Japanese company Akatsuki looks for tie-ups with Indian streaming platforms

Japanese entertainment company Akatsuki Inc that announced its foray into India late last year is looking to tie up with a host of video streaming players and cable television services to adapt its local content for Indian audiences.

Starting with video-on-demand services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ Hotstar and YouTube, the company best known for mobile games such as Dragon Ball Z (that had notched up 250 million downloads since its release, according to a Forbes report) and Bringing Up My Girl, and franchises such as Japan Sinks 2020 and Kumarba, said it will initially dub Japanese originals into Indian languages which will be available by the end of this year.

“Apart from English and Hindi, we’re looking at dubbing them into other top Indian languages such as Tamil, Telugu, Marathi and Bengali. But in another two to three years, we want to look at developing Indian originals with local writers and talent here,” said Yuki Kawamura, head of global IP (intellectual property) expansion, in-charge of international business development and corporate development at Akatsuki Inc. Kawamura said the popularity of Japanese anime such as Doraemon and Shin-chan in India helped the company recognize the potential of the market.

“In contrast to Japan which has an ageing population, India has a huge kids segment which doesn’t have access to quality video content except perhaps live-action,” Kawamura added. India is the company’s only international focus, at the moment where it plans to invest “multiple millions of dollars every year.”

Conversations with cable TV and VoD platforms had started earlier this year but things have paused because of the covid-19 pandemic. Akatsuki wants to eventually get to developing local Indian IPs but since that will take some time, it wants to bridge the timeline by dubbing five to six shows currently in the pipeline, details of which Kawamura declined to share.


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