The panel, moderated by IGN editor Laura Prudom, featured four creators from around the world who are working on upcoming Netflix original anime series: LeSean Thomas (Cannon Busters, The Boondocks), Alvaro Rodriguez (Seis Manos, Machete, From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series), Jay Oliva (Trese, The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, The Flash), and Shuzo Shiota (Levius, Transformers Prime, Transformers: Robots in Disguise, Lost in Oz).
Rilakkuma, the fan-favorite, lovable star of Netflix series Rilakkuma and Kaoru, made a surprise on-stage appearance and treated fans to the ultimate audience selfie. Netflix shared news and dropped new assets associated with several upcoming projects at Anime Expo:
- Cannon Busters, a new anime series from LeSean Thomas, will launch globally on August 15, 2019.
- New images from upcoming anime series Levius, created by world renowned anime producers Polygon Pictures.
- Seis Manos, from Viz Media and Powerhouse Animation, will star Aislinn Derbez, Mike Colter, Jonny Cruz, Angelica Vale, Vic Chao and Danny Trejo.
- Jay Oliva, creator and director of Trese, the Netflix anime series based on the Filipino supernatural comic book of the same name, spoke about the project which is currently in production.
Netflix is the global home of beloved anime titles including Ultraman, Aggretsuko, Castlevania, Devilman Crybaby, Godzilla: The Planet Eater, Baki, Violet Evergarden, B: The Beginning, and The Seven Deadly Sins. In the last year, Netflix has also announced several upcoming anime titles based on global IP, including Magic: The Gathering, Pacific Rim, Altered Carbon, Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045, and Transformers – War for Cybertron, all of which are currently in development.
Cannon Busters follows the adventures and exploits of S.A.M, a high-end friendship droid who’s joined by a quirky, discarded maintenance robot and a brash, deadly fugitive. Together, the unlikely trio embarks on an unforgettable journey in a fantastic and dangerous world in search of S.A.M’s best friend, the heir to a kingdom under siege.
The series hails from creator, director, and executive producer LeSean Thomas. Originally from the South Bronx, Thomas now lives in Meguro, Tokyo, Japan, where he works as a television animation producer and director. His most recent project is Crunchyroll’s anime series Children of Ether. LeSean Thomas worked on the Adult Swim show The Boondocks, which was nominated for an NAACP image award and won an honorary Peabody Award. He also worked as a television animation artist and producer for Cartoon Network, Sony, Warner Brothers and Nickelodeon.
Cannon Busters will launch globally on Netflix on 15 August 2019.
The year is 1842 of the New Era. Five years have passed since the Fosanian Conflict, a dispute for territorial drilling rights of Agartha water, came to an end. It is an era where “hypersteam” is used to power a variety of things, and the martial art of metal boxing, where machines are fused with the human body for combat, is at the height of its prosperity.
The story follows Levius, a young man whose parents became casualties of war. He is taken in by his uncle Zack, and it is there that Levius begins to immerse himself in the world of metal boxing as if led by fate itself, and his innate ability for the martial art blossoms.
Levius rises up the ranks to Grade 3, taking down his formidable rivals one by one, as a mysterious man by the name of Dr. Clown watches over him, his lips curled up into an audacious smile. Meanwhile, memories of the war continue to haunt the depths of Levius’s mind…
Now, Levius must take the fight for his destiny into his own hands!
Based on the Manga Levius by Haruhisa Nakata. The supervising director is Hiroyuki Seshita and Keisuke Ide is the director. From Polygon Pictures, Levius features music by Yugo Kanno.
Set in Mexico in the 1970’s era, Seis Manos centers on three orphaned martial arts warriors who join forces with a DEA agent and a Mexican Federale to battle for justice after their beloved mentor is murdered on the streets of their tiny border town.
Seis Manos is co-created by Powerhouse Animation CEO Brad Graeber and writer Alvaro Rodriguez (Machete, From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series). Noted screenwriter Daniel Dominguez (Captain Underpants, Oishi High School Battle, SpongeBob SquarePants) also joins the series, which will be directed by Willis Bulliner (Agents of Mayhem).
The series stars Aislinn Derbez, Mike Colter, Jonny Cruz, Angelica Vale, Vic Chao and Danny Trejo and will launch in fall 2019.
Aislinn Derbez (La Casa de las Flores) as Isabela: As relentless a scholar as she is a Kung Fu warrior, Isabela believes in order, sees justice at the heart of the universe, and sees herself as duty bound to be a living embodiment of that justice.
Mike Colter (Luke Cage) as Brister: Brister is a DEA agent sent on a mission to Mexico by his racist boss, and he has spent his life proving to “The Man” that he’s worth a damn by consistently outperforming him. Brister is talented as hell, smarter than most, and he knows it.
Jonny Cruz (Overwatch) as Jesus: At once a brutal fighter and a big ol’ silly, charming oaf, Jesus is the middle child of the Manos. He lives for pleasure, hates conflict, and just wants his hard-headed brother and sister to get along.
Angelica Vale (Jane the Virgin) as Garcia: The first female graduate out of her police academy, Garcia was assigned to police the sleepy town of San Simon by a police force who couldn’t see past her gender to her impressive capabilities. She will soon get a chance to prove her worth in ways she could never possibly have imagined.
Vic Chao (Mortal Kombat X) as Chiu: A wise, calm, happy old warrior. Chiu’s past is cloaked in mystery. He is adopted father and mentor to the three Manos, training them not just in the deadly art of Kung Fu, but also the esoteric path to enlightenment and ultimate wisdom that is the Dao.
Danny Trejo (Machete) as El Balde: Having grown up where only the strong seem to survive, El Balde has lived his life in relentless pursuit of proof of his superior worth. Vicious and unrelenting, El Balde takes sadistic pleasure in the misery he causes as he climbs over a mountain of bodies to the top of Mexico’s bloody, nascent drug empire.
Set in Manila where the mythical creatures of Philippine folklore live in hiding amongst humans, Alexandra Trese finds herself going head to head with a criminal underworld comprised of malevolent supernatural beings. This anime series is based on the Philippine graphic novel by the same name, created by Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldissimo.
The executive producer and director is Jay Oliva (Wonder Woman, The Legend of Korra). The series is produced by Shanty Harmayn and Tanya Yuson of BASE Entertainment, a studio based in Jakarta and Singapore.
Rilakkuma and Kaoru
When a woman in her thirties begins sharing her apartment with a soft toy bear that has decided to take up residence there, she finds that the secret to life is sometimes as simple as relaxing. One of the most popular characters in Japan comes to life in this stop-motion animation series.
Masahito Kobayashi directs from scripts by Naoko Ogigami. Aki Kondo is the creative advisor. San-X holds the production rights and the production company is dwarf studios. The series stars Mikako Tabe.