Five recent stories from the weird and wonderful worlds of anime and manga:
- There’s no stopping “Demon Slayer,” which is now poised to become Japan’s top-grossing film ever, thanks in part to a boost in fan numbers due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the film’s much-needed message of resilience, Reuters reports. The franchise is a truly monster-size cash cow, with analysts estimating earlier this month that the manga series, film and everything else associated with it has generated at least ¥270 billion in Japan.
- It’s been over 25 years since the hit series “Neon Genesis Evangelion” first aired on Japanese TV, but a constant stream of merch, collaborations and a rebooted film series means its legacy remains strong. And now, with the long-awaited final installment of the “Rebuild of Evangelion” movie series slated for release next month, fervor among fans is once again on the rise.
- Films that portray well-rounded characters with disabilities are rare enough. In anime, they’re practically nonexistent, notes Matt Schley. Then along comes “Josee, The Tiger and the Fish.” The best films transport us and allow us to understand the lives of people who have vastly different life experiences, writes Schley, and Kotaro Tamura’s feature does just that, with superb animation to boot.
- Sony Corp. is buying AT&T’s animation business Crunchyroll for $1.175 billion, as the electronics conglomerate aims to strengthen its entertainment content and distribution businesses. The deal will give Sony access to Crunchyroll’s 3 million paying subscribers across more than 200 countries and regions, helping Sony compete more globally with entertainment giants such as Netflix.
- Three-time Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka has inspired a new manga character that will appear in an issue of Nakayoshi magazine next month, Reuters reports. You may remember that a previous attempt to depict Osaka as a cartoon character misfired when she was depicted with pale skin and light brown hair, sparking an outcry. This time, Osaka’s sister Mari is assisting with the character’s creation.