About this project
As the time for this KS campaign comes to a close we would like to direct people to our website for continued pledges via PayPal which will go live 09/11/14:
We will have the same reward tiers available and backers will be able to Upgrade, Add-on, and pledge as they like and the overall amount will be pooled with the KS amount to work toward stretch goals.
There is a lot to do and a lot to look forward to in the days to come and we hope you will be there with us every step of the way.
Thank you all for your tremendous effort. YOU made this happen!
- One 24 minute episode
- IF we meet our stretch goals we will also include the additional two episodes or the feature film! (see stretch goals for details)
- Japanese Voice-Over
- Professional English subtitles
- Professional German subtitles
- Digital files will be in .mov and stereo .wav (48KHz/24bit)
- Audio is recorded at 48KHz/24bit
2.0 channel stereo and 5.1 surround sound
- The Soundtrack CD will be at 44KHz/16bit.
- Backers who pledge at the $20 reward tier and higher will also have digital access to any future Under the Dog animations that we produce. That means if we fund here and only create the 24 min. OVA, if we go on (as we plan to) to make a film or trilogy of films, then the backers who pledged here for $20 or more will also be able to download those films!
- Add-ons: Backers who pledge at the $60 reward tier and higher will have the option to add additional basic, unsigned items: $30 BD/DVD * $30 OST * $10 Challenge Coin * $55 Art Book * $30 t-shirt * $15 Unsigned Poster * $25 Storyboard * $25 Music Score * $25 Script * $200 Anthea 1/8 Figurine
(Expensive because low
volume print) * $100 Foldable Utility Box.
- For Add-ons: Simply pledge at the $60 tier or higher and then add any additional amount for the desired items listed. When the KS is over we will send a survey to inquire how you would like the extra funds distributed.
Coming at you from Japanese anime veterans...
Responsible for manifesting this project is a wicked awesome team who are taking this opportunity to meld their creative juices together into something extraordinary... and you're all invited! =D
We need your help in order to bring this project to fruition. We cannot do this without you, the backers!
Here are the main players:
un•der the dog
ˈəndər T͟Hə dôg
1. when one is in a situation so disagreeable that they would wish to rather be "under the dog," a place of dishonor, misery, and filth, in order to escape their current state of affairs
1. (underdog) a competitor thought to have little chance of winning a fight or contest
2. one born under the sign of the dog (Canis Major - Sirius) embodying loyalty, speed, the hunt, and watchfulness
“If your parents, family, or classmates are taken hostage and if you die, your family will die too. If you fail, your family will die. If you run away, your family will die. In such a situation where you are driven into a corner [...] and must kill [your] fellow compatriots.” What would you do? How would you live out your life? Your death? “[...] if you have only the choice of dying, how will you die, how can that death help the world that you have left behind?” This is what it is to be “Under the Dog.”
Our enemy is the light of Humanity
The year is 2025 in the city of Tokyo Bayside Special District, five years following the devastation wrought by a specially enhanced groups of terrorists at the 2020 Summer Olympics. Out of the ashes of that desolation, the UN formed a special covert branch headquartered in Tokyo Bay solely purposed with searching out and eliminating the forces responsible for the attack along with anyone even bearing a remote resemblance to them.
As a cover, the International School for Boys and Girls was established for the ongoing covert operation of discovering and recruiting gifted high school students, each with their own special abilities, and to coerce them in the service of an elite death squad. These troops are tasked with ferreting out and exterminating all individuals with powers like their own.
There is no choosing sides for these recruits and failure is not an option. Failure on the field assures not only their own, but also their loved ones' deaths. In order to assure compliance, each agent’s dearest loved ones have been secretly outfitted with a micro cranial bomb and all agent's actions and speech are closely monitored and recorded through a battle chip embedded in their brain. In the event the UN commanding officer determines an agent falls out of protocol, their loved ones immediately suffer the consequences.
Anthea Kallenberg - Number 03 - Special Operations
Anthea, a Swedish girl, is the team's infiltrator and assassin who was personally raised by Colonel Amagata. She prides herself in her abilities in combat and for good reason. Because of her skill, Anthea is often given point on special operations, usually to get the other agents out of a jam.
