Shout! Factory March 17 Launches Streaming Channel TokuSHOUTsu on Pluto TV

Shout! Factory TV March 17 will launch a new linear streaming channel, TokuSHOUTsu, on AVOD service Pluto TV.

The 24/7 channel explores the world of tokusatsu — the Japanese entertainment genre known for its unique special effects and epic battles. Appearing on Channel 681 in the Tech + Geek section, TokuSHOUTsu presents tokusatsu content not available on any leading streaming service, curated especially for fans of the genre, according to Shout!.

Free to Pluto TV’s 22+ million monthly active users, the ad-supported TokuSHOUTsu will be home to the U.S. debut of the cult classic “Kamen Rider,” debuting with the inaugural 98-episode series from 1971. TokuSHOUTsu will also launch with “Ultraman Leo,” as well as “Super Sentai,” the series that ultimately led to the “Power Rangers” phenomenon.

Pluto TV is available on all leading digital streaming devices and services, including Roku, Amazon Fire, Apple TV and Google Chromecast, as well as major smart TVs and game consoles. For viewers looking to stream content on demand, “Kamen Rider,” “Ultraman Leo” and “Super Sentai” will also be available on Shout! Factory TV.

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“We’re so proud to launch TokuSHOUTsu as the ultimate destination for fans to watch the best tokusatsu content spanning more than 60 years,” said Gene Pao, Shout! Factory’s SVP, digital enterprises, in a statement. “We know fans have come to appreciate the carefully curated content that Shout! Factory distributes, and we’ve created this channel with the legions of tokusatsu enthusiasts in mind. We’re thrilled to add it to our umbrella of fan-centric streaming options.”

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“’Kamen Rider’ is the number one kids’ program in Japan, and is still beloved after all these years,” said Shin-ichiro Shirakura, producer of the series. “We are so excited that the show will finally be available for all of our fans in North America.”

TokuSHOUTsu also will feature original content, including “Let’s Talk Toku,” a new, original weekly talk show produced by and for tokusatsu fans and hosted by genre expert Squall Charlson.

Netflix Partners With Six Japanese Creators on Original Anime Shows

Netflix has partnered with six Japanese creators to develop original anime shows for the global audience.

The six creators CLAMP (Cardcaptor Sakura), Shin Kibayashi (The Kindaichi Case Files), Yasuo Ohtagaki (Mobile Suit Gundam: Thunderbolt), Otsuichi (Goth), Tow Ubukata (Mardock Scramble) and Mari Yamazaki (Thermae Romae) are a mix of manga artists, novelists, screenwriters and filmmakers who have each played an integral part in the growing popularity of anime around the world, according to the SVOD service.

The partnerships are part of Netflix’s growing commitment to anime and the local industry, according to a Netflix press release. Last year, Netflix entered into partnerships with five Japanese animation producers: Production I.G, bones, anima, David Production and Sublimation.

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In addition to the new originals that will be developed with the creators, Netflix will also explore publishing and consumer products.

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“We’re excited to work with these extraordinary creators to bring best in class anime to Netflix,” said Taiki Sakurai, chief producer, Anime, at Netflix in a statement. “These partnerships are part of our broader investment strategy to support Japanese anime — giving creators the ability to tell bold, innovative stories and giving them access to fans all around the world, because storytelling is boundless in the world of anime.”

 

Sony Merging Anime Streaming Businesses

Sony Pictures Television and Aniplex, a subsidiary of Sony Music Entertainment (Japan), have announced the combination of multiple Sony-owned anime streaming businesses.

France’s Wakanim, Australia’s Madman Anime Group and U.S.-based Funimation will form a joint venture to be owned by Aniplex and Sony Pictures Television. The venture will be led by Funimation GM Colin Decker.

Under this structure, Funimation will acquire and distribute anime content from Japan across the global portfolio of brands, “each with deep regional expertise in serving fans,” according to a Sony release.

“Now with a larger global footprint, the combined businesses will expand their 360 degree, multi-channel approach to fan engagement that spans home entertainment, theatrical distribution, live events and merchandising,” the release stated.

As the first project of this union, Funimation will be the exclusive streaming home of the latest installment in the “Fate/Grand Order” series for one month. Starting Oct. 5, “Fate/Grand Order Absolute Demonic Front: Babylonia” will be simulcast in the United States on FunimationNow and will launch on Wakanim and Madman Anime Group’s AnimeLab in their respective territoriesFate/Grand Order Absolute Demonic Front: Babylonia” is the first TV animation series of the “Fate/Grand Order” mobile game, with more than 41 million downloads worldwide.

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“Anime is a growing area of importance for us at Sony Pictures Television,” said Sony Pictures Television chairman Mike Hopkins in a statement.By combining these businesses, we immediately increase our global reach and expertise in SVOD, theatrical, home video, merchandising, events and more. Along with our world-class marketing capabilities, we’re well-positioned to deliver unprecedented results for our partners and the best possible anime experience for the fans.”

“Through Sony group’s integration of anime related streaming services, we are thrilled that numerous Japanese anime titles will be distributed globally through its digital platforms,” said Aniplex president Atsuhiro Iwakami in a statement. “We hope our partnership will contribute to the further development and expansion of the Japanese anime industry.”

“For 25 years, Funimation has served creators, publishers, and fans,” added Decker in a statement. “By merging, we can extend our support of the industry for another 25 years with some of the most respected talent, and brands, in global anime.”