There’s been a whole roster of incredible content coming out lately in co-production between both American creatives and Japanese animation studios and talent. I’m not even simply talking about anime born of international funding such as FLCL Seasons 2 & 3, or even the classic adult swim hit The Big O. I’m talking about the fact that American comic legend Stan Lee has now lent his hand to two co-productions now — his credit in both the 2010 Heroman and the recently revealed The Reflection — as well as musicians such as Porter Robinson throwing their own hat into the arena with success stories such as Shelter, a collaborative project with A-1 Pictures. Who could forget early 2000 classics such as Tekkon Kinkreet and Afro Samurai too?
When it comes to American-born talent paving the way for the next generation, nobody does it better than famed animator LeSean Thomas. Breaking down international boundries through his series’ such as The Boondocks and Legend of Korra, Thomas has recently moved on to producing his own anime, kicking off with last year’s Cannon Busters. If you ask me, I’d dare suggest that the defined line that would shape what makes an anime so “anime” over the years is being blurred over the years, and I love it. That’s where LeSean Thomas’ latest premiere, Children of Ether, comes into the picture:
— LeSean Thomas (@LeSeanThomas) July 20, 2017
The whole project is looking absolutely mind-blowing. Directing the project at Yapiko Animation, a studio in which calls both Paris and Tokyo home, Thomas finds himself alongside an entire list of big name creatives. Handling storyboard direction is Shingo Natsume (One Punch Man, Space Dandy), alongside character designer Hiroshi Shimizu (Michiko & Hatchin). Animation director Yuichi Takahashi (Gatchaman Crowds) and animator Mitsuo (Iso Denno Coil) will be jumping on board for this wild ride as well.
Crunchyroll have provided a synopsis of the premiere episode:
Children of Ether follows Rhonda, a woman with a dark past and a mysterious power, as she is pursued by an unknown assailant after the death of her father. Aided only by her wits and a pair of orphans, Rhonda journeys through a decaying, dystopian metropolis populated by raiders, gangs, and the supernatural. As she struggles to survive in this harsh urban tangle, she meets both friends and enemies, and searches for answers about this power, “The Ether”, awakening within her.
You’ll be able to catch the Children of Ether premiere during Crunchyroll‘s Anime Movie Night event. Slated for a July 26 screening across three-hundred movie theaters, Crunchyroll are clearly ensuring as many people as possible have access to the event. So far, the Anime Movie Night initiative has only been announced for Crunchyroll‘s home turf of the United States. You can check out the official site here for the exact details on the screening, including theater locations and advance ticket purchasing.