On Sunday, an episode of Saudi-produced anime "The Woodcutter's Treasure" aired on Japanese television for the first time ever.

"We are delighted that the first episode of The Woodcutter's Treasure will be shown for the first time on Japanese television, even prior to airing it in the Arab world," said a senior producer at TV Tokyo, according to Arab News.

The 20-minute episodes are based on Saudi Arabian folklore, airing in both Arabic and Japanese. There will be 13 episodes in the running.

The series is a collaboration between Japanese Toei Animation - known for its production of the Dragon Ball series - and Saudi Arabia's Manga Productions, which is affiliated with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's MiSK Foundation.

The episode aired on Japanese television before the Arab world

"The first episode of the series was unveiled on screens in Tokyo. We will announce the airing dates and timings on Arab television soon!"


"A production we are proud of"

The collaboration was announced in 2017

In November 2017, Manga Productions announced its collaboration with the Japanese animation giant, releasing a trailer prior to its airing this month. 

According to Arab News, Japanese animation has a wide following in Saudi Arabia. 

Enhancing cultural and entertainment opportunities throughout Saudi Arabia is an integral part of the country's Vision 2030 - an initiative championed by the kingdom's crown prince, as the country seeks to diversify its economy. 

In 2016, the kingdom established the General Authority for Entertainment, headed by Amr al-Madani, to enhance stated sectors in the country.

Earlier this month, the kingdom opened the doors to its first movie theater in 35 years, putting an end to a long-standing ban on cinemas in the country.