Studio Trigger’s CEO Wants To Take Risks, Enable Creative Freedom

By Ishaan . June 18, 2014 . 5:59pm

Every now and then, an anime series will make waves not just in Japan, but also everywhere else in the world. These past few months, that honour has fallen upon Studio Trigger’s Kill la Kill, a fast-paced action show that is as absurd as it is funny, but on the rare occasion, also manages to be touching in a meaningful way.

 

I wouldn’t go as far as saying that Kill la Kill is “mainstream”—it isn’t as widely recognized as, say, Durarara!! or Attack on Titan—but it certainly has gotten the collective attention of the anime fanbase, and it’s being released by Aniplex in North America this July.

 

Aniplex is promoting the show as a project “from the creators of Gurren Lagann,” but there’s more to Studio Trigger than their history with that show. When Trigger CEO Masahiko Otsuka founded Trigger in 2011, he stated that there was a “paradigm shift” taking place within Japan’s animation industry. Siliconera got in touch with Otsuka to find out just what he meant by this.

 

“The method of watching animation is gradually shifting from buying the content on Blu-Ray or DVD to watching it on the Internet via streaming,” Otsuka replied. “In addition, anime is no longer TV-exclusive content either. Viewers have a wider selection of platforms such as PC, smartphones, and so on. It is only natural that the method of doing business has shifted [in line] with these modern changes.”

 

Otsuka, who—along with Trigger co-founder Hiroyuki Imaishi—worked at Gurren Lagann studio Gainax, says that the goal that shapes the Studio Trigger is the ability to take risks. “Freedom of creativity is probably the greatest environment an animator or creator can wish for,” Otsuka said to Siliconera. “However, we felt that we were becoming insensitive to taking risks.”

 

“We were afraid to become too ‘dependent’ on the particular studio,” Otsuka explained. “In order to secure a permanent and stable environment that allows our freedom, [the decision] was to go independent and take responsibility for ourselves. We value what the director demands the most. Or, say, what the staff wants to create. The initiative lays with the staff more than what studio demands for.”

 

Little Witch Academia 2 director Yoshinari Yoh.

 

This focus on taking creative risks, combined with the relatively small size of the studio, is probably why Trigger can pursue avenues like Kickstarter in order to create what they want. If Kickstarter has proven anything of late, it’s that fans love when famous content creators go independent. Case in point: Trigger asked for $150,000 to produce Little Witch Academia 2, and ended up with $625,518 instead. A lot of those contributions came from fans in the west, too.

 

“I personally feel that the rift between Japanese and western tastes is slowly disappearing,” Otsuka theorizes. “It feels as though overseas users crave that ‘Japanese’ style found in animation. However, a good portion of the information released is still oriented toward viewers within Japan. I feel that the animation industry should be more productive in promoting our contents overseas.”

 

Trigger’s laser-like focus on taking creative risks is why being part of a larger holdings company is a smart idea. When Trigger was formed in 2011, the studio—along with others like Liden films, Sanzigen and Ordet—formed a holdings company named Ultra Super Pictures, which would manage their licenses collectively.

 

“While we had the skills to create animation, that was not the fact in managing business,” Otsuka shared with us. “None of our starting members had such experience or knowledge. The establishment of Trigger was mostly by trial and error. We often looked for advice from other studio managers.”

 

With that in mind, Ultra Super Pictures serves exactly the right purpose—it can handle part of the legal work for the studio. “While [the studios] do cooperate with each other, our relationship when working on a project does not differ so much from working with another studio outside of the group,” Otsuka explained. “The grouping is more oriented towards unifying the merchandise and copyrights procedure.”

 

Otsuka doesn’t see Kickstarter as a radical change to how Trigger handles its projects either. “The method of production does not really change from the traditional method,” he said, when I brought up Kickstarter. “While the process of collecting the necessary funds for [Little Witch Academia 2] was indeed a unique method, I believe it is still just an ‘example’ of the possibilities. Whether this method will become mainstream or not is still debatable.”

 

In the meantime, Trigger will continue to focus on being a studio “that can’t be predicted,” Otsuka says—and they’re open to ideas from fans, too.

 

“For example, our reasoning in trying out the Kickstarter project was due to a fan asking us if we were going to start a Kickstarter project,” he said. “If any of you have an interesting idea, please send it over to Trigger! Lastly, any form of encouragement, even if they are short comments via social networks, do surely boost the morale of our staffs. Please do send any form of comments to us as well.”

