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Wake Up, Girls! Director Yamakan Returns to Crowdfund 'Magical Girls' Dark Fantasy Anime

posted on by Lynzee Loveridge
Yutaka Yamamoto referenced Kyoto Animation arson as the motivation behind the project

Controversial director Yutaka Yamamoto (otherwise known as 'Yamakan') has returned from his self-imposed hiatus from the anime industry in an attempt to crowdfund a new anime project.

Yamamoto launched a Campfire crowdfund page for a pilot film for tentatively titled "Mahō Shōjotachi" (lit. Magical Girls) anime project. He is aiming to raise 10 million yen (US$92,700) in 33 days. The project has so far raised 2,102,400 yen (US$19,488). The campaign site describes the project as "Yamamoto rises up...a huge storm was blown into the devastated anime world. In order to open the door to a new era I'm proposing a new, original anime titled 'Magical Girls!'"

The project's key visual shows a girl in a school girl uniform with angel wings surrounded by blazing fire. Yamamoto directly references the Kyoto Animation arson tragedy as the motivation behind the project. He stated that the crime left him angry, and that he cannot forgive the evil "madness" in anime that caused the loss of a friend.

"This is an ugly battle. As long as I am an anime director, I have to 'defeat' it through anime," Yamamoto wrote. He added that he is appealing to all the people involved in anime and he wants to "change anime" so that there will be no further victims.

Yamamoto described "Magical Girls" as a violent, dark fantasy that he hopes to make into a feature-length film. The pilot film's length will depend on the amount of money the campaign is able raise, but Yamamoto estimated it will be between two to five minutes long. Any additional funds raised will go directly to the full-length film.

Yamamoto first drew attention after the Kyoto Animation arson when he responded to your name. and Weathering With You director Makoto Shinkai on Twitter. Shinkai wrote on July 18, "All those of Kyoto Animation Co., please be safe." Yamamoto responded to the tweet with "Just shut up."

Yamakan had formerly worked at Kyoto Animation and had directed several episodes of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. He was series director of Lucky Star until he was replaced by Yasuhiro Takemoto from episode 5 onward. Kyoto Animation left a message on its website (archived here) stating that Yamakan "did not have the skills yet to be a director." Despite his leave from the company, he remained friends with some of its staff members who would later come to work on his Fractale anime series with him.

The former Lucky Star director has been volatile on social media in the past, leading to the suspension of his LINE blog and previous Twitter account. He launched a new Twitter account and a blog on Ameba Blog following the suspensions. He became embroiled in further disagreements this year and filed for personal bankruptcy on March 4.

The Kyoto Animation fire was a devastating tragedy that claimed the lives of 35 people and left 34 people injured when it broke out on July 18. The studio said 20 percent of its employees passed away in the attack.

Source: Campfire


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