Comic-book readers that grew up in the 1980s-90s or earlier might wonder at what happened to the local industry for this storytelling medium. True, gone are the days when floppy comic-book issues could be found at newsstands (itself fading away), but that is because writers, artists and publishers have since increased the quality of their works so as to be found in bookstores now. And they are not “komiks” anymore but “graphic novels” and such. Some of these contemporary publications actually garner international attention. Why else would a Pinoy graphic novel ongoing since 2006 suddenly get an anime-style Netflix adaptation?

Rappler reports that Netflix has teased the first images from their upcoming animated series based on “Trese,” a graphic novel by writer Budjette Tan and artist Kajo Baldisimo. The streaming giant originally announced the show, to be done in anime=style, back in 2018 as part of their “See What’s Next, Asia” initiative for more original content from that region. Also revealed were the actresses who would provide the voice for the titular character. Seeing as it is an Asian-Western collaborative production, one VA will do the Filipino dub and the other the English. The former is a Kapamilya actress; the other, a pretty little liar.

According to Netflix’s press release on Monday, March 8, Liza Soberano is the Filipino voice of supernatural private detective Alexandra Trese, while Fil-Canadian actress Shay Mitchell will be the English voice. Soberano needs no introduction for Filipinos, being a major actress and star of ABS-CBN, with lead roles in Star Cinema projects like 2019’s “Alone/Together” alongside Enrique Gil. Mitchell is of course familiar as Emily Fields in the Freeform series “Pretty Little Liars.” She was also in Lifetime series “You” before it moved to Netflix.

“Trese” is set in a present-day Manila, Philippines where creatures from Filipino mythology and legend continue coexisting secretly with humanity. Alexandra Trese is a coffee nightclub owner who moonlights as an investigator for the police of crimes with supernatural causes, leading her to cross paths with magical beings in the Manila underworld. The series is being executively-produced by Jay Oliva, who worked on animated films for Marvel and DC. Series production will be overseen by Tanya Yuson and Shanty Harmayn of BASE Entertainment, an animation studio based in both Singapore and Jakarta, Indonesia. The series is set to premiere on Netflix streaming sometime this year.

Image courtesy of GMA News