Any new project that keeps Zack Snyder away from that adaptation of The Fountainhead he’s been kicking around for a few years can only be a good thing, and today that good thing is a cartoon about vikings for Netflix. As announced in a press release, the show is billed as a “new anime series set in the world of Norse mythology,” with Snyder co-creating and executive producing alongside showrunner and director Jay Oliva (a veteran of DC’s direct-to-video animated Justice League movies). In a statement, Netflix’s head of anime programming, John Derderian, said that the show will “the iconic characters and stories of Norse mythology to life in [Snyder’s] inimitable style.”
However, if we may put on our nerd glasses for a moment and risk getting stuffed into a locker, a cartoon is not the same thing as an anime. The press release doesn’t say what studio is making this, just that Netflix is behind it, which means it’s a cartoon produced by an American media company and co-created by an American director, and that doesn’t really sound like anime. We’re all happy that anime is cool now (and this certainly would be anime if an anime studio is making it), but we don’t want to run the risk of anyone conflating boorish, plebeian cartoons with the high-art that is anime.