made several big announcements at their yearly Crunchyroll Expo, including the release of new clips from upcoming series, the announcement of a new book, new partnerships with other entertainment companies, and more.
The annual Crunchyroll Expo was held virtually this year due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, but that didn't stop the anime streaming company from hosting a few big announcements and reveals. Prior to the start of the free online convention, Crunchyroll announced that it has surpassed over 5 million paid subscribers
and over 120 million registered users total. Just six months prior, the company announced that it had passed the 4 million subscriber milestone, meaning its growth is actually speeding up over time. The virtual convention also revealed the new opening sequence
to the highly anticipated Blade Runner: Black Lotus
, and also hosted a panel by the show's directors
, Shinji Aramaki and Kenji Kamiyama, who were previously best known for their work on Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
The convention began with a speech from legendary horror manga author Junji Ito, who began his appearance with the phrase "Oh no, I'm being Space Jam'ed" and still somehow managed to deliver a heartfelt and rousing speech about anime and manga's ability to inspire and bring people together. Ito is the author of the Eisner Award winning of Remina and Venus in the Blind Spot. One of Ito's best known works, Uzumaki, is currently being adapted into an anime series by Adult Swim.
Crunchyroll also revealed a new trailer for one of their new original works, High Guardian Spice. The series is created by Raye Rodriguez and follows four girls trying to uncover their true identities while they battle a mysterious threat to the entire world. The series will premiere soon exclusively on Crunchyroll.
A new clip was also revealed for the soon-to-be released Fena: Pirate Princess
. The highly anticipated Crunchyroll Original series is co-produced by Ghost in the Shell
studio Production I.G. and blends elements of action, comedy and elements of classic shojo manga together with a mix of pirates and ninjas. The series is scheduled to premiere on Aug. 15.
Crunchyroll also announced that several new anime series would be coming to its streaming service in the near future. The company describes each of these shows with the following:
In addition to all the new anime announcements, Crunchyroll also revealed that it will be publishing a book about anime. Entitled Essential Anime, the book highlights 50 of the most influential and important anime series and movies of all time, and is intended to give readers a primer on the history of the medium and its impact on both Japanese and global pop culture.
Crunchyroll also announced two partnerships with other entertainment companies. First, the anime streamer announced that they were producing the new sci-fi property Dark Star Squadron
with Guardians of the Galaxy
and Star Trek
actor Zoe Saldana and her production company, Cinestar Pictures. The company also announced that it is partnering with Xbox to give all Crunchyroll premium subscribers three months of free access to the Xbox Game Pass
service for PC, which gives users on-demand access to over a hundred games from Microsoft, EA and other publishers.