Anime’s diverse and fantastical stories, vibrant styles and delicate lines are an art form that has evolved from its creative home in Japan, and grown in global popularity, variety, and sophistication over the last fifty years.
Today, Netflix is proud to showcase the stunning world of Sol Levante; an original anime that is a culmination of art, technology, and curiosity.
Since 2017, Netflix has been invested in Japanese anime. It’s passionate about the genre now more than ever. By working with top talent, the popular streaming platform has been forging the way to become a home for creators and anime fans around the world.
As a studio, it continues to push the boundaries of storytelling—as art is boundless in the world of anime. To support this, Netflix technologists are constantly looking for ways to innovate and explore new creative opportunities for filmmakers.
Given the rapid adoption of HDR capable devices in consumers’ homes, we wondered what it would take to increase anime’s resolution to 4K and introduce a wider color palette of high dynamic range (HDR) to artists’ toolsets to offer members a more compelling visual experience in the long term.
The studio quickly learned, increasing the resolution meant hand drawings needed to be completed on a much larger piece of paper than the standard A4-sized paper or scanned at a very high resolution. Either were not viable solutions, hence, drawings had to be done digitally on a tablet. The challenge was, most anime artists lack training and equipment to go digital.
It was integral that Netflix found a partner who wanted a taste of what the future of anime would look like. And so its collaboration with Japanese animation studio Production I.G. was born.
Known for projects like Ghost in the Shell and the anime portion of Kill Bill, Production I.G. brought a small and experienced crew led by Director Akira Saitoh who were open to unexpected challenges and working in digital from scratch. Their combined curiosity led to the creation of an experimental 4K and HDR, immersive audio anime short called Sol Levante - one of the first projects of its kind.
Watch Sol Levante on Netflix with any HDR configured device with your premium subscription.
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