Sayuri Hyuga - Number 08 - Espionage
Sayuri is a Japanese girl from Sapporo who was forced into service during middle school. As a young, intelligent girl, the art of espionage is her specialty. She is frequently paired together with Estella for missions to lure out otherwise hard to acquire targets.
Estella - Number 02 - Sniper
Estella is the veteran of the team having been recruited at age eight. She is a Spanish American girl skilled in long range combat, especially the sniper rifle. On missions, she is often paired with Sayuri. Although typically sarcastic, she can surprise with her warm hearted whims.
Hana Tougetsu - Number 06 - Op Support
Hana is the main character of Episode 1. Although not remarkably skilled in combat, her stereotypical Japanese high schooler exterior belies her unique gift to shift people's' moods and mental states. Using her talent, she often gives much needed stability and catharsis to the team, helping shield them from their tremendous burdens. An all around nice girl with strong family ties, she lives with her family and brother.
Colonel (Junichi) Amagata - UN Commander
Amagata came to command the covert branch of the UN shortly after his discovery and subsequent rescue of Anthea from a human trafficking cell during a top secret mission in Scandinavia. A now former NATO soldier, Amagata poses as staff for the international school while he dictates and supervises the various missions and objectives for the team.
One of the fun toys at Anthea's disposal is the trike which was designed by a motorcycle industry design specialist, EM, in coordination with Kozaki-san. Here are some notes from Kozaki-san regarding the different elements.
The trike is all electric which allows users to approach stealthily. Plus, it’s eco-friendly! It also integrates with Anthea’s power suit for heads-up-display and to share charge back and forth.
The on-board HUD integrates seamlessly with Anthea’s power suit and helmet HUD to provide navigational data, weapons and targeting data for the trike, as well as providing a dashboard for the trike’s vital stats. Modes
The trike has three modes which it can shift back and forth between on the fly.
This is the standard configuration for the trike and it is built for speed with a slim design.
For when Anthea is taking fire from oncoming assailants, the armor plates spread out to provide cover for the pilot. During this mode the handles also shift down and hug the body of the trike.
This last design offers stability and mobility to Anthea when she wants to avoid taking fire and needing to return some of her own.
The dual wheels in the front of the trike allow for the pilot to engage the foot controls for steering, acceleration, and deceleration.
The trike also integrates with Anthea’s power suit in this mode to provide stabilization for firing hand weapons.
(will update as we meet stretch goals)
● A professionally executed 24 minute anime episode full of awesome
● Top notch Japanese Voice-Over
● English subtitles
● Behind the scenes development diaries and interviews
● An original soundtrack
We hope to have everything (rewards included) done and delivered by Late-2015.
Producing a standout soundtrack and stellar sound design usually breaks the bank and makes the budgeters cry but we are getting a steal with our audio legends:
We chose Kickstarter for a number of reasons:
1. The team and plan we have assembled together provide a unique vision and a quality of animation we, and you, can be proud of. We want to blow you away and it is increasingly difficult to attain that level of excellence with traditional partnerships, especially for a brand new IP.
2. This will allow us to retain creative independence, creative rights, and thereby the confidence our vision is being represented as it should be and you will reap the benefits.
3. If this project is successfully funded it will possibly pave the way for us to pursue other projects to further the “Under the Dog” universe and even to work on additional series!
4. We know you, as fans of great anime, have interest and would love to see something like this happen, and we love the idea that you guys will be involved and given the opportunity to help it along the way!
Backers who pledge at the $60 reward tier and higher will have the option to add additional basic, unsigned items.
For Add-ons: Simply pledge at the $60 tier or higher and then add any additional amount for the desired items listed. When the KS is over we will send a survey to inquire how you would like the extra funds distributed.
Hideo Kojima announced today his very moving and humbling endorsement of the Under the Dog anime Kickstarter project. We are honored to receive such words.
