Meet Sony Creative Products Inc and Aniplex Inc. at Licensing Expo
Entertainment robot ‘aibo’, Daifuku-kun’, ‘The Promised Neverland’, ‘Demon Slayer’ and more at stand S-234
Sony Creative Products Inc. (SCP), the leading character licensing organization in Japan, and Aniplex Inc. (ANX), a content production and distribution company, both operating as part of Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc., will be attending Licensing Expo 2019 in Las Vegas at the Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc. stand S234. Both will bring with them a large and diverse portfolio of new and established properties.
As the licensing market’s age and gender categorization gets more and more borderless, so it makes sense for SCP and ANX to share their business networks for licensing – as the joint business stand at Licensing Expo demonstrates. For Tomoki Murata, SVP at Global Business Strategy, Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc., the decision to set up a joint business stand at Licensing Expo is a great opportunity to highlight both SCP and ANX offerings – firmly established in Japan – to the biggest market on earth. As he says: “The licensed product market in North America is still the largest anywhere, and Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc. is keen to expand its business in this market. With a diverse portfolio already performing well in Japan and now expanding into new regions, now is the perfect time for us to pursue that aim.”
SCP will be highlighting such animated hits as Pingu, Mofy and TAMA and in addition will launch at the show aibo, a lively and lovable companion – who happens to be a robotic puppy – and Daifuku-kun, a Japanese pre-school online hit property new to the US market. ANX will promote its amazing range of anime properties, but during the show will be particularly highlighting the recent arrival of two juggernaut anime franchises, The Promised Neverland and Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba.
aibo is a delightful, entertaining companion robot, who loves being with people and who brings warmth and delight to the everyday lives of its owners. In that sense, aibo is just like any devoted pet. But there’s one difference: aibo is a beloved robotic companion! Developed in Japan and currently sold in both Japan and the USA by Sony Corporation, aibo offers lifelike expressions and an amazing array of movements alongside a cheerful and curious manner. aibo really wants to know you, explore its environment, understand the ways of the world — and, from time to time, be a little mischievous.
Sony Corporation is so delighted with the reception of this amazingly innovative new product, that it has started an Official aibo License Program, with original style guides for aibo and its accessories, as well as an Official Licensed Product Logo for approved licensees.
New to the US market but growing fast in Japan is Daifuku-kun, an online property, with characters inspired by a very popular type of Japanese sweets. The property’s star is the five-year-old Tsutsumi Daifuku, a kind, polite and welcoming young boy who comforts others at times of trouble, just like the sweet from which he takes his name. Like him, his family and friends are all named after, and look like, different sweet flavours such as banana, chocolate, cherry and coriander. The property reaches its audience on social media through original content such as music, dance and short animated stories, all produced and created by Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc. and Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc. As master licensing agent, SCP will handle this property both in Japan and worldwide where SCP expects its charm, originality and wide range of interesting characters will bring the brand many new admirers.
The Promised Neverland (30 x 12), which premiered in January in Japan and the US, is the story of an orphanage called the Grace Field House where 38 siblings live picturesque lives, until a dark and twisted secret reveals that not everything is quite what it seems. Based on an extremely popular manga series by Kaiu Shirai and illustrations by Posuka Demizu, the haunting TV series earned the title of “must watch series of the year” from Anime News Network and was featured in Polygon’s article, “The best anime of 2019, so far”. The anime series garnered such a ravenous response from fans online that Comicbook.com noted that “it would be too light to say the internet is freaking out”. The series has confirmed that it will be returning for season two in 2020, while all episodes of the first season are available in the US on various streaming platforms including Hulu, Crunchyroll, FunimationNow, and HIDIVE. In April, the English dub of the series premiered on Toonami, the Saturday night programming block of Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim.
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba is an action-packed, thrilling tale of a boy who must avenge the murder of his family, who were viciously slaughtered by demons, while searching for a cure for his sister afflicted with a curse that turned her into a demon. Together with a captivating story and distinct visual aesthetic, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba offers a glimpse into Japan in the early 1900s, which is inhabited by man-eating monsters and those that vow to slay them. The series, which premiered in the US on Hulu, Crunchyroll and FunimationNow in April, was featured in Gamespot’s article, “8 Must-See Spring 2019 Anime Series: Demon Slayer, Fruits Basket, and More (US)”, which noted that there would be little doubt that the series would end up being “the most watched series of spring 2019”. The series has universally become a fan favourite amongst anime fans for its ability to seamlessly infuse a tragic and melancholy tale with heart-pounding action and refreshingly comedic moments.
The latest properties from ANX, the leading supplier of anime comedy, fantasy and thrills, are expected to gain a lot of attention at Licensing Expo.