Take a collection of superstar writers and animators, throw in a sci-fi schoolkid assassination team who will explode if they fail their mission, and lay it out for funding on Kickstarter. The end result is Under The Dog, which looks like it could be a fine return to brutal, beautiful sci-fi anime.
Just take a look at the trailer:
And the plot: after a terrorist attack on the 2020 Summer Olympics, the UN set up a covert defense force to destroy those connected with the crime –
As a cover, the International School for Boys and Girls was established for the ongoing covert operation of discovering and recruiting gifted high school students, each with their own special abilities, and to coerce them in the service of an elite death squad. These troops are tasked with ferreting out and exterminating all individuals with powers like their own.
There is no choosing sides for these recruits and failure is not an option. Failure on the field assures not only their own, but also their loved ones’ deaths. In order to assure compliance, each agent’s dearest loved ones have been secretly outfitted with a micro cranial bomb and all agent’s actions and speech are closely monitored and recorded through a battle chip embedded in their brain. In the event the UN commanding officer determines an agent falls out of protocol, their loved ones immediately suffer the consequences.
Beautifully designed sci-fi settings, a time-sensitive plot and protagonists with special powers makes for a very tempting combination. Add in stylish directing choreography that reminds me of *Ghost In The Shell* and *Aeon Flux* and you’ve got a winner, visually at least.
The names involved are an incredible list of industry veterans – Masahiro Ando, key animator on *Neon Genesis Evangelion* and *Ghost In The Shell*; Yusuke Kozaki, legendary character designer on *No More Heroes* and *Fire Emblem: Awakening*; Jiro Ishii, writer at Level 5 for titles like *Professor Layton* and *Dragon Quest*. It’s no wonder that the Kickstarter has already been funded with the stretch goals of further episodes seemingly guaranteed.
*Under The Dog* will be released towards the end of 2015.