旧来の出資者やクライアントに縛られない、創り手(クリエーター)と世界中の消費者(ユ ーザー)がダイレクトにやりとりをする新しい「物創り」の形態が今、盛んに試されてい る。そんな中、一企業戦士(サラリーマン)として、数々の名作アドベンチャー・ゲームを 世に送り出してきた鬼才イシイジロウが、「物創り」の未来を問う挑戦を始めた。
イシイジロウの原作を基とするインディーズアニメ「UNDER THE DOG」のクラウドファン ディングである。
これは注目せずにはいられない。応援せずにはいられない。特にカルトな人気を誇るクリエ ーターが商業ベースとは異なる「物創り」でどう化学変化を起こすのか?ここに期待せず にはいられない。
イシイジロウのインディーズ参戦は、これからの「物創り」を方向付けるだけではなく、 同時に「ゲームデザイナーがストーリーテラーとしても世界に通用するかどうか?」の宣言 でもあるのだ。
English“Coming with the permeation of the internet [in our daily lives], “creating” and a production’s “financing” structure have changed significantly.
Now, new methods of “creating” are being put to the test, where direct communication between the creator and the global user has become the norm and the creator is not bound by the former traditional investor or clientele. In such circumstances right now, a writer with remarkable talent, Jiro Ishii, who brought to the world numerous renowned adventure games during his “salary man” days, has now taken up the torch in order to challenge the traditions and establish this new future of “creating.” This is “Under the Dog,” the crowdfunding effort for an indie anime based on Jiro Ishii’s original story.
One cannot help but pay close attention to this project. One cannot help but cheer on this project. In particular, how can this creator who garners cult-like popularity catalyze a new chemical reaction [in the industry] by putting an emphasis on “creating,” which stands apart from the typical commercial oriented projects? One cannot help but look forward to this succeeding.
Jiro Ishii’s indie challenge will not only change the path for “creating,” but at the same time declare the answer for the question: Can game designers be accepted by the world as storytellers in [other mediums] as well?”
We are working with top talent to create, produce, and fully realize this AAA project. We have the experience and the know-how and now we just need the support! =D
The next ranking challenge is producing the rewards and getting them shipped out to all y'all. We will be coordinating with our 3rd parties to ensure both quality of production and timely shipments.
All that said, unforeseen issues can occur and while we will provide updates on our various productions as they get underway, the hope is for the grace and patience of our backers that should accompany any artistic endeavor. Thank you!
1.We are professionals with the resumes to back up our claims. We have each put out quality works that have been well reviewed by critics and fans alike.
2.This cost will not go up! Because of our experience and knowledge of the industry, our goal is the honest amount of what this project will require. We have been doing this for a while and we know what we can do with a given amount of funding for an anime production!
3. We will create a level of quality and something unique not often seen in the anime world which is simply not attainable through traditional funding and support.
4.Costs include hiring Kinema Citrus for the animation, Japanese voice actors, English subtitles, fees, backer rewards(!), shipping, hosting, and our general operational expenses.
Now, while percentages are good, perhaps what is not as apparent are the actual costs of things given the $580,000 budget we are going for with this KS.
$580,000 - Total - Broken down as follows:
$232,000 - 40% - Animation Production - This is the budget for the actual design, direction, and animation of said 24 mins. Note the project will actually cost closer to $350,000.
$174,000 - 30% - Backer Rewards - Budget for reward production, warehousing, shipping, etc.
$87,000 - 15% - Pre-Production - Money we would like to recoup from investing our own funds in the trailer (of which we have actually spent in excess of $100,000)
$29,000 - 5% - Operational Costs - Budget for operational costs such as daily staff, web hosting, paying bills, etc.
$29,000 - 5% - KS fees - KS levies fees for all KS campaigns. They need to make their money too
$29,000 - 5% - Amazon Credit Card fees - The fees from Amazon Payments
In closing, we will say it again and again... We want to be able to work on something that sparks our passion and have the end result be something we and you can be proud of. We are coming to Kickstarter because we believe in the benefits it can offer over our traditional avenues of funding and it gives our fans the unique opportunity to be involved and take part of something special.
In Japan, it is very difficult to obtain independent funding since the anime industry heavily relies on what is known as "seisaku iinkai" or "production committees." This committee requires buy-in from multiple major corporations that combine their efforts to help carry the load of the production costs and thereby minimize the financial risk for each individual company. One company could take on animation, another music, another advertising, another distribution, and so on. It can also drive down the costs of production due to companies willing to take an initial loss with the hopes of turning a profit over the course of several years as the anime and any licensing deals run their course (music, toys, manga, etc.).