 

Kill la Kill will be available in North America on July 15th, via Blu-Ray and DVD. Prior to its release, Aniplex are holding a Kill la Kill event at Anime Expo in Los Angeles, featuring the show’s production staff and Japanese voice-actors. Meanwhile, Little Witch Academia 2 is currently in production at Trigger to be released in 2015.

 

Yoshinari Yoh image courtesy Kickstarter.


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  • TheBlackRabbit

    I can dig it…show me what you got.

  • fyi1191

    And I thought we’re getting a Kill la Kill game.

    • Raymond

      If we got a kill la kill game, i bet it will be made like dynasty warriors. XD

      • Rohan Kishibe

        KILL LA KILL MUSOU. That sounds like a badass title!

        • MrJechgo

          Wha…? No, just no guys, not a Musou game, come on. 2 words: Platinum Games, ’nuff said.

      • Freud_Hater

        I think that could totally work, actually. All the pawn-esque villains in KLK are already designed to be identical and bland, just like Dynasty Warriors foot soldiers! I seriously think that could kick some ass XD I’d buy it, anyway…

    • neocatzon

      Which dev would be perfect for them.. We have Platinum, Omega Force, Team Ninja, umm.. Capcom? What else?

      • icup ✔️

        french bread.

        • neocatzon

          love them, put Arksys in the go.

  • Raymond

    At lest trigger dares to be different in the anime world, unlike other company’s.

    • Shippoyasha

      If I had to say, A-1 and Madhouse may take even more risks than Trigger.

      The Ping Pong show is pretty insane visually and it has the talent of Masaaki Yuasa who has his wholly unique style. And Madhouse and A-1 does a few pet projects each year sometimes with no manga/light-novel source. Some of the adaptations take enough creative risks that they differ quite a bit from the source at times as well (sometimes comes with ire from the fans though).

      Even some ‘safe’ studios like Studio Pierrot, Sunrise and PA Works can do really off the wall and surprising adaptations or original works too.

  • Codex

    I had no idea it was the same studio that did LWA, very much looking forward to LWA2 ;D a shame I missed out on the kickstarter, would have been all over that x(

  • http://linkapics.tumblr.com/ Linka

    So far, I find Trigger to be outstanding. Little Witch Academia was great, and I backed LWA2. Kill la Kill? Amazing. I don’t care what people’s impressions were of the show are, especially at first. It was a great series with an especially excellent art direction, and interesting characters. It was enough to make me more seriously consider the dub blurays (though my war with Aniplex of America continues.)

    I hope Trigger continues to deliver interesting series.

    • TheBlackRabbit

      your war with aniplex? care to explain? i am very interested in this.

      • Shinobikens

        I imagine it involves their expensive prices because they take the Japanese way of pricing anime

        • MrJechgo

          Yeah, their DVDs and Blu-Rays are grossly expensive. Viz Media sell theirs for around $20 cheaper and FUNimation for around $30 cheaper.

          BTW, Sentai Filmworks are just as worse as Aniplex. Wanna get Persona 4 the Animation? Be ready to shove $120 for both DVDs ($60 each)… or much higher for Blu-Rays.

          • TheBlackRabbit

            What in the world?….you are kidding how are they still in business?

          • Shinobikens

            Uuhh idk where you get anime from but I can get both P4:TA for $35 for pt 1 and $33 for pt 2. They normally price their stuff about the same as Funi

          • TheBlackRabbit

            so this is misinformation?

          • Shinobikens

            Yeah Sentai has fairly reasonable prices

          • TheBlackRabbit

            ok kool

          • Shinobikens

            Well actually I guess it isn’t misinformation because they do cost like $60 each but I never buy from a company’s actual site. On amazon they’re $33-35 but it you bought from Sentai’s store they’re $60.

          • TheBlackRabbit

            D: i see. i guess they would try to benefit more from their personal site….makes sense i guess.

          • http://linkapics.tumblr.com/ Linka

            For the record: I managed to get the DVDs for P4Animation at a convention for $10 each, right from the official booth. So it really depends on where you try to find them.

            Of course, chances are high they might’ve been emptying stock for either A) A new release, or B) Golden animation??

          • MrJechgo

            http://www.sentaifilmworks.com/index.php?option=com_catalog&view=item&Itemid=54&id=677

            This is their price on their official store, and every store, be online or not, that I went to listed Sentai’s series at these same prices.

          • Shinobikens

            You didn’t go to amazon then

          • MrJechgo

            Yes, some site DO sell anime cheaper… but I keep feeling that I’m not supporting the studios if I buy stuff from some huge network…

          • Shippoyasha

            Sentai is actually pretty damn amazing IMO. Entire seasons of anime (12 eps) for around $50. Very fair deal. Just stunningly great deal compared to the Japanese pricing, where some of these shows can take you back $300-$400 for Japanese discs.

