Calling all anime fans! JETRO (Japan External Trade Organization) is collaborating with Kickstarter to support 5 Japanese independent anime studios with their crowdfunding campaigns. JETRO is a governmental organization that works to promote trade and investment between Japan and the rest of the world, and we have been supporting Japanese animation companies to enter the overseas market by hosting business matching events to connect Japanese anime rights holders with foreign distributors. However, since smaller studios had difficulties to access these opportunities, we decided to launch this project to help them secure funding to create original projects by reaching out to the global audience. Check out these unique projects from the 5 studios that were selected to participate in this campaign -Studio 4°C, Ekura Animal, Picona, Gorilla and Public Arts-and help them bring these titles to life! To the Project page → さがす » JetroAnime — Kickstarter

1. Future Kid Takara -Studio 4°C

STUDIO4°C was founded in 1986 and has since gained a reputation as a studio that produces highly unique and genre-bending work. Regardless of their reputation, they are an independent studio for who it is often difficult to find sponsors that will back their projects, which is why they joined this project to create a community for their fans, and bring their latest idea “Future Kid Takara” to life. “Future Kid Takara” will be an action-packed sci-fi adventure film set in a dystopian future, where the protagonists try to navigate a world ravaged by the effects of global warming. With Poupelle of Chimney Town’s chief animation director Yuta Sano and many other masterminds behind Studio4°C’s latest hits joining the team, they promise to deliver a top-quality cinematic experience through their unique artistic world view.

2. Heike Monogatari Emaki -EKURA ANIMAL

Ekura Animal started in 1982 and has collaborated on many famous series for children including Doreamon, Lupin the Third, Batman, The Powerpuff Girls, and Crayon Shin-chan.

For this project, Ekura Animal wants to try something completely different, by collaborating with an artist who makes intricate papercut artwork to create a new style of anime that follows the true story of the rise and fall of the Heike Clan. The tale of Heike has been a popular theme for anime, recently depicted in the Golden Globe nominee “Inu-Oh” and the “Heike Monogatari” TV anime series directed by Naoko Yamada. However, Ekura Animal’s unique approach of adding animations and movement to the original paper cuttings and incorporating music and voice acting will bring the story to life in a captivating and artistic way. The story highlights the futile lust for power, betrayal, the folly of men, and death, and Ekura Animal hopes that it will prompt viewers to contemplate the fleeting time that we have on this earth.

3. Samurai Pirates- Picona

​Picona was founded in 2009 and specializes in a toon-style form of 3DCG animation known as “cell-look 3DCG” in Japan. Known in the industry for their work in the Aikatsu! series and more recently for their contribution to Chainsaw Man, now they are working on Samurai Pirates, a girls heroine TV series co-produced by Canadian Lakeside Animation Studios. The story follows Enne, a singer on the island of Takarajima who receives a pirate eyepatch bestowed with magical powers and is entrusted with the mission of purifying the hearts of people who have been transformed into evil beings called “oni.” Instead of fighting with weapons, the Samurai Pirates use song and dance to purify the hearts of the oni, making this suitable for kids of all ages as there is no violence or inappropriate content. The father of a young child himself, creative producer Ken Yoshida hopes that Samurai Pirates will teach lessons of positivity and self-confidence for young kids.

4. Hana, The Last Diviner -Public Arts

The vision of creator Hiroki Taniguchi, Hana, the Last Diviner is an original anime project that will follow the story of Hana, a young “onmyoji” living at the end of the Edo Period (during the 1860’s). This was a time of turmoil in Japan, as the feudal shogunate government was losing its authority as opponents fought for reinstatement of Imperial rule. In old Japan, Onmyoji were a special class of diviners who worked for the Emperor and were said to possess magical powers to ward off evil spirits.

Not only does Hana manage to master the many obstacles standing in her way of becoming an onmyoji, but she earns the respect of the Emperor along with the common people, and becomes a very powerful onmyoji. The series will be an empowering story filled with action, magic, and drama, and will also be set in a historically accurate 1800’s Kyoto, as Taniguchi studied with a professor of history at Kyoto Women’s University as he wrote the script.

5. The Top Loft! -Gorilla

Noko Yukawa is the CEO of Gorilla, a studio in Tokyo that has been making animations for children for 38 years. Yukawa’s new project aims to produce a “moving picture book” from a collection of 26 stories, each of which is roughly 5-7 minutes long. The story will follow the adventures of three young children who accidentally wander into a mysterious universe filled with friendly “kaiju” (monsters). The main characters Tatta, Tette and Totto each have a unique and realistic personality that a child can naturally relate to. Although the story takes place in a fantasy world, the challenges that the children solve on each episode are based on real-life scenarios that will teach kids viewing the show important and relatable life lessons. Yukawa and her team hope the story will encourage children to face challenges in their own lives despite imperfections.