Ellation is forging a path to new and exciting frontiers with their latest initiative.

Earlier today, Ellation announced that they launched a new animation studio. The company, known as Ellation Studios, will be tasked with producing original content for Crunchyroll and VRV. The studio, which is being helmed by Women in Animation president Margaret Dean, includes facilities in Burbank, CA and Tokyo.

Dean, as studio head, will be in charge of producing original content for Crunchyroll (dubbed “Crunchyroll Originals”) and VRV.

Ellation Studios’ first project is a Crunchyroll Original series dubbed High Guardian Spice. A trailer, key visual, concept art, a description, and the first staffers were revealed for the project. We break the details down below.


The 90-second trailer uses a “talking head” format, as Margaret Dean, Raye Rodriguez, Amalia Levan, Kate Leth, and Audu Paden talk up the project. The “talking head” segments dissolve to shots of concept art and candid behind-the-scenes footage.

Key Visual

The image features the show’s four leads, ready for adventure as they stand in a medieval-styled town.

High Guardian Spice Visual

Concept Art


Raye Rodriguez is listed as the creator for High Guardian Spice, with Audu Paden (Animaniacs, Monster High: New Ghoul at School) serving as Supervising Director. The project will feature an all-female writing room, which includes story editor Amalia Levan and writer Kate Leth.

Crunchyroll describes High Guardian Spice as:

In High Guardian Spice, the lives of four fierce girls, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme and Parsley, converge at High Guardian Academy, the one place where they can stumble towards adulthood while becoming the heroes they’ve always admired. As they master the ways of battle and sorcery, our foursome form allegiances and comical kinships, uncover legacies and betrayals, and discover their true identities while preparing to protect the world from an ominous unknown threat.

High Guardian Spice is slated to première in 2019.

Margaret Dean offered comment on the initiative, stating:

With Crunchyroll Originals, we’re looking to showcase animation as an art form, delivering meaningful original content that draws from our strengths as a truly international service dedicated to super-serving anime fans […] The art style of High Guardian Spice combines anime influence with an untold story and unique perspective. Raye’s team has been inspiring to work with, and we’re can’t wait for fans to see what we have in store for them.

Crunchyroll founder and General Manager Kun Gao also commented on the news, noting:

Crunchyroll Originals aims to elevate animation as a medium for storytelling, as most animated series in western culture is geared towards kids or comedy. Our fans grew up watching anime, and today anime inspires creators from around the world and influences so much of broader pop culture. We look to tell distinct, impactful stories best executed in the medium of animation from a global creative community who is inspired by anime […] With this in mind, we are excited to introduce more shows and announce the rest of our slate in the coming weeks.

The High Guardian Spice creative team will appear at Crunchyroll Expo, which will be held at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center from September 1 – 3.

Source: Crunchyroll (Email Communication)