‘Demian’ and ‘Break Ups’ Debut on Crunchyroll


Demian-eigoMANGA-LLC3There’s something of special interest to Americans hoping to get into anime creations someday. EigoMANGA, self-described as “a comic book publishing company that specializes in creating original Japanese-influenced comic books and media productions,” released information this month about two anime-inspired OAVs (Original Animation Videos) they’ve made available on Crunchyroll.com. Their titles are “Demian,” a mech show, and “Break Ups,” a relationship drama.

According to eigoMANGA, “Demian is a story about an elite government team that pilots a five-into-one super robot fighting force. They are called to take down their robot’s creator who is now a terrorist.”

Impression: From the screenshots on eigoMANGA’s website, the art looks to have throwback character designs à la Tezuka and Blackjack, with a main character with Domon Kashu hair. (And who doesn’t love Domon Kashu from G Gundam?). There appears to be CG mechs and traditional backgrounds, something like Pilot Candidate (Candidate for Goddess), if anyone else happened to have seen that while it was on TV in the US years ago. The colors look bright, and the neon lighting effects on the mechs look like the body suits in Tron, so why not check it out?

“Break Ups”: This title is aimed more at the female base, which I commend eigoMANGA on speaking to with equal consideration. Says eigoMANGA, it’s “a slice-of-life story about a young couple with an on-and-off relationship. They stumble upon a time machine that takes them back to several periods in their lives as a couple.” The lead women, as far as I can tell, resemble Erin E-surance, Paprika (Paprika), and Nodame from Nodame Cantible (especially if she had the hair of Orihime from Bleach). Sounds like a fun combination to me.

The animation style is different than “Demian” and more risky. The screenshots show a “flat” and sparse style, the characters being without cell-shading and their faces made with very few, thin lines. Overall, it creates an effect like the cutouts of South Park. The backgrounds, however, use washes and a depth of painting to great effect. My first impression is that I’m not sure it’ll be everyone’s cup of tea, but I got used to the art style in under a minute, so I think it has the ability to grow on the viewer.

EigoMANGA and Goingdol should both be commended here, in this reporter’s opinion, for being progressive in their animation styles. Within their projects, they are going for art styles that boldly differ from the current norm, which is a huge gamble for a first venture. These OAVs come at a time when the new anime titles from Japan for the last few seasons have been critiqued as falling back on old staples (due to economic slumps in anime and manga consumption), so kudos to eigoMANGA and Goingdol for having faith both in their product, and in the viewers to accept something new. I look forward to seeing how the stories and animations live up to the art style expectations, and if you readers feel like it, you might give it a try, too.

EigoMANGA.com operates out of San Francisco, CA; its titles were produced by Goingdol, a studio in Seoul, South Korea. Crunchyroll is an official, legal, anime-, and Asian-culture-streaming website that started in 2006. It is part of the Association of Japanese Animations (AJA), LIMA (Licensing International Merchandisers’ Association), and was funded by various Japanese companies and American investors.

Image courtesy of EigoMANGA.