These committees are usually composed of people with an investor's mindset who look to profit first and then to creative awesomeness, if at all. This can often lead to projects stalled or mired in bureaucracy, indecision, and conflicts of interest. Production committees also generally require intellectual property buyouts in which the creatives involved essentially sacrifice all rights to their work just so they can see their dreams come to fruition in any form at all. Kickstarter will allow our artists to retain their rights and control as well as maintain their passion and investment for the lifetime of the series and any spin-offs. We also have less "cooks in the kitchen," so to speak, so that creative direction will be decisive. No marketing or advertising based creative decisions or delays here!
This article at Anime News Network from 2012 has some great info on what it takes to make an anime as of 2012: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/feature/2012-03-05
This Crunchy Roll article from 2010 also has some great information on the whole process: http://www.crunchyroll.com/anime-news/2011/10/30-1/how-much-does-one-episode-of-anime-cost-to-makeAll trademarks referenced herein are the properties of their respective owners.
©2014 Creative Intelligence Arts, Inc.
©2014 Jiro Ishii
©2014 Yusuke Kozaki
©2014 Hiroaki Yura
All rights reserved.
Risks and challenges
See above.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
We could just say “see our budget section” but... 1) we are aiming for 100% backer funded AAA production quality. Maybe KS isn’t ready for something like this but we'd like to find out. 2) We could go with traditional funding and create as many as 2 seasons right off the bat but quality would suffer as well as creative control. With this team we want to involve the backers so that we can attain something much more special together. 3) A one-off episode is more expensive with regard to dollars per minute of animation. If we wanted a full season (13 episodes) the initial goal would be much higher (almost $3 million) but we could get the cost down per episode. At $3 million, in our minds, why not shoot for the film?
The plan for digital distribution is to utilize secure download links through Digioh and their partner MailChimp.
We will see what interest levels are and then go from there. We are open to suggestions and will consider any ideas. So far, based on backer feedback we have added the $60 tier for Blu-ray/DVD.
For our initial goal, we will have English and German. We are considering adding more languages with stretch goals but we definitely need to meet our initial goal first otherwise nothing will happen.
Secure download link for the digital content but NO DRM.
The Blu-ray will have the inherent encryption that is known to the medium (i.e. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Access_Content_System) and there is nothing we can do about that. It will however, be Region-Code-Free.
These are currently under consideration. We of course, have to hit the initial goal first, otherwise, nothing will happen at all.
Yes, very soon! It will be enabled via www.under-the-dog.com as soon as we can. We will send an update once it is available.
Kickstarter primarily. PayPal on our website for those that prefer it. Anyone in the world is welcomed to pledge.
Here is a very early look (and subject to change): https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1300298569/under-the-dog/posts/976808
The coloring will be exclusive. Unfortunately, we cannot afford to make two (or more) models at this time. We could potentially make is a stretch goal. Wait and see!
The creative staff will sign the poster.
The creative staff will provide commentary, possibly the VO actors, and yes, there will be English subtitles.
Mostly what you have to worry about here is the violence and some sexuality content. We have been tentatively rated by the AU Classification board as MA 15+. In the US I am sure we would be PG-13. Might be higher in DE, UK, and other EU countries since they tend to not care for violence.
Similar to the NERV box but not exact: http://plamoya.com/bmz_cache/5/5eb61185905781f17fbb5b4c8cc090b1.image.500x500.jpg
Given the production quality, 1 episode could take about half of a year. We have pros working hard on this and they don’t like to produce less than their best. Plus, we are giving ourselves room to do 2 episodes along with any delays or obstacles that pop up along the way. If we meet the film stretch goal, expect that by the end of 2016.
There will be at least one male protagonist but Anthea takes center stage most of the time. Episode 1 will feature Hana primarily with Anthea as a strong support.
We will have the PayPal option enabled on our site before too long and backers will be able to pledge, upgrade, or add-on there for the same rewards listed on the KS. www.under-the-dog.com
With the addition of PayPal on our website (www.under-the-dog.com) we will be allowing for pledges to come in for a while and the amounts from the KS and PayPal will pool together for the stretch goals.
We will also be discussing ways to enable lower tier stretch goals so that we can see some immediate results! Stay tuned!
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