Last month, Anime Limited launched a Kickstarter campaign to help deliver Mai Mai Miracle to the English speaking world and that campaign finished today in spectacular fashion!
The initial target was US$30,000 to secure a release and that was smashed within 48 hours. The campaign then soared past a number of stretch-goals including getting the production of an English dub and an art book. The final total now stands at US$107,153 from 1,903 backers. I was one of those backers having pledged. Here’s a slice of the film.
Shinko, is a third grade elementary school student with a magically active imagination. She spends a lot of her time listening to her grandfather’s history lessons, imagining what her town was like 1,000 years earlier. One day, a sad and sombre girl called Kiiko transfers to Shinko’s school from Tokyo. A strong friendship soon grows between the two girls as Shinko helps Kiiko come out of her shell and deal with her loss – all thanks to their adventures, both imagined and real.
The anime was directed by Sunao Katabuchi (director on Black Lagoon and assistant director of Kiki’s Delivery Service) and produced by MADHOUSE in 2009. Although not a major success when first released in Japan it won a slew of awards including Best Animated Film at the Fantasia Film Festival in Montréal along with the Excellence Prize for Feature Length Animation at the 2010 Japan Media Arts Festival. It has appeared at certain festivals in the UK such as being part of The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2013 which is how I watched it. This will be the first time that the anime will be released in the UK and US on DVD.
I’m not sure if it’s an indication of how interested the world is in the project but a number of my news reports on Anime UK News hit nearly 1000 readers and one smashed that number which surprised and pleased me.
I’m not new to Kickstarter, having used the site to check up on videogames and I’m used to getting people sending films my way for me to support but this was the first time I actually used the site and it was surprisingly easy. The great thing is being involved in bringing a film to a new audience and also deciding what will be packed on the disc. As a supporter I could dictate which selection of goodies I wanted from a number of options:
For pledging $10 or higher, supporters received a postcard of thanks from Anime Limited.
For paying $25 or higher, backers received digital copies of the artbook, wallpaper, and movie.
Backers could have spent as much as $10,000 and for that they could have had a chance to travel to Japan for the Mai Mai Miracle tour which includes accompanying the director around sites used in the film (flight, translator and accommodation included).
Sounds great and the reality reflected that as many people flocked to pledge money. The director, Sunao Katabuchi was so taken with the whole campaign that he also took part himself!
For the amount I pledged I can get the film on DVD and BD, a digital copy, art cards and the film and credit as being involved in the crowd production process as well as other things.
I just want to congratulate the Anime Limited team and thank all involved for making it happen. It was a fun experience and one I hope to take part in again!
Check out Otherwhere (Alua convinced me to see the film despite initial reluctance) for a series of great posts tracking the Kickstarter campaign.