Otakon 2014: Under the Dog

narutaki_icon_4040 There were two new anime titles that were being heavily promoted at Otakon this year, In This Corner of the World and the new Kickstarter project Under the Dog. You could spy Under the Dog banners throughout the convention center, a mini-poster was included in all the bags at registration, buttons were being handed out, and there were autograph sessions and multiple panels with members of the creative team: Hiroaki Yura, Yusuke Kozaki, and Jiro Ishii. Plus, the Kickstarter went live during Otakon.

hisui_icon_4040 After Little Witch Academia 2 it was only a matter of time before we saw something like this. While there had been some important anime related kickstarters before and after Little Witch Academia 2 they were mostly either for shorter works or to help release an already existing production in English. Little Witch Academia 2 is so significant because it was a full length OVA that was overwhelmingly supported by English-speaking fans. And it reached it goal insanely quickly and then raised over times four times what they asked for by the end. So it seems like there is just money on the table for anime producers pitching the right project in America. The question is who was going to try to pick up that money first. It seems like Creative Intelligence Arts are the first people to try to go even beyond what Studio Trigger was trying.

Under the Dog is the fairly ambitious pitch for a single OVA that could serve as a prequel to a larger three-part movie trilogy. The crowd funded goal is for $580,000 which is far more than anything that an anime has tried before. Is this project much like Icarus and flying too high too soon or is it Japan finally learning to capitalize on new revenue streams and methods of raising funding in a timely manner?

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