New Megazone 23 Anime's Crowdfunding for Promo Video Reaches Goal
posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Anime production company AIC's crowdfunding campaign for a five-minute promotional video for Megazone 23 XI reached its 10 million yen (about US$92,000) goal on Wednesday. Megazone 23 XI (pronounced "sai" as in the Greek letter) is AIC's tentatively titled brand-new anime project in the Megazone 23 franchise.
About two-thirds of the patrons signed up during a 24-hour period between May 6 and May 7, and over half of the campaign's funds were raised during that period.
The project has been uploading rough design sketches, character designs, and color tests as the campaign has been running. Below are two test colors for Sakura in a test-type pilot suit. (The colors are not final.)
Below are rough sketches of the characters King (upper left), Rook (upper right), and BD (below), respectively.
The below sketches are Ange Noir idol unit members Bishop, Queen, and Knight (left to right).
Seen below are character design sheets for Marigold.
The project's staff hopes to green-light production on a television anime, and the staff hopes that the crowdfunded promotional video will help in preparing for that production. The campaign will end on June 30.
Akio Watanabe (Monogatari series, The World God Only Knows) is designing the main heroine Sakura (seen below) for Megazone 23 XI, while Masahiko Komino (JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders) is designing most of the rest of the characters. The crowdfunding campaign's website teases another designer for the virtual characters.
The new project's story is set aboard the Megazone 11, a different space colony ship fleet from the Megazone 23 in the 1985 original video anime. Megazone 11's master ships are designed as realistic simulations of Earth cities such as Tokyo, and there is also a satellite ship that is designed to resemble a smaller Japanese provincial city around the year 2020.
The protagonist Sakura is an ordinary second-year middle school student who lives aboard that satellite ship. She leads a secret life as part of a singing duo with Eve, a friend she made online.
On a master ship, a resistance movement flares up. To achieve independence, they must take control of Tiamat, the system that controls the fleet, but the key to the system was lost in battle 80 years ago. With rumors of its reappearance surfacing, both the resistance and the government are seeking the key.
One day, while visiting Akihabara on the Tokyo ship to meet Eve, Sakura is embroiled in the middle of a terrorist attack at the train station. As Eve remotely guides Sakura to safety, Sakura comes across Garland XI, a transforming motorcycle robot mecha that Eve tells her to use.
Besides Sakura and Eve, the anime's characters include:
- Karukaya: a robot, which Eve gives to Sakura, that can be used to access Tiamat
- Nazuna: a first-year college student, the leader of the Miifu music group, and a resistance fighter
- Momiji: a second-year high school student and member of Miifu
- Marigold: a fifth-grade elementary school student and member of Miifu
- BD (pronunced "Brad"): a resistance fighter that tells them of the world's impending ruin
- Shawa: another Eve who comes from the year 2850, and who holds another key to the story
- King, Rook, Knight, Queen, and Bishop: the codenamed special forces members who are also members of the idol unit Ange Noir
Megazone 23 XI is the third of the special "Anime Reboot Projects" to celebrate AIC's 35th anniversary. The other two are the tentatively titled Megazone 23 sin remake project and the Tenchi Muyo and Pretty Sammy franchises' tentatively titled Sasami 14 sequel.
Megazone 23 began with a 1985 motorcycle robot anime that popularized the original video animation (OVA) market. The late anime director Noboru Ishiguro (Space Battleship Yamato, The Legend of the Galactic Heroes) collaborated with his Macross and Orguss character designer Haruhiko Mikimoto (Gunbuster, Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress), mechanical designer Shinji Aramaki (Genesis Climber Mospeada, Bubblegum Crisis, Appleseed films' director), and other veterans of robot mecha anime. There have since been two sequel OVA projects in 1986 and 1989.