A true treat for Anime lovers, Otaku no Video is an outrageous mockumentary that combines the superb animation that made Gainax one of Japan's best-loved animation studios with truly strange live-action interviews with "real fans".
Sit back and enjoy this thinly-disguised alternate history of Gainax, as a small band of Otaku set out to "Otakunize" the entire human race.
Some would say that this "Graffiti of Otaku Generation" has been exaggerated for dramatic effect, but anyone in the industry knows it was actually toned-down to make it more believable!
Note: now that the campaign has funded, we can accept direct signups via PayPal or a sister campaign on Indiegogo (which accepts PayPal). You can find links to these options on our Social Media page.
We call this 25th-Anniversary Blu-Ray the "Otaking Edition" for a reason. It contains both the "Otaku no Video 1982" OVA and the sequel, "Zoku Otaku no Video 1985", in Japanese with English subtitles (a total of 96 minutes of insanity) -- and two subtitled commentary tracks (curated by noted anime historian SANO Toru) featuring INOUE Kikuko (voice actress), MURAHAMA Shoji (Animation Producer and the "cel thief" in ONV), YAMAGA Hiroyuki (Gainax President & Founding Member), and SATO Hiroki (Anime Producer, former manager of the General Products Tokyo store and the "garage kit otaku" in ONV).
Other bonus materials include a 9-panel insert sheet with mini-poster, printed program notes and other cool stuff, as well as color artwork, line art (settei), scans of the original after-recording scripts, and more. As much as possible, everything will be available both on the disc and online. And of course, all non-digital-only backers will be credited on the disc!
We are also considering adding an English-language commentary track, as well as additional material if we can obtain it.
We will be using the same HD transfer as the recent Japanese release, but using a BD50 instead of BD25 for a higher bitrate. Each of the 3 selectable subtitle tracks (Main program + 2 Commentary) will be available in both multicolor and greyscale variants (or you can watch with no subtitles if you prefer). The disc will not be region-coded, and we can ship it anywhere in the world except for Japan.
The Basic set packaging is a premium transparent Amaray case with a reversible sleeve insert, so there will be two cover variants to choose from.
This Otaking Edition will only be sold via crowdfunding and direct sales on our website. It will never be available for less than the crowdfunding price. While we currently do not intend to release a regular commercial version of OnV on BluRay, if we do it will be in different packaging and will not include any extra stretch-goal bonuses.
Finally, we are extremely pleased to announce that the character designer of Otaku no Video, SONODA Ken'ichi, has graciously agreed to produce new artwork and graphics materials to be used as stretch goals!
Digital backers ($5) get access to all the digital materials, including high-resolution artwork.
Basic backers ($25) get the complete set with all the goodies. There is no "early-bird" level because everyone is getting early-bird pricing -- we don't want anyone to feel like they missed out.
Premium backers ($50) get the complete set with all the goodies, plus a packaging upgrade to a chipboard slipcase with original art by Mr. Sonoda and a 32-page Manga-sized full-color Artbook. Depending on how many people sign up for the Premium set, we'll apply the economies of scale to increasing the size of the artbook.
Secret Master of Otakudom (SMOO) backers ($75) get everything Premium backers get, plus 3 additional rewards: a limited-edition polyurethane 40mm Misty Mae minifigure kit, a special SMOO embroidered subpatch, and their name appears in a special secret disc "easter egg" that only they get access to! This reward is also available with the minifigure assembled and painted ($150). For more information about this reward level, see this project update (and subsequent ones as well)
Patron backers ($100) get everything SMOO backers get (despite what it says in the description; I can't edit it alas!), plus their name also appears on a startup screen every time the disc is played (as part of the copyright screen; you can skip right to the menus). If you are a Patron who wants a painted minifigure, we will handle that as an addon after the campaign ends.
Inspector backers ($250) get everything Patrons get, plus they will receive one of the actual production check discs to test and keep -- and thus, be the first to see the (hopefully!) finished Blu-Ray.
Note about Extra Copies: If you want an extra copy or two, don't worry; we will make addons available after the campaign ends (it's just simpler to do it that way rather than have a ton of different reward categories).
We also have several special support levels that will gradually go down in price until someone snaps them up.