        • TheBlackRabbit

          overpricing things even in japan? nooooo ;D

          • Shinobikens

            In Japan they charge like $60 for 2-4 eps

          • TheBlackRabbit

            ………………

          • Shinobikens

            They do it because they have to make money. One episode costs like $150,000 to make. It may be more or less now though. That was in 2011

          • TheBlackRabbit

            i know that, but how is that still working? people actually pay 60 for 1-3 episodes? I am ignorant of many things over there, clarification would do me wonders :D

          • Shinobikens

            Well it depends on the series but yes they sell quite well

          • TheBlackRabbit

            Hmm. amazing that they do so well. kinda opens my eyes a lil bit. IM gonna research a whole bunch of shit now. this bothers me.

          • Shinobikens

            If this puts it into perspective for you http://www.amiami.com/top/detail/detail?gcode=MED-DVD2-24474&page=top%2Fsearch%2Flist%3Fs_keywords%3Dno+game+no+life%24pagemax%3D20%24getcnt%3D0%24pagecnt%3D1. This went up for pre-order not too long ago and they’ve already sold out (on this site at least and they ship internationally so it’s not just Japan buying them). With the current exchange rate that’s like $76 for 2 eps.

          • TheBlackRabbit

            wow ok thanks.

      • http://linkapics.tumblr.com/ Linka

        As people have said, Aniplex vastly overprices most of their items. Part of this is due to their habit of actually wholesale importing sets from Japan and just adding subs to them, especially for many of their recent series, but also results in extremely limited stock of their items.

        Want Gurren Lagann? $140 ($175 list price) for the DVD box, but if you want bluray, prepare to shell out $550 (list price $670, import). Just want the movies? $50 together for standard DVD, $86 for limited editions, or just pay $70 for the bluray set that’s coming.

        Interested in Monogatari? Better pay $150 for a bluray set that doesn’t even have a dub in it, just for the first season.

        Want Persona 3 the Movie? Too late to pay $60 for the standard import. $80 for the limited edition import instead.

        Kill la Kill is going to be separated by 6 DVDs or blurays, each ranging from $30 each (DVD), $40 each (bluray), or $60 each (combo limited edition.)

        Madoka? $90 for the three volumes on standard DVD. $120 for it on bluray. The three limited editions were $75 each. And the movies? ahahaha. You can’t even get direct links for the imports anymore, but the first two movies were $120 together due to being imports. They’ll be a little more reasonable at $80 for the dub DVD/bluray combo, or $60 together for the DVDs. But the last movie is going for $95, limited edition, and the standard is $55.

        Now, this is just a tip of the iceberg. And I’ll say this: Aniplex makes very nice limited editions. I will not fault them for that. But in general, they make it a very expensive affair to even start considering supporting the series. I love supporting the things I enjoy, especially now that I have the ability to, but supporting Aniplex’s prices is something I can’t swallow so easily.

        And just to drive it home: The prices I listed are the /reduced/ prices that happen due to their partnership with Rightstuf.com.

        • TheBlackRabbit

          yea….that’s crap.

    • Christopher Hughes

      I really hope that Trigger doesn’t stay with Aniplex as their distributor. I love everything I’ve seen from Trigger so far, but I’m absolutely not going to support Aniplex’s video releases, they’re bad for the fandom. Between this and Fate, I hate them so much now…

      • http://linkapics.tumblr.com/ Linka

        Yeah, Aniplex is… not so good for physical media.

        The one shining point is that Aniplex has been super cooperative with streaming, and seems to be good with Adult Swim/Toonami, so I’m hoping that Kill la Kill will end up on there.

  • ninjabart122

    I don’t think TRIGGER managed to save anime yet, but I can’t wait to see more. Inferno Cop S2 never. Nevermind that, sequel confirmed apparently.

    Also, I want to protect this smile.

    • Internet is Crash

      I believe G̶h̶o̶s̶t̶ ̶R̶i̶d̶e̶r̶ Inferno Cop S2 was greenlit back then

    • z_merquise

      Personally, there’s no such thing as “savior of anime” but Studio Trigger do standout among every other anime studios.

      I use to be a fan of anime and watch so many series. Now, it’s just Kill la Kill and JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure and the latter is an adaptation from a manga (though an awesome adaptation).

      • ninjabart122

        There was a small joke /a/ had about TRIGGER finally saving anime from all the moeblob copypaste shows. I think they were disappointed.

