DNP Launches Light Anime to Pioneer the Entertainment Market

New production method significantly easier and cheaper than current animation methods

Tokyo, September 7, Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd. (DNP) is pleased to announce the August 2022 launch of light anime, a new channel capable of significantly reducing the time and cost of animation production compared to conventional methods.

Light anime has been developed in order to meet the needs of consumers who want to enjoy a variety of anime works more easily, quickly, in a timely manner, as well as at a lower cost.


Images of Same Difference animation from Kaiosha


According to The Report on Japanese Animation Industry, 2021, the global consumer market for Japanese anime was 2,426.1 billion yen in 2020. And despite the adverse impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in Japan further growth is expected, on the back of steady growth overseas. At the same time, while we are witnessing anime adaptations of a limited number of popular manga, there are also many excellent manga with a core fan base that have not been adapted into anime, due to the long production period and enormous costs. In addition, in line with the spread of SNS and video subscription services, more and more people are enjoying watching content at double speed or while also manipulating other devices, such as a smart phone or computer. 

Against the desire to enjoy a wide variety of new animation works in a timely manner, work site challenges are emerging, including the high production load or deterioration in the working environment at the production site due to a shortage of human resources. To overcome such challenges, DNP has leveraged and capitalized upon content processing technology cultivated over many years in the publishing and printing business to develop a unique animation production method, called light anime. Centered on this new production channel, we will develop an anime-related entertainment business looking to the global market. 


  • In contrast to the conventional method of drawing and creating animation manuscripts based on the original manga manuscripts, light anime is based on the use of manga manuscripts. By coloring and cutting the manga manuscript from which dialogue balloons have been removed, and adding action as necessary to create a video, the production period and cost can be significantly reduced. With this method, it is relatively easy to supply the market with numerous works that were difficult to animate using conventional production methods, as well as creations that give expression to the style of the original. We aim to reduce the production time to approximately 1/12 of the current average and costs to about 1/10. 
  • DNP will act as the executive office for the produced anime works, and will sell the broadcasting rights to video distribution platforms. We will also provide and sell works to consumers through e-book sales sites, such as the hybrid general bookstore “honto” operated by the DNP Group, and various other digital content distribution services. As the first step, from August 2022, we will launch the sale on honto of the e-book manga, Same Difference from Kaiohsha, with a companion animated version of the same work. For further information, please visit, (in Japanese only)
  • In addition to the domestic market, we will also provide and distribute anime works that meet the diverse needs of consumers in a timely manner to other countries and regions.
  • DNP will open a production studio - DNP Light Anime Production - and strengthen its collaboration set up with content holders, partner companies, and outside creators. Through this, we aim to provide a stable supply of higher cost performance animation works.

Going Forward

The current manga industry is witnessing such digitally-driven developments as the acceleration of vertical scrolling and multilingualization. By March 2023, DNP plans to start producing animation for domestic broadcasting. In addition, we will commence the export of content to global markets, as well as partner with companies with cutting-edge AI technology. We aim to achieve sales of 3 billion yen by FY 2025 from this business as a whole, and over the medium- to long-term, will create new value in entertainment that allows consumers around the world to enjoy diverse content in an easy manner. 

*Company and product names listed in this release are the trademarks or registered trademarks of those companies.

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