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Kick-Heart

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Oct. 16th, 2012 | 11:10 am
mood: energeticenergetic

Just a quick post to promote a wonderful project!

Masaaki Yuasa (Tatami Galaxy) and Oshii Mamoru (Ghost in the Shell) want to make a short animated film about S&M wrestling called "Kick-Heart." It looks rough and edgy and funny and heartwarming all at once. But this is not the sort of project that is easy to get funding for. In fact, at a panel on "Anime Art and Industry" at this year's School Girls and Mobile Suits conference, screenwriting Dai Sato talked about how hard it is for animators to do original, experimental projects in the current economic climate, which makes investors very conservative in what new projects they pick up. Because animation is a low-paid, labour-intensive venture, it's hard for new animators to get a start while still making a living, and even harder for established directors to do satisfying projects and not work themselves to death. In his view, anime as an art form could be dead within 20 years due to such adverse conditions. But, he said, innovative projects can succeed through alternative channels like crowd-sourcing.

Case in point: this Kickstarter project. I became a backer a few weeks ago, and it's been really great. I get daily email updates with pictures of the evolving character designs and messages from the staff. When the project is funded, I'll get a free digital subbed download of the film. Since the funding rewards were just upgraded today, I'm delighted to learn I'm also getting a postcard, poster, and higher-quality download too. I'm almost tempted to add another 10.00 and get the DVD, newly available at the 30.00 donation level.

My point is that even the style or subject matter aren't to your taste, if you're an anime fan you should seriously think about supporting it to help create a space for high-quality experimental animation. This drive runs until Oct. 31. There are just two weeks left in the campaign, and they still need about 500,000 dollars. So to support this great effort, go to the link below, and you'll be directed to pay easily through Amazon.com. Happy crowdsourcing!

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/production-ig/masaaki-yuasas-kick-heart

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