        Also, I’m enjoying JoJo right now, though I’m hesitant to read the manga since I tend to get bored of watching anime after reading the manga and I would like to keep seeing david production do a good job in the adaptation. The censoring of Jotaro smoking though is somewhat bothersome, but understandable.

        • Internet is Crash

          coz its the age of OTPs and waifus. Oh and about the censoring of Jotaro smoking, remember that he is only 17 during part 3 so no underage smoking

        • z_merquise

          Some people just expect too much.

          Even if I already read the manga, I still watch David Productions’ JoJo anime. Their adaptation is really good and fully capture the zaniness of the manga.

          But if you got the time to read the manga, I can still recommend it. Besides, it’s really gonna take a while before the whole series would be adapted in anime form. Hirohiko Araki’s art is unusual but very unique and it gets better in each sequel. I’m currently reading part 7 (Steel Ball Run) and the art alone is well-detailed and awesome.

          • ninjabart122

            I don’t want to spoil myself with what’s to happen in Stardust Crusaders anime, but I will take a look at Phantom Blood and Battle Tendancy at some point.

          • Internet is Crash

            yeah don’t spoil Stardust Crusaders especially the final boss!

      • Shippoyasha

        I don’t think that’s very fair to many studios that are doing a wonderful job having their own identities as content creators though. Even some ‘moe’ shows are actually very well done like Non Non Biyori that harkened some Studio Ghibli sensibilities even. David Production, A-1 Studio, SHAFT, Madhouse and many more have distinct personalities as studios go. I just don’t know why people have to shove the entire industry down the tube to praise one. That just sounds like people don’t give enough shows a chance.

      • MSJ

        seems unfair to discredit other studios works just because you don’t like their particular genre. It’d be nice if people were more open and gave some stuff more chances.

        like Madhouse for example, their HunterXHunter adaptation has been nothing short of amazing and I’m really enjoying their adaptation of No Game No Life (NGNL). I think every studio deserves a chance from everyone, who knows you may be surprised one day if you give something else a shot.

        • z_merquise

          @disqus_eWsaVgEYTr:disqus @shippoyasha:disqus
          Maybe I’m just not as enthusiastic in anime like I use to be back then. Though that doesn’t mean that the decade old shows I watched and liked were perfect, there’s always a fair share of good and bad shows.

          I liked HunterXHunter too but the one I watched was the old one. Haven’t seen the remake yet. Maybe someday.

          • Internet is Crash

            watch the remake. It has the chimera ant arc and the moe royal guards

  • Gyro Zeppeli

    If Trigger wants to take risks then I hope their next show doesn’t play it as safe as KLK did. The series got too predictable and bland towards the end which was really disappointing, especially considering that Imaishi directed it. LWA and Inferno Cop were both good though, I’d like to see more things like that from them.

    • Shippoyasha

      To be fair, KLK might get a sequel someday if its disc sales are great and if the creators are up for it. They leave a lot of room open for a sequel to happen near the end.

      • MSJ

        dunno if it’s related to that, but apparently there’s something being announced in September.

        http://i.imgur.com/FvdfqKKl.jpg

        • Shippoyasha

          I do believe that is the OVA that’s coming out by then.

  • Manny Being Manny

    They’re obviously not open to only taking risks, or their next TV anime wouldn’t be a light novel harem adaption…

    http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2014-03-11/trigger-makes-anime-of-inou-battle-in-the-usually-daze-comedy-novels

    Though you need to make money somehow.

    • Shippoyasha

      Depends on how well they pull it off I suppose. A great anime adaptation can really add a lot of life to the source material. Nichijou was one of those shows that looked utterly mundane until the animation put it into the stratosphere with a godlike adaptation job.

  • Freud_Hater

    Durarara is mainstream? I never knew…

    • ninjabart122

      Assume anything with an english dub to be automatically mainstream.

      Always works.

    • neocatzon

      Same here and Jung is always better. You would be a good friend with Adler.

    • icup ✔️

      didn’t know that either.

    • Shippoyasha

      Yeah. I would definitely say KLK has a far larger general audience than Durarara even though shows like DRRR can run in Toonami without much editing. I mean it is the ‘safer’ mainstream show, but I feel KLK’s viewer base is far larger.

  • Fireaxe428

    Just to clarify, Little Witch Academia 2 isn’t/wasn’t being funded using Kickstarter, by the time the project went live they seemingly had already gathered enough funds to produce a 20 minutes episode (all of that is in their “Project Summary”). At the end of the KS run, LWA2 became a 35 minutes episode but it’s pretty clear that the 2nd OVA was going to be produced regardless.

