Friday, August 10, 2018

Netflix Proves that Anime is No Longer Just for Children

Anime has come such a long way since I first fell in love with it in grade school. I grew up in Germany and there was absolutely nothing cool about anime or video games; and as such, anything I did that was remotely related to them was kept in the confines of my bedroom. I'd watch Sailor Moon religiously, play Nintendo until the middle of the night, and obsess over Final Fantasy all on my lonesome.

As such, it isn't really surprising that Adi Shankar, creator of Netflix's anime series 'Castlevania', found the whole project daunting. At the exclusive Netflix panel at AsiaPOP Comicon earlier this month, Adi pointed out that animation in the US at the time was seen as something that was basically either for children or purely for comedy. "And then we had to go and literally create a production process in the production pipeline that simply didn't exist. So it was building it from the ground up. And now that the process has been built, we're gonna have more episodes." He told us this as he held up the Power Glove that he was wearing. "We speak the same language," he said proudly.

"As an artist, your dream is simply to have some semblance of an impact on the culture, especially if it's the culture that impacted you. I'm processing the world, I'm filtering the world through nerd culture. And to have the opportunity, to have the privilege of now being able to not only play a role, but have an impact on nerd culture, it's a dream come true. It feels like I'm becoming Goku, but I've been dropped into Super Smash Bros and it's not a fair fight for anybody else."

The interesting thing about the way that 'Castlevania' is made is that the show was made by fans for fans. Adi assures us that there was no agenda here other than a bunch of people who loved 'Castlevania' getting in a room together and deciding they wanna make a 'Castlevania' show. "Season 2 is a continuation of the story of Season 1, so we're really bringing this narrative into a full circle," says Adi.

Adi grew up between Hong Kong and Singapore and he shares that it has always bothered him as a fellow nerd for trailers and news stories to drop everywhere but in this part of the world. "It would always happen in the US. Alien invasions always happen in New York. Why?" he complained. "I'm cool with Thanos coming and taking over the world, but come on. Just come here."

And as if to give a huge middle finger to the world for constantly doing that, Adi dropped the trailer of 'Castlevania' Season 2 here in the Philippines before anywhere else. If you haven't seen it yet, watch it here:

What else should you look forward to in the second season? According to Adi, "Look out for new characters. There's a lot of them. Look out for a lot of bloodshed. And we wanted to make you cry, tears of sadness. So look out for tears. Get a Kleenex box. And you're watching the last few episodes, get out the Kleenex box. Keep it handy. It's okay to cry." We're definitely ready for this!!!

Adi definitely feels the same way that I do. He shares, "This was the stuff that I got made fun of as a kid for. I couldn't walk around in a Power Glove when I was 16. I couldn't talk about anime and video games and stuff. That wasn't cool. All of a sudden, we live in a world where this is part of the collective culture. It's part of the collective consciousness. And we're talking about a global mythology here, a shared understanding."

And my God, have I never been happier to be able to experience this in my lifetime. As a child, never would I have imagined that I would be here in my 30s being able to geek it out the way that I do. In fact, when I started this blog almost a decade ago, nobody cared about my geeky side and everyone just chuckled about it. Now, I get to go full geek and people actually celebrate with me. What a time to be alive!

1 comment:

  1. Ya for Netflix for stepping up there game. Have a great weekend.