The Walt Disney Company revealed that it is expanding its long-standing partnership with Japanese publishing giant Kodansha to co-produce more and more anime at the start of its eye-catching Asia-Pacific content showcase in Singapore on Wednesday. Originals on the Disney+ streaming service.
The expanded collaboration will also include exclusive anime licenses based on Kodansha-produced manga, starting with Tokyo Avengers: Christmas Showdown , available exclusively on Disney+ and Disney+ Hotstar in January 2023.
“We are delighted to deepen our strategic collaboration with our long-time partner Kodansha on such an exciting genre,” said Carol Choi, Executive Vice President of Original Content Strategy, Disney Asia Pacific. Filling a gap in our content development plans, we believe this expanded collaboration will change Disney’s animation strategy in Japan going forward. We look forward to bringing Kodansha’s anime titles and valuable IP to the world stage.”
Along with competitors such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, Japanese anime and Korean drama content has been the backbone of Disney’s original content strategy 2023 because The company seeks to expand its subscriber base in the growing Asia-Pacific region.
According to consulting firm Parrot Analytics, global demand for anime content has grown by 118% over the past two years, making it the One of the fastest-growing content types during the pandemic (the company measures its demand metric by combining consumption data with social media activity, social video, and independent research).
Disney revealed Wednesday in Singapore that the total hours of locally produced Asian content on Disney+ is now eight times what it was on Disney+ just a year ago.
Over the past year, more than new APAC titles have launched on Disney’s streaming platform. Shows like Big Mouth, Soundtrack #1 and IN THE SOOP: Friendcation round out the top three most viewed Disney said most Asia-Pacific markets were in opening week.
Kodansha is globally known as the licensor of some of the world’s most iconic manga IPs, including AKIRA , Attack on Titan and Ghost in the Shell . Disney’s partnership with the company dates back to 118 when Kodansha first published a manga of Mickey Mouse, Pluto Jr., Donald Duck and the Seven Dwarfs Art book “Disney Comics Picture Book” series. Kodansha continues to publish Disney’s Japanese monthly magazine, Disney Fan, and this year is also 32 years, as well as art and picture books for other franchises it releases in the market.
“We’re focusing our content development on what we call content gaps,” Disney Asia Pacific President Luke Kang said in his opening remarks in Singapore. “Invest in areas that require more local flavors—either because they are very popular in specific markets, such as Japanese anime, Korean dramas or Indonesian rom-coms and horror, or because local stories need talent familiar to local audiences.”
Disney is presenting 45 shows from its 118 theatrical and streaming content in Singapore A two-day event is held. Some of the stars in attendance on Wednesday included Japanese director Takashi Miike, Korean stars Jung Hae-in, Ko Kyung-pyo and Kim Hye-joon from crime fantasy thriller Connect; Big Bet’s Lee Dong-hui, Heo Sung-tae and director Kang Yoon-sung; Japanese drama series Gannibal‘s Yagira Yuya, Riho Yoshioka and director Shinzo Katayama; and from the upcoming Indonesian superhero series Chelsea Island by Tira. Pixar’s Peter Sohn, director of the original feature film Elemental, will also be in attendance.
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