MBC and Tokyopop forge strategic partnership

MBC and Tokyopop forge strategic partnership to bring anime marvels to MENA Viewers

Tokyopop, the US-headquartered distributor and licensor of anime and manga works, has joined forces with Saudi-based broadcast group MBC on a new strategic initiative called MBC Anime to produce, license and promote anime content in the MENA region.

Under the partnership, two original anime productions – Kami.App and Protocol: Rain from Japanese broadcasters Fuji TV and TV Asahi respectively – have already been unveiled. Both will premiere in Japan and internationally later this month, launching in simulcast as exclusives on MBC’s Arabic streaming service Shahid.

The partnership plans to introduce a diverse range of acquisitions along with more original anime productions in the MENA region, using a fan-centric, holistic approach, said Tokyopop in Cannes this week.

MBC Anime will be joining the production committees of Fuji TV and TV Asahi on future anime productions.

Action-adventure show Kami.App centres on a high-school student who pits himself against rivals in a bid to become the ultimate ‘kami’ (Japanese for ‘god’ or ‘deity’).

The 13-part series assembles a top tier of anime creatives, including creator Yoko Taro, the director of video game Nier; writer Jin, creator of Kagerou Daze; and director Hiroyuki Seshita, known for Knights of Sidonia, Ajin and Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters.

It also includes character designs by Atsushi Ohkubo, the manga author behind Soul Eater and Fire Force. Season one will stream this year, while a second season is planned for 2024.

Protocol: Rain also focuses on a high-school student, in this case one who works part-time at an e-sports café and wants to participate in the Xaxxerion Championship to win prize money.

The 12-part series is directed by Yasutaka Yamamoto (Aharen-san wa Hakarenai, Nekopara) and is written by Katsuhiko Takayama (The World’s Finest Assassin Gets Reincarnated in Another World as an Aristocrat).

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