Technical Update #6: A Message from Tot
Hello you all,
For those of you who don't know me, I am Anthony Roux, some of you might know me as “Tot.” I am one of the creators of the KROSMOZ universe, spanning both eras: DOFUS and WAKFU. We started working 13 years ago (seems like a lifetime already) on the DOFUS universe. With 3-4 people we set down the basis for the MMO that is celebrating its 10-year anniversary this very year. We then developed the WAKFU universe, taking place a thousand years after the DOFUSIAN era. A MMO at first, and then an animated series. Inspired for years by fairy-tales and fantasy universes, I was just dying to develop my very own. I wanted it to be beautiful and I wanted our characters to live great adventures. In truth, these adventures that we created I would have loved to live for myself.
I'm writing you today to thank you from the bottom of my heart for supporting our series' dubbing project. I really can't tell (or rather write) you correctly how happy this makes me. Living continually on a daily basis with YUGO, PERCIDAL, AMALIA, RUEL, EVANGELYNE, JORIS, KERUB, and all these other strange characters, I grew fond of them in a way that can't be written outside of a Lovecraft short story. After a few years, these characters have become alive. I see them as my children. I cry when I kill one of them and I laugh at the mischiefs of RUEL and PERCIDAL. I fear for YUGO and ADAMAI... I like EVANGELYNE's harshness and AMALIA's spoiled princess side. I exorcised my fears and doubts in NOX's special episode and saw my wife cry when she watched it. I've read the scripts and showed the storyboards to my son, who was no more than ten at the time... My characters have been a part of my life for years and they became more alive as their adventures went on. The most beautiful reward of all, now, is to know that many people love them as I love them and feel concerned by what they're going through. What's the point of creating if not sharing?
I must admit I was really anxious when this KICKSTATER started. A lot of people had advised me against doing it. But we found ourselves incapable of having our series on a lot of countries' networks. “Too violent,” “too naked,” “too serialized,” “not our target demographic”... We met with every possible comment and started slowly giving up... We could have let the matter rest and went on with some other project, but nothing is worse to a father than seeing his baby given the cold shoulder by the rest of the world. What, exactly, was little WAKFU's problem? Not good-looking enough? Not clever enough? I know that it's my baby and I'm partial, but still... Why were so few people willing to give it a chance? The series was a huge hit in France, why wouldn't it agree with viewers the world over? Don't we, as humans, feel the same things? We find it hard to believe that’s not the case…
So, we took our fate in our own hands, and pitched our dubbing project... In a sense, this was a last-ditch project. And you answered; you were there, and in the first two days. You can't know how much of a relief it is to know that YUGO and his friends are interesting to other people than only the French. To us, this is the best reward ever and I thank you once more for your support.
I also wanted to talk about season 3, as many of you want it to be made. First of all, we are currently finalizing three 45 minutes specials that are in season 2's continuity. I wanted to explore some ideas. The problem is that I can't talk about it without spoiling you. Whatever the case, it was awesome doing it because we took advantage of the situation to do some great cross-overs. We're also working on a feature-length that will put it forward and you'll soon be able see that everything is connected. Just between us, I can't wait to see your faces.
What I’m getting at is this: I already have ideas for all the stories that need to be told in a season 3. But I don’t have much hope. This is because many factors will prevent a channel from pre-buying season 3 from us if we make it as we envision it being made.
The first issue is that I want it to take place several years after the 3 specials, when YUGO is an adult. That might be the biggest issue. If he becomes an adult, channels will have a “target demographic” problem. No children in a children's show, that's only possible in Japan.
The other issue is that I want to make it darker, with bigger stakes. I loved how J.K. Rowling had Harry Potter evolve as his adventures went on. The more Harry would grow, the darker the story would be, and the bigger the stakes. I've been thinking from the start about something along those lines for YUGO and ADAMAI. As I was just telling you, our characters have become alive. Out of respect for them and our viewers, we just can't let them stay the same age forever. If they can't grow old, I don't want to tell their stories anymore. I'd rather, then, not tell anything at all, and allow us all to keep a pleasant image of them.
The last stumbling block comes from the fact that channels are looking for more and more “kid-friendly” serials, and most important, they have to be able to play around with their planning. Finding a show's best broadcast slot is an art in and of itself, and it is way more complicated to do with serials. In this way, “animated serials” don't really have a future. I know how sad that sounds, but it's the truth. We've already had an outstanding luck doing WAKFU the way we did. And speaking of which, I'll never thank FTV's Julien Borde and Voyelle Acker enough for that.
While in the USA and in England, serials have never been more powerful, we are forced, in many countries, to do sitcom... I have nothing against sitcoms, far from it, but I'd really like some variety... When “Game of Thrones” and other addictive series like it are clearly popular everywhere, it might be time to understand that what pleases us “adults,” might also interest our children. We live in a world where the absence of moral bearings is prominent and society’s values become more and more that of reality TV and other such silliness. Why not offer our children real adventures rather than only feeding them comedies? Life is made of laughter, drama, and adventure, is it not? And those who, like me, have kids, know that they ask a lot more questions than us and most certainly don't spend their days on a cotton-candy filled rainbow, beautiful as the thought may be. They need heroes. Role-models of bravery. We can only show them mushy stuff, and that saddens me deeply.
I would be the first to celebrate if we were to get the opportunity to continue this series thanks to a KICKSTARTER, be it this project, or a future project just for Season 3. ANKAMA could cover a huge part of the financial cost. But it is a fact that we couldn't produce 26 26-minutes episodes. That would be too large of a budget for us to fund without a partner to help us. In any case, if you have ideas or contacts in the offices of risk-taking media channels, I'd be glad to hear it. Once again, a big thank you to you all, and sorry for the big rant. My teams have tried to put me in front of a camera, but that's a rather complicated exercise for me.
So how was it? How do you feel now? Do you have questions? Reactions? Well, before you post, we have one more thing for you today.
Our top-notch graphic team has a new backer profile picture for you, so you can help promote the Kickstarter on your blog, your twitter, or your favorite forum, or image board. We hope it brings a very special smile to your face...
Thanks for reading! You're still keeping the daily numbers strong, let's keep pushing towards that Season 2 stretch goal!