Netflix's director of anime, Taito Okiura, tells me he feels like a local baseball player who got drafted into the U.S. Major Leagues. Except, he doesn't play the sport.
A producer and entrepreneur with over a decade of experience in the industry, Okiura was offered the job twice by Netflix before joining last October. He was unavailable three years ago when first asked by the company to help open its Japan branch. In 2016, he took a conference call with the talent acquisitions department from corporate headquarters in Los Angeles.
"I told them I wasn't sure how serious Netflix really is about anime. Then I hung up the phone," he says.