Anime Movie Night was last night, and while I was there, I got a sneak peek at Children of Ether, the upcoming show made as a collaboration between LeSean Thomas (Cannon Busters, Legend of Korra) and Crunchyroll. With Hiroshi Shimizu (Michiko & Hatchin, Princess Mononoke, Space Dandy) as the Character Designer, Shingo Natsume (One Punch Man, Gurren Lagann, Welcome to the NHK) as the Storyboard Director, Yuichi Takahashi (Macross Frontier, Gatchaman CROWDS, Madoka Magica) as Animation Director, and Mitsuo Iso (Neon Genesis Evangelion, Cowboy Bebop, Ghost in the Shell) as the key animator, they certainly have a powerful roster.
The animation is being handled by Yapiko Animation, who have done other things in the past such as Urbance, which are characterized by beautiful, fluid animations and a very accurate and respectful portrayal of people of color. The soundtrack is being done by Mr Hudson, featuring a spunky mix of pop, rock, and electronic sounds to make a beautiful and fitting soundtrack for the world of Children of Ether. Now for the story. Here’s what Crunchyroll has to say about the show:
Children of Ether follows Rhonda, a woman with a dark past and a mysterious power, as she is pursued by an unknown assailant after the death of her father. Aided only by her wits and a pair of orphans, Rhonda journeys through a decaying, dystopian metropolis populated by raiders, gangs, and the supernatural. As she struggles to survive in this harsh urban tangle, she meets both friends and enemies, and searches for answers about this power, “The Ether”, awakening within her.
I’m not entirely sure about the story or the history of the show, but from what I could see, the world seems to be in some sort of post-apocalyptic state, with gangs and raiders running rampant, nearly every source of water polluted with poison, and some people awakening strange powers known as “The Ether”. The show is voiced in English, and though I haven’t been able to find any detail on who the VAs are, they did one heck of a good job on it. The world is super intriguing, and the plot hooks that are thrown out manage to grab you right away.
Visually, the show is absolutely stunning. Beautiful backdrops are drawn with immense care, the post-apocalyptic world being one of the most visually striking shows i’ve seen in years. The animation is smooth and super fluid, and the characters have been crafted in enormous detail and care as well, they move so well, so humanly, and they look so very good, too.
This is truly what a collaboration between Japanese Anime and American Comics/Cartoons should be. Where The Reflection gave us a choppy show with poor pacing, iffy animation, and strange art kind of glued onto an interesting world, Children of Ether has fantastic animation, with the characters looking like something in between what you’d see in an anime, and something out of the style of Legend of Korra or Avatar the Last Airbender.
I’m super excited about this show, they have so much talent and such a great opportunity, not to mention just a great world, story, and characters to build off of. The feature last night not only had the showcase episode, but some interviews from LeSean and his team, showing how they are making the show, and giving us some extra details on it. Anyways, I’m super excited for this show to release, how about you guys?
By the way, check out the trailer for Children of Ether here: Children of Ether – Teaser Trailer | Crunchyroll
Also, for all you Crunchyroll Premiums out there, check out the showcase episode here: Children of Ether