The American distributor, publisher, and licensing company, Crunchyroll, recently made a big announcement. They will be teaming up with the digital comics publisher, WEBTOON, in a strategic partnership to develop and co-produce original animated content.
The Hollywood Reporter states that these upcoming projects will be based on WEBTOON’s catalog of various webcomics. Both companies will share in handling the distribution, licensing, and retail of each new project.
“We are extremely excited to be partnering with WEBTOON,” said Joanne Waage, the Crunchyroll general manager. “WEBTOON has a tremendous catalogue of content and creators that resonate deeply with our audience and we can’t think of a better way to delight fans than by bringing these stories to life through animation[sic].”
This is very exciting, as WEBTOON’s catalog has been getting a lot of interest lately. Rachel Smythe’s Lore Olympus series will be getting an animated series via The Jim Henson Company.
“There is tremendous crossover appeal with our audiences,” commented Taylor Grant, the WEBTOON SVP of IP development. “We’re excited to partner with Crunchyroll to bring our globally appealing characters to audiences and consumers in new ways, as well as create new opportunities for our talented creators.”
WEBTOON has become the top webcomic app for Android and iOS, averaging more than 55 million monthly active users and a daily readership of almost 15 million.
It was at Crunchyroll Expo last year, where the company announced its intention to produce their own animated content. It’s very likely that Ellation Studios, which is owned by Crunchyroll’s parent company, Ellation, will be handling these original animated series with WEBTOON. The studio has production facilities in Tokyo, Japan, and Burbank, California.
Raye Rodriguez’s High Guardian Spice will be the first of these Crunchyroll original series that will be released via Ellation Studios. The animated TV series is scheduled to premiere this year.
WEBTOON has a very extensive catalog of titles to draw from with genres like romance, drama, comedy, fantasy, and thrillers. At the moment, there have been no details revealed about which of these series will be getting the animated treatment. What series from WEBTOON are you hoping to see animated? We will likely be hearing some sort of announcement soon.