• Nna/kyodo

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Animation powerhouse OLM Inc. is planning to set up an animation studio in Malaysia, to attract local talent and cater to demand for creative work in the region.

The new studio will be the firm’s first base outside Japan.

OLM, known for animating the “Pokemon” TV series, will open the studio in April. Malaysia has “a pool of potential creative talent waiting to be discovered,” Hidehiko Kitajima, director for OLM’s Asia business planning, told NNA. The Malaysian base will be staffed with 40 employees.

The company will build the new studio at a cost of up to 2.7 million ringgit (about $662,000) in Cyberjaya, a town that hosts a center for innovative startups and is part of the country’s so-called Multimedia Super Corridor — an information technology hub. It is located about 40 kilometers south of Kuala Lumpur.

“Through our study, we’ve found Malaysia’s art education level ranked top among Southeast Asian countries,” said Kitajima during Comic Fiesta 2017, an event featuring anime, manga, games, cosplay and related culture recently held in the capital.

The Malaysian studio will produce works for companies in Japan at an early stage, but will later work for other firms, both local and overseas, as it aims at becoming a one-stop center for delivering excellent animation production services in Asia, according to Kitajima.

The base in Cyberjaya is also planning to train digital painters and animation artists, he said, adding that the studio is likely to provide local students with internship programs to promote Japanese animation skills.

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