The “KADOKAWA Anime’s Overseas Business Strategy, Case of ISEKAI. and Future Prospects” seminar at TIFFCOM talked all about anime, isekai and how the company wants to get more involved with overseas deals. The two people representing Kadokawa at the seminar were Takeshi Kikuchi, the Kadokawa executive officer, and Seiji Kiyohara, the Animation Group General Manager.
Kadokawa is all about “the media mix,” where something, say, can start as a light novel and then get more life by being adapted into an anime or video game. This is working very well in Japan, but is more of a challenge when Kadokawa wants to get its franchises overseas.
The conversation turned to how isekai light novels are now a big part of their revenue, and they want to use the isekai genre to help reach people in other countries. Once COVID is no longer affecting so much, Kadokawa plans to really rev up their work with overseas companies.
“We should not be happy just selling our contents at a high price to licensees,” Kiyohara remarked. “They need to work closely with the marketing as well in order to ensure that the contents reach as many people as possible.”
Kikuchi talked about how he used to just be about licensing projects over to whoever offered the most money, but now he sees there’s more to these relationships than that. They said that the Crunchyroll partnership for the So I’m a Spider, So What? anime has been one of their major success stories of working with someone overseas.
Kiyohara thinks the fact they marketed So I’m a Spider, So What? in Japan and abroad at the same time had something to do with the success. Outreach from production staff and plenty of visuals also helped. Their plan is to come out with 40 more anime titles within the year fiscal year.
Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, and its sequel, Manga Art for Intermediates, with professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.