I have wanted to write about this since it popped up on my radar, but life got in the way. Now I’m going to linger over it: Veteran anime maker Masaaki Yuasa has turned to Kickstarter to fund a wholly original anime called Kick-Heart.
THIS IS WHAT CROWD-SOURCED FUNDING IS ABOUT FOLKS.
We all know that anime is about sales, and about reaching the largest possible audience who will buy stuff. That means that in the last 10 years we’ve seen multiple levels of simplification, in art, story, character and design. The audience for anime has effectively been shrunk down with every simplification. And those of us who love animation for itself, love it for the sheer fantasy playland of possibilities, have been kind of shunted onto the sidelines while baby-faced girls showing their underwear to big brother figures have overrun this art form.
Here is our chance to regain some of our dignity – and, I say this without irony – I cannot think of a better way than with an anime about S&M pro-wrestling romance. This story is crazy, but it’s adult crazy, not eternally suspended at 12-years-old crazy.
Kickstarter isn’t a perfect solution, but it does change the playing field significantly. Imagine if animators could actually be in charge of their animation once more. Imagine if creators did not need to bow to market pressure to make materials that only appeal to the Lowest Common Denominator. Imagine if we – we, the fans that love animation – can be the force for creating Art.
I backed Kick-Heart this week because I believe in it. I hope you will consider backing it, but more importantly, I hope you will spread the word. Facebook, Twitter, wherever you are, you can make a difference. In return, the team is showing that they “get” a global, digital market – downloads are DRM-free, the DVDs/HDs are region free and they are covering shipping for overseas customers!
Production IG is at over 80% of their funding goal, but could really use help making that last 20%. If you have ever wanted to be a part of an anime project, here you go – this is your chance. Make anime happen!