Crunchyroll Sees New Opportunity In Documentary Genre



Crunchyroll is betting that a documentary focused on how anime influenced the life of Green Bay Packer Mike Daniels will resonate with its audience.

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Crunchyroll, the online streaming destination for all things anime is digging its heels deeper into original content with its first documentary profile. “He Was Anime” is an original documentary that focuses on the impact anime has had on the life of Green Bay Packers’ Defensive End, Mike Daniels.

Though the NFL star has been elected to the Pro Bowl two years in a row and leads the Green Bay Packers as Defensive End, he ranks his identity as an anime fan above his storied accomplishments as a professional athlete. “He Was Anime” focuses on how the world of anime propelled Daniels from his childhood as a bullied, skinny kid to one of the most formidable players in the NFL.

[READ] 5Qs with… Ellation’s Brady McCollum on Bringing Crunchyroll Content to a Linear Audience

“Featuring Mike Daniels was the perfect opportunity for our first documentary profile. Not only is he a rising star in the NFL, you cannot question his love for anime,” Jennifer Corbett, Crunchyroll’s head of audience development & brand, told Videoink. “But Mike also offered a real message, one stemming from his own childhood experiences. He’s dedicated to empowering kids to be themselves and to like who they are. Role models like Mike help us celebrate how anime brings people together and serves as a positive influence in so many ways.”

While the streamer is no stranger to original content, which it has produced on social platforms like Youtube and Twitter, the documentary genre is new territory for the Ellation-owned service. Part of the push into more premium content was influenced by the amount of engagement original Crunchyroll content experienced online, said Corbett.

“When Crunchyroll started investing in content for social media a few years ago, we saw incredible engagement and knew that our audience wanted more,” she explained. “Content with higher production value and more complex storytelling was the natural next step.”

[READ] Anime-Centric Crunchyroll Expands Linear TV Presence in Brazil

The hope is that the 11-minute documentary will experience similar success as the video content posted on Twitter, where its original videos see huge engagement — about 3x the engagement than any other posts on the platform.

The debut of “He Was Anime” follows the release of a short video feature on the company’s first Crunchyroll Expo, which was released on YouTube, and is only the start of what is to come, according to the company.

“We have more in the works and those projects will focus on the anime community and industry, as well any celebrity fans,” Corbett added.

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