Heaven's Official Blessing Heaven's Official Blessing

Chinese streaming giant Bilibili continues to step up its commitment to animation. At its annual Anime Made by Bilibili showcase, it announced a slate of over 50 titles and a revamped talent training program. The company has changed its slogan from “Made for China” to “Made for Global” as it eyes the overseas market for animation.

Here are the details:

  • The slate includes the second season of Heaven’s Official Blessing, the first Chinese animated title acquired by anime giant Funimation, with which Bilibili has a joint licensing agreement. (Note: while Bilibili refers to its Chinese productions as “anime,” Cartoon Brew reserves that term for animation chiefly created and produced in Japan.)
  • Many of the Bilibili shows are adaptations of games or comics (Bilibili owns major comics platform U17.com). Some are based on local mythology and classical literature — popular subjects for Chinese animation.
  • At the 2020 conference, Bilibili said it would release 33 animated titles in the year ahead. It has released 24 titles globally over the past 12 months. In all, the company says it has launched 430 Chinese animated titles and produced 178.
  • Says Carly Lee, vice chairwoman of the board of directors and COO of Bilibili: “Chinese anime will become a mainstream content category of cultural consumption in China, but our goal should not be limited to the domestic market. Anime is the art of imagination, and the love of imagination is shared by humankind. Anime has the ability to cut through cultural and communications barriers.”
  • The company has also updated its talent recruitment program. Through its Light Catcher Initiative, it will find and train students and professional animation creators, while also helping “young, inexperienced anime lovers” to enter the industry.
  • Booming slate notwithstanding, most Chinese animation production doesn’t break even, Bilibili CEO Chen Rui admitted last year. The company continues to lose money overall as it aggressively pursues growth. It has 267 million monthly active users.

Image at top: “Heaven’s Official Blessing”

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Alex Dudok de Wit

Alex Dudok de Wit

Alex Dudok de Wit is Associate Editor of Cartoon Brew.

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