Chinese animated series ‘Scissors Seven’ to debut on Netflix
Published: Dec 19, 2019 06:50 PM

Promotional material of Scissor Seven Photo: Courtesy of Zou Shasha

The second season of Chinese animated series Scissor Seven will debut on streaming giant Netflix as a Netflix Original on January 10, 2020, and will be dubbed into English, Spanish, French and Japanese in more than 190 countries and regions around the world. 

According to reports, Scissor Seven follows Wu Liuqi as he tries to recover his lost memories after a major injury, and shows how he uses love to resolve hatred and prejudice while helping others and finding himself.

"We were impressed by the production quality of Scissor Seven [originally titled Killer Seven], as well as its unique storytelling style, which we believe will resonate and be loved by our animation fans around the world. It's worth noting that the series is the only Chinese-language title that received a nomination in the TV Film category at the 2018 Annecy International Animated Film Festival," John Derderian, director of content for Netflix, told the Global Times. 

Scissor Seven has an 8.9/10 on Chinese media review site Douban.

"This is the first time that we have cooperated with Netflix in such a way. Although the foreign professional institution showed their interest in this animation at the very beginning, the process of communication is still very complicated. We spent more than one year making the deal," the show's producer Zou Shasha told the Global Times. 

As the first Chinese animated series to debut as a Netflix Original, there were many challenges facing the team.

According to Zou, the series is a comedy, but some humor is based on the Chinese language and so may get lost in translation. This required their team to make some adjustments so that the jokes could resonate with more people.

"As a global business that spans all over the world, it's incredibly important for us to have diverse stories tailored to different languages, different tastes and different moods. We are working with creators all over the world to tell stories from all over the world," Derderian said. 

He added that Netflix took a fancy to the animation series because Scissor Seven portrays distinctive elements of Chinese culture. "What we have seen is that when these stories connect locally, they are increasingly also well-received in other parts of the world."

Zou also noted that the plot of Scissor Seven has distinct Chinese elements and strong local characteristics, but an internationalized narratives. "Aesthetically, Chinese culture is packaged with international aesthetics so that more foreign audiences can understand today's China." 

"Meanwhile, the theme of the story - the love of life can transcend national boundaries," she added.

Chinese animated works like Nezha and Scissor Seven have captured international attention this year. Nezha topped the Chinese box office to become the highest-grossing animated film of all time and the second highest-earning film in China.

"Scissor Seven crosses genres of comedy, action and drama, so we believe it will appeal not only to anime fans, but on Netflix, to be discovered by new audiences as well," said Derderian. 

However, Zou pointed out that China's animated industry still has challenges it must deal with, such as a lack of talents and state-of-the-art production capabilities. "Chinese animated short films are prominent, and some have reached international standards. But to make short films into longer pieces, more teams and more experience are to be accumulated," she said.