  • z_merquise

    This is pretty nice. All I’m hoping for Studio Trigger to be successful and still retain their own style and culture. It’s very nice that they’re more open to the non-Japanese fans as well.

    Though for a second there, I thought there’s a new Kill la Kill game. It may sound cool but there’s this expectation that it may end up just a “cash-grab” kind of game like what happened to the Attack on Titan game in 3DS.

    Hideki Kamiya and JP Kellams of Platinum Games were already annoyed of people who keep on requesting them for a Kill la Kill game in Twitter so that’s clearly “NO” to them.

    So if there’s one, I wish Lab Zero (of Skullgirls) develop it and turn it to a fighting game. Something that looked like this:

    http://a.pomf.se/jurtha.jpg

    Still not sure if that’s going to happen but hey, nothing wrong on dreaming for something impossible.

    • zferolie

      I CAN’T UPVOTE THIS ENOUGH!

    • Afro7uffy21

      OH MY GOD….THATS FUCKING GENIUS!!! They would def give it the creativity, time, and care that it deserves. Just jizzed my pants just thinking about it

  • Rayhan PromisedGallery
    • ninjabart122

      All those edgy points really speak for her character for most of the series in my opinion.

  • Warboss Aohd

    if they succeed in being unpredictable, i’m all for it.

    So Many anime and JRPGs these days are VERY predictable.

  • Mirai

    Sorry KLK fans but I never understood the hype for this series, I thought it was mediocre overall. The story was okay at first but got worse as the series went on. Only a couple of characters I actually liked and one character in particular I despised (Mako). And most of all there were some pretty disturbing scenes, I don’t want to see a mother molesting her own daughter nude several times. I will say however that the OST of KLK was great and definitely for me the best thing about the series.

    • Jin Kisaragi

      I liked the series in the beginning but I just didn’t like the ending. I really liked the OST of the series too. I thought the Satsuki and mother scenes were strange.

    • Mar Mar

      First and second episodes were probably the best. I only watched it for the animation though

      • Bio438

        Please be joking. The animation was horrid, this was well known from the very first episode. I don’t particularly blame them though because they are a very new studio.

        • popyea

          wtf am I reading? Do you just hate exaggeration or something?

        • Afro7uffy21

          The animation was amazing!!! Loved this show

          • Bio438

            Are you blind? This is not a matter of opinion, the animation was terrible. I’m not talking about the show as a whole but the literal animation.

          • Asura

            I hate KLK, but do you even know what “animation” is?

            It wasn’t great, but it was by no means horrible. And it was actually semi-amusing when they played around with it.

          • Bio438

            When talking about 2d, it is using various images to create the illusion of motion. Bad animation is when it doesn’t look good, the movement looks cluncky and characters aren’t animated in a way that they look like they have weight. The cg models they use in kill LA kill are also terrible as the textures and movement make them stand out too much so it doesn’t look natural.

          • Shippoyasha

            I think it depends. Yes it looked clunky at times, but it was presentable and the action was actually very easy to follow. For a budget studio effort, it was actually very well done. It could have been better, yes, but it’s not the low-totem-pole effort some naysayers are saying it is.

            Plus, half of the episodes in the show legitimately does have a lot of actual animation frames and a pretty good display of movement. I know in certain anime forums, saying that would get me ravaged but I’ll just say it.

          • Bio438

            I just looked at one of the fights of ryuko and satsuki on YouTube to refresh my memory. It looks terrible. The characters are so stiff and the movement just does not look good. I then went and looked at when avdol is trying to break Jotaro out of the prison, now that is decent animation. Every thing looks fluid and the characters feel alive rather than stills, I understand the whole of Jojo is not animated well but this is just an example of decent animation. I would like you to reference one the scenes that have a good display of movement so I can better understand what you are saying.

          • Shippoyasha

            I think you are more talking about the fight choreography which does look stiff at times. But not the animation. The animation is better than people give it credit.

          • Bio438

            No not choreography. I chose a fight scene because those involve a lot of movement so you can see how fluid the animation is and if proper weight is added to the characters.

            Edit for clarification. If I had chose a scene with little movement it would not display the shows animation if the characters are just standing around. I chose a fight scene because that’s were the animators have to actually animate a lot of frames. Just go look at the sort of famous alley scene from Kara no kyoukai for what I mean by making the characters feel like they have weight while still moving at a fluid pace. This requires a lot more effort and budget that trigger did not have.

