir are “Cannon Busters” and “Knights of the Zodiac: Saint Seiya.” The original “Saint Seiya” manga was released more than 30 years ago, but remains popular in South America, France, Italy and China. “Saint Seiya” has already been adapted in the past into a TV series and six feature films. A new live-action “Saint Seiya” is in the works.

Netflix’s “Knights of the Zodiac: Saint Seiya” will be written by Eugene Son, who is one of the producers of “Avengers: Secret Wars.” Toei Animation will handle animation production. The series will comprise 12 half-hour-long episodes. No release date has been confirmed.

“Cannon Busters” will be a U.S.-Japanese collaboration. LeSean Thomas will develop, produce and adapt the title. Japanese studio Satellite will handle animation production. The story centers on an android created for a queen, in search of a best friend.

Thomas said that, while American animation targets children, Japanese animation encompasses various genres and can attract wider audiences.

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