Corridor Digital’s New Anime Workflow

Corridor Digital released a new original short yesterday, Anime Rock, Paper, Scissors. Unlike their previous “anime” shorts, which were actually live-action but directed and produced in an anime visual style, this latest release actually looks like an animated production.

And what is even more surprising is that the entire short was completed in only a few months with a small production team. They were able to accomplish this by leveraging new AI image tools to convert live action footage into their desired anime style.

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Anime vs. Hollywood Analysis

The founders of the Corridor Digital studio created an interesting video on their Corridor Crew YouTube channel (their second, behind-the-scenes channel) discussing the differences between anime and Hollywood live-action adaptations. They cover the reasons that anime succeeds at visual storytelling, and how the Hollywood versions succeed or (more often) fail with those same principles.

They specifically discuss Cowbob Bebop, Ghost in the Shell, Death Note, and even some quick mentions of The Matrix!

As mentioned in the video, this discussion was spurred by their current production, a new “live-action anime” short. They have a few previous shorts with that same concept: Anime Baseball, Anime Fidget Spinners, and Anime Self Driving Cars.

But the new, in-production short they are creating will use a brand new pipeline: after filming the live-action scenes on a green-screen, they will run the footage through some AI image tools (for example, Stable Diffusion) to end up with a final anime style.

I enjoyed the discussion and am looking forward to the new short!

Upcoming Rurouni Kenshin Anime

Another classic anime is getting a fresh reboot; this time, it’s Rouroni Kenshin. A new anime version of Rurouni Kenshin was announced, slated for 2023, and a trailer was recently released to promote the new show.

The trailer’s visual style looks great, and hopefully the new series lives up to the quality of the original!

Trigun Stampede

It looks like another classic 90’s anime is being resurrected! Vash the Stampede is getting a CG animated remake in Trigun Stampede.

The new series is expected to premiere sometime in 2023, which is 25 years after the original Trigun anime first aired in Japan. It appears that it will air on Crunchyroll in the US, with no mention of Toonami.

The original Trigun was great, and I have fond memories of watching it on Adult Swim years ago. But I have low expectations for remakes like these. Time will tell if this version is able to compare against the original, but I probably won’t go out of my way to watch the series unless it airs on Toonami.

Toonami Remastered Promos

Adult Swim celebrated the 25th anniversary of Toonami, which first premiered on March 17, 1997. As part of their celebration, they re-released a few of their old-school videos and uploaded them to their official YouTube channel.

Watching this remastered commercial for Gundam Wing stirs up some serious nostalgia!

And for fun they also re-released a bunch of original promos, such as one of my favorites, Mad Rhetoric:

The promos and trailers Toonami created in that era were works of art, and it’s great to see them again! They also re-released the Space Is The Place and Advanced Robotics promos, which include some great edits from Dragon Ball Z, Outlaw Star, Gundam Wing, and Big O, among other shows.

One other re-released promo worth a special mention is Broken Promise (Dreams), which I embedded below. Aside from being another fantastic creation, Toonami released a sequel in 2016, titled Dreams, which continued the theme of the original. I could not find the new Dreams on Adult Swim’s YouTube channel, but another user has the video so I embedded that version, too.

“Believe in yourself and create your own destiny; don’t fear failure.”

Fullmetal Alchemist Live Action Movies

A new trailer was recently released for the new Fullmetal Alchemist live-action movies. The two new movies are sequels to the original live-action movie released in 2017, and they appear to stay true to the “Brotherhood” anime (and original manga).

It has been a while since I watched Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood and I don’t speak Japanese, but I immediately recognized almost all of the characters from the trailer, along with many iconic scenes from the anime.

On a related topic, the actor that plays Edward also starred in a live-action adaptation of Assassination Classroom, although the trailer for that movie does not seem as strong of a translation to live-action. Some of the facial animation for Koro-sensei looks off, for instance, and overall it doesn’t seem to provide value over the original anime.

But if you want to watch the first live-action Fullmetal Alchemist movie, it is streaming on Netflix, and you can even watch it dubbed into English!

Dragon Ball Super on Toonami!

Dragon Ball Super, the new series in the Dragon Ball universe, has been airing in Japan for over a year and a half. American fans have been waiting for Funimation to finish the English dubbed version. Now, the wait is over!

Funimation and Toonami have announced that new episodes of Dragon Ball Super will air starting January 7, 2017. According to Crunchyroll, Toonami will air the first 26 episodes (there are at least 50 more). You should pay attention to the airtime: 8pm and 11:30pm EST (I assume the second time is a repeat airing, but I do not have confirmation yet).

The midnight timeslot on Toonami, which is currently Dragon Ball Z Kai and the Cell Saga, will air some additional new Dragon Ball Z content: Dragon Ball Z Kai: The Final Chapters. These episodes are the “Kai” version of the Majin Buu Saga. I am torn if I want to watch these episodes; I haven’t seen the Kai version of the Buu Saga, but I was disappointed when I originally watched the full version of it.

While you wait these final few weeks before the episodes start to air, watch the sneak peak from Funimation!

Live-Action Full Metal Alchemist

Another anime is turning into a live-action movie! This time it’s “Full Metal Alchemist”, a very popular manga series and one of my favorite anime series (I am referring to “Full Metal Alchemist:Brotherhood”, don’t waste your time with the original “Full Metal Alchemist”).

The first teaser was just released and the movie is scheduled to be released in Japan sometime in January. Take a look!

Ghost in the Shell Trailer

Marketing has officially started for the live-action adaptation of Ghost in the Shell, starring Scarlett Johansson. Check out  the first official trailer:

Some of the scenes look ripped straight from the original anime movie, but there are definitely some new story elements that were not present in any of the anime. It will be interesting to see how much of the story stays true to the original.

Rurouni Kenshin – Battosai

A few months ago, I learned from Pi Visuals that Rurouni Kenshin is getting a live-action treatment with a limited release in North America. Unfortunately, none of the theaters near me played the first movie, so I still haven’t seen it.

However, the first film is now available on DVD and Blu-ray. And to promote the release, Funimation released a small clip of the movie (about 2 minutes), featuring Kenshin’s backstory as the Battosai. The clip is subtitled although there is very little dialog (but lots of action).  Check it out and enjoy!