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Netflix is getting into anime in a big way. The streaming service already licenses a number of anime shows, but now it's commissioned 12 original anime series for subscribers.

Highlights include 'Sword Gai' about a boy who fuses with a demonic sword to battle hordes of monsters, and 'Baki', a 26-episode series about a mixed-martial arts fighter who takes on death row inmates.

'B: The Beginning', meanwhile, focuses on an investigator on the trail of a serial killer, and is made by the studio behind 'Ghost in the Shell'. And 'My Hero Academia' is not for the faint-hearted. It's about a young girl who fears she may have ties to a monstrous synthetic organism.

Netflix is also rebooting two anime classics. 'Knights of the Zodiac: Saint Seiya' has the same set-up of the original: namely a team of heroes who don magical armour that matches the designs of the constellations. While 'Devilman Crybaby' adapts the 1972 classic about a boy who's part demon who devotes his life to saving the world from invading evil spirits.

There's also a new 'Godzilla' film. The animated feature-length movie promises to take the franchise into unchartered territory – a harsh world of the future in which Godzilla has dominated Earth for 20,000 years. But a fateful confrontation with mankind looms...

These commissions position Netflix as a real competitor to dedicated anime services like Funimation and Crunchyroll (the latter of which is now owned by Sony). Amazon also announced a dedicated anime service recently.

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