After School Midnighters Launches Crowdfunding Campaign for 2nd Shorts Series

posted on by Jennifer Sherman
MontBlanc Pictures plans to produce 10 more full-CG anime shorts

MontBlanc Pictures launched a crowdfunding campaign on Monday to cover part of the cost to produce a second series of 10 After School Midnighters full-CG anime shorts. The anime's staff began streaming a promotional video for the campaign.

The studio is holding the campaign on the Campfire crowdfunding platform with the goal to raise 10 million yen (about US$89,000). As of press time, the campaign had raised 1,367,784 yen (US$12,000). Campfire cannot accept donations from outside Japan. The crowdfunding campaign will end on July 19.

The project has received sponsors, but MontBlanc Pictures is aiming to cover the remaining production costs through the crowdfunding campaign. If the campaign surpasses its goal, the additional funds will be used for patron reward items and DVD content such as unreleased scenes.

The campaign is offering "return" tiers ranging from 3,000 yen (US$27) to 100,000 yen (US$890). All patrons will receive an "official bootleg version DVD" of the shorts. Other rewards include stickers, Goth's apology letter, postcards, ID cards, name in the ending credits, a poster, T-shirts, character model replicas, drawing on the film's Kunstrijk model, participation in staff meetings, and a role in a music video.

The first set of After School Midnighters shorts debuted with Japanese, English, and Korean subtitles in November. The 90-second spinoff shorts starring Kunstrijk and Goth have been viewed a total of 900,000 times on YouTube. Due to the shorts' popularity on social media, the staff decided to produce a second series.

Television channel TOKU began streaming an English-dubbed trailer for the After School Midnighters full-CG anime film in August. The trailer stated that the film was "now showing," but did not provide a release date. Toku describes the film's story:

Mako, Miko, and Mutsuko are three young girls visiting St. Claire Elementary, a school filled with strange legends. The girls have an encounter with Kunstrijk, a human body anatomy model, and Goth, a skeleton model. Seeking revenge for being vandalized by the girls, Kunstrijk invites them to the school´s midnight party in order to scare them.

Kouichi Yamadera (Cowboy Bebop, Neon Genesis Evangelion) starred in the film as the naked anatomical model Kunstlijk, and Hiromasa Taguchi (Kaasan - Mom's Life) voiced the skeleton specimen Goth. Hitoshi Takekiyo returned to direct the film after directing the original 2007 CG anime short After School Midnight (Hōkago Midnight).

The film opened simultaneously in Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore in August 2012. The film was released on Blu-ray Disc in January 2013 and included English, Korean, and Chinese subtitles.

The film was screened in seven countries outside Japan, including France and Italy, and it won awards at Spain's Sitges Film Festival and Canada's Fantasia International Film Festival. The producers also submitted the film for consideration in the 2013 "Best Animated Feature Film" category of the Academy Awards.

Source: Animation Business Journal (Tadashi Sudo)

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