Netflix continues to be one of those cool kids at the lunch table, with its Naruto headband and a stack of Yu-Gi-Oh! cards in its backpack (yeah those are the cool kids, it’s 2020 and jocks are fucking over), as Variety is reporting that the streaming service has signed yet another deal with yet another batch of anime and manga creators to make cool animated content for the platform. Last year, Netflix brought in well-known anime studios like Production I.G and Bones to create new shows (not to mention the much-hyped and long-awaited streaming debut of Neon Genesis Evangelion and the still-in-the-works Cowboy Bebop adaptation), and this year it’s adding to its anime collection by signing deals with artists and writers like Shin Kibayashi (of Drops Of God and Nintendo’s Fire Emblem Fates), Yasuo Ohtagaki (Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt), Otsuichi (Goth), Tow Ubukata (Mardock Scramble), Mari Yamazaki (Thermae Romae), and the all-female art collective Clamp (creators of Cardcaptor Sakura).
We don’t know what any of those people are working on, but this is a good excuse to talk briefly about Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt. Like the best Gundam media, it leans really far into the “horror of war” genre, telling a story about a somewhat pointless and violently protracted battle between a squad of snipers (who happen to be piloting big robots) and a hot-headed, jazz-loving, self-involved “good guy” (who also happens to be piloting a big robot). Also, the snipers are wounded soldiers who have been kicked off of the front lines and one guy willingly has his limbs amputated so he can be a better test-pilot for a special robot that’s controlled by brainpower. It’s messed-up and pretty rad.
Anyway, Netflix has promised that there will be other ways for people to “engage with the shows through publishing and consumer products” (which, using our anime expertise, we’re going to assume means “manga” and “expensive statues”).