Netflix, one of the largest producers of anime, is helping Japan meet rapidly growing demand for animators by supporting the launch of WIT Animator Academy. The six-month training programme is offered by Japanese animation studio WIT Studio and animation school Sasayuri.
From April, Netflix will offer consultation of the Sasayuri-developed curriculum. The company will also support about 10 participants by paying their tuition and living expenses for the duration of the programme.
“This way, students can focus on immersing themselves in a bespoke, robust training programme. Graduates will continue working on WIT Studio projects, including Netflix original anime,” said Taiki Sakurai, Chief Producer, Anime, Netflix, in a statement online.
Sakurai also shared that veteran animators will mentor programme participants, including Hitomi Tateno from Sasayuri, who brings almost 30 years of animation experience at Studio Ghibli to the table.
“It’s one thing to have a flourishing career as a talented animator. But we also think there’s opportunity for experienced animators to pass on their talent to younger generations through a structured programme,” he commented.
“We hope this will create a meaningful cycle of connecting, and bolstering best-in-class talent who make the future of anime.”
According to the 2019 Anime Industry Report from the Association of Japanese Animators – the most recent such report – the international market for anime exceeded 1 trillion yen for the first time in 2018.