A handful of Japanese anime properties might finally be getting their shot at success in the western world. We’ve learned that Japanese broadcaster NHK and WOWMAX have partnered up with the Hollywood, California-based William Winckler Productions (who you might know from our stories on Ultraman and Eden stories) to create English language pilots for three different anime productions: PriPara: Prism Paradise, Ninjaboy Rantaro, and Web Ghost PiPoPa. The purpose of these pilots is to encourage international broadcasters into picking up the shows.
PriPara: Prism Paradise is a franchise created by Takara Tomy, Tatsunoko Production and DongWoo A&E that is about a musical idol from a background where that kind of profession isn’t allowed. She’s got to juggle being both a pop star and her regular life. The first series ran for 150 episodes between 2014 and 2017 before being superseded by the spinoff Idol Time PriPara.
Ninjaboy Rantaro debuted on NHK in 1993 and is currently their longest-running animated series. It’s actually the second longest running anime series of all, only behind the legendary Sazae-san. The series is produced by Ajia-do Animation Works and tells the story about a group of kids in a school training to be ninja. The specific incarnation being tested out in English is being called Ninjaboys: Quest for the Cosmic Front, a more sci-fi take on the series that’s a crossover with Japanese science program Cosmic Front.
Web Ghost PiPoPa is perhaps the most surprising choice of the three. Unlike the others, this 52-episode 2008 anime series was officially released in English, albeit through subtitles, via a simulcast on the anime streaming service Crunchyroll. Studio Hibari created the series that deals with the world living inside computers.
Are you familiar with any of these anime properties? Would you like to see them released in North America with an English dub? Leave a comment down below!