As announced today at the Power-Con convention in California, Kevin Smith is making a new He-Man cartoon for Netflix. Unlike the excellent She-Ra, which it will presumably be totally unrelated to (the original series was a spin-off of the He-Man show), this one won’t be some kind of cool new take on the property, though. According to a press release, it will be a “wholly original story” that nonetheless focuses on “unresolved storylines of the classic ‘80s era,” and it will be called Masters Of The Universe: Revelation—so it sounds like a sequel series, even though Netflix doesn’t use that word. Smith will act as showrunner and executive producer alongside writers Eric Carrasco, Tim Sheridan, Diya Mishra, and Marc Bernardin.
The press release also quotes Smith as saying that he’s “Eternia-ly grateful” to Mattel and Netflix for letting him work on this show, which is a very groan-inducing pun, and he teases that Revelation will be “the Masters Of The Universe story you always wanted to see as a kid.” That pun isn’t the only questionable thing about the press release, though, as Netflix—once again—is insisting on calling this an anime show even though it’s being made by an American guy and coming from an American animation studio (Powerhouse, which also worked on Castlevania). Words have meanings, and the meaning of “anime” is not “cool cartoon for people who grew up in the ‘80s.” The original show wasn’t anime, so is Netflix just trying to score cool anime cred by exaggerating how much anime it has? Is Disenchantment anime now because it’s a cartoon? Is Stranger Things an anime because it’s about teens with magic powers having emotions? Are we wrong for thinking this is a big issue?