A brand new anime project is currently in production and it is being funded by you. Under the Dog is a new Kickstarter campaign to produce a new high quality anime from a very highly talented team, without the need of massive interference from large corporations. The project itself is being helmed by Masahiro Ando, the director of Hanasaku Iroha and Sword of the Stranger, and is nearing the end of its campaign, ending on September 8th.
First thing, here is the Kickstarter video for Under the Dog to introduce you to their idea:
Under the Dog is a Sci-Fi anime set in Tokyo in 2025, 5 years after a specialised terrorist attack on the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The UN have formed a covert forces branch in Tokyo to sought out the terrorists and any of their connections. An international school was set up to recruit gifted high school students with special abilities and enrol them into the elite death squad. To ensure that each squad member is at their peak and do not cross, their loved ones are embedded with a micro cranial bomb so when an agent goes out of protocol their loved ones face the consequence. The Agent’s speech and actions are also constantly monitored through a chip in their brain.
The first full trailer was also released:
At the moment only one episode is currently in production. Depending on the Kickstarter’s success, more may be produced.
One of the major characters and the mascot of Under the Dog is Anthea Kallenberg, agent number 03. She is a Swedish girl who specialises in Special Operations, infiltrating covert areas and assassinating numerous targets. She is one of the top agents and prides herself in her skill in combat. She is equipped with a power suit and numerous weapons.
Since the campaign’s initial start, the character design for Anthea have changed slightly. The older design is on the far left and the newest design on the right. Yusuke kozaki, the character designer of Fire Emblem: Awakening and No More Heroes, worked on the designs for Anthea and all the other characters in Under the Dog.
In addition to Anthea, there are other members of the covert squad.
Hana Tougetsu, number 06, the main character of Under the Dog and the operation support member. Whilst she is not as skilled in combat as other members, she has the ability to shift people’s moods and mental states creating stability and getting rid of burdens. She is a typical Japanese high school girl, is very outgoing and loves her family, where she is currently staying.
Estella, number 02, is the sniper of the team who was recruited at age 8. She is a Spanish-American girl and is often paired with Sayuri, and acts somewhat like a tsundere.
Sayuri Hyuga, number 08, is the espionage member of the team whose job is to infiltrate and spying on others. She is often paired with Estella, where Sayuri leads the targets into the open for Estella to shot.
And finally, Colonel Junichi Amagata, the current commander of the UN. A former NATO soldier, he is in charge of all operations in the covert division whilst also posing as a staff member of the school. He also rescued Anthea from a human trafficking cell and trained her to where she is today.
The team producing Under the Dog are all veterans of the industry who have worked on very prestigious projects in the past. Their talent combined can make the anime a stand out. Some of the key players in the anime’s production includes: director Masahiro Ando who worked on various Bones anime, character and mechanical designer Yusuke Kozaki, writer Jiro Ishii who directed the Visual Novel 428: Fusa Sareta Shibuya de which was adapted into the anime Canaan, all of which will be animated by Kinema Citrus (Barakamon, Tokyo Magnitude 8.0).
Here is a more apt list of the main staff and their past experience in the industry:
Additionally, a new staff member was announced who will be working on the screenplay of the anime: Yukinori Kitajima. Kitajima wrote the scenario for the Hamatora manga and anime, and Ando’s 428: Fuusa Sareta Shibuya de VN
The Under the Dog Kickstarter also gives anime fans an insight into the creative process of producing an anime, from start to finish. The team posts regular updates on new designs, art and decisions made as it is produced. You can see all the care and attention that is put into every aspect of producing and designing the anime’s characters and world.
One thing that Anthea constantly uses in her missions is her Trike. A Designed by Yusuke Kozaki in conjunction with motorcycle industry design specialist, EM, this Trike is top of the line and built with all the functions needed for a successful op. The Trike is electric and produces almost no noise and connects with Anthea’s power suit. The Trike itself has a holographic HUD that connects with her helmet.
And the Trike itself has three mode: a speedy getaway mode:
A defensive Armoured mode:
And an offensive attack mode:
They also released concept art for the Trike with Anthea:
Some weapon designs:
Designs of Anthea’s helmet:
Some storyboards of key moments from the anime:
Additionally, some stills have been released as well:
Under the Dog will be available digitally with subtitles from many languages and Japanese audio. When funded, the anime will come with English, German, French, Spanish, and Portuguese subtitles. Additionally, Hideo Kojima, the creator of the Metal Gear franchise, praised the project on creation as opposed to typical commercial products. You can read his whole comment here.
The anime will be available for digital download and physical media to backers who pledge over $25. Backers who pledge $25 will get a HD digital download of Under the Dog, $35 will get an additional soundtrack, and $45 get an additional art book . Check out all the Pledge goals on their Kickstarter.
The project initially considered fan subs for their subtitles, but instead went with full professional subtitles. Their decision on the change was influenced with talks between Cunchroll and Polymanga on the impact of Fan Subs on the industry.
Kickstarter is no stranger to creative anime projects. Kick-Heart from Production I.G.’s Masaaki Yuasa, the director of Ping Pong the Animation, was successfully funded in October 2012.
Despite all the talent and awesome content, the Kickstarter has not reached its goal yet. At the time of writing,a total of $442,527 USD of the $580,000 USD goal has been raised with 3 days remaining.
So if you want to make Under the Dog a reality and support the awesome talented staff behind the project, go over to their Kickstarter page and pledge, since every bit helps. They will also be having an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit later today.
The Under the Dog Kickstarter page: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1300298569/under-the-dog
Their website: http://under-the-dog.com/
And their Twitter: @underthedogpr
“Under the Dog”, images, videos and all associated brands and titles © 2014 Creative Intelligence Arts, LLC, Kinema Citrus and Masahiro Ando