I think it is safe to say that there will be people who will follow in this path. At least that is partly why some people signed up, to do the proverbial “save anime” thing. Personally? I think “save anime” is bullshit. It doesn’t really need saving, although there’s always tons of room to improve, especially in terms of studios that crunch out the budget, tough stuff, and not as much with Production IG.
In fact you could say IG is one of the brighter spots in the industry. I think they’re doing good work, developing talents by working with, for example, Yuasa. Kick-Heart, though, reminds me of this labor of love, in terms of how some fans rally to it. I guess that’s fine in the end–people get paid making the stuff the people who paid, like. It is a win-win by the very definition. But what was true for Redline is probably NOT going to be true for Kick-Heart.
I mean, $60 for a 15-minute short? (The $60 tier is the highest pledge tier.) And you don’t even know if you will like it because it isn’t the personal baby of Koike and Maruyama for seven years? It makes me want to talk like the kawaiikochans: MAJIDE? I guess it’s okay if you backed $1 or $5 or something. Sure, I can forgive $15. I don’t even know $30 is a good value or not. I know the $10000 tier is pretty great because they’ll fly you to Japan for a dinner date with Oshii, and I guess some people have boners for Oshii since 1995. That is a long time coming. I mean, again, like I said, it’s about value. I think Kick-Heart Kickstarter does provide value, but it isn’t something so easily deciphered, like most Kickstarter projects. But you know what? Maybe that’s why so many people pledged for a Blu-ray. You can value that easily.
Speaking of Blu-ray, how many people bought Redline again?
I think it’s also worth addressing the notion some have that by not pledging Kick-Heart you are not saving anime or some kind of inverse statement of the same. I think that’s pretty much the feeling anyone has when anyone says anything about “support the industry” in regards to buying some DVD or merch that you don’t want to buy. Get used to it. I personally think it’s kind of bull. I’d rather cut a check for some creator I like than support some wretched scheme that extort money from their customers, although I guess I will do the latter as a compromise given the difficult of the former. (Again, that $10000 tier? Soooo close to what I like to do.) Unless they start handing out badges or plaques to people who actually support the industry, it’s kind of a worthless distinction I think. It’s all just self-gratification, and there isn’t any empirical basis to those claims most of the time.
So, to Kick-Heart, congratulations. I enjoyed all the hard work you’ve put into the Kickstarter, and I look forward to the end product and the road we’ll walk towards that (as backers) even more so. Just don’t startle any more old ladies in the neighborhood. To the rest of the world, let’s milk this Kickstarter for what it’s worth! It’s open season for people with money that want to be spent on great causes!
PS. I got a few more hours in, and the kill count included just one more: Rk. Yuko Gotoh. She really took charge and on her first mission, she wiped out a floater and a thin man, until she was undone when the plaster wall in front of her melted away as a couple stray plasma bolts landed oddly. The last bogey on the same enemy phase then ended her short career. Until then, she survive through poison and a few close matches as she took the initiative to get close and stunned at least one bad guy and pinned the other. Clearly it was very heroic.