Cel Patron backers get everything a Patron gets, plus one of 4 original OnV production cels, two of them with backgrounds and signed by The Great and Terrible Otaking OKADA Toshio! Here are the cels:
Sonoda Sketch backers get everything a Patron gets, plus they get a personally inscribed sketch of their favorite OnV character or scene. Here's some examples of sketches Mr. Sonoda did for backers of the Bubblegum Crisis set. Note that these rewards will be shipped from Japan and customs duty may apply.
The three Colorful backers get everything a Patron gets, plus they also get one of the full-color B4-size (250 x 353mm / 9.8 x 13.9") original illustrations Mr. Sonoda is creating for this release -- personally inscribed if desired. Here are are sketches of the designs Mr. Sonoda has decided to proceed with:
The three Immortalized backers get everything a Patron gets, plus they also will be used as a model for a character in the mini-manga Mr. Sonoda is drawing!
And finally, the Otaking backer gets everything a Patron gets, plus he/she gets listed as the Otaking on the packaging! And we'll include 4 extra sets as well.
One thing we are doing a little differently on this project is that we're charging a shipping fee on all orders, as opposed to giving US backers "free" shipping (which isn't really free, it's just bundled in). One reason we're doing this is because it helps establish the correct customs value for international shipments.
Customs costs, VAT and "processing fees" are a major annoyance for international backers, and we want to do everything we can to minimize or eliminate this hassle. That's why we're pleased to announce that this project is...
This means that we'll be shipping copies directly to fulfillment houses in Canada and the UK (who will then reship to backers in the EU). The extra cost of doing this (and the customs fees we pay upfront) have been baked into the shipping charge on a country-by-country basis:
- US: $5 shipping (so the basic blu-ray is $30 total)
- Canada: $12 shipping
- EU: $15 shipping
- Elsewhere: $15 shipping
We will ship to all other international backers directly from the USA using USPS International First Class Mail. Backers in Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland and Norway should not have any extra fees because the price of the set ($25) is below the personal exemption for those countries.
We have created a Customs Estimator spreadsheet that backers in other countries can use. If your country is not listed, we would greatly appreciate it if you could research how costs are calculated in your country and let us know so we can update it.
As with the Bubblegum Crisis Ultimate Edition, there are going to be opportunities for you to get involved in the actual work of producing the set. Backers who do substantial work on the project will get credit on the packaging and on the disc, an IMDb listing, extra copies of the set for family and friends, and a special CrowdProduction Team T-Shirt.
CrowdProduction opportunities include (but are not limited to):
- Cleaning up and curating the images.
- Translation of the commentary tracks.
- Subtitle proofreading.
- Packaging, Disc Art and Logo design.
- Wiki Editing & Liner Notes Research.
Contact us if you're interested in taking on the challenge.
One of the most popular bonus items in the Bubblegum Crisis set was an embroidered patch. The Otaking Edition will also have a patch, but this time, in a diabolical ploy to enlist you as our Marketing Minions™, the size of the patch depends on how successful you are in getting the word out about this project.
Each goal achieved adds 1 square-inch to the patch, up to 16 square-inches (4x4" before laser-cutting):
- Basic goal is met in the first 24 / 48 / 72 / 144 hours -- demolished in 13.5 hours
- 400, 500, 600, 700, and 800 Facebook likes.
- 1400, 1500, 1600, 1700 and 1800 @AnimEigo Twitter followers.
- 100, 125, 150, 175, and 200 Tumblr followers.
- 750, 1000, 1200, 1400 and 1600 tweets using the #otakunovideo hashtag.
When I started doing a graphic for this, it ended up looking like a Bingo card, so it was only appropriate that there be a free square... but after the first day, it's a free column...
To help you spread the word about the project we've created a social media HQ page with all the links you'll need.
Once the campaign has completed, we'll come up with several designs (and you'll be able to try your hand at it) and then run a poll to help determine what the patch will look like. Here's how the Bubblegum Crisis patch turned out:
The following stretch goals have already been reached:
- 999 Backers: Cover Up(grade) -- Mr. Sonoda will create new color cover art for the package. This will also unlock new reward levels that deliver the actual artwork. Unlocked on Day 3!
- 250 Backers: Mini-Manga -- Mr. Sonoda will draw a 4 page dojinshi comic, similar to the one in the Japanese Blu-Ray release -- one idea we've kicked around is having it be about his experiences with US Otaku. The comic will be available both digitally and as an insert in the Blu-Ray package. This will also unlock 3 new rewards that immortalize a real fan in the dojinshi! Unlocked with 6 days to go!
