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How Disney+ Is Promoting Itself To Japanese Anime Companies

posted on by Kim Morrissy
"We deeply respect the works of Japanese creators, and we will transmit them overseas just the way they are," says Head of Animation

Disney held a business seminar at AnimeJapan on Monday aimed at Japanese businesses. This was an interesting opportunity to gain some insight on how the media company is approaching the Japanese market.

Gaku Narita (Executive Director, Original Content) introduced the presentation by invoking classic Disney nostalgia as a way of establishing common ground. "We all have fond memories of classics like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," he said, describing Disney love as a unifying force across the world. He then went on to outline Disney's ambitions in the streaming market, giving a brief description of the Disney+ service and its growth statistics.

The next speaker was Takuto Yawata (Head of Animation), who explained that Disney wants to represent works from around the world, and identified anime as a "focus area" for the company. He said that a big emphasis was in diversifying the content, and inferred that they have no intention of influencing creators to fit the traditional Disney brand.

"We deeply respect the works of Japanese creators, and we will transmit them overseas just the way they are," he said.

Yawata then briefly introduced the Japanese anime titles Disney+ will stream in Japan: Tatami Time Machine Blues, Black Rock Shooter: Dawn Fall, Summer Time Rendering, and Dance Dance Danseur. Notably, the introduction included the names of the main staff and the Japanese anime titles they are best known for, signaling that the company has familiarity with the industry context. Yawata also briefly addressed Star Wars: Visions and Disney Twisted-Wonderland as satisfying examples of collaboration between Disney IPs and Japanese creators.

"I am confident that this will open a new door," he said, emphasizing how the "Disney Difference" means that there are unique things that can only be accomplished through a partnership with Disney. "We have great expectations for producing local content. This includes completely new works from Japan."

Disney+ launched in November 2019, and it is now available in North and South America, most of the European Union, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, India, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and other countries and territories. Disney noted that the new titles' streaming is "subject to local availability."

Source: AnimeJapan Business Seminar

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