One of the classics of the original Anime OVA boom, Riding Bean is acclaimed character designer SONODA Ken'ichi's gasoline and gunpowder-fueled 46-minute joyride around Chicago, featuring original music by Phil Perry & David “Creatchy” Garfield.
The plot begins to thicken when ace courier Bean Bandit drives getaway from a robbery (score: 6 police cruisers and 1 18-wheeler). The crooks are a little ticked off to find out that Bean's flat rate fee accounts for almost all of the proceeds, but business is business.
The next day, Bean and his heavily-armed assistant, Rally Vincent (deadly with both gun and frying pan), receive a visitor with a young girl in tow.
The visitor barely has time to beseech them to return the girl to her father before a hit-team swiss-cheeses Bean's apartment. Unfortunately for him, he doesn't have Bean's taste in clothes (all Kevlar, including his underwear!)
Bean and Rally bundle little Chelsea into the car and make tracks. Alas, what they don't know is that the kidnappers have already made off with the $2,000,000 ransom, leaving them to take the rap. Will Bean discover the ruse in time and get the money for himself? Will he be able to evade the relentless pursuit of Inspector Percy? And most importantly, how much will the Chicago P.D.'s insurance company raise their rates?
This limited-edition Blu-Ray release is a "High Octane Edition" for a reason. We will be using the same uncompressed HD transfer as the recent Japanese release, but using a BD50 instead of BD25 for a higher bitrate. It will contain both the original Japanese soundtrack and the English dub, plus English subtitles in multicolor, greyscale and SDH 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, China and Taiwan.
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), after-recording script, and more. As much as possible, everything will be available both on the disc and online. And of course, all backers will be credited on the disc!
The High Octane 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 Riding Bean on Blu-ray, if we do it will be in different packaging and will not include any extra physical stretch-goal bonuses.
Regular Reward Levels
Digital backers ($5) get access to the data archive, which includes high-resolution graphics, settei, and the original after-recording script.
Regular backers ($25) get the basic Blu-ray in a premium transparent Amaray case with a reversible sleeve, so there will be two cover variants to choose from, and a 9-panel printed insert with liner notes and a mini-poster. It also includes a custom embroidered patch. 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 everything in Basic, plus a packaging upgrade to a chipboard case with new original art by Mr. Sonoda and an artbook (approximately 180 pages in color and black&white) that fits in the case with the Amaray.
Supreme backers ($75) get everything Premium backers get, plus a keychain designed by Mr. Sonoda and a personalized on-disc "Rally Vincent Gun Safety Course" completion certificate, accessible via a custom easter-egg code.
Here's a demo of how the custom easter-egg works on Otaku no Video:
Nitrous-Injected backers ($110) get everything the Supreme backers get, plus two additional rewards: a 30mm-scale polyurethane garage kit of Buff the Roadbuster, and a personalized on-disc "Bean Bandit Offensive Driving School" completion certificate, accessible via a custom easter-egg code. Note that Nitrous-Injected backers get both certificates!
Patron backers ($200) get everything Nitrous-injected backers get, 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).
Inspector Percy backers ($300) 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).
Similarly, we will be able to provide a limited number of assembled and painted car models -- and since we're making a 3D model as the first step in the production process, we may be able to do some custom 3D prints as well.
Special Limited Reward Levels
We also have several special support levels that will gradually go down in price until someone snaps them up.
Cel backers get everything a Patron gets, plus one of 9 original Riding Bean production cels. Here are the cels:
Sonoda Sketch backers get everything a Patron gets, plus they get a sketch of their favorite Riding Bean character or scene -- personally inscribed if desired.
Here's an example of one of the sketches Mr. Sonoda did for backers of the Bubblegum Crisis set. Note that these kind of rewards will be shipped from Japan and customs duty may apply.
Illustration backers get everything a Patron gets, plus they also get a full-color B4-size (250 x 353mm / 9.8 x 13.9") original illustration Mr. Sonoda is creating for this release -- personally inscribed if desired. The number of rewards in this category will depend on what stretch goals are chosen and achieved -- see below for more details.
