Filipino comic book ‘Trese’ to get Netflix anime adaptation

November 8, 2018 - 3:32 PM
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Trese comics)
Panel from "Trese" comic book series (Screenshot from Trese Comics Facebook page/Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo)

An adaptation of hit Filipino comic book series “Trese” is part of Netflix’s lineup of exclusive original anime series set to be developed in the next few years.

Netflix announced at their “See What’s Next Asia” event in Singapore on Wednesday that adaptation of the supernatural crime series written by Budjette Tan and illustrated by Kajo Baldisimo was one of the five new anime series the worldwide streaming service will be releasing as part of its venture into Japanese animation.

Jay Oliva, a Filipino-American storyboard artist and animation director who has worked on various hit animated features including the critically-acclaimed comic book adaptations “Batman: Under the Red Hood,” “Justice League Dark,” “Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Parts” and “The Flashpoint Paradox” as well as “The Legend of Korra” has reportedly been tapped to be the executive producer of “Trese.” Shanty Harmayn and Tanya Yuson of Jakarta and Singapore-based BASE Entertainment will also reportedly be producers.

“Trese” follows Alexandra Trese, a bar owner from a family of experts on the supernatural and the “Kambal”, her twin demigod sidekicks. The titular Trese and her team are tapped by the police to investigate crimes from around the city perpetrated by supernatural forces from Filipino folklore.

Among those celebrating the milestone for Filipino comics is veteran comic book writer and artist Gerry Alanguilan.

The other projects in Netflix’s lineup include an animated adaptation of the live-action science fiction series “Altered Carbon,” an adaptation of mecha sci-fi hit “Pacific Rim,” post-apocalyptic project “Cagaster of an Insect Cage” and “Yasuke”, which will reportedly combine elements of mecha and fantasy elements.

From bookshelves to Netflix

“Trese” traces its origins to an independent comic published by Alamat Comics via photocopy. A free copy of the first issue of the comic can be read online here.

It was later publish in graphic novel format by Visprint in 2005 and has received both commercial and critical acclaim, with six graphic novels released. In 2010, it won “Best Graphic Literature” at the National Book Awards.

The creators have opened an online campaign to ask for help in distributing “Trese” internationally. It has been supported by best-selling author Neil Gaiman, the creator of the critically-acclaimed “Sandman” comic book series.