Kickstarting Anime

It’s no secret I love anime. It’s slightly less known that I browse Kickstarter-  a lot. But today I’d like to talk about both. Anime is slowly finding its way on to Kickstarter, and I welcome it.

Now, by “slowly”, I mean only four (by my count) have tried it. I believe project:13 was the first to try – and fail. Twice. The first successful one was Kickheart (again, by my count). So why did Kickheart succeed when project:13 failed? They were about the same amount of time in length (running time, not campaign time). Kickheart asked for just under $100,000 more than project:13. Yet, it succeeded, plus $50,000 over. Looking at them again, I honestly don’t know why. About the same amount of time, much higher budget for Kickheart, and both from respectable studios. Maybe Kickstarter wasn’t ready for anime yet. Maybe it was the story. Both of them were original works, yet the slightly shorter, much more expensive one succeeded.

Now let’s take a look at two more recent projects: Time of Eve on Blu-ray internationally and Little Witch Academia 2. While the latter is still in the funding round, both have been explosively successful in their funding: $197,433 and $280,798 (so far) over their goals, respectively. Both of these projects aren’t entirely new, and perhaps that’s helping. Time of Eve is from 2008. Little Witch Academia is slightly newer (I haven’t seen it yet, so no spoilers please). Personally, I’m one of those “try-before-you-buy” people. Eve and Academia both offer that. They’re both already moderately well-known. And perhaps that explains their success.

So what does an anime need to be successful on Kickstarter? I think it maybe too early to tell for sure. However, I think it’s been proven that the funding goal doesn’t matter. Is it the studio? Maybe. The story? That remains to be seen. Or how about does it already exist (to an extent)? Given the success of Eve and Academia, it seems to help. But overall, I’d still say too soon to call. That said, I hope Kickstarter does become home to more successful anime projects, even if it means a deeper hole in my wallet. Kickstarter has proven itself to be a very interesting site to watch. It’s re-writing the rulebook on somethings. In the case of anime, I think it’s showing that fans are more than willing to fund something that they can feel like they’ve been a part of. While I won’t deny it’s insanely awesome having my name on the production I.G website (along with many others), I’m not Kickstarting anime for my name to be put somewhere. I never back anything on Kickstarter for that reason. I love anime, and I love supporting it. It’s as simple as that.

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