Anime Expo 2013: Little Witch Academia

20130706_161717At Anime Expo 2013 about 50 selected fans were invited to a special event that focused on the “Anime Mirai” project, Little Witch Academia, created by Studio Trigger. The special event featured Masahiko Otsuka, who wrote the script for Little Witch, where we’re given a detailed look into the hard work behind creating a 22-minute animated series from a brand new team of animators. The character art style was a collaboration between the director Yoshinari Yoh and the art team.

Masahiko Otsuka spoke of a few things such as a new Kickstarter being launched to create a second Little Witch Academia title. The new title would take feedback given from fans from all over. While the original movie was funded by Japan, the second title would be partially funded by the fans.

The same artists who worked on Little Witch Academia will work on the second title, but are currently working on a new title from Studio Trigger Kill. There are also talks about taking Little Witch Magica into an animated series later in the future, but those discussions will be done after finishing the second Little Witch Academia.

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There was a small Q&A held after with one fan asking about a few comparisons to Harry Potter. Otsuka-san said he loves the Harry Potter series, while Yoshinari Yoh hasn’t read or seen the movies. There are a few ideas that are inspired from series though.

Another fan asked about some of the ideas they had for the “Anime Mirai” submission. There were two ideas; one was Little Witch Academia and the other was about people transforming into monsters, which would have been crazy and over the top. In the end Little Witch was chosen because it’s themes fit the “Anime Mirai” contest well (believing in oneself and the magic you can create).

Masahiko Otsuka was asked what some of his favorite animes are. He said he really enjoys Studio Ghibli movies and watches a lot of Gundam. He does watch lots of animation and really likes to spend time watching movies but spends more time reading for inspiration as he feels reading books is a great way to grow your imagination.

He finished by saying he loves the internet. It allows not only himself but the team to hear feedback from the fans, especially all the fan art. Companies like Studio Trigger listen to and read the feedback from fans around the world, especially when the fans love the work, since the team always finds themselves questioning whether the things they did were wrong, or whether they could have improved on it. Since they see fans enjoying it, it helps them go happily and confidently into the next project.

The first episode of Little Witch Academia was created under the “Anime Mirai” project by Yoh Yoshinari and studio TRIGGER.

The episode was made available to be viewed on the internet shortly after the premier, and many support and comments were given. To answer to these voices, we have decided to create a sequel to the episode. We also found out about Kickstarter through the comments given by the fans oversea.

Being a new studio, we felt the Kickstarter system to be innovative and fitting to our studio’s taste. Making a series “with” the fans is definitely what we were looking for. With the support from our fans, we believe that we can definitely develop on this new foundation.

If you haven’t seen Little Witch Academia yet, it will be live on YouTube for a bit longer.

Update: In only 4 hours this Kickstarter has already raised over $162,000, well exceeding the $150,000 goal. It still has 29 days to go. I am sure the team behind it is excited to get ready for the second Little Witch.

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