Little Witch Academia is this one-shot Anime Mirai short funded by some government money to encourage new and young animators to strike it out. Studio Trigger, which is a new studio made up of newbies and veterans, most notably for their Gurren Lagann Imaishi connection, are behind LWA. According to Trigger reps, they began exploring Kickstarter when people commented from oversea about LWA, as LWA hit youtube soon after it was done screening at various events. The energetic OAV-length episode was well-received.
At Anime Expo 2013 they announced that they will kickstart episode 2. Now that it has come here are some details that I find a bit head-scratching.
The Kickstarter is for just an extension of episode 2, which is already green-lit. I presume after hitting (more like pulverizing) their funding goal the bonus money will go into making more LWA in some way. This is Japan, after all, so they’re more likely to be responsible with public money in the private context.
There isn’t a lot of details as to what LWA episode 2 will entail in terms of its additional content, versus what is already promised. Compared to, say, Production IG’s Kick Heart, a thoroughbred art film, LWA is hella mainstream appealing. This is from a rising star studio that has the highly anticipated Kill La Kill on the horizon. I’m not sure if LWA needs Kickstarter, as much as Penny Arcade needs Kickstarter.
And this goes to the heart of the problem. I think if we just think of Kickstarter as a new way to raise money, it is probably a great thing that more anime studios are looking to Kickstarter as a way to fund their projects. Of course we still should extend the usual degrees of scrutiny upon any Kickstarter project, but I’m more likely to give anime studios slack because the current ways of funding anime is one of the core root of ills plaguing the industry. “Dealing with fans” is likely a gamble well worth trying, if that’s the only down side. That and face, maybe.
This post is brought to you by the fact that my AX writing-up is taking forever and at the LWA private screening they even tossed the possibility of LWA the TV, so there you have it.