Anime Expo 2018: Netflix Introduces An Exciting Slate Of New And Returning Shows

by Gary Catig

Streaming service Netflix has gone into the business of creating original content for its viewers. This includes developing anime programming such as Devilman Crybaby and B: The Beginning. Late Thursday afternoon, the company held a panel at Anime Expo to reveal their plans for the remainder of the year and into 2019. They had plenty of exciting programs lined up with a good mix of new and returning shows.

They first played trailers for the second season of some of their series. Coming out in a few weeks will be Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle. It is the sequel to Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters and takes place in a futuristic world where humans and robots battle against the largest Godzilla ever in order to survive. The show will be released on July 18, 2018.

Next, everyone’s favorite death metal red panda is returning in 2019. Aggretsuko, features a character originally created by Sanrio. She even made an appearance at the panel.

One of their new series will be a new version of the classic Japanese character, Ultraman. This latest take is an action drama that follows a man who has the spirit and DNA of the legendary “Ultraman”. He uses his powers to fight against evil. Ultraman also has a 2019 release date.

Another new series is Kengan Ashura. The story follows a middle aged ordinary man named Kazuo Yamashita who is chosen by his company to be their representative in gladiatorial combat. Different companies hire gladiators to protect their corporate rights and there is a big tournament where the champion becomes the chairman of the Kengan Organization.

Also, during the panel, Netflix brought creatives of some of their shows.  Shinji Higuchi is the executive director of Dragon Pilot. In this series, an Air Self-Defence Force newbie named Hisone Amakusa is selected by a dragon to be its new pilot. Higuchi wanted to bring dragons into the modern world and thought the best way was to have them cosplay as fighter jets. Dragon Pilot will premiere September 21, 2018.

Adi Shankar spoke briefly about season two of Castlevania. He attributed the success of the show to the fact that the creators were huge fans of the original video game. Castlevania is made by fans for fans. The series follows Trevor Belmont and his rag tag crew as they try to save humanity from Dracula and other vampires. Fans should be happy that the latest season will receive double the episodes with a total of eight and will air starting October 26, 2018.

Finally, LeSean Thomas, the creator of the new series Cannon Busters, discussed how he became interested in anime. His first exposure was to Robotech where he felt there was incredible narrative depth, and it was totally different from the Hanna-Barbera cartoons that were shown at the time. He feels Cannon Busters is his love letter to the 90’s and is heavily influenced by anime and mecha shows he watched when he was young.

At its root, the series is a friendship story, where a droid named S.A.M. partners with an innocent maintenance robot named Casey, and a deadly fugitive named Philly the Kid, in order to save a prince from an evil sorcerer. Thomas also expressed how this show is a nice change of pace to his previous projects of The Boondocks and Black Dynamite and feels the subject matter is more family friendly.

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