Yep. It was only a matter of time. A few posts ago, I talked about some of the new titles that studio Trigger had developed and "Little Witch Academia" was one of them. It's only right for this beautifully animated short to start a campaign on Kickstarter.com to raise money for a NEW EPISODE. The announcement came during the Anime Expo event happening in L.A. right now. Trigger tweeted this: "So we have announced that we are currently trying to get the Kickstarter project for Little Witch Academia 2 (Title pending)." That got a lot of people excited. Even some of my American animation idols are planning on contributing to this agenda and it seems crowd-sourcing may become part of anime's future.
For those who don't know the ways of crowd-sourcing, let me explain as briefly as I can: Kickstarter is a website where you can fund your future projects. You present an idea, expose the details and the reasons why you need funding (plus there are certain gifts you can give people as incentive to pledge more money), and if you reach your set goal of money, you can then go ahead and make your project a reality.
This type of funding is now being called "crowd-sourcing" and more and more anime studios are using this as a way to get fans to support them and their projects. Nowadays, making anime is a costly risk in Japan. Studios, to fans' surprise, do not make as much money as you think and they think twice about making experimental anime, ones not based on an already popular manga, novel, or video game. If a show or animated film doesn't become popular enough to cover the cost of making it in the first place then studios won't profit. They'll end up hurting in the end. So why not go directly to fans inside and outside of Japan themselves to see if they can gain some support ahead of time without the huge risk of production? Makes sense.
Before, and still currently, the strategy for studios would be to put risky animated movies in selected theaters instead of every theater in Japan to save money and decrease the risk. Making lower quality, simply animated anime can cut costs as well. They would also market to selected audiences, making anime that might interest certain groups of people who they know will buy it. That may be why so much "pervy" stuff has been pumping out of the country over the past few years. Sex sells. Or at least.. ahem.. panty shots, bouncing breasts and suggestions of yuri and yaoi.
But shorts like Little Witch Academia break through the sea of somewhat mediocre shows and bring a little pride back to anime.
As for Trigger, it's still quite a young studio but it's lucky that it can
now benefit from something like Kickstarter. And us fans around the world
now have a chance to fund the studios and creators we have only been able
to read about and admire from afar.
Haven't seen Little Witch Academia yet? Got the full 30 minute long short right here. Check it out because it'll get taken down soon!