Netflix’s Taiki Sakurai on why they are the best platform for anime fans

Published October 30, 2020, 12:19 PM

by Stephanie Bernardino

Many Netflix shows tell unexpected stories that are deeply intertwined with everyday life, but have you ever wondered about the factors they consider when choosing animes?

In a recent virtual press conference, Taiki Sakurai, Netflix’s chief anime content producer, said, more than anything, they make sure many would identify with the anime stories they pick for streaming.

Taiki Sakurai

“There are many types of stories — battles, sci-fi, and adventure. We are committed to make those stories but we don’t want to stick to just one category so that we got stories to touch on everyday life, or might go a little bit more light-hearted, or comedy. Doing that broadens our range of contrast. So no matter what you’re looking for, there’s always something there for everyone,” he explained through an interpreter.

Foremost in their criteria though, is technical excellence.

“For me, there has to be high recognition of the IP (intellectual property). It’s the area that we are mindful. The pure original has a lot of risks, a we all know, but with higher recognition of IP, it is almost certain that it will be well accepted and embraced. Having said that, the condition requires sustainability so we could approve the viability of the work.”

“And in terms of the character design, the production choose the studio, the directors, producers and screenwriters, which are also very important elements. We do have a good team that could create support to boost an IP. Let’s say IP awareness is low, but with this team, we will be able to do much, much more and then we can go ahead and create that content.”

Netflix has sixteen new anime titles for otakus all over the world.


But perhaps the most interesting of these especially for Filipinos is the anime version of “Trese,” the black and white Pinoy komik by Budjette Tan and artist Kajo Baldisimo.

Here’s a first look at the anime version of Trese, featuring the title character Alexandra Trese, a detective who specializes in dealing with cases of a more supernatural nature.

When asked how Netflix set itself apart from other streaming platforms that are also pumping out anime, Taiki said their “biggest advantage” is direct contact with Japanese creators and producers.

“We have established a close relationship that allows for a very collaborative environment in which we are able to create amazing work. We don’t see that in other platforms,” he related.