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Netflix Partners With Tonko House on Oni CGI Series (Updated)

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Tonko House collaborates with Megalis on project

Cartoon news site Cartoon Brew reported on Thursday that Netflix is now collaborating with the California-based studio Tonko House on the studio's Oni CGI animated TV series. Daisuke "Dice" Tsutsumi (Hayao Miyazaki's nephew-in-law) is the project's showrunnner, and is also executive producer alongside Kane Lee.

As previously announced, Tonko House is producing the series with Japanese visual effects studio Megalis.

Netflix describes the series:

In a world filled with the oddball gods and monsters of Japanese mythology, one of the creatures' free-spirited daughters, Onari, is determined to follow in the footsteps of the mighty heroes of lore, but her unique powers are yet to be revealed. Does she have what it takes to protect her peaceful village from the encroaching presence of the mysterious ‘Oni’ who threaten the gods?

The Tonko House Film Festival screened test footage of the project in Tokyo from April 27 to May 26.

Tonko House is still developing the feature-length version of its Oscar-nominated short film "The Dam Keeper." Tonko House was previously developing the feature with Fox Animation, but is now developing it solely once more after the sale of 20th Century Fox to Disney.

Tsutsumi and Kondo founded Tonko House in 2014 and debuted the 18-minute Oscar-nominated short film "The Dam Keeper" in the same year.

Tonko House and Hulu Japan produced the Pig: The Dam Keeper Poems (Pig: Oka no Ue no Dam Keeper or "Pig: The Dam Keeper at the Top of the Hill"), a series of animated shorts based on "The Dam Keeper." The series debuted at the Short Shorts Film Festival event in Tokyo in June 2017, and began streaming on Hulu Japan in August 2017.

The studio also handled story concept, composition, and design for Mystery of Kumamon, the planned anime centering on the Kumamoto Prefecture's Kumamon mascot character.

Update on September 14, 2021: While websites like Variety previously listed the series as a blend of stop-motion and CGI with stop-motion company dwarf studios being involved, Tonko House confirmed to ANN that the show will be CGI only and dwarf studios will not be involved. Additionally, while Cartoon Brew had stated that Zen Miyake and Megan Bartel were working on the project, Tonko House confirmed to ANN that they are not working on the project.

Source: Cartoon Brew (Alex Dudok de Wit)

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