Netflix’s Best Series Is Getting An Anime Spinoff?

Stranger Things is continuing to go global with rumors of an anime series spinoff set in 1980s Tokyo.

By Jennifer Asencio | Published

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Netflix is expanding Stranger Things into its own cinematic universe, and that will include adventures with the Upside Down in Japan. CBR reports that Netflix has announced Stranger Things: Tokyo, an anime spin-off that the streaming giant is billing as the franchise’s first. The show will take place in 1980s Tokyo, and will follow two brothers at the advent of the video game era as they encounter the dreary alternate dimension.

As season 4 of Stranger Things took audiences to Russia where other doorways to the Upside Down have been opened, the show implied that more such gates could exist in places other than Hawkins. Other spin-offs may take audiences to other locations, but the anime show will focus on a Japanese gate from around the same time as Mike, Will, and the rest of The Party are having their spooky adventures in Hawkins. Not much else is known about Stranger Things: Tokyo, other than it will be six hours long.

While the Hawkins kids spend their free time playing Dungeons and Dragons, another form of gaming was emerging in the form of Japanese video games such as Super Mario Bros. and Final Fantasy. Many gamers play both the famous tabletop game and a variety of types of video games, coming from famous Japanese companies like Sony, Nintendo, and Sega. The boys in Stranger Things: Tokyo are thus very similar to the boys from Hawkins, in that the 1980s saw the birth of both games, which were most often played by people whose interests ran more toward intellectual pursuits than athletics.

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Joseph Quinn as Eddie Munson in Stranger Things

In addition to the anime show, the Stranger Things universe is getting another live-action series from another idea of the Duffer Brothers, and also a stage play that will be written by playwright Kate Trefry. Netflix is set to produce the stage play alongside influential theater producer Sonia Friedman and producer-director Stephen Daldry. Not much is known about either of these projects other than they will be taking place in the same world as Hawkins.

Able to help with building a wider universe is director Shawn Levy, whose experience with the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the director of Deadpool 3 will be useful when he returns from that production to direct some of Stranger Things season 5. The final season of the show isn’t due out until 2024, but the Marvel project’s filming schedule still leaves time for Levy to return to Stranger Things. He said that working with Kevin Fiege gave him some insight into building such a project, which hints that he may remain on board for more work with the Duffer Brothers.

The first four seasons of Stranger Things were all smash hits when they were released on Netflix, and season 4 held the record for most views within a week of its premiere until Wednesday broke it in November. It is clear by the millions of hours viewers have watched of the show that more content from the Hawkins universe would be welcome among audiences, and the Duffer Brothers are set to deliver.