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Netflix is partnering with ex-Studio Ghibli producer on multiple new anime movies

 The Imaginary and Howl's Moving Castle.
The Imaginary and Howl's Moving Castle.

Netflix has been a major force in the anime game for some time now, but its next move could make serious waves across the industry.

As per The Hollywood Reporter, the streamer is partnering with Japanese studio Studio Ponoc, which was founded by ex-Studio Ghibli producer Yoshiaki Nishimura in 2015.

You may not know Nishimura’s name, but you will know his work. He was a production manager on Howl’s Moving Castle before acting as producer on The Tale of Princess Kaguya and When Marnie Was There.

Nishimura then went on to produce Mary and the Witch’s Flower at Studio Ponoc, which was one of the most successful Japanese films in domestic markets when it was released in 2017.

First up for the Netflix/Studio Ponoc partnership? The Imaginary, directed by Spirited Away animator Yoshiyuki Momose (who also worked on my personal favorite underrated Ghibli classic, Porco Rosso), has also had its premise and first poster revealed by Netflix.

"A young girl and her imaginary companion discover a magical world of creatures and places never before seen – but a sinister force threatens to destroy it," it reads. You can see the first look and poster below.

The Imaginary marks the start of a "multi-film partnership" and will stream on Netflix alongside a Japanese theatrical run later in 2024.

For more from the world of anime, be sure to dive into our guides to its biggest names: Jujutsu Kaisen season 3 and Demon Slayer season 4. Then, take a peek at what’s coming down the road with our complete list of new anime in 2024.