Naver webtoons have made it to small screenThree Naver webtoons will be made into animation series by Japanese anime houses and aired simultaneously in Korea, Japan and the United States.
San Francisco-based Crunchyroll, an anime streaming subsidiary of AT&T’s Warner Media, will invest in and distribute the three series.
According to Naver, the platform has over 60 million active users worldwide.
The three pieces to be animated are “Tower of God,” “The God of High School” and “Noblesse.”
They are among the most popular and best-known series on Naver’s webtoon platform, which enables artists to serially publish their work on a weekly basis.
A number of Japan anime studios will take charge of transforming the online comic strips to animations.
Telecom Animation Film, known for “Detective Conan,” will animate “Tower of God.” “The God of High School” will be produced by Mappa, while Noblesse will be made by Production I.G.
Webtoons have been at the vanguard of Naver’s overseas expansion strategy. Its webtoon service in the United States reported 10 million monthly average users last year.
For the IT company, it is meaningful that the project attracted foreign investors and studios in the United States and Japan. This participation is seen as proof of the marketability of the original webtoons as intellectual property, Naver explained in a statement. The two countries have the largest comic markets in the world.
“Tower of God” will be aired first, starting April 1. Having debuted as a Naver webtoon in 2010, the series has generated more than 4.5 billion views so far worldwide.
In the Americas and Europe, Crunchyroll will deliver the series on its streaming platform. In Japan, the series will be aired on TV channels like Tokyo MX and BS11.
BY SONG KYOUNG-SON [firstname.lastname@example.org]