In four small minutes, our minds were blown away by Netflix’s anime short, Sol Levante. As the first hand-drawn anime using 4K HDR technology, Sol Levante is revolutionary for the anime industry, and in one fell swoop, Sol Levante has become the most important anime on Netflix to date.
Sol Levante is an experimental animation project between Netflix and Production I.G. to produce the first hand-drawn anime with 4K HDR quality. The project was overseen by the creative technology engineer of Netflix, Haruka Miyagawa. Directing the project was production I.G.’s Akira Saitoh.
The Importance of Sol Levante to the Anime Industry
With a run time of only four minutes, Sol Levante is filled to the brim with some truly visionary animation that was only possible because of 4K HDR technology. As an experimental piece of digital content, Sol Levante has been a grand success for Production I.G and the anime industry.
The artists behind Sol Levante have made it abundantly clear that the next step for animation, especially for Japanese anime, is to produce content using 4K HDR technology. The ability to use 4K HDR allows artists to draw in detail more than was previously thought possible, pushing the boundaries of design and art.
The anime industry has existed for many decades and has expanded to the point that it now makes billions of dollars every year through movies, television, merchandise, video games, and cosplay. Money aside, the most important role anime has in the industry is the many millions of fans that are entertained all across the globe. By using 4K HDR and pushing the boundaries and limitations of Japanese anime, production companies can give fans content that has never been experienced before in the history of anime.
Production I.G. and Netflix have already expressed that the technology and techniques used in the making of Sol Levante aren’t theirs to hoard, which means other artists will have the means to produce 4K HDR anime themselves. So, if we’re to take into consideration the number of anime studios there are, especially if some of the most well known were to begin using 4K HDR, then the future of anime is nothing but bright.
For my own personal preferences, I would love nothing more than to see an episode or film of Dragon Ball Super or One Piece made with 4K HDR. The recent movie, Dragon Ball Super: Broly was already some of the best animation carried out by Toei, if you were to bolster the future of Dragon Ball with the use of 4K HDR, you could have, what would arguably be, some of the most visually spectacular fights in anime history.
Why is Sol Levante important to Netflix?
Netflix has done an excellent job of providing 4K HDR content to its subscribers over the past few years, and more arrive every week.
What Netflix offers the industry is the opportunity to grow and explore the use of 4K HDR anime. Other production companies are more likely to want to work with the streaming service to produce some of the best anime content we’ve potentially ever seen.
To bolster the already growing number of titles in the Netflix anime library with 4K HDR anime, would be a game-changer for the streaming service.
Castlevania is already one of the best-animated titles on Netflix, pair that with 4K HDR technology and it takes the series to the next level.
Behind the scenes of Sol Levante
Netflix also released some behind the scenes videos of what went into the production of Sol Levante. The first started off with the incredible artists behind the anime:
The second video went into further detail into the score of Sol Levante, and how 4K HDR with immersive audio made the anime even more spectacular:
What are your thoughts on Sol Levante? Were you impressed by the level of animation and design? Let us know in the comments below!