Report: Tatsunoko, Marvel Aim for Joint TV Anime in 3 Years
The Nihon Keizai Shimbun paper reported on Tuesday that the toy giant Takara Tomy and the American comic entertainment company Marvel have agreed to work together on Marvel character toys for Japanese retail this fall. According to the report, Tatsunoko Production (the anime studio that became a subsidiary of Takara Tomy in 2005-2006) is producing a television anime with characters from both Tatsunoko's portfolio of anime titles and Marvel's library of comic series. The company aims to broadcast the anime in three years in Japan as well as in international markets.
Marvel signed the licensing agreement with the TAKARA TOMY A.R.T.S subsidiary. While the details of the deals will be made public later, Takara Tomy will initially sell about 100 kinds of toys and clothings based on Spider-Man, Iron Man, and other characters. It is also exploring the possibilities of sales in the rest of Asia.
Tatsunoko's long history of hero anime include Science Ninja Team Gatchaman (Battle of the Planets/G-Force/Eagle Riders), Mach Go Go Go (Speed Racer), Tekkaman, Yatterman, Casshern, Time Bokan, Yattodetaman, Time Patrol-Tai Otasukeman, and Zendaman. Marvel's superheroes include the Fantastic Four, Captain America, the Incredible Hulk, Thor, Daredevil, the Punisher, Spider-Man, Iron Man, and the X-Men.
The anime studio Madhouse had already agreed to produce four anime series featuring Iron Man, Wolverine, and other Marvel characters for the Japanese and global markets, starting in spring of 2010. Manga versions of Spider-Man (pictured at left) and the X-Men have been created by Ryoichi Ikegami (Crying Freeman, Mai the Psychic Girl, Sanctuary) and several Shogakukan artists in Japan. In fact, there was a live-action Spider-Man television series that had a parallel-world Japanese Spider-Man piloting a giant robot.
C.B. Cebulski brought Kia Asamiya (Silent Möbius, Dark Angel), Takehiko Itō (Outlaw Star), Katsuya Terada (Zenbu, Blood: The Last Vampire), and others to various Marvel Comics titles after he became an editor there. Del Rey is collaborating with Marvel to create an X-Men shōjo title with writers Raina Telgemeier and Dave Roman and Indonesia-based artist Anzu, as well as a Wolverine title with writer Anthony Johnston. (Marvel created a Mangaverse line of comics with mostly American and Canadian creators in 2001.)