Henchmen backers get everything Patrons get, plus have characters in Mr. Sonoda's manga modeled after them. Similarly, Innocent Bystanders have background characters modeled after them.
And finally, the Criminal Mastermind backer gets everything a Patron gets, plus he/she gets listed as the Criminal Mastermind on the packaging! And we'll include 4 extra sets as well.
On this project, 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 EU and Canada-friendly.
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.
- Everywhere else: $15 shipping.
Premium Sets (and higher levels or multiple sets):
- US: $7 shipping.
- Canada/UK/EU: $20 shipping.
- Elsewhere: $25 shipping.
Shipping costs have had to rise since our previous projects because of increased costs. In particular, USPS First Class Mail International rates have hugely increased for packages over 8oz (and the Premium Set will be over 1lb).
- Note that the shipping cost is a flat rate; if you later add on extra sets or other goodies, the maximum shipping cost is the Premium Set cost.
- We will ship to non-CA/EU 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 basic set ($25) is below the personal exemption for those countries.
- We will check into possibly doing local fulfillment for countries with significant order sizes (based on previous projects, the most likely candidates are AU/NZ). Whether or not it is cost-effective depends on a lot of factors, but if it can save some money we'll either refund the difference or give credit that can be used for addons.
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 our previous limited-edition releases, 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 bonus item.
CrowdProduction opportunities include (but are not limited to):
- Cleaning up and curating the images.
- Translation of the commentary track(s).
- Subtitle proofreading.
- Packaging, Disc Art and Logo design.
- Liner Notes Research.
- Artbook Design.
Contact us when the project makes its basic goal if you're interested in taking on the challenge.
Achieved Stretch Goals
$40,000 - REACHED IN 2 HOURS! New Sonoda artwork for the Amaray case sleeve. Mr. Sonoda will create a new cover illustration for the Blu-ray case. This stretch goal unlocks an "Illustration" reward that delivers the original artwork.
$60,000 - REACHED IN 8.5 HOURS! New Riding Bean Manga. Mr. Sonoda will create a new 4-page manga ministory for the insert and artboook. This stretch goal unlocks 3 "Henchman" rewards -- backers will be used as models for characters in the manga (and knowing Sonoda, will probably die horribly) -- these rewards will go live at 4pm ET on Monday, March 7th.
$90,000 - REACHED IN 3.1 DAYS! Japanese Commentary Track featuring Mr. Sonoda and 1-2 other Japanese commentators.
$110,000 - REACHED IN 21 DAYS! Expanded Sonoda Riding Bean manga - 8 pages instead of 4; unlocked additional "Henchman" rewards
Remaining Stretch Goals
$130,000 - English Commentary Track with Anime Historian Gilles Poitras
$135,000 - Reprint of Riding Bean Manga (in both digital form and in the artbook) - Reduced from $140k as a special thank-you!
$170,000 - New Riding Bean Song by David Garfield and Phil Perry!
Can I sign up using PayPal?
Now that the campaign has reached its basic goal, PayPal signup is available on our website. We ask that people only use this if they cannot back the project via Kickstarter.
What about subtitles in other languages?
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! So we'd prefer to keep it simple(r).
Can I order extra copies?
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 Riding Bean 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. Note that we are definitely doing a keychain, and the Bubblegum Crisis one came out great!
Can I get one of the previous Limited Edition Kickstarter Blu-rays?
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: Okada Toshio of Gainax once told us that "Everyone wants to be the second person to do business with you." Riding Bean was the first title AnimEigo licensed directly from Japan; its success paved the way for everything that came later.
Credits: Thanks to Google, Freepik, Vaadin, Dot on Paper, and Flaticon.com for icons used in the campaign graphics.
Risks and challenges
While we are confident that we will be able to meet or beat the December release date, a video production project such as this can suffer unexpected delays. In particular, one side-effect of the excellent feedback we get from backers is that we expect a certain amount of "feature creep" as people come up with great ideas that "simply must be done", and these tend to stretch the schedule a bit.
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
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