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Creative Intelligent Arts Steps Down From Under the Dog Anime

posted on by Egan Loo
Studio Kinema Citrus now manages project with .hack//SIGN producer Koji Morimoto

Creative Intelligent Arts (CIA) founder and CEO Hiroaki Yura announced on Thursday that his company is leaving the crowdfunded Under the Dog (UTD) anime project. The studio Kinema Citrus will now manage the project, and Aurora's Koji Morimoto (.hack//SIGN, Please Teacher!, CANAAN) will replace Yura as the producer. Yura explained, "In order to comply with certain requests from members of the UTD creative team, and to deliver an unhindered product to our backers, CIA is hereby removing itself from the UTD project."

Yura added, "We were very excited to concept and develop UTD but believe this decision is in keeping with our goals for enabling creative teams to retain as much rights and autonomy as possible and to have production move forward with full force. It is also an effort to more directly link backers and fans of anime with the creators making the works that they love."

Morimoto (no relation to the similarly named anime director who was formerly at Studio 4°C and is currently at Φphy), wrote, "This is very honorable and exciting opportunity to work with [Jirō Ishii] and [Masahiro Ando] again since we did before when creating the TV Animation Series CANAAN. I will endeavor to make the comfortable circumstances that all creative staff members can create the great movie Under the Dog as you imagined. Please keep an eye on us! We will do the best for creating one of the best movies so that we will not make you regret to be the backers of this project."

Creative Intelligence Arts described the story:

Under the Dog takes place in 2025 in Neo Tokyo, five years after a devastating terrorist attack at the Tokyo Olympics. In the wake of the tragedy, the U.N. formed a covert ops unit dedicating to seeking out, then eliminating those responsible for the attack. Anthea Kallenberg, a girl of Swedish descent is a member of this elite group who has honed her combat abilities and has become a deadly assassin, but must come to terms as to who she really is.

The project aims to carry the tradition of older science-fiction anime titles such as Akira and Ghost in the Shell. The production team used Kickstarter in order to avoid the process of funding from production committees and therefore retain creative control of the anime. The project met its minimum US$580,000 goal on Kickstarter last September and eventually raised US$878,028 in Kickstarter pledges.

Masahiro Ando (Hana-Saku Iroha, Blast of Tempest) is directing the anime based on a story by Jirō Ishii (428: In a Blockaded Shibuya, producer on Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors). Yuusuke Kozaki (Fire Emblem: Awakening) is designing the characters, Kinema Citrus is in charge of animation, and Orange Co. (Ghost in the Shell Arise) is in charge of 3D CGI.

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