Netflix offers full Tokyo anime school scholarships and funding for living expenses. Partnership with Wit Studio and Production I.G the course planned by a Studio Ghibli veteran.
Netflix has made anime a significant pillar of its mix of content. The company has continued to broaden its reach within the Japanese anime industry. This recent news is made to embolden its influence as a streaming anime giant. The popularity of anime found on streaming platforms outside Japan has increased. This is reflected in the Funimation acquisition of Crunchyroll.
WIT Studio, best known for its work on the first three Attack om Titan seasons, has announced the creation of the WIT Animator Academy. The anime school is hosted at the Sasayuri Video Training Institute (also known as the Sasayuri Cafe) in the Nishiogikubo neighborhood of Tokyo. The program will be a six-month course, with classes conducted five days a week, and students will be retained as subcontracted animators for an original Netflix anime to be produced by WIT or its sister studio, Production I.G.
Netflix supports the anime school programs in the form of a scholarship and also offers to help students out during the program with their living expenses. Obviously, such kindness implies that the program size is limited, and WIT and Netflix are looking for around 10 people for the first batch of students. On the plus hand, that also implies small class sizes with more interaction between student/teacher opportunities. Speaking of teaching, Hitomi Tateno, who worked for 25 years as an animation checker for Studio Ghibli, is designing the WIT Animator Academy program.
Tateno is known for such anime classics as Kiki’s Delivery Service, Howl’s Moving Castle, Spirited Away, and both My Neighbor Totoro and its little-known short sequel Mei and the Kittenbus. To ensure the art created is moved with fluidly and artistic professionalism, Tateno will also act as a teacher in the anime school program himself.
So what is the catch with the anime school? The first course for the WIT Animator Academy will begin in April and run until September. Applicants must be aged between 18 and 25 and have graduated from high school by March 2021 at the latest. “While Japanese residency is required, non-Japanese citizens (i.e. Japanese foreign residents) are welcome to apply, and full fluency in the Japanese language is not a must as long as applicants in Japanese are “able to have regular conversations.