Kickstarter-Funded Urbance Animated Pilot Posted

posted on 2016-03-03 16:30 EST
Animation director Hiroshi Shimizu collaborated on Franco-Japanese project

Conceptual art company Steambot began streaming the pilot film for Jöel Dos Reis Viegas, Sébastien Larroudé, Franco-Japanese animation studio Yapiko Animation, and Hiroshi Shimizu's "Urbance" animation project on Wednesday. The pilot was previously made available to Kickstarter backers and screened at festivals, but is now available publicly for free.

(Note: the video below may not be safe for work.)

Steambot hosted a Kickstarter in 2014 to raise CAD$189,000 to fund the eight-minute pilot episode. The project ultimately raised CAD$229,300. Extra funds will go toward the first episode.

Yapiko Animation founder Eddie Mehong collaborated with Steambot to get Shimizu to join the project as animation director if the Kickstarter campaign succeeded. Shimizu oversaw the animators at Yapiko Animation for the project.

Shimizu worked with Studio Ghibli as an animator on Only Yesterday, Porco Rosso, Pom Poko and Princess Mononoke. He later worked as an animation director on Shingu: Secret of the Stellar Wars, Monster, Kemonozume, Michiko & Hatchin, One Piece Episode of Luffy: Hand Island no Bōken, and Space Dandy.

The campaign elaborates in the FAQ that one of the show's topics is homosexual discrimination. Its page describes the story:

"In a post-modern city torn by street violence, sex is prohibited because of a deadly genetical virus infecting the entire population. Men and women have grown apart, hating each other until two young rebels, disowned by their own gangs, are leading the fight to live their love freely."

In the crumbling inner city, sex kills. The urban landscape is split in two — men on one side, women on the other— opposing each other. COEVO seems to be the only hope: a government medical treatment developed to cure every single citizen except that those wearables haven't produced the expected results yet...

Born among this lost generation of frustrated gangs, Kenzell and Lesya live each day as their last, defying anyone who stands in the way of their union. Like modern avatars of Romeo and Juliet, they will have to choose between love or their kind, Passion VS Reason, Deadly Eves VS Neo Blasterz... In their flamboyant relationship lies the premises of a revolution against the authorities, the vicious Mediators and their mysterious separatist laws. Rebels can change the world.

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