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Streamer Crunchyroll joins Wowow, SPE Japan in pact to coproduce anime

Sony-owned anime streamer Crunchyroll is partnering with Japanese broadcaster Wowow and Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) Japan to develop and produce a slate of new anime titles.

Tow Ubukata’s Bye Bye Earth

The projects created and produced will be broadcast and streamed on Wowow’s platforms in Japan and streamed in more than 200 territories internationally via Crunchyroll.

The first title produced under the deal is Bye Bye Earth, a fantasy adventure series based on the action fantasy novel by Japanese novelist and anime screenwriter Tow Ubukata.

The story follows the journey of Bell who goes through adventures and conflicts as she attempts to discover her roots.

“Anime fans love to discover new worlds and our partnership with Wowow and Sony Pictures Entertainment Japan will allow us to present new adventures to the global anime community,” said Crunchyroll president Rahul Purini.

The exec took the helm earlier this year after SPE’s Funimation completed its US$1.175bn purchase of Crunchyroll from US telecoms giant AT&T in 2021.

Of the adaptation of Ubukata’s novel, Akira Tanaka, representative director, president and CEO of Wowow, said: “We aim to draw the charm of this grand-scale fantasy masterpiece with a unique worldview that anime can offer, and inspire as many fans regardless of their nationalities, languages and ages. We would like to create a show that the fans will love for a long time.”

Midori Tomita, representative director at SPE Japan, added that the coproduction partnership will allow the companies to produce “high-grade and unique anime.”

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