Home entertainment KADOKAWA Talks Isekai Abroad Success – Anime2You

KADOKAWA Talks Isekai Abroad Success – Anime2You

by drbyos

As part of the TIFFCOM-Seminars »KADOKAWA Anime’s Overseas Business Strategy, Case of ISEKAI and Future Prospects« haben Takeshi Kikuchi, Executive Officer von KADOKAWA, und Seiji Kiyohara, General Manager der Animation Group, Pläne shownto continue expanding abroad.

Isekai as an important source of growth

While KADOKAWA in Japan works according to a simple formula for success, the so-called media mix, in which the original light novels are adapted into several media such as anime, manga or games in order to extend the lifecycle of a brand, the company provided up to three years ago that this strategy does not work so well abroad.

In the overseas market, KADOKAWA has identified Isekai plants as a major source of growth over the past decade. The common denominator is the origin as web novels, which were later reissued as books and then brought to the screens as anime. Among other things, titles such as “Shield Hero”, “Saga of Tanya the Evil” and “Overlord” were named as “pioneering work”.

These types of light novels are very popular outside of Japan, according to Kiyhoara. Therefore, Isekai titles could be the stepping stone for the company’s overseas operations. KADOKAWA can already publish its own anime productions worldwide at the same time, but would also like to market its other forms of media such as books more effectively than before.

The world market should be served more

During the COVID-19 pandemic, there was already enormous growth in the distribution of eBooks in Japan, but the publisher is so far only a small point in the overseas market. This indicates that there is a lot of untapped potential there. After the possible end of the pandemic, KADOKAWA wants to tackle the world market more aggressively.

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A strategic move is to work with foreign partners who are also committed to promoting the brand and not necessarily just representing the highest bidder for a title. It would be an imperative to be able to work closely with marketing to make sure the content reaches as many people as possible.

Kikuchi admitted that he used to be one of those who sold titles to the highest bidder. Now he has understood that it is important to optimize profits beyond the minimum guarantee and to work with partners who can make this possible.

Successful partnership with Crunchyroll

The collaboration with the streaming service Crunchyroll was named as one of the most successful partnerships. It was about the anime adaptation of “So I’m a Spider, So What?”, Which was a coproduction and became part of the “Crunchyroll Originals” series. KADOKAWA was able to determine that the series had a higher growth potential abroad than in Japan.

The anime’s numbers would have been impressive and exceeded the minimum guarantee within six months, so KADOKAWA is now receiving additional royalties from Crunchyroll for the title. During the broadcast, the series was one of the provider’s five most popular titles.

According to Kiyohara, the marketing of “So I’m a Spider, So What?” Was so successful because KADOKAWA was able to easily fulfill the usual inquiries of license holders abroad. This includes, but is not limited to, permission to post information about the title at the same time as it is in Japan, and access to, and the freedom to use, visual material.

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Through this experience, Kiyohara learned new marketing strategies and now has a better understanding of how to work with overseas audiences. »› Overseas first ‹is no longer just a slogan, but something we will actively work towards«he added.

© Kadokawa, Okina Baba, Tsukasa Kiryuu

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