Project Name: CHUYA-DEN – The Night and Day Chronicles
End Date: 11/13/2015
What Is It?
Chuya-Den is an original animated feature by Yoshiyuki “YOSHIKO” Kaneko, and animated by WAO World. The title is based on an original concept by YOSHIKO, which has already entered pre-production. As of the start of the drive, the core storyline for four episodes is ready, art direction is finalized, and 467 cuts (30 minutes) of storyboard content is complete.
Through Kickstarter, YOSHIKO aims to raise enough funding to produce a 10-minute pilot. Ideally, the full feature will run for four 24-minute episodes. A manga adaptation is also being developed with the animated feature.
The story of Chuya-Den is set in the world of the yokai: mysterious demons of Japanese lore. In this world, the cycles of day and night don’t follow the rules that we’ve grown accustomed to. Rather, the forces of day and night battle it out each day, to determine whether the sun shines proudly or the blanket of night covers the land.
One day, though, the cycle simply stopped. The sun vanished without a trace, leading to a relentless, endless night.
All that stands against the warriors of Night is a trio of human children. Shu, Yuna, and Kenta were pulled into the yokai world, and now find themselves embroiled in the brutal Yokai Chanbara. Together, the three youngsters must stand up against the forces of Night to bring daylight back to the yokai realm!
Notable Reward Tiers
Note: Normally, we list the entire reward list for each tier. However, Chuya-Den’s Kickstarter features a “cascading” reward set, where backer tiers often include all lower rewards. For the sake of clarity and brevity, we’ll be using the notation of “[New Rewards], plus all Rewards at [$X Tier]” where possible.
- $25: Digital download of Chuya-Den
- $45: Blu-Ray/DVD Copy and Digital Download of Chuya-den, Backer Mention on the title’s website
- $75: Physical Copies of Chuya-Den and Yoshiko’s Gaiden manga, plus all rewards at $45 tier
- $100: Limited Edition Chuya-Den Blu-Ray/DVD Combo Pack, Animation Model Sheets (Digital), Illustration Collection (Digital), plus all rewards at $75 tier
- $125: Hand-Illustrated card with Director Note, plus all rewards at $100 tier
- $170: Animation Model Sheets (Physical & Digital), Animation Key Frame Sheets (Physical), plus all rewards at $125 tier
- $280: Limited-Edition Art Print, plus all rewards at $170 tier (Limited, 45)
- $290: Pilot Storyboard, Prototype First Episode Storyboard (Autographed by YOSHIKO), plus all rewards at $170 tier
- $400: Backer Portrait, plus all rewards at $290 tier
- $500: Main Cast Illustration, “Ambassador” Credit, plus all rewards at $400 tier
- $1,000: Design a Character, plus all rewards at Base $500 tier (Limited, 3)
- $1,200: Meet YOSHIKO via Skype, plus all rewards at Base $500 tier (Limited, 3)
- $1,500: Studio Tour, plus all rewards at Base $500 tier (Limited, 3)
- $1,500: Color Illustration with digital files, plus all rewards at Base $500 tier (Limited, 3)
- $1,500: Design a character who received speaking role, plus all rewards at Base $500 tier (Limited, 3)
- $4,100: #1 Art Print plus engraved copper cast used to create all limited prints, plus choice of any reward at $1,500 tier (Limited, 1)
- $4,200: Dinner with YOSHIKO, “Special Ambassador” credit, plus choice of any reward at $1,500 tier (Limited, 1)
- $10,000: Assistant Director role and credit, plus choice of any reward at $1,500 tier (Limited, 1)
The drive lists three sets of limited tiers, which offer the same reward, though they differ in a the specific character or cameo offered:
At $500, six tiers offer an illustration offered by a specific cast member. These tiers include all rewards at the “$400” tier, and are limited to three backers each.
At $1,000, backers can opt for a minor cameo as a human classmate, a “day yokai”, or a “night yokai.” These tiers include all rewards at the base $500 tier, and are limited to three backers each.
At $1,500, backers can opt for a major cameo, with spoken lines, as a human classmate, a “day yokai”, or a “night yokai.” These tiers include all rewards at the base $500 tier, and are limited to three backers each.
As of November 9, all contributions of $125 and above will also receive a free copy of the Chuya-Den soundtrack. You can check out a sample below.
Notable Stretch Goals
$130,000: English dub, featuring Brittany Lauda, Amber Lee Connors, and Daisy Guevara
Why Profile This Title?
If there were a single word to describe Chuya-Den‘s Kickstarter, it would be sensible. This is a feature which has had much of the groundwork lain out already. Pre-production is nearly complete, scripts are written, storyboards are built, and actors are lined up.
The project’s cost projections are generally reasonable, with a $50,000 operating budget (after fees and reward costs) being adequate funding for a 10-minute feature. Likewise, the scope of the project is sensible, with an expected 11-month production time.
The reward tiers cover the core “wants” from fans, which include Blu-Rays, manga books, and production art.
Chuya-Den, as a concept, is fairly exciting, albeit not unique. The tale of a plucky group of heroes banding together to save a strange new world has certainly been done (and done well) before in other works. That said, though, YOSHIKO’s concept pitch shows promise for an enthralling experience, that’s just steeped in Japanese lore and tradition.
I have to admit that the $100,000 goal is incredibly optimistic, given the talent attached to the project, which includes actors Yu Kobayashi and Yui Horie. That said, though, it’s not impossible, and is certainly a sensible budget overall.
Amber Lee Connors
Opening theme: Night or Day
Update 11/9/2015: Normally, we don’t update our KickColle Profile pieces, but the Chuya-Den Kickstarter shuffled its reward tiers. As of November 9, all backers who contribute $125 and above will receive a free copy of the Chuya-Den soundtrack