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ONI: Thunder God’s Tale Coming To Netflix

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ONI: Thunder God's Tale

Someday Netflix won’t have any good cartoons, but that’s when visual evidence of the budget-slashing travels far enough down the pipe that viewers start to notice. What’s coming out in 2022 is from the age when they were still willing to bankroll high art, and that goes for ONI: Thunder God’s Tale, a Japanese stop-motion series coming soon to the service.

ONI is about Onari, the self-appointed guardian of a small medieval village beset by attacks from Japanese demons (which you already know by now are called Oni, when they aren’t called Yokai). The official description by Netflix implies that Onari is, in fact, an Oni herself, but this allows her special powers that help immensely in a fight. The show is run by Dice Tsutsumi, creator of the award-winning 2014 short The Dam Keeper.

“The story of a brave girl caught between two worlds divided is, at its core, not only a very personal story for me, but one that’s become personal for everyone involved including our absolute dream cast,” said Tsutsumi. “Every one of these incredible talents from our dream list accepted with such passion and empathy for the story, and collaborating with them has been equally humbling and inspiring. They’ve given souls to our characters and unparalleled performances for our animators.”

The movement of the characters is a bit choppier than usual. Like “worse than Season One of Dragon Prince” choppy. It feels like it’s been animated on 3s, or perhaps even slower. The effect is intentional, as the backgrounds and camera pans move at normal speed. We have to wonder why they specifically chose to do this. Craig McCracken chose to use limited movement in Kid Cosmic because he believed it looked better in the retro art style, and it did. Some of the clips in this one are hard on the eyes, though.

Netflix didn’t put a release date on this trailer, but they usually don’t release trailers like this until the finished product is very close to release, so keep an eye on your hub menu over the next few weeks — ONI: Thunder God’s Tale may just pop up.