          • Shippoyasha

            Well, KnK is kind of another example entirely because it is a movie effort. Anime movies with proper budgets can get really good with the movements. Even movies turned out annually like with Pretty Cure annual movies, they can put in some really amazing details and animation there, even though Studio Pierrot isn’t even known for animation fidelity.

            I’m not even disagreeing with you that KLK could afford to have looked better. I’m just saying it wasn’t something that broke the camel’s back for me personally. It’s just that lambasting its animation as garbage-tier is just so overboard in places like MAL and 4chan, it’s hard to discuss it without it devolving into flame wars.

          • Bio438

            I’m not trying to discuss budget,I’m just giving an example of what good animation looks like opposed to kill LA kill’s. The animation is garbage tier and its because the show had no budget, they couldn’t afford to do any better. But that does not make the animation any better, it still looks worse that what else is offered in the medium. I also think that animation should be placed very high when discussing anime as that is the medium. If you are just going to ignore the animation there are far better shows/movies in other mediums. Part of what makes anime so beautiful is the art and animation. Well that’s at least what I think.

          • Shippoyasha

            I think the entertainment aspect factors in heavily though. I can respect shows with great animation, but it doesn’t mean much if it is not fun or entertaining.

          • mirumu

            I think we have to be careful with what we mean by the term animation here. There were obviously corners cut to keep the budget down, but KLK’s animation was intentionally stylised to look the way it did. In many instances this was clearly an artistic choice, not a technical one.

            Saying stylised animation is bad is a bit like saying Picasso’s painting “Three Musicians” is bad. It does not look realistic for sure, but is realism the measure we use to decide if a painting looks good or bad? Is a smooth and natural flow all that matters in good animation? I’d argue there’s a lot more to it than that and it certainly is a matter of opinion rather than hard facts.

            In my opinion KLK would lose a lot of it’s character with more traditional animation. It’s part of what makes it stand out from the crowd.

    • icup ✔️

      it’s a stylized anime in concept and design. it stands apart from all the other cliche.

      that’s what made it popular.

      • Mirai

        KLK certainly did have an unique anime design that stood out from the other series that aired the same time KLK did but I doubt this is the only reason it was popular.

      • Bio438

        I’m confident that it became popular initially because the guys who made lagann were behind it, various forums and image boards hyped like it was the next coming or something.

    • LM009

      agreed, I really liked the 1st few episodes and thought it had a lot of potential but the story got boring after ryuuko fought the devas and the whole satsuki is actually on the good guys side was too obvious

    • Shippoyasha

      It’s pure pulpy, unapologetic, sexual romp. That’s what it is. The whole point of the sexual stuff is to shock and *sometimes* titillate. If anything, it harkens to the more free wheeling fanservice in the Cutie Honey days or something like a Ranma 1/2 style of sexual comedy that also happened to have their moments of serious action.

      The schlock and the extreme depictions are draws in themselves.

      I don’t think one NEEDS to like KLK. It’s going to divide opinions. That is fine. But people definitely do watch it for the zaniness. It’s not a type of show to take at face value. If anything, the show never takes its sexual elements seriously. It seems to take jabs at just how crazy the fanservice can get sometimes, and make it a sport out of it.

    • MSJ

      it’s okay you don’t really have to understand it as no one is forcing you to watch/like it, doesn’t mean I will love it any less. The whole of KLK is just straight up fun. this series has references Trigger’s past works and influences such as its stylized art and eroticism similar to Go Nagai’s style as well as a bunch of other stuff like Re: Cutey Honey’s fan service and character archetypes, PSG’s Chuck and some books referencing PSG episodes, Berserk Ryuko design being based on Devilman, Senketsu’s Kamui design being a huge shout out to Mazinger etc.

      It’s not a show you NEED to take too seriously to enjoy, you watch it for its over the top insanity

    • Bio438

      I liken kill LA kill to the bay transformers movies. Terrible in almost every way from a critical stand point, characters, plot and animation. But can still be enjoyable as mindless fun.

  • Bio438

    Love to hear when a studio wants to break the mold. But they do have to prove themselves when Kill LA Kill was the very definition of playing it safe.

  • Sigfried Silverblade

    I loved Kill la Kill.
    From the weird characters to the insanse senseless action and the absurd story setting.

  • VWinds

    For those that don’t know who Studio Tiger are, they’re the people directly responsible for pretty much everything good Gainax put out outside of Eva: The staff are the directors, script writers, and animation directors that gave us Gurren Laggan, Panty & Stocking, FLCL, and Dead Leaves (with Production I.G.) and all worked on NGE back in the day.

