Nippon TV (NTV), part of one of Japan’s largest media conglomerates, is getting serious about animation. The broadcaster and producer has set up its first dedicated animation department.
Here are the details:
- The new anime department was launched as part of the company’s international business division. It will be led by Kako Kuwahara, executive vp of business development. She will report to Keiichi Sawa, NTV’s operating officer and president of business development.
- The department’s first title will be Tsukimichi — Moonlit Fantasy, a 12-episode fantasy series about a high-school boy transported to an alternate world full of threats and magical creatures (see trailer below). Shinji Ishihira is directing the series at C2C Studios (Wandering Witch: The Journey of Elaina).
- NTV has acquired international rights to Tsukimichi. This reflects the new department’s ambitions: it will produce and distribute “coveted anime series” both in Japan and globally. Said Kuwahara:
In addition to securing the international distribution rights to this award-winning series, we were also able to cast Japan’s top voice actors with credits including Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba and My Hero Academia. We see young international generations looking up to anime heroes and the voice actors, with anime being a big part of their lives. It is my wish, along with Nippon TV’s dedication, to further strengthen our anime production, create new worldwide hits, enhance our global distribution of these series, and, ultimately, reach as many anime fans as possible for generations.
- The broadcaster has deep ties to the anime world. It has produced hit series like Lupin the Third, Death Note, and Hunter X Hunter. It owns a 95% stake in anime studio Madhouse (Paprika, Okko’s Inn) and a 54.3% stake in Tatsunoko Production (Science Ninja Team Gatchaman). In 2017, the channel launched Anichu, a late-night anime programming block.
- Additionally, NTV is closely connected to Mamoru Hosoda’s Studio Chizu and to Studio Ghibli. It has served as a production partner on most of Ghibli’s features and owns the exclusive rights to broadcast their films. The main character in Spirited Away was inspired by the daughter of Seiji Okuda, then a producer at NTV.
- The company is a subsidiary of the Yomiuri Shimbun Holdings conglomerate, home to the conservative newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun and the Yomiuri Giants baseball team.
Image at top: “Tsukimichi: Moonlit Fantasy.”