Netflix has revealed its involvement with an anime adaptation of hit Japanese manga “Record of Ragnarok.” The show, about an epic fight for the fate of humanity, will premiere in June this year, and join the streamer’s burgeoning slate of anime content.
The company made the announcement at Tokyo’s AnimeJapan 2021 Expo, where it also provided local fans with cast news and updates on other shows. These included previously announced titles: the comedic, slice-of-life series “The Way of the Househusband,” premiering April 8, 2021, and the animated “Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness,” which will debut later this year.
Netflix also teased a new glimpse of upcoming project “Yasuke,” which premieres on April 29, 2021, and confirmed a release date of May 27, 2021, for another previously announced series “Eden.” The stage event also included appearances from Japanese voice talents Tsuda Kenjiro (“Househusband”), Kono Marika (“Eden”) and Morikawa Toshiyuki (“Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness”).
Based on a manga by Azychika, Shinya Umemura and Takumi Fukui, “Record of Ragnarok” is the story of 13 gods and 13 of the world’s most notable humans fighting one-on-one battles to decide the fate of humanity. The series is in production at Graphinica under director Sato Masaki, who is also credited as character designer. The series’ voice cast includes: Sawashiro Miyuki, Kurosawa Tomoyo, Seki Tomokazu, Midorikawa Hikaru and Takagi Wataru.
The series was previously announced by Warner Bros. Japan, which is the series’ producer. But the streaming company confirmed that the show will be released simultaneously by Netflix across the globe, including in Japan.
The new and confirmed shows mean that Netflix expects to be able to release some 40 new anime series in 2021. That is roughly double its anime quotient of last year.
The confirmation of Netflix’s prowess in anime comes at a time when Sony’s deal to purchase specialist anime streamer Crunchyroll looks likely to be probed by the U.S. Justice Department. The regulators are reported to be concerned that owning both Crunchyroll and another streamer Funimation might give Sony dominance of the stateside online market for anime.
“Eden” and “Yasuke” are both “brand new stories brought to life by a wealth of international creators, further strengthening Netflix’s ambitions to diversify their lineup of original anime by working with top creators from both in- and outside of Japan,” Netflix said in a statement.
“Yasuke” is a genre-bending tale about war-torn feudal Japan’s first Black samurai, with LaKeith Stanfield heading the voice cast and executive producing. LeSean Thomas (“Cannon Busters”) is credited as director, creator, and executive producer. The series boasts character design by Koike Takeshi and is produced at Mappa.
“Eden” heads off in the other direction, hurtling thousands of years into the future to a city that is inhabited solely by AI robots whose former masters vanished long ago. There, two robots secretly raise a human child who has been woken from stasis. The series is directed by Irie Yasuhiro (“Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood”), produced by Justin Leach and based on a concept by Christophe Ferreira. Animation production is by CGCG. Concept design was first unveiled at the Annecy animation festival in 2019.
Based on a story by Kosuke Oono, “Househusband” is the tale of a fearsome yakuza who tries to settle down anonymously, but keeps finding his past coming back to haunt him. It is directed by Kon Chiaki (“Nodame Cantabile”,) with animation production by J.C. Staff and a voice cast that includes Tsuda Kenjiro, Ito Shizuka and Okitsu Kazuyuki.
Produced by TMS Entertainment under the supervision of Capcom Co., and with full 3DCG animation production by Quebico, “Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness,” probes a mysterious viral infection, a mysterious drawing and a pattern of zombie outbreaks that start at the White House.