So the indie filmmakers behind Time of Eve are apparently thinking about making an international blu-ray release of their excellent animated film, after fans apparently clamored for one. What’s interesting though, is the way they decided to go about this: via a Kickstarter campaign.

Why Kickstarter?

Yes, there are other ways to get a Blu-ray of the movie to fans outside of Japan. But, these involve surrendering rights to the movie for large swaths of the world, for lengthy expanses of time. We looked carefully at the options, and then looked back at the roots of this project. From the very beginning, we booted strapped Time of EVE, episode by episode; and the direct rapport with fans has fueled this project throughout. We decided to hold onto the rights, and see how new distribution technology, and now crowdsourcing, can enable us to stay true to the original vision behind Time of EVE, and reach out to fans directly. Is it the best way? That, we can’t answer. But, it the path we’ve taken from the start.

I think this is really quite cool. We’re living in an interesting period now where a lumbering juggernaut of traditional media creation/publishing/distribution practices is beginning crash violently against the open, increasingly available, and rapidly accelerating Internet. We could well be sitting on the verge of the radical changes it would take for the media industry to fully adapt to an Internet age. This change has to happen, because the most likely alternative is a terrible one: where media cash giants win their war against piracy, almost inevitably at the cost of Internet freedom. What Studio Rikka/Directions Inc is doing here is something I hope more media companies would do: refuse to submit to traditional distribution processes and instead seek new technology/crowdsourced-based methods of getting their work out to their fans. Kickstarter campaigns may not be the final answer, but it is a palatable enough start. One where creation studio and fans have more say and sway over the terms and methods of their trade.

So pop over and give them some love! Go over and read the excitement-suffused fan comments and the wonderstruck updates from the project owners. And if you can and are sufficiently interested – make a pledge and earn a nice reward! We who watch anime know how ineffectual the current ‘standard’ channels of anime distribution are especially for the international audience. This needs to change. The campaign has already doubled its initial goal amount in less than 2 out of its intended 30-day run, but we can make it an even bigger success story. One that other anime studios would hopefully watch and do some serious thinking about.

Edit: “UPDATE: The Blu-ray will be region free” \o/

About Time of Eve
Time of Eve started as a 6-episode ONA that eventually got stitched together with connecting scenes into a single fluid film. If you’ve never seen it before, you really owe it to yourself to check this out, especially if you know ought about Asimov’s Laws of Robotics and some of the philosophical ideas Asimov explored in his robot novels. Time of Eve is this studio’s own vibrantly illustrated, liquidly animated, and vividly musical little twist on that universe, and while it doesn’t try very hard to take its ideas far, compared to Asimov, it nonetheless manages to come off as very immersive, thoughtful, and at many points even endearing. It is perhaps every bit the beautiful, lovingly crafted modern reimagining fans of Asimov’s universe could hope for. I remember being blown away a long time ago by the first ONA episode and subsequently being reduced to a bout of embarrassing incoherence. In short, this is good stuff. Recommended watching.

Have a trailer if you need one

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