China is a huge and rapidly growing, but sometimes inaccessible, market for foreign entertainment. “Japanese intellectual property is also very popular in China,” Takeshi Natsuno, Chairman and CEO of Kadokawa. said a Japanese news program Abema Prime. He noted that the Chinese government limits the number of foreign titles released in the country, but suggested that Japanese-Chinese co-productions might not be considered foreign, thereby circumventing protectionist policies.
Natsuno added that production of these shows would not necessarily occur in China, whose animation labor costs are starting to exceed those in Japan.
Tencent has been busy buying, investing, and partnering with game companies and animation producers around the world. It also invested 65.7 billion yen in Japanese retail titan Rakuten in March. But at home, he faced a growing regulatory crackdown on gaming.
Meanwhile, Kadokawa is quickly developing his own anime strategy. It currently produces around 40 titles per year. He is the majority shareholder of Tokyo-based CG studio Engi, which was established in 2018, and owns a stake in Tokyo Kinema Citrus 2d studio. This summer he launched Studio Kadan, a new cg and vfx studio.
Earlier this year, the company announced a capital alliance with Sony and advertising company Cyberagent, to expand its games and animation business.
Image above: Kadokawa’s feature film “Konosuba: God’s blessing on this wonderful world! Legend of the Crimson “