    As a studio they’ve done Inferno Cop, Little Witch Academia, and Kill la Kill.

    Fun Facts: /a/ loves these guys. The minute that Little Witch Academia 2 hit kickstarter, /a/ exploded and funded it within hours. It wasn’t for almost an entire day, after the initial goal was met, that the kickstarter was posted about on Reddit, Anime News Network, Crunchyroll, etc.

    Oh, and Tigger subtitled Little Witch Academia themselves and posted it to youtube for free, where it was available to watch for around six+ months. For the blu-ray release, which comes in a storybook like case and includes the soundtrack an artbook and full interviews and director’s notes, they included a full translation companion book for all western orders.

    They are very aware of their western fanbase (who are the people that funded their kickstarter) and have an fluent-in-English PR person on staff.

    • Bio438

      Please don’t say /a/ loves these guys. An image board is not one person.

      • Smooosh

        And I thought I knew the internet by now… what is /a/?

        • Yause

          4chan….

      • bassgs435

        and the majority of people there actually hate Trigger and Kill la Kill

    • http://nabe.kokidokom.net/ Cybersteel

      Trigger?

  • http://epiclyamazing.wordpress.com/ AzureNova

    Can’t wait to see what else they bring us in the future. Trigger, never stop being awesome =^_^=

  • Fruity Insanity

    You know what I want?

    A Kill la Kill video game.

    • Go2hell66

      would probably be terrible.
      still amazed the attack on titan 3DS game came out as well as it did

    • http://shadious.tumblr.com/ Vince

      Gamagoori will cause any console to explode because of his sheer size.

  • http://shadious.tumblr.com/ Vince

    What an animation studio; Unpredictable, kicks reason to the curb and just incomprehensible.

    Because that’s just who they are~!

  • Afternoon Intergalactic

    Thanks Ishaan for this awesome article! Although I mostly come to this site for gaming news, I’m also interested in topics such as this. I’ve never heard of funding anime through kickstarters before, sounds like a promising new avenue for studios to pursue!

  • MSJ

    Never lose your way Trigger, I love you guys <3

    Loved their stuff from Old Gainax and current like Dead Leaves FLCL PSG TTGL Inferno Cop LWA and Kill la Kill, can't wait for their future works like Ninja Slayer

  • Asura

    FLCL was the only amazing thing. The rest was meh, or blarf.

    (I attribute Dead Leaves being fun more to I.G.)

  • Pinkemon

    I’m definitely looking forward to more of Trigger’s stuff. LWA was great, and KlK was one heck of a rollercoaster ride. When I first heard they’re gonna adapt some sort of high school light novel next I wasn’t sure what to think, but when I read part of a manga adaptation I figured that they could probably do some cool stuff with it, considering all those super powers involved.

  • Arizato

    I only have one thing to say to studio Trigger:

    DOON’T LOSE YOUR WAAAAAAAAAAY!

    • LightningFarron19

      More like “PLEASE HIRE SOME BETTER WRIIIIIIIIITERS!!!!”

      Kill La Kill was (in my opinion) poorly written and most of the cast was weak.

      • Arizato

        I don’t watch much anime anymore, mostly since I find most of it unappealing. But Kill La Kill pulled me in on the awesome premise of making fun of the entire fanservice subject, no one was safe from getting their clothes off.

        That being said though I respect your opinion. Here’s to hoping that Trigger’s next project appeals more to you!

  • ShawnOtakuSomething

    Keep it coming , don’t lose your way

  • XiaomuArisu

    Loved Gurren Lagann, P&S and KLK
    I want more!
    DONT LOSE YOUR WAY!

  • Pang Chee Jie

    I remember when Madhouse used to take risks. Their original anime were pretty different than what we usually see. They eventually went bankrupt and got bought out. Best of luck to Trigger though.

    • Nuno Marques

      HXH 2011 is a top notch innovative anime that is being made by Madhouse right now, you should check it.

      • Pang Chee Jie

        I was specifically referring to anime originals though. As for HxH2011, it’s one of my weekly highlights.

        • Asura

          Yeah, their original stuff seems to have gone kaput.

          But their adaptations (FMA and HxH) ain’t bad.

    • DemonKingAsura

      Don’t you mean Studio Gonzo? Because I think Madhouse is still around and kicking….

      • Pang Chee Jie

        “went bankrupt and got bought out”

    • Pinwheel

      Would be pretty nice if studio Madhouse would take another risk and give me Ippo season 4 within the next eight years or so.

  • John Hayabusa

    I love Kill la Kill so much!

    DON’T LOSE YOU WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!!!!!!!!

