Fans awoke to great confusion Sunday morning as every program original to the Netflix streaming service had been labeled as anime, with everything from western cartoons to gripping legal dramas now carrying the tag for unknown reasons.
The change was first noted on Twitter by user Monstergirls4eva who noted that award-winning dark comedy Bojack Horseman was now being recommended to viewers of titles such as Dragon Ball Z. “These things have nothing in common besides being animated! What’s the deal @netflix?” the user tweeted after noticing the change.
While many of Netflix’s original animated programs, such as the upcoming Transformers: War for Cybertron: Seige and He-man and the Masters of the Universe reboot, have been, with great contention from fans, put forth as anime, this marked the first time other series have been given the tag. Now bombarded with thousands of tweets on the subject, Netflix CCO Theodore Anthony Sarandos Jr. had the following to say Sunday afternoon via a statement released to Anime Maru:
“For decades, fans of the animated medium have argued what actually constitutes anime. Is it just cartoons from Japan or, as the word means in its country of origin, all animation in general? With the release of several of our own original animated projects, as well as the acquisition of the streaming rights to beloved series such Avatar: The Last Airbender, we have taken the time to tackle the issue head-on. And after consulting our crack team of Anime Consultants, we have determined that not only can any animated program be rightfully called anime, but, in order to put the problem to rest once and for all, have come to the conclusion that ALL original programming can, and will, be anime as well.”
The change was put into place late Saturday night and extends to all programming released on Netflix since its launch in 2007. Fan reaction to the change has been mixed with most referring to the change as “confusing”, “unnecessary”, and “factually wrong” while thousands of others had begun to proclaim that Strangers Things is in fact the best anime of all time.