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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Signal Boost: The Kick-Heart Kickstarter

Production I.G. and Masaaki Yuasa's Kickstarter - a project in order to fund their 10-minute wrestling romance anime short, "Kick-Heart" - has been receiving a lot of attention in the anime/manga blogosphere. With six days to go, it has already reached its target goal and already has stretch goals (for when the amount of money reaches beyond the initial target), including an English dub and a half hour of extra animation. The story and the animation are well outside of the norm of current anime trends. 

Some bloggers have even gone so far as to say that the success of this Kickstarter could very well be what saves the current anime industry. That's a whole lot of expectations for such a short film! I can only imagine the pressure Masaaki Yuasa might be feeling after reading something like that.



Ogiue Maniax (a blog very familiar if you read the biweekly Fujoshi O'Clock feature) has their own take on the matter in a post entitled My Donation To Kick-Heart Was Not An Obligation. They certainly disagree with the stance that Kick-Heart will somehow save anime or that anyone should feel obligated to donate thinking so.
"I said why I decided to join in, and if my or anyone else’s reasons for donating to Kick-Heart convinced you to donate, feel free to do so. What you shouldn’t feel, however, is pressured to donate out of the “greater good.” Kick-Heart isn’t an intimidation tactic, and it shouldn’t be talked about as such."
Meanwhile, Anime Viking is adamantly supportive of Kick-Heart's destiny and that its success will lead to similar results in the anime industry, as explained in their post Maasaki Yuasa's "Kick-Heart" And Why You Should Help It.
"This is why I believe all anime fans should donate to this project. In today’s economic situation regarding the industry, innovation and new ideas mean taking serious risks, often resulting in companies playing it safe instead. But thanks to sites such as Kickstarter, animators are able to put up their ideas, however whacky they may be, and possibly have them realized. In other words, it could lead to completely new and experimental anime being created."
As the first anime Kickstarter, Kick-Heart truly is historic in that sense. Whether or not it will turn the tide in current anime trends remains to be seen.