  • TreizeX

    Well I didn’t like KLK at all so hope whatever they make next is nice

    • http://blackstar2661.deviantart.com/ SilverSpades

      I liked it, but the excessive fanservice scenes were kinda off putting so I couldn’t make it past the 5th or 6th episode. I don’t mind extreme absurdity, but do I have to keep seeing excessive almost-boob shots/ vag shots, and other super sexualizations?

      Maybe some other time I’ll try it again; the story is original enough to keep watching.

      • Pinwheel

        You’re going to call me insane and write me off, but the constant sexualisation in the series is actually relevant to the plot later. Like, not in the sense that it’s boobs plot, but it’s ACTUALLY a part of the story. Press onward, I promise you won’t be disappointed.

        • John Diamond

          the plot which doesn’t get interesting till episode 16

          • Elpeo Puru

            I disagree, it goes to shit after the first half.

          • John Diamond

            least there is some story to follow, no matter how dumb it is, rather than ha! imma fight everyone to find out why xyz happened to father!!!!!

        • Asura

          It’s not done even remotely close to a way that would make those who are annoyed with fanservice even a tiny bit less annoyed with it.
          My bet is he/she would still be disappointed.

          It stays annoying, because it gives a completely disproportionate time to female characters and even gives those characters ridiculous angles to be ogled from, whereas the men are naked and that’s pretty much it.
          And the worst part is the main character clearly does not want to dress in revealing clothes yet is forced to because of the plot. That’s not empowering. It’s disgusting people use that word about KLK. It’s as far from empowering as possible to force a person to do something they are not comfortable with and wish they didn’t have to do.

          • Pinwheel

            Empowerment isn’t even a part of that, so yes, I agree with you on that. It’s hard to necessarily discuss the morality or “forcing” of it really when it doesn’t apply the same way it does in reality to how it does in the show.

            Being forced to wear revealing clothes in reality is bad, yes. In the show it’s relevant to the idea that the clothes themselves are weapons taking over humanity, including the fact that Ryuko is wearing what is basically a living being. Comparing the two and trying to get some sort of theme of morality to it simply doesn’t work.

            I’d say I’m extremely annoyed by fanservice – and I was when I had started Kill la Kill – and I still managed to thoroughly enjoy it, far more after they actually gave some sort of reason as to why everybody is so scantily clad.

  • Solomon_Kano

    Big fan of Trigger’s staff since their Gainax days. Looking forward to Little Witch Academia 2.

  • DemonKingAsura

    Could you imagine what an Asura’s Wrath Anime would be like with these guys?

    The action would be through the roof even more then in Part 4: Nirvana, which says a lot.

    • colorblindnightmare

      I would be eternally at the beck and call for them of they did that.

  • Neckbear

    Then animate The Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer with a soundtrack made by The Pillows, if you would.

    • Asura

      I love the Pillows, but using them again is enough, let them stay an anime icon for FLCL.

      I do hope LatBH and Sengoku Youko (same mangaka) both get anime handled by the studio though. I’m not at all fond of the vast majority of their original works (FLCL is the best anime ever created though in my eyes), but I bet they can still pull off some astounding adaptations.

  • Fatlus

    yeah, i like fan serv.,, i mean creative freedom!

  • Kroz

    I always loved Trigger because they are something like “what if Platinum games and Suda 51 had a baby and it was a animation studio”.

    Row row fight the power!!

    • Chiupon

      Except Suda51 sold out.
      So let’s hope Trigger doesn’t sell out too.

      • Asura

        In the eyes of many people they already did.

        Also Suda didn’t sell out until LIT actually comes out and it can be confirmed to lack creativity.

  • KTPC

    The problem is, Trigger makes very little money off of streaming. There is just not much money to be had there. Blu Rays and DVDs are pretty much the only way. Also, most of the anime industry surprisingly doesn’t even exist to sell copies of the anime, but to promote Light Novels, Manga, or merchandise for original series. That’s the origin of the stagnation – most anime is just a commercial for something else.

  • Ash_Riot

    What’s this got to do with games?

    • Landale

      Not much. The content of the article itself, nothing, but they’ve worked on one game to my knowledge, Project X Zone. They did the opening. And as they’re saying they’re open to ideas, it’s possible for them to do future work with games. Food for thought.

      Regardless, it doesn’t have to have anything to do with games. While that’s primarily what the site covers, anime and manga do come up. A lot. Especially when there’s overlap on the interests.

  • Axle

    Saw this and was hoping for a Kill la Kill game announcement lol

    • Ric Vazquez

      Me too LOL

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