Disney Plus' next big series based on a smash-hit manga is coming in early April

 The Fable promo image.
The Fable promo image.

Disney Plus has announced the latest addition to its expanding collection of Japanese anime. The Fable is a series that’s inspired by a hugely popular manga of the same name, and will follow the story of a skilled assassin who must lay low for a while. It’s set to premiere globally on the Disney Plus platform on April 7.

Katsuhisa Minami's The Fable manga, which captivated readers in Japan’s Weekly Young Magazine from 2014 to 2019, has sold millions of copies over the years. Its transition to the screen is brought to life by Tezuka Productions, under the guidance of seasoned anime director Ryōsuke Takahashi.

The Fable: The Killer Who Doesn’t Kill centers on an infamous contract killer known simply as 'Fable', whose life has been dedicated to mastering the art of assassination. Renowned in the criminal underworld for his lethal abilities, Fable's life has been dedicated to killing. However, after a particularly violent year, he receives an unexpected directive from his organization's leader: to assume a new identity in Osaka and refrain from any killings for one year. Thrust into a new environment filled with potential enemies, Fable must learn to temper his instincts and embrace normalcy.

The broadening of Disney Plus

The Fable is the most recent anime content to come from Disney’s collaboration with Kodansha, a leading publisher in Japan known for producing some of the most renowned manga series, including other popular favorites such as AKIRA, Attack on Titan, and Ghost in the Shell.

The news also comes just after the announcement that Disney has also begun a new partnership with Akira Toriyama, the creator of the Dragon Ball series. The legendary Japanese manga artist will be helping to produce an exclusive anime series called Sand Land, a story set in a dystopian desert world.

Disney already has a near-monopoly over mainstream franchises, including Marvel and Star Wars. But its partnerships with these big names in Japanese entertainment show its commitment to branching out into other kinds of content.

Luke Kang, head of Disney’s Asia Pacific region recently told The Hollywood Reporter that he’s excited about the entertainment potential coming out of Japan and the global impact that might have. “If you look at the size of the market and the resources available, there’s no reason why Japan shouldn’t go back to being a major player,” he says. He also spoke about the growing popularity of anime across the world and how that’s a big priority for Disney right now.

However, Kang also says this isn’t just about anime, pointing to the release of the second season of live-action Japanese hit Gannibal, as well as the upcoming Shogun series that he says is “packed with Japanese talent” and which he hopes “will help stimulate the industry”.

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