These stretch goals are currently pending:
- 1500 Backers or $100,000: Comprehensible Commentary -- a new english-language commentary track featuring author and anime historian Gilles Poitras.
- 1700 Backers or $120,000: Today is a good day to Subtitle -- an extra subtitle track will be added, transcribed from the original Klingon by renowned tlhIngan linguist qurgh lungqlj.
- Goals Pending: Comically Awesome -- The dojinshi comic will be printed as an exclusive limited-edition doujinshi in both Japanese and English (8 pages total). Basic backers will get it as a stand-alone B&W doujinshi, Premium backers will get it as part of an expanded art-book.
Since the percentage of backers who are choosing the Premium set is much higher than expected, it is very likely that as goals are reached, we'll adjust the higher goals down (and/or add new intermediate ones).
Note: Digital backers do not count towards stretch goals.
Can I sign up using PayPal?
Yes, now that the campaign has funded, we can accept direct signups via PayPal or a sister campaign on Indiegogo (which accepts PayPal). You can find links to these options on our Social Media page.
What about subtitles in other languages?
We are sticking with English (and possibly Klingon) on this set for several reasons.
First, our license is Universe-wide, English and Klingon-only, excluding Japan.
Second, and more importantly, a major reason the Bubblegum Crisis set had authoring delays was that it had so many subtitle tracks (6 languages x 2 variants) that it caused the authoring system to crash! For Otaku no Video, we currently need 6 subtitle tracks (1 main program + 2 commentary tracks x 2 variants) and the main subtitle tracks are "bigger" than the Bubblegum Crisis tracks because we need to caption things all over the screen, so we want to err on the side of caution -- and to not be able to add those Klingon subtitles would be extremely dishonorable and likely result in us being on the wrong side of a sharp Bat'leth!
How are you going to handle the "Portrait of an Otaku" SD video segments?
One of the things that makes Otaku no Video so much fun are the fake interviews. However, since they were shot and edited in SD video, integrating them is a little tricky.
The main issue is that the animation segments are 24-frames per second progressive HD ("24p") while the video segments are 60-fields per second interlaced SD ("60i").
While we can (and will) upconvert the 60i SD to 60i HD (and do a little cleanup while we are at it), combining 24p HD and 60i HD in the same program requires some rather tricky player programming -- and all the compatibility risks that entails. Complicating matters even further is the fact that the people on the commentary tracks talk right through the transitions between the animation and the live-action.
To address these issues, the current plan is to do the following:
- When you play the main program, the Portrait of an Otaku segments will be displayed in 24p -- this was how the Japanese Blu-Ray handled them. Converting from 60i to 24p (or more precisely, 48i displayed as 24p) will result in some motion artifacts ("judder"), but most people won't notice them.
- In addition, we'll include the interviews as separate bonus materials in 60i.
- Also, we'll have an option to watch just the animated segments.
Can I order extra copies?
Not as part of the Kickstarter, but we will make additional copies available (at a discount) as an add-on after the campaign ends.
What about doing a challenge-coin?
We love the challenge coin we did for Bubblegum Crisis, and we'd like to do one for Otaku no Video as well, but we think it's best to do it as a separate add-on. After the campaign is over, we'll poll people to figure out how many would like a coin, and if it is feasible, we'll do one.
Who is running the project?
Robert Woodhead is one of the founders of AnimEigo, one of the original wave of Anime releasing companies. Over the years AnimEigo has released hundreds of Anime and Samurai film titles in both dubbed and subtitled form. He's the creative and technical guy.
UEKI Natsumi is Robert's wife and partner. She's a level-headed businesswoman who describes her career as "a quarter-century of successfully preventing Robert from bankrupting the company."
Trivia: Natsumi and Robert were introduced to each other by OKADA Toshio, one of the founders of Gainax. Okada-sensei was the inspiration for the character of Tanaka in Otaku no Video.
So you see, Otaku no Video holds special meaning for us. :)
Risks and challenges
While we are confident that we will be able to meet or beat the February release date, a video production project such as this can suffer unexpected delays.
On the Bubblegum Crisis project, we ended up shipping 3 months late, in large part because the authoring was so complex that we broke the authoring system and had to find workarounds. Fortunately, this project is considerably simpler -- in fact, our real goal is to give you a very Otaku Xmas.
What we can promise is that we will take the time to get things right, even if that means slipping the release date, and that we will keep you fully informed every step of the way -- the Bubblegum Crisis project had over 50 project updates.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (23 days)