What a fascinating Kickstarter project Maasaki Yuasa's Kick-Heart has been. I was admittedly doubtful that it'd be able to reach its target of $150,000; would anime fans really back something like this?
I'm happy that I was proven wrong.
Kick-Heart reached the finish line today and managed to scoop up $201,164 by the final few minutes. What does this mean for the project? For starters, the anime short will be expanded by an additional two minutes, bringing the total runtime to twelve minutes. Furthermore, Kick-Heart will also be dubbed in English, with help from Richard Epcar, the voice of Batou in the Ghost in the Shell franchise. Finally, the short will have an LA premiere and party.
To be perfectly transparent, I backed this KS and I'm more than a little happy to see it end in success. I think experiments like this are extremely important to the anime industry at large. By creating a dialogue with western fans, Maasaki Yuasa and Production I.G have seen first hand that there is an audience not only willing to pay, but willing to take risks. In a time when it's getting harder and harder to do that kind of thing, I can only hope that other studios are watching.
Did anybody else back Kick-Heart? I'm curious to see who else is out there!
For further details on the animated short film, check out the official Kickstarter page.
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