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Japanese anime studio sees SA potential

Mar 06 2018 19:55
Carin Smith

Cape Town - Polygon Pictures is a Japanese 3DCG animation studio, which is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year.

According to spokesperson Shuzo John Shiota, it is one of, if not the oldest existing studio in the world that focuses on CG animation production.

"We create a wide variety of content, from episodic shows to feature films, game cinematics, and VR content. Polygon is one of the few studios in Japan that has animated shows for North American powerhouses such as Disney (My Friends Tigger and Pooh, Tron Uprising), Lucas Animation (Star Wars: The Clone Wars), and Hasbro Studios (Transformers Prime, Transformers Robots in Disguise), Amazon Studios (Lost in Oz) and has won multiple Emmy Awards for its work," said Shiota.

In recent years, the company has produced its own anime shows such as “Knights of Sidonia” and “Blame!”, and has earned the distinction of providing Netflix with its first Original Anime. The studio is currently in production of three part Godzilla animated feature, which marks the first time Japan’s iconic character has been animated for the big screen.

While traditional anime packages (like DVD box sets) have seen a decline, the overall number of series have continued to increase. Box office sales of anime movies have also spiked recently (especially from 2016 with the release of Your Name), explained Shiota. Also, the paid streaming of anime titles has gone from zero in 2000 to 47.8 billion yen in 2016.

Polygon has a subsidiary studio in Malaysia, and also partners with studios in Thailand, India, Taiwan and China, to work on its projects. The same possibilities can be available for South Africa as well, in the view of Shiota.

"The keys to success in our industry is very much dependent on how you can distinguish yourself creatively. A possible fusion of distinct creative cultures such as that of Japan and South Africa may be able to create an innovative style," said Shiota.

"Also, the Japanese anime industry has gone through many incarnations in shaping its business. Learning from this history can be of value. The originality that the South African design and sensibilities brings forth, may be able to complement our creative endeavours. The market potential is also an attraction."

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japan  |  animation  |  entertainment
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