The streamer has ordered Oni, a show inspired by Japanese folklore. The series comes from creator and showrunner Daisuke "Dice" Tsutsumi and Tonko House, the team behind the Oscar-nominated animated short The Dam Keeper.
"Having spent my entire career in the American animation industry, part of me always wondered if there would ever be a place in the stories I tell for the other half of my identity, as a Japanese native," said Tsutsumi. "This Tonko House collaboration with Netflix is perhaps a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me to freely embrace my unique background to share with the rest of the world the wonderful stories I grew up with in Japan, particularly ones I believe are timely to the society we live in today."
Oni is set in a world filled with the oddball gods and monsters of Japanese mythology. Onari, the free-spirited daughter of one creature, is determined to follow in the footsteps of the heroes of yore, but her unique powers are yet to be revealed. She will discover if she has what it takes to protect her peaceful village from the encroaching presence of the mysterious "Oni" who threaten the gods.
The show will feature a mix of stop-motion animation from Japanese animation house Dwarf Studios and computer animation from Megalis VFX, also based in Japan. Tsutsumi and Tonko House's Robert Kondo, Kane Lee and Zen Miyake executive produce; Megan Bartel will serve as producer.
"We are thrilled to be partnering with Dice and the rest of the Tonko team on this incredibly sweet story of self-discovery rooted in Japanese folklore," said Adam Yacoubian, director original animation at Netflix. "Dice is a renowned filmmaker with a deep passion for celebrating Japanese culture, and we're honored to support his foray into animated series together with the team at Tonko. We fell in love with Onari and the specific Japanese mythology built around her, and we're confident that her very personal, relatable story of self-discovery will resonate with audiences around the world."
Oni will join a set of kids animated series from around the world on Netflix that includes Ghee Happy, Mighty Little Bheem and Larva Island, along with the upcoming Dino Girl Gauko, Mama K's Team 4 and Maya and the Three.
Netflix has shown that it has set no limits for how imaginative and mature its animated series can go, giving its creators free reign to go as buckwild as possible. And Adventure Time creator Pendleton Ward is definitely going buckwild with his new Netflix animated series The Midnight Gospel. The first official trailer for the animated series from Ward and his frequent collaborator Duncan Trussell is a cosmic acid trip released, fittingly, in April 2020 get it, 4/20. Watch The Midnight Gospel trailer below.
The Midnight Gospel Trailer
Adventure Time was already a children’s animated series unlike most others we’d seen before — so full of rich characters and literal candy-colored fantasy lands. But The Midnight Gospel makes Adventure Time look, fittingly, like child’s play. Pendleton Ward’s crazed, surreal potential has been unleashed with The Midnight Gospel, which looks like a delirious cross between Terry Gilliam and the Beatles’ trippy Yellow Submarine, with a healthy heaping of acid thrown in.
While Cartoon Network allowed Ward to work his particular brand of offbeat magic with Adventure Time for nine seasons, it’s clear that Ward was just itching to unleash his wildest project with Netflix, which has shown an affinity for envelope-pushing adult-oriented animated projects like BoJack Horseman, Tuca & Bertie, and Big Mouth.
The Midnight Gospel is so chock full of overwhelming eye-catching animation that you’d be forgiven for forgetting that this series probably has a plot. According to Netflix, that plot follows Clancy, “a space-caster who uses a multiverse simulator to interview beings living in other worlds – what he learns is the basis for The Midnight Gospel.” The logline brings to mind the episodes of Adventure Time featuring the dream-hopping Cosmic Owl — some of the most surreal and dryly funny stories of the series — which feel like Ward was building up to The Midnight Gospel. It’ll be exciting to see what Ward will do with this animated series without any restrictions holding him back.
Here is the synopsis for The Midnight Gospel:
Traversing trippy worlds inside his multiverse simulator, a space-caster explores existential questions about life, death and everything in between.
The Midnight Gospel debuts on Netflix April 20, 2020.
SPOILER ALERT: If you are among the few who haven’t actually watched Netflix’s Tiger King docuseries, this review contains a lot of details about what goes down in the sad big cat saga.
With Netflix poised in the coming days to cash in and crank the base up a notch with more Tiger King, it's time to come out and say it: I hate the Red State porn that is the crash and burn of Joe Exotic
The initial seven episodes of this septic and shallow patchwork of trademark infringement, sex, guns, labor exploitation, song, drugs, mullets, betrayal, animal activism, revenge, and a lot of big cats may be much binged over these weeks of coronavirus lockdown, but that doesn't mean it's actually worth watching.
Now, I get it, I sound like I'm just a dour critic who hates anything that isn't prestige premium cable or aspirational. C'mon man, you want to say, Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness is just so unbelievable, I can't look away.
I respectfully disagree, and in fact, propose Tiger King isn't just bad, but dangerous in a divided America persistently looking to reduce the other side to caricature.
In a presently ailing nation where TV is more voluminous and vital than ever, the truth is the March 20 launched Tiger King is a clawed white trash misery index. Gawking at some clearly fragile and damaged people like would-be reality TV star Exotic and their below the Mason-Dixon line antics, the series subsequently provides a cultural circus for those smug bicoastals under stay at home orders and screaming to rise up in moral superiority.
Essentially, the tale of big cat collector, self-styled Oklahoma zoo proprietor and 2016 Presidential candidate Exotic AKA Joseph Maldonado-Passage and his ultimately unsuccessful attempt to have rival Carole Baskin knocked off by a hitman hired for $3,000, Tiger King is in that context more a zero-sum game, literally and figuratively, than hitting the zeitgeist.
Obviously, Netflix are pretty damn good at gauging and dragging the public mood over the years, as the likes of the then phenomenon of 2015's Making A Murderer or 2018’s Wild Wild Country prove. Yet, for all the attention it has drawn, this unfocused murder for hire exploration of sorts emerges as a bastard child of Cops, a million Dateline segments from the 1990s and Fox’s short-lived Murder in Small Town X reality show from 2001.
Not exactly the prestige product that the home of Roma, The Irishman and American Factory likes to brag about at award shows. Then again, with the knowledge that the Romans sold out the Colosseum every night feeding Christians to the lions, the bottom line based House of Hastings surely loves the subscription sign up that the currently incarcerated Maldonado-Passage and the accompanying motley gaggle of...