Netflix is going to premiere a first-of-its-kind original anime short, Sol Levante on 2 April.
Designed in experimental 4K and HDR, and lifted by immersive audio, Sol Levante has been a project for two years in the making by a wide range of dedicated craftspeople both inside and outside Netflix. To celebrate its release, the streaming powerhouse looks back at this groundbreaking title’s journey from idea to reality.
The project was named Sol Levante – which means the sun rising from the east in Italian – as a metaphor for Japan, because the team hopes this will be the beginning of a new dawn for anime craftspeople, enabling them to expand their craft in original new ways.
Netflix used technology to expand the art of anime. Said a spokesperson, “At Netflix, we’ve always loved anime and we work hard to provide the top artists with the best technology to help them tell their stories in new and innovative ways.”
Given the technological advancements of the visuals for Sol Levante, the team from Netflix and Production I.G. decided to add immersive audio to enhance the viewing experience of these state-of-the-art visuals. “We tapped a well-respected US-based sound team to complete this job with sound mixer Will Files and sound designer Matt Yocum using Dolby Atmos to bring director Saitoh’s artistic vision to fruition. Will brought contrast to the sound mix and wove in composer Emily Rice’s original orchestral score, which had been recorded on a 3D microphone,” mentioned a member.
To help everyone in the anime industry better understand the challenges involved with 4K HDR and immersive audio, Netflix has “open-sourced” the materials they used in Sol Levante. This will enable animators and creatives to understand these new technologies better, partner more effectively with manufacturers and to work with anime studios to incorporate this technology into their productions.