A Joint International Project with Nigeria - Tezuka Productions Takes its Newest Anime Robot Atom to Africa

It’s been a long time since the internationalization of the Japanese anime industry. This references overseas expansion from the West to East Asia, and in recent years India and Southeast Asia. The waves of internationalization now seem to be extending to Africa.

Tezuka Productions, a long-standing Japanese animation studio, is now striving to create a joint international work with the Nigerian TV network Chanel TV. They are working on a new TV anime series intended for a Nigerian audience called Robot Atom. Production on Robot Atom is already underway and it has had a favorable start.

The characteristics of this joint project are overseas market development with a concurrent focus on offering technical guidance to an emerging nation. Before production on Robot Atom began, three African employees at Chanel TV were sent to Tezuka Productions to learn about the creation process of Japanese anime and to receive practical anime skills training.

This is a combination of education and entertainment that Tezuka Productions calls “edutainment.” The goal of Tezuka Productions in this joint venture is to develop the Nigerian marketplace, and the goal of Chanel TV is to widen employment in the anime production and licensing business as well as to develop its education and training industries. In this way, the venture is a win-win for both parties.

At first glance, this partnership seems strange because Nigeria has little to no relation to Japan. However, Nigeria has the largest population of any African country (160 million) as well as the largest economic growth rate of any African country. This has also had a big impact on neighboring countries. For those in Japan, it has a tremendous amount of potential as a developing marketplace. On the other hand, those in Nigeria are fascinated with the structure of Japan’s anime industry. There is currently a large worldwide trend toward CG animation. However, since Africa largely lacks computers capable of such techniques, the current thinking is that Japanese-style hand-drawn anime is the best way to go, or better yet, it will be easier to introduce. Along with introducing Japanese-style anime creation to Nigeria also comes TV broadcasts and character licensing. Therefore, the project isn’t just introducing the creation of Japanese anime but also aspects of the character business as well.

Tezuka Productions explains this international joint project as something that will ensure the future of Japanese anime. By the year 2050, it is estimated that Japan’s population will decrease to 80 million, with the elderly comprising 50% of this total. It is unclear whether or not the current business model of Japanese anime will be able to be maintained at that time. On the other hand, Japanese anime is popular overseas with teenagers to adults in their mid 30s and it is separating itself from a global market focused on kids.

To that end, the goals are business expansion and development of content that can be sold in the global market. It is for these reasons that Tezuka Productions is putting their efforts into this joint international project. With this business in Nigeria as a catalyst, they may set their sights on even more international developments from here on.

Tezuka Productions

Source: animeanime

Robot Atom © Tezuka Productions
Robot Atom © Tezuka Productions
Robot Atom © Tezuka Productions
Robot Atom © Tezuka Productions
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